The Witcher 3 Next-Gen Update Adds Ray-Tracing And More

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The Witcher 3 Next-Gen Update Adds Ray-Tracing And More

The Witcher 3 next-gen update introduces updated 4k textures, an Ultra+ graphics setting and Ray-tracing for PC, PS5 and the Xbox Series X.

Availaible to download for free, Witcher 3’s Patch 4.0 also introduces a much-requested Photo Mode to complement the increase in graphical fidelity with the addition of Rray-tracing. With support for DLSS 3.0 and an Ultra+ graphics settings, players can take advantage of their new graphics card to experience the award-winning RPG game in updated 4k textures. The main character models receive a complete 4k texture update as the game allows players to experience ray-tracing on their consoles and PCs.

On the other hand, the ray-tracing fidelity mode will remain capped at 30FPS on the PS5 and Xbox Series X. With a performance mode prioritizing performance and a ‘fidelity’ mode that targets textures and visual fidelity, players have two graphic presets to choose from. Unlike its more expensive Series X counterpart, The Xbox Series S will have no option to enable ray-tracing due to hardware limitations. The next-gen patch also adds content from the Netflix series, with several new quests to complete and armors to choose from.

PC and Next-Gen Exclusives

  • Added ray traced global illumination and ambient occlusion.
  • Additionally, PC players with compatible hardware have an additional option to turn on ray traced reflections and shadows.
  • Added various mods and mod-inspired content to the game to improve visuals and overall game quality. We’ve included some community-made favorites in addition to our own modifications in areas such as environment and cutscene improvements, realistic pavements, and many decoration upgrades.
  • Community-made and community-inspired mods include:
  • The Witcher 3 HD Reworked Project by HalkHogan HD Monsters Reworked by Denroth  
  • Immersive Real-time Cutscenes by teiji25
  • Nitpicker's Patch by chuckcash
    World Map Fixes by Terg500
  • Upscaled texture to 4K for various characters, including Geralt, Yennefer, Triss, Ciri, Eredin and more.
  • All main characters, including Geralt, now cast high-resolution self-shadowing even outside cutscenes. Additionally, hair clipping through armor as well as some other armor-clipping issues have been fixed.
  • Environmental improvements:
    Added a new weather type – "Gray Sky"
    Updated sky textures
    Vegetation and water improvements
    Various mesh improvements
    Improved some select VFX
    Updated global environmental lighting
  • Added AMD FidelityFX™ Super Resolution (FSR) 2.1
  • Added photo mode, allowing players to take stunning pictures within the world of The Witcher 3.
  • Added the option to pause the game during cutscenes.
  • Added an alternative camera option that's closer to the player's character and that reacts more dynamically to combat and movement. You can find this new setting in Options → Gameplay under Exploration, Combat, and Horseback Camera Distance.

PC-Specific Updates

  • Added “ULTRA+” graphical settings on PC, which significantly increases the visual fidelity of the game.
  • The graphical settings available on ULTRA+ affect: Number of background characters, Shadow quality, Grass density, Texture quality, Foliage visibility range, Terrain quality, Water quality, Detail level.
  • Added support for  DLSS 3 support. This specific setting is only available  only on compatible hardware.

Next-Gen Console-Specific Updates

  • Improved the overall quality of graphics on next-gen consoles. Including enhanced textures, improved fidelity, shadow quality, greater draw distances and crowd density.
  • Ray Tracing Mode — provides ray-traced global illumination and ambient occlusion with dynamic resolution scaling targeting 30 FPS for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
  • Performance Mode — ensures smoother gameplay targeting 60 FPS with dynamic resolution scaling for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
  • The Xbox Series S version has no ray-tracing features. Quality Mode provides increased resolution and better image fidelity targeting 30 FPS, whereas Performance Mode targets 60 FPS and prioritizes smoother gameplay over visual quality.
  • Implemented the use of adaptive triggers and haptic feedback on PS5 DualSense controllers.
  • Added Activity Cards for PS5.

