The Witcher 3 Next-Gen Update: Everything you should know (2023)

The wait is over! Everyone now has access to The Witcher 3’s Next-Gen update. PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series XIS users can re-live the incredible experience of the Witcher 3 with stunning visuals, brand-new quests, and gear inspired by the Netflix adaptation.

Remember that this update is completely free and you only need to own the base game to get the update. Depending on what version of The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt you own, the content from the two expansions may also require a separate purchase. The Free Next Gen Update does not grant you access to Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine.

The Update on GOG is around 47.6 GB in size. I have seen reports of its size being all kinds of numbers, all around 50 GB. The total size may differ based on your current patch and the game version you own, as well as the platform you play it on. But one thing is sure – it is a large update.

Here’s everything you need to know about the next-gen update of The Witcher 3.

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Major Next-Gen Graphics and Visual Upgrades

The Next-Gen Update to The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt is labeled as Patch 4.0. After you update your game, this is the version you will be playing.

This update brings a huge improvement in visuals for all modern platforms. There are a few specific changes that only relate to one or several platforms, but not to all. I’ve explained it all below.

Environment Changes and Upgrades

No matter on which platform you play, the Next-Gen Update will make the game look a lot better and more modern. Improvements include improved grass, and nearly all of the foliage assets have been reworked. The majority of the textures have been changed and upgraded to a higher resolution as well.

A large number of player-created mods have been integrated right into the game now. This will greatly benefit console players as well, who don’t have access to all of the wonderful mods PC players can install and play with.

One of the best Witcher 3 Mods is the HD Reworked project. This has been integrated into the game now by the devs. In a lot of places where there were just normal maps, there are now realistic 3D objects. A good example are the cobblestones in Novigrad.

New weather conditions and the sky itself are among the many changes. If you just play the game, you may not notice them, but they are actually significantly improved and expanded.

What you get with the PC version

Ray Tracing

The team of CD PROJEKT RED added several features that will improve everyone’s experience. The most important feature in this category is Ray Tracing, a technology that enhances the visuals of games to make them more immersive and make you feel pleased with everything displayed on the screen.


DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) is another feature arriving with the next-gen update. To put it in simple terms, DLSS improves the performance of your PC (better fps) with the aid of artificial intelligence.

Ultra+ Settings

For those of you who have the best PC money can buy, you’ll now be able to benefit from having such high-end hardware. Every texture, shadow, rock, or NPC in the background will look better than ever (if your PC can handle it).

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What you get with the Xbox Series S|X and PS5

Performance and Ray Tracing Modes

The Witcher 3 Next-gen update offers a 60fps performance mode and a 30fps ray tracing mode, both modes use AMD’s FSR (Fidelity super-resolution) that upscales the image to produce a 4k output with dynamic resolution scaling. In simple words, everything is going to look better regardless of what mode you choose.

Haptic Feedback

Experiencing combat with a PS5 controller is super satisfactory. CD PROJECT RED acknowledges this so that’s why Haptic Feedback is coming to The Witcher 3. Please note that this function won’t be available on PC even if you use a DualSense controller.

Controller Options for Walking Modes

If you press lightly on the controller to move ahead, Geralt will do just that – slowly walk forward. If you tap it, he will start to run. These are only available for controllers, not for keyboard.

In the Classic game, you press “A” on the controller to spring. CD PROJEKT RED acknowledges that many veterans are used to this, so they are not pressing anything on the player. The new stick feature is optional, it’s not on by default in the next-gen.

These settings are available in Options → Control Settings.

Photo mode

The Witcher 3 has an incredible landscape; mountains, rivers, castles, and wild fauna. Taking a screenshot to capture a beautiful sunrise or brag on social media when defeating an enemy is now easier than ever.

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With the photo mode, you can increase or decrease the FOV (field of view) and tilt the photo. Depth of field, autofocus, aperture, and focus distance are some of the elements that will make it easier to take the best photo.

Even if you’re very picky about the light and color you’ll be able to tweak saturation, exposure, contrast, highlights, and temperature.

You can find details in the dedicated guide explaining how Photo Mode works in The Witcher 3 Next-Gen Update.

