The Witcher 3 next-gen is finally here. After years of modding, patching and waiting, fans finally get to see this chapter of Geralt’s journey in all of its bloody glory.
The update has finally come out after being delayed all the way back in April of this year. The original launch window for the next-gen console ports, with all the bells and whistles, was supposed to drop in 2021, but the world had other plans. Now, CDPR has made good on promises literal years in the making, and has dropped The Witcher 3 next gen onto PC, PS5 and Xbox Series S/X. Sadly, there’s no news on when or if the Switch will be getting all these updates.
So what does The Witcher 3 next-gen update include, in detail? That’s a question for the patch notes to answer. The patch includes a world-shattering number of visual changes, bringing this classic RPG truly into 2022. There’s a lot to talk about, so let’s dig in.
All of the base textures for many different assets have been upscaled to 4K so they render in much higher quality on high-end displays. The most notable of these are the character models for many different characters, including Geralt, Yennefer, Triss, Ciri, Eredin and more. Along with that, the environmental effects, particles and lighting in the open world have been given a pass. There are improvements to meshes and models for all manner of plants, wildlife, water and more. Sky textures even got a new look.
A major overhaul of lighting in all areas has also been introduced with the inclusion of ray traced global illumination and ambient occlusion. On PC, you can see all this and more on the new ULTRA+ graphical preset—which along with the aforementioned changes, also increases the density of effects for foliage, NPCs and more.
The update even bundles in a few community patches and mods to improve visual fidelity and performance. There are a bunch of fixes to textures, models and even the world map through into the mix via this approach. And it’s not just visual improvements either. Full cross-progression has been added. You can now easily move your PC save to other platforms, assuming you haven’t modded it. You could also move a console save to PC if you wish.
Check out the full patch notes down below.
The Witcher 3 Next-Gen Update Patch Notes
PC and Next-Gen Exclusives
- Added ray traced global illumination and ambient occlusion.
- Additionally, PC players with compatible hardware have an additional option to turn on ray traced reflections and shadows.
- Added various mods and mod-inspired content to the game to improve visuals and overall game quality. We’ve included some community-made favorites in addition to our own modifications in areas such as environment and cutscene improvements, realistic pavements, and many decoration upgrades.
- Community-made and community-inspired mods include:
-The Witcher 3 HD Reworked Project by HalkHogan
-HD Monsters Reworked by Denroth
-Immersive Real-time Cutscenes by teiji25
-Nitpicker’s Patch by chuckcash
-World Map Fixes by Terg500
- Upscaled texture to 4K for various characters, including Geralt, Yennefer, Triss, Ciri, Eredin and more.
- All main characters, including Geralt, now cast high-resolution self-shadowing even outside cutscenes. Additionally, hair clipping through armor as well as some other armor-clipping issues have been fixed.
- Environmental improvements:
-Added a new weather type – “Gray Sky”
-Updated sky textures
-Vegetation and water improvements
-Various mesh improvements
-Improved some select VFX
-Updated global environmental lighting
- Added AMD FidelityFX™ Super Resolution (FSR) 2.1
- Added photo mode, allowing players to take stunning pictures within the world of The Witcher 3.
- Added the option to pause the game during cutscenes.
- Added an alternative camera option that’s closer to the player’s character and that reacts more dynamically to combat and movement. You can find this new setting in Options ? Gameplay under Exploration, Combat, and Horseback Camera Distance.
- Added “ULTRA+” graphical settings on PC, which significantly increases the visual fidelity of the game. The graphical settings available on ULTRA+ affect:
-Number of background characters
-Foliage visibility range
- Added DLSS 3 support. Available only on compatible hardware.
- Added a cross-progression feature between platforms. Your latest saves will be automatically uploaded to the cloud so you can easily pick up where you left off on other platforms. Cross-progression provides the latest save for every save type. This feature becomes available after you log into your account.
By signing up to MY REWARDS in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, players can receive:
-Swords of the Nine-Tailed Vixen
-White Tiger of the West Armor
-Dol Blathanna Armor Set
- Added a new side quest, In The Eternal Fire’s Shadow, in Velen. Rewards are inspired by Neftlix’s The Witcher series.
- Added an alternative appearance for Dandelion inspired by Netflix’s The Witcher series. You can enable it in Options ? Gameplay.
- Also added an alternative Nilfgaardian Armor set inspired by Netflix’s The Witcher series. You can enable it in Options ? Gameplay.
- Added Chinese and Korean voice-over. Availability on consoles varies by region.
- Various improvements and changes to Russian voice-over, including fixes for accelerated / slowed lines in the vast majority of scenes.
Quality of Life Changes
- Added a Quick Sign Casting option. It allows signs to be switched and cast without opening the radial menu. You can find it in Options ? Gameplay.
- Added a new default map filter. The new filter hides some icons such as “?” and boat icons in order to reduce icon clutter on the map. These icons can be turned back on with the “All” map mode toggle.
- Adjusted the minimum height for fall damage, allowing the player to survive falls from higher heights.
- Herbs can now be instantly looted with a single interaction – without the additional loot window.
- Added options that dynamically hide the minimap and quest objectives when not in combat or using Witcher senses. You can find it in Options ? Video ? HUD Configuration ? Hide minimap during Exploration and Hide objectives during Exploration.
- Added the option to slow walk when playing with a controller. You can now slow walk by lightly pushing the left stick forward.
- Also added an alternative sprint mode option when playing with a controller. It’s activated by tapping the left stick. You can find it in Options ? Control Settings.
- Added an option to make target-lock unnaffected by camera inversion. You can find it in Options ? Control Settings.
- Improved the radial menu so bombs, bolts and pocket items can now be switched dynamically without opening the inventory.
- Added the option to scale the font size for subtitles, NPC chatter and dialogue choices. You can find it in Options ? Video ? HUD Configuration.
- Added various other small fixes, tweaks, and quality of life changes, including a few secrets to be discovered by players.
- Added the mod Full Combat Rebalance 3 by Flash_in_the_flesh which includes balance changes and various fixes to gameplay. We took a curated approach to this mod, with some elements further tweaked from what you’ll find in the mod by default, while other elements were omitted.
- Scavenger Hunt: Wolf School Gear – Fixed an issue where the chest at the Signal Tower couldn’t be opened.
- From Ofier’s Distant Shores – Fixed an issue where the diagram in the chest at the bandit’s hideout could be missing.
- Hard Times – Fixed an issue where Geralt couldn’t talk or give the letter to the blacksmith.
- Swift as the Western Winds – Fixed an issue where the quest could sometimes fail despite winning the horse race.
- Echoes of the Past – Fixed an issue where, after defeating the Foglets, the quest could get stuck and it wouldn’t be possible to talk to Yennefer.
- Wine Wars – Fixed an issue where the quest couldn’t be completed if the player destroyed one of the required monster nests during exploration.
- Fixed an issue where clearing the Ruined Inn Abandoned Site situated on the southern shore of Ard Skellig was not possible in certain scenarios.
- Fixed an issue where the Grandmaster Wolven Set wouldn’t require Mastercrafted items.
- Various small fixes to quests and cutscenes.