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New Witcher 3 update, patch 4.01 fixes the dodgy ray-tracing

The Witcher 3 patch 4.01 adds performance improvements and a new preset for ray-tracing that might make it easier to use on struggling PCs.

Witcher 3 patch 4.01: Geralt slashes at a noonwraith near a well, it's wearing a long white dress and its body is a decaying skeleton

If you’ve been struggling to get ray-tracing effects to work without tanking your framerate in The Witcher 3 since the launch of the RPG game’s new Enhanced Edition, then the latest update has some potentially good news. The Witcher 3 patch 4.01 includes some stability improvements and performance enhancements, including a new setting for ray-tracing that trades a bit of precision for better framerates.

The latest Witcher 3 update adds a new ‘performance mode’ for ray-traced global illumination. Developer CD Projekt Red says that this setting makes the fancy lighting effect cheaper to use in terms of system resources by “prioritising performance over range and precision.”

In other words, ray-traced lighting effects won’t extend out from your point of view as far, and reflections may be a bit less crisp, but in exchange you’ll get a smoother framerate and less input delay. For players with anything less than the best graphics card on the market, that could mean the difference between using the new ray-traced global illumination and keeping it turned off.

The latest patch also fixes an issue with screen space reflections, a kind of ray-tracing lite technique for applying reflections to a scene. This hadn’t been working in the PC edition of The Witcher 3 Enhanced Edition – players could enable the setting in the menu, but it wouldn’t do anything. That’s been fixed now – and CD Projekt Red notes that if you’ve had it on, you may see a performance impact after the patch is applied.

Patch 4.01 also fixes some issues with a handful of quests (such as an invisible obstacle preventing Geralt from getting into the fistfight with the second Vildkaarl in the King’s Gambit quest), corrects some problems with the Arabic localisation, adds new localised Korean and Simplified Chinese versions of Orianna’s song “Lullaby of Woe,” and more. Here’s the list of the the complete patch notes from the official site.

PC specific

Fixed an issue where the Screen Space Reflections setting wasn’t working on PC despite being turned on. Players who had previously set their SSR setting to high may notice a performance impact.

Added a new performance mode for ray-traced global illumination, which can be toggled by players with compatible hardware. It improves frame rate by prioritizing performance over range and precision.

Console specific

Fixed an issue where consoles could create a higher amount of saves than their set limit, resulting in various issues with saving the game or user settings being reset.

Improved Screen Space Reflections quality on next-gen consoles.
Optimized ray-traced global illumination on next-gen consoles to improve the performance of Ray Tracing Mode.

Quests and gameplay – available on all platforms

Battle Preparations – Fixed an issue where it could be impossible to interact with Avallac’h during the objective “Let Avallac’h know everything’s ready.”

Family Matters – Fixed an issue that could cause the game to crash during the transition to Ciri’s Story: Out of the Shadows when speaking to the Bloody Baron.

King’s Gambit – Fixed an issue where it could be impossible to participate in the fistfight with the second Vildkaarl due to an invisible obstacle.

Wine Wars: Belgaard – Added a retrofix for the issue we fixed in 4.00, where the quest couldn’t be completed if the player destroyed one of the required monster nests during exploration.

A Dangerous Game – The armor in Caesar’s room should now change its appearance when the Alternate Nilfgaardian Armor is turned on.

Axii Puppet – Increased the health and damage dealt by the puppet.
Adrenaline Rush mutation should now work according to its description.
Various small fixes to quests and cutscenes.

Localization – available on all platforms

Fixed various issues with Arabic localization.
Added the localized versions of Orianna’s song “Lullaby of Woe” in Korean and Simplified Chinese.

Adjusted Priscilla’s lip-sync animation to match her voice-over in Simplified Chinese during the song “The Wolven Storm”.

Check out the best Witcher 3 settings for PC before heading off on your next adventure with Geralt and the gang, or browse our burgeoning list of the best Witcher 3 mods if you’d like to get a little creative.