40 Witcher III Tips and Tricks

There is a lot of things in the Witcher III that isn't obviously apparent and with the following list, you should know a lot more of the intricities of the game than I did when I first started, ranging from how to get on a boat to some neat Gwent tips. To start with a bonus tip, look at the window panes inside any building. The weather outside will be displayed on those panes. I won't waste any of your time with a boring explanation of what a tip list is, so here is the list! 

  1. You can only fast travel from a signpost. Boats can fast travel anywhere in water to any harbor that you've located. 
  2. You can sit on a boat and drive it by sitting on the rudder. If you're a passenger, you have to sit on the other end. 
  3. You can climb things you never thought you could with space. 
  4. Lethal fall distance is literally random, depending on if Geralt feels like dying or not. 
  5. Horseback won't allow you to fall off a ledge. 
  6. If a character says come with them now, you'll often teleport to the quest objective. Refuse and odds are you'll either have to travel there yourself or speak to them again to go. 
  7. You can shoot your crossbow WHILE driving the boat. No need to get out, actually, getting out is a horrible idea as you'll probably be knocked in the water. 
  8. You can craft some crazy things, including pheromones that make specific monster breeds not bother you. 
  9. You can have one food and one water at the same time, you can also use potions from your inventory, meaning you can have food/water in your quickslots and then use a Swallow potion from your inventory. 
  10. Wraiths, including nightwraiths, are only vulnerable when they either choose to be, or within Yrden. 
  11. When following people, if you sprint they'll sprint, but not everyone can run as fast as you sadly. 
  12. In a horse race you can troll your other opponents by blocking them from moving forward, great to return stamina while racing. 
  13. In combat, ALT (or dodge) is way better than rolling. Rolling should be for getting out of AoE effects, dodging is for everything that you're not going to parry. 
  14. If an NPC gives you a yellow option, that doesn't mean much. Some of the grey'd options are alternate quest paths too. Additionally, you can ask an NPC a question that may change the quest entirely. 
  15. If you upset an NPC, odds are they won't help you anymore. This is notable in specific quests, like when an NPC is watching a whale. If you say one thing you have to do the alternate method, if you say the other, then you can skip a part of the quest. 
  16. Anytime an NPC dies, it usually has an impact. 
  17. NPCs have a kind of iffy track record on recursive dialog, always double back to things you've visited before, they might have something new to say. 
  18. You don't have to pick every plant. Meditating with liquor in your inventory will restore anything made with alchemy that's consumable (oils, potions, bombs). 
  19. Don't know if you want to make a decoctions or use a mutagen? Make the decoction. Most mutagens provide the same general buff. 
  20. Not sure what to invest your skill points in? Fast attack is the most useful skill - after that, look at Delusion especially early on. You get XP for it when you use it in conversation and don't have to fight, a cheap way to get out of some messy situations. 
  21. Boss monsters are very good at parrying. Don't attack blindly unless you have a reason, it's best to be ready to either dodge or roll then hit them when they're in their "weak" point (usually either when they're resting after an attack or while casting a spell). 
  22. Always deal with someone firing a crossbow at you. They're annoying and will plink you over and over again. 
  23. You can do content above your level, you just have to be on point with dodging. 
  24. You can adjust the difficulty at any given time, so you can turn the difficulty down to do a harder mission to get a better reward, then turn the difficulty back up so the game is enjoyable. 
  25. When the difficulty is set to just story, the game is very easy to the point it's almost a joke, whereas story and sword is an acceptable balance between getting through the game without a lot of difficulty and not having enemies roll over for you. Higher difficulties are appropriately difficulty. 
  26. When tracking tracks, don't worry about the map following you around, if you get to where you need to be then the game will update at that point. So if the tracking isn't tracking you and you're supposed to be following tracks, just keep pushing through. You can even turn quest tracking off for detective track missions! 
  27. Food has no consequence for using it, other than cost. 
  28. You can have a few carnal encounters that aren't part of the main story game - look at the cabarets in Novigrad. 
  29. Signs are useful for all kinds of crazy alternative uses. Igni will light torches while Aard will put them out. This includes enemies that are on fire (Aard will put a fire elemental out for instance). 
  30. Be careful about putting elemental runes like fire on your sword, you can re-ignite fire elementals with burning. 
  31. Bosses don't like signs very much and most signs have little effect, (although Igni can put a damper on some enemy's frost armor). Quen though will always protect you from everything, including in limited use against the white frost. 
  32. There is never a reason to focus purely on the main story - secondary quests and world exploration are encouraged at all times and even if you interfere with something in the main story, it just knocks that part out of the way when you get to it. 
  33. Do quests in the general level appropriate order, the story makes the most sense this way, although the game is perfectly fine with you doing it in the reverse (say if you were to level up in other ways). 
  34. Mods make the game easier and harder - some have released to make grinding enemies an actual for real method to level up. In the default game grinding enemies is somewhat pointless. 
  35. Save often, you only hold the last 3 checkpoint auto-saves, but your manual saves stay with you forever. 
  36. Underwater crossbow is lame, but it seems to do way more damage. Don't forget you can craft speciality bolts that make the crossbow a little bit more valuable above and below water. 
  37. On the consoles, you switch skills while blocking, but on PC you can do it with the mousewheel (or block then pull up the menu). 
  38. Your beard grows as you play the game. I suggest shaving it frequently to the style you want or finding a mod that lets your beard stay the way you always dreamed of. Geralts hair never changes, except for some cutscenes. 
  39. Gwent can be tough to play at the start - it's generally because you don't have enough high value cards. The only two things that matter on a card is how much value it adds to your army and any special ability (oh and its placement). 
  40. Finally, in Gwent, the weather cards are the way you win. If your enemy has say 30 points in close combat and you have nothing but ranged, then once they pass to claim their victory, your weather card will pull victory for you.

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Last Updated: Jan 01, 2020