Let's just admit it: you started watching the Witcher TV show on Netflix, and now you've re-installed The Witcher 3 to jump back into Geralt's combat and love exploits, didn't you?
If you've been away from The Witcher 3 for a while, there have been hundreds of new mods added to Nexus Mods in recent months. That means there are plenty of new options for expanding the vanilla game.
Whether you want more gory dismemberment, major combat and UI overhauls, or just a few camera tweaks, we've found the 12 best Witcher 3 mods you simply must install for the best playthrough!
The Witcher 3 HD Reworked Project
This is one of the few Witcher 3 mods that has been consistently updated over time since first appearing in 2015. To put it bluntly: the HD Reworked Project is the one mod to download if you care about visual fidelity.
It's always amazing how modders manage to make a game look better than the "ultra" settings crafted by the developers themselves, but that's happened here. The Reworked Project noticeably bumps up the game's texture quality and overall level of detail in its environments, buildings, water, and characters.
You will only want to install this modification if you've got a nice and beefy graphics card with at least 4GB of VRAM, however. Otherwise, you will notice performance drops.
Gwent Card Dealer
Managing to capture fan imagination to a degree not seen since classics like FF8's Triple Triad, The Witcher 3's in-game card system got so popular that it even ended up becoming its own stand-alone game!
If you're just coming back into The Witcher 3 after watching the Netflix show, you probably don't want to grind forever to get all the Gwent cards again. Thankfully, there are mods that put a merchant in Crow's Perch to sell all the cards immediately.
Just be careful before going on a spending spree at the start. There are some Gwent-related quests that can get buggy if you already have their locked cards ahead of time.
The Witcher Redux
There are plenty of major and minor overhauls to the base game to be found at mod hubs like Nexus Mods. All of them have their pros and cons and can inject some new life into The Witcher 3 if you've already played it every which way from Sunday.
This Redux mod is a great place to start because it makes plenty of changes to the base game, but they aren't so huge that you are playing a completely different game.
Essentially, the Redux changes up how toxicity, adrenaline, and sign power scaling work to make combat (and the overall game experience) feel different than in your first playthrough.
If you're interested in other big overhaul mods, Enhanced Edition is another excellent option that radically changes the base experience.
When using the fan-made Enhanced Edition, start a new game and make sure to turn the tutorials on (the changes are extensive). Combat, exploration, alchemy, sailing — even Roach's saddlebags — see major tweaks and changes with this mod.
Because Enhanced Edition shakes up so many elements of The Witcher 3, you may need to make a few other tweaks and install other mods to get it fully working (like the mod limit fix in particular).
Smooth Camera When Mounting and Dismounting
This is a pet peeve of mine that has finally been rectified: sometimes the camera stutters or jerks weirdly when Geralt mounts or dismounts Roach. The bestest darn horse companion this side of Red Dead Redemption 2 deserves better than that, damn it!
As an added bonus, the Smooth Camera mod lets you disable camera auto-centering when galloping so you can take a gander at the environment and wildlife as you ride along.
Rare Items Merchant
Did you miss a coveted rare item in a quest, or couldn't decide which route to take because of mutually exclusive item rewards? You don't have to miss out on any of items The Witcher 3 has to offer anymore. With this mod, they are all for sale!
With the Rare Items Merchant mod installed, a vendor in Novigrad sells anything from relic swords and armor to every last mutagen and even Gaunter O'Dimm's rewards.
Ultra Gore 2
After the nude mods and UI tweaks, somebody always comes along to amp up the gore quotient in any major open-world game, and The Witcher 3 is no exception.
Adding a dash of The Surge (or perhaps more accurately the explosive effects from Fallout 3), Ultra Gore 2 lets you dismember every last body part on most enemies.
This mod doesn't change how combat works or modify the damage system; it's simply visual. Keep in mind that this mod doesn't work with the More Blood mod, though, and it doesn't play well with most mods that change combat graphical effects.
Like the infamous "All your base are belong to us" or more recent "Do you know da wey?", this stupid "It's over 9,000!" Dragon Ball Z gag just keeps popping back up in game mods and achievements.
Cringe aside, it's quite useful in The Witcher 3 because this mod effectively gets rid of the encumbrance rules and weight limits by setting your max weight to 9,001. You never have to throw anything away ever again. It's an RPG hoarder's dream come true!
No Bombs Needed
With this mod installed, bombs are no longer necessary to get rid of monster nests (and there was much rejoicing across the Continent!).
If you don't want to go through a bunch of total overhaul mods to find one that offers this much-needed ability, you can easily change one minor element of the gameplay to remove a major annoyance.
Note that if you use the Enhanced Edition mod, you basically get the same effect because Igni can be used to destroy nests instead of bombs.
Fast Travel From Anywhere
Hands down one of the most helpful mods in The Witcher 3, you get exactly what you'd expect from this clever tweak to the base game. Rather than having to find a signpost to fast travel, Geralt can fast travel to any place he's previously explored from any location.
That means you don't need to gallop across the countryside for an hour to find a signpost and leave the area! When used in conjunction with the next mod on this list, the quest system in The Witcher 3 becomes much more manageable and less time-consuming.
All Quest Objectives On Map
Not a fan of the map/quest objective system in vanilla Witcher 3? This very useful mod puts all of the game's objectives for your currently active quests on the map (although it doesn't add objective markers for anything not currently in your journal).
Keep in mind that this mod doesn't work by default with the Fast Travel From Anywhere mod. To get them both working at the same time, install this mod first, then install Fast Travel From Anywhere. Afterward, use the Script Merger tool to resolve the conflicting scripts between the two mods.
Slots Slots Slots
No, this is not a gambling mini-game! Instead, this nifty mod gives Geralt up to 100 slots for active skills and mutagens. It also throws in some brand-new GUI tabs for handling all those skills.
Since this mod changes some elements of interface, Slots Slots Slots tends to not get along properly with any other mod that extensively modifies the HUD or anything about the skill system.
Are you using any of our top 12 best Witcher 3 mods, and did we miss any that you consider must-haves to make this the best open world fantasy game possible? Sound off in the comments below.
You might have noticed we didn't list anything from the Netflix take on this beloved franchise. If you want to add Henry Cavill's butt chin or otherwise make The Witcher 3 more like the Netflix show, check out our list of the best Witcher TV show mods over here instead!