CD Projekt Red built a stellar reputation with The Witcher 3. It’s praised most as the best RPG game in history. With Cyberpunk 2077 on the November horizon, many people are looking to get a taste at the studio’s best.
Cyberpunk’s promotional material has been continuous, clear, and flawless. Xbox Recently shared the game already gained Gold Certification (meaning it has sold over 5,000,000 copies worldwide).
Likewise, the studio has seen a rise in The Witcher 3 sales during 2020. CD Projekt RED says it’s the second best-selling year for the game, after 2019 when the Netflix show pushed the game’s popularity over the roof. Not for nothing, The Witcher 3 is getting RTX support plus a new expansion.
We also discovered the game had a new record of Steam players in January 2020, then reaching 8 million sales that months alone.
I bet most of those buyers are trying the game for the first time. Many The Witcher 3 players didn’t even finish the game. And I don’t blame them, come on! Its rundown extends for over 100 hours!
If you’re a newcomer, I’m here to help you with the top tips, hints, and secrets to master The Witcher 3.
Here’s everything we know on Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red’s next RPG:
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Info
|May 18, 2015|
|CD Projekt Red||CD Projekt Red|
Holder of over 250 Game of The Year Awards, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the biggest RPG in history. It’s a story-driven open-world fantasy adventure with enough mechanics to get lost easily.
Our main character, Geralt the Rivia, is a Witcher. If someone can pay, a Witcher will kill the monsters causing havoc on the continent. These monsters, by the way, are inspired by Polish traditions.
As a mercenary monster hunter, you have at your disposal many tools of the trades: swords, lethal potions, combat magic, crossbows, and plenty of knowledge.
Moreover, The Witchers undergo mutations to stand a chance against abominations. Because their powers are deadlier and their goals are coins, a Witcher cannot meddle into men and empires’ business.
Geralt explores a continent infested with dark magic to fulfill your primary contract. You have to find Ciri, your foster daughter, your pupil, and the Child of Prophecy. Dangerous beings known as The Wild Hunt are chasing the powers she bestows.
The original game spawns on various open-world maps with side quests that are just as good as the main plot. The acting, voice-overs, character-expressions, and overall story will move the game’s lengthy playthrough.
On top of the base game, it has two expansions, each comprising about 20 hours of extra playtime.
Lastly, you have the New Game+ options. A single playthrough won’t probably help you unlock Geralt’s most powerful skills, potions, and gear.
“You Don’t Need Mutations To Strip Men Of Their Humanity”
By the time I published the article, the GoG store was selling The Witcher 3: GOTY edition with a 70% discount. The GoG store is part of the CD Projekt Red company.
Check for discounts on the GoG store
The Witcher 3: Top Tip for Beginners
These are the things that I wish I knew before I started playing the game. You won’t have to stare at the overwhelming game’s menu without understanding anything before you can go on.
Remember that you don’t have to play the first two trilogy games to enjoy or understand The Wild Hunt. Each game works as a self-contained adventure.
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Learn the basic combat in the tutorial section
The Witcher 3 starts with a tutorial section. It introduces the game’s combat system, which takes its cues from the Demon Soul’s franchise.
In essence, you have fast attacks and strong attacks. If you’re playing on PC, you can key-bind these attacks as you wish. It would be best to have a mouse with extra buttons, though.
You can hold the fast attack or the strong attack button for a special attack. You’ll see how Geralt charges the swing before attacking.
Also, you can parry your opponent’s attack if you time it right. Parrying leaves your opponent off-balance, a perfect opportunity for a counter-attack.
You can also dodge and roll to avoid incoming attacks. Dodging, in particular, is something you must master.
On top of the swordplay, you also have magic. Witcher’s magic is called “Signs.” There are five runes available, and you can key-bind these attacks as well. Otherwise, you can press the TAB button on the PC to access the fast-wheel and choose your Sign.
Lastly, you have bombs. You can access the bombs via the TAB button as well. You throw them with a specific button as a quick attack. Geralt automatically targets his foes, but you can swap between targets with the “Z” button (on PC).
Understanding your status bars
The first and most obvious indicator is the health bar. You can meditate to restore your health, but only if you’re playing on the easiest difficulties. Otherwise, you can regain health through potions, food, and specific passive abilities.
To meditate, you should press the BACKSPACE button on the PC and choose the meditate option. Resting for a single hour can restore your health. As I said, though, it only works on the first two difficulties (“Just the Story,” and “Sword and Story.”).
There’s also a yellow bar, which is Stamina. You need Stamina for your runes, dodges, and rolls. It recharges over time. There’re potions, gears, and passives that increase its restoration speed.
The bar with a skull fills with a green indicator. The Toxicity status indicates the level of poison on your blood due to the potions and decoctions you’re using.
Each potion comes with a toxicity level (AKA 15/100). Your default Toxicity threshold is 70, after which you’re going to start losing life per second.
Toxicity levels decrease over time, though. Moreover, some passives increase your toxicity threshold. Others can make you more powerful if there’re toxins in your blood.