Alternative camera

This camera mode closes the distance between you and Geralt, it can be turned on when riding Roach or when walking. This is supposed to give you a more “cinematic feel” when playing the game.

Here is a quick preview of the different angles from both camera options (Classic on the Top, Alternative on the Bottom):

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The Witcher 3 Next-Gen Update: Everything you should know (5)

The alternative camera feature can be turned on/off so if you don’t like it there’s always the possibility of using the old camera.

Find more about this new feature from the dedicated guide explaining how to change Camera Distance in The Witcher 3 Next-Gen and which camera modes are suitable for what activity.

Quick Cast

Using signs is a core element of The Witcher gameplay, but sometimes it can be tedious or immersion-breaking. With Quick Cast, you’ll now be able to use all signs without having to open the Radial Menu.

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To use the new Quick Cast, hold down the right trigger and use one of the four buttons. Each one corresponds to one of the four signs available. It’s going to take a few hours to get used to it but with this option, every fight is going to feel more immersive.

The Quick Cast feature is available on PC as well, for keyboard users. The Casts are placed on the numbers and the normal way is to press a number button on the keyboard to prepare a sign and another button (Q in my case) to cast the sign. With Quick Cast feature you can cast signs directly by pressing the numbered buttons (or wherever you have assigned your casts on your keyboard).

New Map Filters

For those who consider themselves “completionists”, The Witcher 3 has a lot of things to discover, unlock or defeat. Having so many icons displayed on the world map can be annoying or even overwhelming if you’re just starting the game. With the map filters, it’s possible to see only the icons that you want or need.

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This will certainly improve the player experience when trying to do something very specific or if you don’t want so many icons on your map.

The filters include:

  • All
  • Default
  • General
  • Quests
  • Exploration
  • Merchants and Craftsmen
  • Buffs

Quality of Life improvements

There are many other small but meaningful quality of life (QoL) changes that are meant to improve or fix issues that the game has had since the last update. Here’s the list of everything you can expect.

Scale Subtitles

Subtitles can be a pain in the butt if you don’t want to use your glasses or simply you’d prefer them to be bigger. With this feature, we won’t have to worry anymore about it. This feature is available in Options → Video → HUD Configuration.

More Languages

Players can now choose to play The Witcher 3 with Simplified Chinese and Korean dubbing and subtitles. As much as I love the English dub, I understand that it’s important for many people to be able to play a game in their native language. It’s very cool to see that CD PROJEKT RED cares about continuing to expand The Witcher 3 fanbase.

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Turning mini map on/off

There are some times when I just wanna explore an area without the mini-map constantly pointing to where I’m supposed to go. With the press of a button, we can make it show up or hide depending on our preferences.

A new feature allows you to immerse yourself even more into the great vistas of the game. If you want to, for example, have a clear screen while not in combat or while not chasing a quest marker, you can set the minimap and all other elements around it to disappear. Going into Focus mode, can show the map for a few seconds to help you with your navigation.

You can change the way your minimap behaves from Options → Video → HUD Configuration → Hide minimap during Exploration and Hide objectives during Exploration

Cross-saves between platforms

I’ve lost count of how many people I’ve met that have bought the game on almost every single platform. A lot of them don’t mind playing the game three or four times but if someone wants to play on Death March difficulty and complete the game one hundred percent then it might be a different story. This new feature makes it possible to carry the save from your PC to your console and vice-versa.

Pausing the game during cutscenes

Remember that incredibly long scene with Ciri? Or how about the one where Geralt performs in a theater? You may have been forced to use “alternative methods” to pause the game during cutscenes because it was not available. Now, in the next-gen, the developers have finally found a way to let you to answer the door or get a bathroom break during a long cutscene by pausing the game.

Misc Changes and improvements

In this segment, I’ll list a few gameplay-related and otherwise not significant enough changes to warrant a separate segment specifically for them.

When you pick up herbs you no longer get the container menu where you have to confirm what you are about to loot. Geralt now directly picks up the item, gently and with a nice smooth animation. You can even pick up items from your horse.

