Amateur Tips for The Witcher III: Wild Hunt

5 tips that everyone should know before jumping into The Witcher III

If you're like me, you aren't a huge RPG guy. Sure I've played a few in my time, be it Skyrim, Kingdom of Amalur or even Pokemon, but I'm far from a master of the genre. And that's exactly why I can go into a game like The Witcher III and be completely overwhelmed, and I don't imagine I'm the only one.

So here I am, some 60+ hours into the game and I have some tips I wish I had known back at the beginning. Hopefully,, they can help you if you're playing through the game or thinking about starting the long endeavor. So here are the top 5 Witcher tips, from one amateur to the next:

1. Complete Main Quests

In most RPG's the main storyline isn't that long, this isn't the case in The Witcher. I assumed the main quest would be fairly short and so I aimed to do as many Side Quests, Witcher Contracts, and Treasure Hunts as possible. The problem with that is, you get very little XP for doing those missions, and, therefore, level up very slowly. Being at a low level means you get killed by most enemies and can't do most side quests. The best thing you can do early on is the main quests.

The first few main quests are fairly long and branching, meaning you will be doing them for a while and earning tons of XP as you go. Better yet, they often give you more side quests and take you to locked areas, therefore opening up the game. I spent the first 10-20 hours running around, fighting everything, taking quests from notice boards and going to question marks, all of which earned me no XP and left me frustrated at my level/uselessness. Even the side quests and contracts weren't helping. Then I discovered that even 1 main quest can make you level up, thus fast-tracking your progress! This is probably the best tip I can give!

2. Use Potions/Bombs/Etc.

Here's one for anybody like me, who isn't well-versed in RPG lingo and therefore completely ignores things like alchemy and crafting. The potions in the game can, and will, be completely necessary at certain points. Therefore, you should make your life easier now and figure a few of them out.

For example, there's a mission in which you must fight a Werewolf but he's very difficult and his health continually regenerates. The trick is to craft a Devil's Puffball bomb and hit him with it, thus stopping his health regeneration. Another example is that of the Cat potion - a simple little potion that grants you complete sight in darkness. That's one that will come in very handy in dark caves. So learn how to make a few useful potions or bombs, etc., because they are very helpful.

3. You Can Fight Underwater

Ahhh, have you tried going underwater and found yourself being mauled by Drowners? Well, I did. And it kept me from reaching a precious chest full of loot....well, it was probably full of linen and goat hides but I digress. When you go underwater and come across any pesky Drowners, just hold R1/RB  (or PC equivalent) and you can fire your crossbow, the damage of which is increased underwater! That's a fairly simple one but saves you from underwater frustration. 

4. You Can Avoid Fall Damage

I would go as far as to say the fall damage is the single most annoying thing about The Witcher. Even now I am amazed at just how little a fall it takes to kill my gallant Geralt. Us gamers have become accustomed to our resilient knees and rock-like feet, which allow us to jump from buildings and walls that would either break our legs or at least sting our little soles in real life. Or in the case of Fallout you can just run sideways down a mountain! Anyway, falling is Geralt's Achilles heel and it is incredibly annoying, thankfully I learned a trick.

Now, be warned this little trick does not grant you falling immorality, so don't go leaping off of cliffs! Basically, when Geralt is about to hit the ground, press circle/B to roll and you can avoid a lot of the damage. This one is my most recent to learn and about damn time!

5. Save Frequently

This one is pretty obvious and should be obvious to any Pokemon alumni. Saving is a lifesaver, no pun intended.

It's very easy to forget about saving, especially because most games nowadays have frequent checkpoints, but RPG's can be unforgiving. The Witcher III actually has a pretty great save feature, but I learned pretty early on that it's not perfect. Basically, I was riding around the north part of White Orchard, checking out the question marks, and the last one on the far east of the map had an enemy that killed me. When I reloaded, I hadn't discovered any of the locations and had to repeat the last 30-40 minutes of my progress. Needless to say, I was annoyed and quickly learned to start saving every few minutes.

Bonus Tip for PS4 Users - Use The Touchpad

This one is for all the PS4 users out there. Hitting the Options button or the Touchpad, then the World Map can be a tedious process. Well, there's great news, if you simply swipe up on the Touchpad it takes you directly to the map. Furthermore, once you are on the map you can scroll with your finger on the pad, as well as press L3 to find your objective/character. Those are very handy, time-saving techniques!


So there you have it, my tips for surviving The Witcher III. Very basic stuff yes but things I would have found incredibly useful 60 odd hours ago. If you found these tips useful, or have any others you would like to share, please do so in the comments below! Thanks for reading and stay tuned to GameSkinny.

Published Jun. 29th 2015

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