Lastly, there’s another bar that fills with red, which is your Adrenaline bar. You supply the indicator by punishing your foes with your sword. As it goes up, so does your damage.
Some passives tweak how adrenaline works. For example, it might serve to cast runes.
The Witcher carries two swords. He uses an iron/steel sword to kill humans and other creatures as wolves, dogs, and bears. Next, Geralt has a Silver sword to slay the monster. Geralt draws the sword he needs automatically.
How does the open-world?
Once you¿re out of the tutorial section, the game places you on the initial map, White Orchard. The location must take you from level 1 to level 5, approximately.
The world’s map is divided into various open-world maps, being Velen the most prominent portion.
Every map works more or less the same. You ride with your horse and search for Notice Boards, which offer you activities and map markets on the map to explore.
You’ll see points on interests as a Question Mark on the map. In particular, you can “liberate” some of these places from a monster infection, bandits, deserted, and such. If you liberate the area, it becomes a small hub with a merchant and a fast travel post.
By the way, you can only travel from a fast travel post to another.
Aside from Notice Boards, you can also active side quests by exploring and talking to various NPCs.
Although Witcher Contracts give you the best gear and coin, there’re various side quests categories. For example, Treasure Hunt missions are about retrieving rare Witcher gear.
The main quest, though, is the one that will give you the more amount of XP. And once you’re done with the main plot in White Orchard, you can move on to Velen.
Overall, though, with so many things to explore, you’ll forget about the main plot constantly. Still, the story missions are the most fun, but you can tackle the game at any order you want.
As you quest, you’ll often encounter the opportunity to make choices.
Sometimes, these choices are tied to a timer. If you fail to make a desition, the worst possible outcome may happen.
The consequences of what you do are not obvious, like in other games. There’s no clear right or wrong. Instead, you have the Witcher’s code of staying neutral during human conflicts.
Even so, you develop relationships, both lovers and friends. Paying Gwent with the Bloody Baron will make you think twice about being cold-hearted with him.
Otherwise, you can stay neutral during most affairs and avoid further confrontation. Remember that you’re not a hero and that it’s okay to fail a few quests.
That said, the game has three general endings with about 40 different character ending variations. Many factors alter the final outcome. The choices you make on three particular mission influence the conclusion significantly.
These missions are:
- Battle Preparations
- Blood on the Battlefield
- Final Preparations
A significant part of the game’s highlight is Geralt’s interaction with the different NPCs.
All conversations grant you various dialogue options to address. Sometimes, these options allow you to manage the matter in a different situation. Others, all of the options, take you to the same place, albeit with a different attitude.
Be that as it may, I advise you always to question the NPCs to receive information in return. The Witcher’s world is rich and complex, so you’ll be thankful for every piece of lore you get.
Also, Geralt is a badass. Try to stay on character! Because, more than an RPG, The Witcher 3 can feel like a Geral The Rivia Simulator.
The Witcher 3 has a unique leveling system. Unlike most RPG games, grinding is unnecessary and unrewarding. It means that killing random foes on the map yields almost zero XP.
Instead, what you need to do is completing quests. Doing the stuff that matters most will give you higher rewards.
As you begin exploring the bigger maps like Velen, you’ll unlock a crazy amount of side quests. You’ll see them on your menu with a level marker attached.
You can tackle quests that are about three levels below or three levels above you. Otherwise, they might not yield any XP, or they might be too hard for you, respectively.
Overall, leveling on The Witcher 3 feels slower than on most RPGs.
Another rather unique system on The Witcher 3 is its skills.
You have four Skill Branches: Combat, Signs, Alchemy, and General. The first three branches work similarly: you need to invest a certain number of Ability Points to unlock the next bracket of skills.
Then, you can place the skill on one of the twelve slots available. These slots also unlock over time. You’ll be opening the full twelve slots by the end of your first playthrough.
There’s also a mutagen branch. You pick mutagens from powerful monsters in the world and then place them on their individual brackets. Mutagens grant bonuses for attack power (RED), Signs (Blue), and Vitality (Green). If nearby skills have the same color, the mutagen will yield better buffs.
Naturally, you unlock Points as you level up. There’re also Places of Power in the world, which often grant you one extra Ability Point. In particular, The White Orchard has plenty of Places of Power to harness.
A word of warning: Places of Power a buggy. You need to interact with these unique stones to get the reward. However, because they are buggy, you’ll need to interact with them various times until it works.
Lastly, the General branch is about general character buffs, such as extra 500 Vitality or extra life regen.
Another essential element of The Witcher 3 is alchemy.
You gather alchemy ingredients as you explore, mostly monster remains and plants. Moreover, you also collect some junk on the work, which you can take to a blacksmith or an armorsmith to dismantle and get some extra ingredients.
Then, you gather alchemy recipes by exploring or buying from vendors. These allow you to create potions, oils, and decoctions.
Potions are temporary buffs with low toxicity. For example, the Swallow potion restores health. Decoctions are powerful buffs with high toxicity. For example, there’s a decoction that allows you to regain health as you hit enemies, although its toxicity is 70.
