The best Witcher 3 settings will help CDProjektRed’s stunning RPG game shine, and now is the perfect time to explore the Continent. The fantasy epic first arrived back in 2015, but there’s now a free next-gen update that adds new graphics options, ray tracing, gameplay improvements and more.
Naturally, figuring out the best Witcher 3 settings will help your rig handle the next-gen update, whether you’re rocking the best gaming PC or getting by with a budget build. Thankfully, the base version isn’t taxing by today’s standards, so enabling specific options to enhance visuals shouldn’t cost too many frames.
You also won’t need to wait for The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt next-gen release date, as the patch is available to download now on Steam. CDPR’s action adventure is already considered one of the best RPG games around, but new Ultra+ settings will give seasoned fans and newcomers alike a reason to dive in. So, without further delay, let’s go over the best Witcher 3 Wild Hunt settings on PC.
PCGamesN test rig: MSI MPG Trident AS 11th gaming PC, featuring an Intel Core i7 11700F, MSI Ventus Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070, 32GB of DDR4 3,200MHz RAM, MSI B560 motherboard, and Windows 11.
The Witcher 3 graphics Presets
Prefer a laid-back approach to settings? Don’t worry, The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt has a bunch of presets that’ll save you from tinkering around in menus. The traditional low, medium, high, and ultra options are all present, but if your system is armed with one the best graphics card contenders, there’s an ‘Ultra ray tracing’ tab tagged on at the end.
Weirdly, CDPR doesn’t include Ultra+ within its range of Witcher 3 presets, as you’ll need to toggle each graphics option yourself. This will perhaps be a nuisance for players who are confident their RTX 4090 can handle the ramped-up settings. However, if you’re looking to carefully dial things up and boost fps on an older GPU, a preset probably wouldn’t help anyway.
As always, we’d advise using presets as a performance baseline before messing around, and The Witcher 3 system requirements will preemptively shield you from frame rate hear aches. Sure, some of you are going to crank everything up max right away just for the hell of it, but taking the time to get things right beforehand will help you jump into Geralt’s shoes (or bathtub) without a hitch.
The best Witcher 3 graphics settings
- V-sync: Off
- Framerate limit: Unlimited
- Display mode: Fullscreen
- Background characters: High
- Shadow quality: Ultra
- Water quality: Ultra
- Foliage visibility: High
- Grass density: Ultra
- Texture quality: Ultra
- Detail level: Ultra
- Motion blur: Off
- Bloom: Off
- Depth of field: On
- Chromatic Aberration: On
- Vignetting: On
- Light shafts: On
- Camera lens effects: Off
The Witcher 3’s lighting options are incredible, and you won’t be disappointed playing the game with High or Ultra settings enabled. Scaling things back to Medium also won’t disappoint, but we’d suggest looking elsewhere for a frame rate boost. If your rig is fighting performance demons, you could switch bloom settings off, as it’ll provide you with a modest 4% fps bump.
Ultra+ lighting settings take The Witcher 3 to the next level, but they’re definitely a luxury. Again, CDPR probably hasn’t given us a dedicated preset for a reason, and it’s probably best to consider the elevated options after you’ve implemented a balanced range of changes.
As you’d expect, ray tracing takes a toll on The Witcher 3 frame rates, and CDPR makes steep graphics card recommendations for using the settings. Ultimately, unless you’re using an RTX 4000 graphics card with DLSS Frame Generation enabled, you’ll have to trade away Ultra and High options to achieve 60fps and over.
Opting for Ultra+ options will place you in an even greater performance predicament, especially if you’re not using a shiny new GPU. We’re talking sub 40fps with Nvidia DLSS Ultra Performance enabled at 1440p – not an ideal way to experience the next-gen update.
If you feel like you can’t live without ray tracing illuminating Geralt’s path, you’re going to have to either pay the performance price or throw away fidelity. As a last resort, you could bump things down to 1080p, but we reckon that’ll compromise the experience a bit too much.
Speaking of resolution, if you’re lucky enough to own the best gaming monitor around with 4K superpowers, you should keep things native. Dipping things down to 1440p probably won’t offend your eyeballs too much, but we’d steer well clear of 1080p and lower (unless you happen to be playing on a Steam Deck).
Just like lighting, we think Ultra shadow settings are worth enabling in The Witcher 3. Turning on Ultra+ will give effects an edge, but it’d go to the chopping block before other settings, like textures and foliage. In other words, take the same approach as mentioned before with lighting, particularly if you’re struggling to find your frame rate footing in the first place.
Textures are more often than not the first thing your eyes will notice when playing the best PC games. In a way, they’re the fabric of the world you’ll perceive as you meander through mesmerising locales. Same applies to The Witcher 3, and we’d recommend keeping your settings high as possible.
You don’t have to enable Ultra+ settings to have to good time, but it will transform the RPG into a next-gen outing. CDPR’s world is chock-full of fantasy visuals, from medieval architecture to sprawling valleys, and ramping things up will only add more immersive realism into the mix.
Grass and foliage
The Witcher 3 is a very outdoorsy game, and there are plenty of places to touch grass in the Continent. As such, cranking grass and foliage settings to Ultra will give all that vegetation a realistic vibe, and the next-gen update actually features improved textures compared to the original release.
Switching on Ultra+ grass and foliage is going to make a difference, and it’s a setting worth prioritising. That’s perhaps a subjective statement given that some players won’t stop for long to appreciate any of their surroundings, let alone a detailed leaf. Nevertheless, it’s one we’d aim for, provided your GPU can handle the extra work.
The Witcher 3 next-gen update
The Witcher 3 next-gen update arrived with several DX12-related performance issues at launch, including stuttering, glitches, and frame rate drop.n Thankfully, CD Projekt Red just issued a Witcher 3 next-gen hotfix that improves the experience overall, and it seemingly resolves Steam and GOG overlay issues.
CD Projekt Red says more updates are planned for The Witcher 3 next-gen, including better CPU core utilisation, ray tracing enhancements, and DirectX 12 performance improvements. Patch 4.01 already introduced some fixes recently, but it looks like fans will be able to enjoy further enhancements in the near future.