The long awaited Witcher 3 was just released. This third and final installment introduces open world gameplay, and though some aspects of the game have been streamlined, there’s still a lot to learn as you’re playing. Here are a few tips I’ve learned as I’ve been playing. I’ve played on normal, on XB1. This post is spoiler free.
- The Bestiary is important. Unlike most games, it doesn’t just give history but actual useful information. Before fighting monsters, check the bestiary for its weaknesses to certain items, bombs, or signs.
- When you pick up books, make sure to give them a read before you ditch them, they may add something to your Bestiary.
- Meditate. You can do it pretty much anywhere out of combat. It will refill your health (on most difficulties), and restock your potions.
- You can usually find armor and weapon enhancers in towns or outposts, use them when you see them for a temporary upgrade.
- If you’re short on money, keep an eye out for treasures and caches on the map.
- If you come across a monster nest you need to destroy, walk up to it and you should get a button prompt. Don’t just toss bombs at it.
- You can fast travel at signposts, but do it too often and you’ll risk missing things out in the world.
- If you’re mounted you can hold down A and your horse will follow the path without having to be steered.
- You can fight while mounted.
- Pick up everything (but don’t spend hours picking flowers, unless that’s what you’re into). The inventory UI isn’t great, but you can generally use items to craft things, or disassemble them into crafting mats.
- You only need to make things like potions once. After this, they are replenished during meditation using alcohol.
- An item called Potion of Clearance will let you reassign your skill points, but costs 1000g. The first place I found one of these was Keira’s hut.
- Repair your equipment when you can, but don’t waste money repairing the junk you plan to sell or disassemble. Repair kits are also sold and come in handy in dungeons.
Leveling and Quests
- In this game, you have to ‘equip’ skills, and in the beginning you only get 3. So it’s best to pick a couple favourite abilities (I like to focus on fast attacks and Igni) and put many points into them rather than spreading them out over many abilities.
- Equip a mutagen that will buff your most important equipped skills (they’ll be the same colour).
- Do all the available side quests before you face your first big enemy. Experience and gold were a bit hard to come by at the start of the game.
- Check the bounty board in each new town.
- Secondary quests can vary wildly in level. Make sure you check the level of the quest before tackling it, you generally want to be within 2 levels of it.
- This is the first Witcher game where you have a ranged weapon, so don’t forget about it. While it doesnt do a lot against armored enemies, it’s good when things are out of range or in the air.
- Dodge a lot. Parry enemies with swords. Attack from the back.
- You’ll sometimes have a companion with you in combat – let them serve as a distraction so you can attack from the back.
- If your offensive signs aren’t proving effective against certain enemy types, Quen is always a good choice.
- You can only assign 2 potions or foods to hotkeys, but you can also consume them from the inventory screen.
- You can eat and drink in combat.
When in doubt…
- Use your Witcher sense (L2). It’s necessary for many quests. Quest-related items and locations will glow red, while objects you can loot will glow orange.
- Use Aard. If you’re stuck, there may be a door you can knock down or rubble that can be cleared with your telekinetic burst.
- Check your quest log.