Then, oils are buffs you apply to your sword. Each oil grants a bonus against a specific category of enemies (like humans, beasts, or necrophages).
Lastly, bombs damage or debuff enemies. You also need bombs to destroy monster layers, which you can find as Question Marks on the map.
You can place potions and decoctions on the rapid consumable buttons, but you can’t put oils. As for bombs, you can place them on your Quick Wheel.
Each bomb, oil, potion, and decoction you create stays with you forever. Once you create an upgraded version, it copies itself over the older alternative.
Most potions have three charges, which men’s you can use them three times. Decoctions, though, have a single charge. Like so, you have two bombs of each kind to throw in battle.
When you run out, you can meditate to restore your alchemy items. You need to have a single alcohol (like a beer) on your inventory for a full refill, though.
On the other hand, oils are endless. When you apply the oil to the sword, they have a limited amount of charges. Each charge represents a hit, and so the buff ends once run out of charges.
Applying oils becomes so much of a hassle that you may forget about it altogether. At the start of every encounter, you would have to open the menu, search for your oils on the inventory, and apply the correct oil to your sword.
Moreover, investing in the alchemy three makes the oils incredibly powerful, so it would be a shame to skip on the feature.
There’s another way, though. I recommend using the Auto Apply Mod, available for free on the Nexus mod. As the name implies, it automatically chooses and applies the oil at the start of the fight.
Here’s what you’d need to download to make the mod work. It’s perfectly safe and functional.
You can mode both the GoG and the Steam versions of The Witcher 3. However, the more mods you add to a game, the more unstable it becomes. I would recommend you to stay simple.
Crafting works similarly to alchemy. You gather ingredients through exploring and dismantling, and you collect blueprints as well.
You can find blacksmith and armorsmiths in the world. Only a blacksmith can craft weapons, and only an armorsmith can craft armor.
Yet, both NPCs can repair your gear, and you’ll be doing that quite a lot.
Moreover, both NPCs can craft runestones you can socket into your gear. However, you need its blueprints.
Witcher sets are special, as these are the only gear you can upgrade. The equipment is full of boots, gloves, chest, pants, a steel sword, and a silver sword.
You can find the base gar by following its unique Treasure Hunt Quest. The mission rewards the blueprint, and you would have to take the blueprints to the ‘smiths to craft the set.
Additional Treasure hunts search for the follow-up blueprint upgrades. Each has four upgrade tiers, whereas the fourth tier unlocks its set bonus.
First and foremost, Witcher Contracts are hefty. You can even negotiate the fee with the client.
You can then sell all of the loot you find, but only you don’t dismantle the items. In particular, Treasure Hunt quests reward pricy items.
Other activities include horse racing, fist fighting, and Gwent card playing.
Runestones are incredibly pricey when you sell them, but you could stick with them to craft the better versions.
There’s a built-in mini-game on The Witcher 3, the collectible card game Gwent. You can skip Gwent on your first playthrough. Either way, here’s’ a video tutorial on the overwhelming game.
CD Projekt Red has kept the game alive with various free DLCs plus two full-on expansions.
The DLCs were about adding more gear, bug fixes, and such. The expansions added a new story-line you can take after the main game.
Still, there’s an option to jump straight to the DLC from the main menu. It gives you a Geralt with the level and gear to handle the challenge.
The Hearts of Stone DLC rewards special items. For example, one of the rewards is an endless alcohol bottle you can use to restore your alchemy items every time you meditate.
Finally, the Blood and Wine expansion explores new mutations. The mutations are new passive skills you can unlock without taking your current skill slots. Moreover, the expansion grants you the ability to open four extra skill slots. These changes carry over your New Game+ playthrough.
The new mutations add a new layer of complexity as they work on top of the current system. It makes for a great experience during your second playthrough. However, I would advise choosing the “Death Marh!” difficulty the second time around.
The last thing we need to check is the glossary, which is your in-game’ tutorial menu.
The glossary works as a codex for enemies, characters, and tutorials.
There’s a plus, though. As you unlock the knowledge of an enemy (through battle or books you buy), you unlock its entry on the bestiary as well. Finding an enemy on the Bestiary reveals the foe’s weakness (signs and oils).
Remember, Witchers have the knowledge they need to get the best of their opponents.
The Witcher 3 is taking a step towards next-gen with RTX support. Moreover, Cyberpunk 2077 is premiering in November. Maybe it’s time to build a new rig!
There’s nothing wrong with cheating, especially on a single-player only game.
And yes, there’re cheat codes available on The Witcher 3. What you need to do is activate its console so you can turn it as you play.
In essence, you have to locate a specific game folder and add a line into a .ini file. Here’s a couple of guides that can help you on the matter:
I think I covered all of the bases I wanted to cover. If you’re a beginner on The Witcher 3, keep this guide around. It will take you through the complexity of the game.
Keep in mind the Glossary stores all of the tutorial messages you unlock. However, some of them are confusing.
If there’s something you would like to add, please leave it in the comments below!
Oh, by the way…The Wind is Howling.