Geralt is now able to survive a jump or leap from more than 2 meters height! Surprise! Fall Damage has been reduced with the 4.0 patch.

Bug fixes

Even a 7-years old game can have bugs still in it. CD PROJEKT RED announced that while we should not expect new content added to the game after this Next-Gen patch, some bug fixes may still be addressed. And there were a ton of fixes in this one! Check the Patch Notes available below in this article if you want to read them all.

Two examples of important fixes are the quests From Offier’s Distant Shores and The Wolf Witcher Gear Set. Those two were broken for many years. The devs claim that the fixes from this update should work retroactively, meaning you will not have to start a new playthrough to get these fixed. This was a popular solution/workaround to the Wolf School Set for a long time, as you probably know.

New DLC content with the Next-Gen Update

Netflix Series DLC

There’s a new quest based on the Netflix series, as well as some weapons and new armor. Yes, this includes the “peculiar” armor of the Nilfgaardian army that appeared in the first season.

The Witcher gear set that Henry Cavill is wearing as Geralt in the TV Show is available as a reward of a brand new quest, starting in Velen. It’s called “In The Eternal Fire’s Shadow”.

This quest is a bit of a high level for you if you just enter the region, but can be done nonetheless. It’s also fully voiced. They did bring all the voice-over Geralt actors for it.

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The new set inspired by the Netflix show is called the “Forgotten Wolf School Gear”. By completing the quest you actually receive schematics, not the items themselves. Its Mastercrafted version gives you bonuses to Potions Duration at two pieces equipped and Bonus to Aard damage for a full set equipped.

You can follow our in-depth walkthrough and guide on how to get the Forgotten Wolf School Gear set. The guide includes instructions how to start the quest, how to complete it and how to craft both the normal and Mastercrafted versions of the new witcher set.

The show’s weird Nilfgaardian armor style can be switched on, by default it’s off. This only applies to NPCs. It’s not a new set Geralt can wear.

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In the Netflix The Witcher Show Dandelion is presented by his actual name – Jaskier (Dandelion is a result of creative decisions during the official English translation of the books). CD PROJEKT RED added an alternative outfit for this character. Note that it’s just the clothes that are different.

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The NPC model is still the same as in the Classic game. You can switch between the two versions the same way you do that for the other characters like Ciri and Yennefer. I personally prefer The Witcher 3’s Dandelion outfit. It’s so much more colorful and in-tone with the game. Maybe I’m just too used to looking at him this way.

You can enable the alternative outfits from the Gameplay tab in the Options window in the main menu.Check out the full guide on how to turn on Alternative Character Appearances in The Witcher 3 Next-Gen.

Chinese and Korean-inspired armor

Simplified Chinese and Korean voiceovers were added to the game as well. To celebrate this, Geralt is getting gear inspired by both cultures.

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The Witcher 3 Next-Gen Update: Everything you should know (13)

If you want to know more, read the dedicated guide on how and where to obtain the new free Korean and Chinese-inspired gear sets in The Witcher 3.

List of Mods that work with the Next-Gen Update

CD PROJEKT RED created a list of popular mods for The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt and tested them all to confirm if and how they work on the next-gen update. Here is the full list:

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Global Release Timings

The next-gen update launched at the same time for the whole world on PC and Xbox. The availability on the PlayStation store was at midnight, local time, wherever you live.

PC and Xbox received it first and PS5 a little later depending on where you live.

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Here is the full list, in case you are having trouble reading the times from the image above:

