The Witcher 3 – Tips and Tricks

Tips and Tricks When first starting out in Wild Hunt, players may feel a bit lost […]

Tips and Tricks

When first starting out in Wild Hunt, players may feel a bit lost within the large scope of the open world. Here are a few tips on making the most out of the first few hours of gameplay. DO NOT SKIP THE TUTORIAL. While many players may be tempted to breeze past this section, combat in The Witcher is a little more in-depth than some may be used to. Be sure to pay attention during Vesemir’s lessons, and keep practicing with him in free-form mode until you feel comfortable with the mechanics.

DO EVERY SIDE QUEST in White Orchard. Most of them are super simple, like finding a frying pan for an old woman, or tracking simply brewing a potion.

EXPLORE. There are plenty of goodies hidden across the White Orchard area – some on, some off the in-game map. Spots like hidden treasure or can help you get better gear, while Places of Power will grant you bonus ability points for your Character skills.

Convert your money

Sometimes you’ll find money in crates or when you loot bodies. Those coins go directly to the Junk part of your inventory, because they are foreign coins. Simply go to Novigrad (North of Velen), visit Vivaldi’s Bank and convert your cash into Crowns. To do so, just speak to the banker and select the conversion option. You can also borrow money here.

Once you’re above level 10, buy Manuscripts for Enhanced potions.

You can find a merchant in Novigrad who sells them for only 36 crowns. He also sells enhanced bombs, oils. Here’s where you can find him:

The Basics

For players unfamiliar with other titles in The Witcher franchise, the mechanics of the game may seem a bit daunting. Believe it or not, though, Wild Hunt features the most streamlined mechanics in the series to date.


Check out everything — but don’t be afraid to take a rain check on a tough enemy and come back later. A skull/red text display means: not yet.

Your quests will take you into dark caves. You can equip a torch to see in the dark — or create the Cat potion to let you see much farther. Lighting things on fire, like braziers or candles can be very helpful in marking your path and remind you where you’ve been and where you haven’t.


Remember to compare new items with your equipped items to see if you should upgrade. Sometimes, higher defense or attack damage is just part of the story. Look at the weapons and armor’s other abilities. A new sword may be slightly less powerful, but cause additional poison or magical damage that makes up for the slightly lower attack power.

Also, go for Witcher gear — and hang on to it (you can store it your stash if you don’t want to carry it). These sidequests net you great equipment that can be upgraded later in the game.

Finally, empty slots on gear you’re using should be filled. Save the most powerful Glyphs and Stones for things you’re likely to use for a while. You can remove upgrades, but you can’t recover the upgrade items.

Remember that you don’t have limitless powers. When you carry too many items, you can no longer run. Pace yourself and visit merchants and armorers/smiths often to sell equipment. First buy and fix your equipped items to provide the merchant with more money, then sell off everything you don’t need. If you’re out in the field and carrying too much, go for inexpensive heavy items first. Look for high weight numbers — and don’t forget that Roach’s unused saddles can weigh a lot.


Witchers carry with them two swords – one steel and one silver. Steel swords are used for fighting humans and non-humans. By “non-humans” the game apparently means humanoids (elves, dwarves, etc.) as well as animals with a real-world counterpart (wolves, bears, wild dogs, etc). Silver swords are reserved for battling monsters and other supernatural enemies. However, these “rules” are loose because Geralt can use his silver sword against humans and non-humans, and Ciri can use her steel sword against monsters.

There are also maces and axes — what you use is up to your preference. Geralt will automatically draw the right weapon for the job, but you can also manually pull or sheathe your weapons.

There is also the crossbow. This weapon is critical to success when fighting under water. When the crossbow is used under water, it appears to have an automatic buff whereby a single hit normally kills an enemy even if that hit would normally not kill the enemy on land.

Use your two attack types (fast and strong) wisely — and remember that just before the enemy strike hits, Geralt can knock his opponent back by parrying – this offers him ample time to land a few quick strikes or a powerful attack.

In general, Geralt’s bread and butter attack is to dodge an enemy strike and then strike the enemy from the side or behind with 2-4 sword swings. Depending on the enemy, after Geralt lands 2-4 strikes, the game forces Geralt’s next swing to “miss” and allows the enemy to strike Geralt. Accordingly, you should normally dodge away from an enemy after landing a few strikes.

Geralt is invulnerable to most attacks during a dodge or roll animation. The attacking weapon does not necessarily need to “miss” Geralt in the animation to avoid dealing damage. Often times the dodge or roll animation will show an attacker’s weapon passing straight through Geralt without dealing damage.

Signs are the second most important aspect of combat in The Witcher. There are five signs that Geralt can use in combat:

  • Aard: A blast of telekenetic energy that will knock back (or even stun) enemies, allowing Geralt to press the attack.
  • Igni: A wave of fire passes over your opponent, setting anything (or anyone) it strikes ablaze to do damage over time.
  • Quen: Provides Geralt with a protective shield, which can be upgraded to explode and stun enemies when it depletes.
  • Axii: Take control of your enemies mind – stun them for a short period, or upgrade this skill to entrance foes into fighting for you.
  • Yrden: A powerful trap that, when laid on the ground, slows enemy movement. Especially effective against Wraiths.

Casting Signs costs stamina, which replenishes over time. As Geralt improves his Character Abilities, he can upgrade his stamina regeneration to allow him to perform more signs in a shorter amount of time.

Use Oils when facing tough enemies. For every enemy type, there is an oil that you can apply to your sword that will grant you significant combat bonuses.


Meditating in a safe spot heals your wounds (on the lowest two difficult levels). Just take a quick break instead of wasting replenishing items. Note, though, that that will also clear the effects of buffs from potions or grindstones.

Most importantly, slot the most helpful items in your shortcut menu. On consoles, you hold down on the D-pad to switch between two chosen items. For example, you could have your favorite healing/restore portion in one spot and Cat in the other, allowing you to quickly activate night vision or heal yourself in the middle of a battle.


Witchers are known for their cat-like eyes and often odd physical appearances – this is due largely in part to the potions and mutagens that they imbibe during their training and while hunting monsters.

Geralt can craft potions that will aid him in combat, such as the regenerative Swallow or the night-vison Cat potion, though drinking these will increase his body’s toxicity. If he drinks to many potions and goes over his limit, he will poison himself and begin losing health. But don’t worry, you can always medidate or use White Honey to clear the poisoning.

Potion recipes can be learned by finding formulaes throughout the world, though a few basic potions are known to him at the onset of the game. Note that by crafting these potions once, you can replenish them easily by meditating. Items like Alcohest or Dwarven Spirit will be used to replenish the potions.


When summoning your horse (Roach), try to face the direction opposite of where you are planning to ride. Roach tends to spawn behind Geralt if that is possible (i.e. no large body of water behind you), thus you will only need to turn around instead of wait for Roach to catch up.

Riding Roach is “slower” than running with Geralt in two ways. First, Roach often spawns a fair distance away from you, behind you, and/or with obstructions in between — causing delay. Second, Roach is much worse than Geralt at navigating through obstructions (fences, rocks, water, etc.). Thus, it often takes longer to reach your destination while riding Roach rather than by simply running with Geralt. If you are under 200 paces from your destination without a clearly unobstructive terrain in between, then it is usually faster to run with Geralt rather than by summoning and riding Roach.

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