The Witcher 3 Tips & Tricks

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is filled to the brim with stuff to do. Because of this, it can be overwhelming at times.
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In this guide, we’re going to give you some Witcher 3 tips & tricks that will help you stay on track and get the best experience you can.

witcher 3 tips and tricks
Below you’ll find tips on combat, crafting, alchemy and character development.

General Tips

  • You can change the difficulty settings anytime – even during combat.
  • Loot everything. You’ll need even the most useless-seeming stuff for alchemy and crafting.
  • Don’t sell your starting armor. There is a way to turn them into better versions via crafting system. (thanks Emnel)
  • Using the witcher senses will show you everything you can pick up in the vicinity.
  • You can craft armor at the blacksmith/armorer. The level of mastery he possesses will define which armors he can craft.
  • Weapons can be upgraded with runes, while armor is improved with glyphs. If you choose to dismantle item you will get some materials and rune / glyph out of your gear, and if you choose “remove upgrade” option you will destroy rune / glyph and keep the item.
  • Alcohol is important – you can use it to recharge potions after you’ve used them.
  • When you drink a lot of potions, keep an eye of your Toxicity. If the bar is full, you’ll start losing health.
  • Make sure you always have a monster trophy equipped. They provide valuable bonuses at no cost.
  • You can eat food to heal yourself. It’s not as powerful as the potions, but it’s free and there’s lots of it.
  • Some monsters only come out during the day, some during night time.
  • When you pass near a point of interest, it will be marked on your map.
  • Don’t ignore quests or leave them for later – tackling the main story might trigger their disappearance.
  • Visiting notice boards in towns will reveal nearby points of interest.
  • Some objects can be destroyed with the Aard sign.
  • Memorize the controls. The game will constantly remind you of them, but that won’t do you any good in a tight spot.
  • Instead of playing poker dice, you can play Gwent, a card game about war.
  • If you get caught while breaking the law, the guards will attack you, and they’re not ones to mess with. They’ll beat you up and take half of your money.
  • Meditating will heal your wounds and replenish your potions, but it can’t be done in a bind.
  • You can’t rebind movement keys in the game, however you can rebind the keys yourself in C:UsersuserDocumentsThe Witcher 3 and the file input. (thanks Lindun)
  • You can respec your skills with the Potion of Clearance.

Story Tips

  • Listen to the dialogue carefully.
  • Be mindful that your choices will often have consequences beyond the quest you’re doing.
  • If it sounds important, write it down – the previous game had quests that required you to perform rituals step-by-step from memory.
  • Using the Axii sign on people will yield results, but it won’t make you any friends.
  • Yellow dialogue options are the one that will advance the conversation – they can be mutually exclusive. Gray ones are just there for gathering information. Those colored in dark gray are the ones you’ve already chosen.
  • There is sometimes a timer ticking down, rushing you to make a choice. Try to keep calm during these moments.
  • Not everything is what it seems. Get used to the idea that people will lie to you.
  • Romance is a big part of the game. Having sex with one character may change the way another treats you.

Combat Tips

  • Even if you don’t want to invest skill points into signs, use them whenever you can. A little fire damage is better than no fire damage.
  • You’ll do more damage while on a horse, but you need to keep an eye on its fear level.
  • Oils and bombs are great, even if you aren’t upgrading your alchemy skills.
  • Check opponents’ weaknesses in the bestiary. No matter what approach you choose, there’ll be at least one you can use.
  • Try not to get surrounded or flanked.
  • Keep moving all the time.
  • Remember to dodge, but don’t be timid – the game rewards aggressive play with adrenaline, which increases damage.
  • Watch the durability of your gear. Worn down armor provides little protection, and dull blades don’t cut very well.
  • The crossbow can be used to ground flying enemies, but also to pick ground enemies from a distance. It has a much lower damage output than the swords, but it’s safer. You can also craft a variety of bolts for it – exploding, bleeding, tracking, knock-down.
  • Use the environment whenever possible – the gasses in the swamp are highly flammable, for instance.

How To Make Money

  • Doing secondary quests is a good way to get cash.
  • Witcher contracts usually have a reward tied to them.
  • Selling items you don’t use won’t make you a millionaire, but it adds up over time.
  • Diving and sailing is a great way to discover Smuggler’s Caches, which contain treasures that can be sold, or money.
  • Guarded treasures come with monsters attached. They’re worth the effort, though. The special items found inside can be sold for decent amounts of money.
  • There are multiple currencies in The Witcher 3, but merchants only accept Crowns. You’ll have to trade the Orens and Florins you collect at Vivaldi’s Bank in Novigrad – it’s the building with the coin hanging above the door.

Character Development Tips

  • Visit as many places of power as you can – each of them will give you one ability point.
  • Try not to invest only in one skill group – diversity is good, more abilities means more tools at your disposal.
  • One the other hand, one group will have to be your main group – there are only so many skill points to invest.
  • Always try to pair mutagens with active skills, grouping them by color.
  • Switch mutagens and active skills depending on the situation.
  • General skills have greater benefits, but do not scale with mutagens.
  • If you have a small number of active slots, it’s better to upgrade a skill you’re already using than to unlock a new one.
  • If you see a merchant selling a Potion of Clearance, buy it. It’s uses to reallocate misspent skill points.

Travel Advice

  • You can fast-travel to any signpost you’ve already visited, but the scenic route holds surprises and treasures.
  • Do not pinch pennies on horse equipment – you need a fast and reliable mount.
  • Mermaids and other sea creatures can damage and sink your boat.
  • If you make the horse gallop, it will follow the road automatically.
  • You can mark quests in your journal, and the game will show you a quest marker and the quickest way to get there.
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Ketchua has been writing about games for far too long. As Señor Editor, he produces words (and stuff) for Gosunoob. There are a lot of words (and stuff) there, so he's terribly busy. Especially if you need something.