It's been 4 years since the last major update of The Witcher 3 and while this update doesn't include a story expansion it does feature some fairly significant tweaks to both visuals and gameplay. To modernize Witcher 3 for the new consoles and the latest PC hardware the update will make the following changes when it drops next week:
- Improved visuals: Support for RTX, SSR, FSR 2.1 and DLSS 3 have been added to the engine and combined with improved models, textures and foliage giving the game a massive facelift.
- Ultra Plus Settings: For players with the beefiest rigs, there will be new options to add even more detail if your PC can handle it.
- Cross-Progression: As seen in Cyberpunk 2077, you'll be able to sync your progress across multiple devices more easily than ever before.
- New UI and control options: There will be configuration options out the wazoo in the update including a new "over-the-shoulder" camera angle, quick sign casting, filter options on the world map, subtitle font scaling and options to hide the minimap/objectives dynamically. You can also now pause the game while a cutscene is playing.
- Photo Mode: Screenarchers rejoice! You can now use a dedicated photo mode to bring your artistic visions to life. Don't forget to share your best screenshots in the image share.
- Integrated Mods: CDPR has collaborated with the authors of several popular mods to rework and optimise some of their more popular creations and integrate them into the base game - more on that later. There are also some extra mods made by CDPR's own developers built in too!
- Quest Fixes: What's an update without a few bug fixes? The update includes fixes to From Ofier's Distant Shores, the Wolf School gear questline and more. What's even better is that these fixes have been designed to be retroactive. Meaning if you have an old save with bugged quests, the fixes should work there too.
Players can also toggle new appearances for Jaskier/Dandelion and the "wrinkly" Nilfaardian armour from the show with new options in the settings.
You can grab a copy of Witcher 3 GOTY Edition on GOG.com or if you're a mod author we also have a few copies available in the Donation Points store.
Modding the Next-Gen Update
With that out of the way, you're probably wondering "what does this mean for modding?". Well, in short, if you're currently playing through the game with mods, you should avoid updating until you're finished. This update has the potential to break some of your mods, especially script or character mods. CDPR have made an effort to test some of the most popular mods and you can see their compatibility results here. The good news is that the way mods are installed hasn't changed so once existing mods are updated they should be compatible again.
To that end, we've added two new tags for Witcher 3 "Next-Gen Update Compatible" and "Next-Gen Update Incompatible". You can help keep this information up to date by voting for the relevant tag on mods which do or do not work after the update. This option can be found underneath the images on a mod page.
As mentioned earlier, several existing mods have been integrated into the base game. CDPR have posted a statement about that (and other changes) on their forums.
The mods that were included in or that gave inspiration to the update are:
We obtained permissions from their creators, reimbursed them, and they’ll be featured in the credits of the updated game. The mods were reworked and assets optimised as needed, and the game adjusted to run with them. There was even a case when a dev got so engrossed in tinkering when including a mod that he ended up simply remaking that particular aspect of the game. So, in a way, the game comes with some mods already included.
- The Witcher 3 HD Reworked Project by HalkHogan
- World Map Fixes by Terg500
- Nitpicker's Patch - Various Visual Fixes by chuckcash
- FCR3 - Immersion and Gameplay Tweaks by Andrzej Kwiatkowski
- HDMR - HD Monsters Reworked Mod by Denroth
- Immersive Real-time Cutscenes? by teiji25?
Unfortunately, we haven't been able to get access to the build ahead of release so if Vortex requires any changes for the new version we'll do our best to get an update out before the holidays.
If you're playing Witcher 3 modded right now, we'd recommend making an effort to prevent the game from updating. If you have the game on GOG it's super easy but for Steam, Epic or Xbox you might have to get creative.
Will you be playing Witcher 3 once the Next-Gen update drops? Let us know your thoughts below.