Online Features

  • Added a cross-progression feature between platforms. Your latest saves will be automatically uploaded to the cloud so you can easily pick up where you left off on other platforms. Cross-progression provides the latest save for every save type. This feature becomes available after you log into your account.
  • By signing up to MY REWARDS in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, players can receive: Swords of the Nine-Tailed Vixen, White Tiger of the West Armor, Dol Blathanna Armor Set, Roach Card

The Witcher 3 Next-gen update Quality of Life Changes and More

The list of Quality-of-life changes include the addition of a sprint button for console players, an option to slow walk and the ability to equip radial bombs without accessing the inventory. With lowered minimum fall damage, players would now also be able to withstand falling from higher places. Players can also use the ‘Quick Sign Casting’ option to cast signs without accessing the radial menu.

  • Added a Quick Sign Casting option. It allows signs to be switched and cast without opening the radial menu. You can find it in Options → Gameplay.
  • Added a new default map filter. The new filter hides some icons such as "?" and boat icons in order to reduce icon clutter on the map. These icons can be turned back on with the “All” map mode toggle.
  • Adjusted the minimum height for fall damage, allowing the player to survive falls from higher heights.
  • Herbs can now be instantly looted with a single interaction – without the additional loot window.
  • Added options that dynamically hide the minimap and quest objectives when not in combat or using Witcher senses. You can find it in Options → Video → HUD Configuration → Hide minimap during Exploration and Hide objectives during Exploration.
  • Added the option for players to slow walk when playing with a controller. You can now slow walk by lightly pushing the left stick forward.
  • Added an alternative sprint mode option when playing with a controller. It's activated by tapping the left stick. You can find it in Options → Control Settings.
  • Added an option to make target-lock unnaffected by camera inversion. You can find it in Options → Control Settings.
  • Improved the radial menu so bombs, bolts and pocket items can now be switched dynamically without opening the inventory.
  • Added the option to scale the font size for subtitles, NPC chatter and dialogue choices. You can find it in Options → Video → HUD Configuration.
  • Added various other small fixes, tweaks, and quality of life changes, including a few secrets to be discovered by players.


  • Added the mod Full Combat Rebalance 3 by Flash_in_the_flesh which includes balance changes and various fixes to gameplay. The developer team took a curated approach to this mod, with some elements further tweaked from what you’ll find in the mod by default, while other elements were omitted.
  • Scavenger Hunt: Wolf School Gear - Fixed the issue where the chest at the Signal Tower couldn't be opened by players.
  • From Ofier's Distant Shores - Fixed the issue where the diagram in the chest at the bandit's hideout could be missing.
  • Hard Times - Fixed an issue where Geralt wasn’t able to talk or give the letter to the blacksmith.
  • Swift as the Western Winds - Fixed the issue where the quest would sometimes fail despite winning the horse race.
  • Echoes of the Past - Fixed the issue where, the quest could get stuck and it wouldn't be possible to talk to Yennefer after defeating the Foglets.
  • Wine Wars - Fixed the issue where the quest couldn't be completed if the player destroyed one of the required monster nests during exploration.
  • Fixed the issue where clearing the Ruined Inn Abandoned Site situated on the southern shore of Ard Skellig was not possible in certain scenarios.
  • Fixed the issue where the Grandmaster Wolven Set wouldn't require Mastercrafted items.
  • Various small fixes to quests and cutscenes.

Additional Content 

Besides adding a side quest based on the Netflix TV series, the next-gen update improves on existing regional voice-overs while adding a Chinese and Korean voiceover to appease Asian fans. The update also includes a Nilfgaardian armor set and more content based on its Netflix counterpart starring Henry Cavill.

  • Added a new side quest, In The Eternal Fire's Shadow, in Velen. Rewards are inspired by Neftlix's The Witcher series.
  • Added an alternative appearance for Dandelion inspired by Netflix's The Witcher series. You can enable it in Options → Gameplay.
  • Added an alternative Nilfgaardian Armor set inspired by Netflix's The Witcher series. You can enable it in Options → Gameplay.
  • Added a Chinese and Korean voice-over. Availability on consoles varies by region.
  • Various improvements and changes to the Russian voice-over, which includes fixes for accelerated / slowed lines in the vast majority of scenes.

When Can I Download the Witcher 3 Next-gen Update?

Fans of CD Projekt Red’s award-winning fantasy RPG should be able download the next-gen update when it goes live on December 14 across all platforms. Patch 4.0 will be available for download on PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles. An update for the rest of platforms that include Playstation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch is slated to release at a later date.

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