Los Angeles

  • PC and Xbox: Dec 13th, 4 PM PST
  • PlayStation: Dec 14th, 12 AM PST

New York

  • PC and Xbox: Dec 13th, 7 PM EST
  • PlayStation: Dec 14th, 12 AM EST

Mexico City

  • PC and Xbox: Dec 13th, 6 PM CST
  • PlayStation: Dec 14th, 12 AM CST


  • PC and Xbox” Dec 13th, 7 PM COT
  • PlayStation: Dec 14th, 12 AM COT


  • PC and Xbox: Dec 13th, 9 PM BRT
  • PlayStation: Dec 14th, 12 AM BRT


  • PC and Xbox: Dec 14th, 12 AM GMT
  • PlayStation: Dec 14th, 12 AM GMT


  • PC and Xbox: Dec 14th, 1 AM CET
  • PlayStation: Dec 14th, 12 AM CET


  • PC and Xbox: Dec 14th, 1 AM MEZ
  • PlayStation: Dec 14th, 12 AM MEZ


  • PC and Xbox: Dec 14th, 1 AM CET
  • PlayStation: Dec 14th, 12 AM CET


  • PC and Xbox: Dec 14th, 2 AM SAST
  • PlayStation: Dec 14th, 12 AM SAST


  • PC and Xbox: 3 AM AST
  • PlayStation: Dec 14th, 12 AM AST


  • PC and Xbox: Dec 14th, 4 AM GST
  • PlayStation: Dec 14th, 12 AM GST


  • PC and Xbox: Dec 14th, 8 AM CST
  • PlayStation: Dec 14th, 12 AM CST

New Delhi

  • PC and Xbox: Dec 14th, 5:30 AM IST
  • PlayStation: Dec 14th, 12 AM IST


  • PC and Xbox: Dec 14th, 9 AM KST
  • PlayStation: Dec 14th, 12 AM KST


  • PC and Xbox: Dec 14th, 9 AM JST
  • PlayStation: Dec 14th, 12 AM JST


  • PC and Xbox: 8 AM SGT
  • PlayStation: Dec 14th, 12 AM SGT


  • PC and Xbox: Dec 14th, 11 AM AEDT
  • PlayStation: Dec 14th, 12 AM AEDT


  • PC and Xbox: Dec 14th, 1 PM NZDT
  • PlayStation: Dec 14th, 12 AM NZDT

Source: CD PROJEKT RED on Twitter.

CD PROJEKT RED is hosting a release night stream on Tuesday, December 13th. If you can’t play the game right away it could be a good way to learn more about the new update.

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The Witcher 3 Next Gen Update Patch Notes

Below you can read the full and officially published by CD PROJECT RED patch notes for the next-gen update to The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt. The notes are not comprehensive of all the changes. There are a few surp[rises left as they mentioned during the live stream two weeks before the release. This is up to us, the community, to discover!

On December 14th the free next-gen update is coming to PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. The update will go live at 1 AM CET for PC & Xbox Series X|S, and midnight local time for PlayStation 5. It will include various visual, performance, and technical enhancements, as well as fixes and additional content. PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch will also receive an update — the specific patch notes and date will be announced at a later time. (NOTE: scope of the updates may vary between the platforms — please read the patch notes for more details)

After the update your game version will be 4.0. Below you’ll find the list of changes:

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.


  • 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 DLSS 3 support. Available only on compatible hardware.

Next-Gen Console-Specifc

  • 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

Detailed information on how to redeem the rewards will be available from Dec 14th, 1 AM CET at

Additional Content

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

Quality of Life Changes

  • 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 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 modFull Combat Rebalance 3by Flash_in_the_flesh which includes balance changes and various fixes to gameplay. We 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 an issue where the chest at the Signal Tower couldn’t be opened.
  • From Ofier’s Distant Shores– Fixed an issue where the diagram in the chest at the bandit’s hideout could be missing.
  • Hard Times– Fixed an issue where Geralt couldn’t talk or give the letter to the blacksmith.
  • Swift as the Western Winds– Fixed an issue where the quest could sometimes fail despite winning the horse race.
  • Echoes of the Past– Fixed an issue where, after defeating the Foglets, the quest could get stuck and it wouldn’t be possible to talk to Yennefer.
  • Wine Wars– Fixed an issue where the quest couldn’t be completed if the player destroyed one of the required monster nests during exploration.
  • Fixed an issue where clearing the Ruined Inn Abandoned Site situated on the southern shore of Ard Skellig was not possible in certain scenarios.
  • Fixed an issue where the Grandmaster Wolven Set wouldn’t require Mastercrafted items.
  • Various small fixes to quests and cutscenes.

Remember – these are just the highlights! There are lots of changes in this update, so check them out for yourself in the game!

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