A new Witcher 3 grass mod makes gaming’s lushest landscapes even lusher

witcher-3-grass-mod

As I’ve mentioned before, one of my absolute favourite things to do in videogames is to hang around in The Witcher 3 [official site]’s remarkable countryside, revelling in the gorgeous flora and marvelling at the none-more-atmospheric weather effects.

So news of a mod that specifically makes The Witcher 3’s grass and grass alone even prettier makes me sit up and pay attention in a way that almost no other graphics tweak could. The greatest great outdoors, now even greater.

Beautiful Grass, by one ‘Boostin4kix’ (and aren’t we all, really?) is a mere 5 Kilobytes in size, and specifically tarts up the grass in the White Orchard, Velen, and Skellige areas of the game. In tandem with the mod itself, you need to get you hands a little dirty and edit ini files to up the number of blades shown at once, and the rendering distance thereof.

The net effect: SHITLOADS OF GRASS. But not simply more grass – more detail, more varieties of species, more seeds, more variations in height. More organic, believable meadows, basically – and Witcher 3 already had best-in-class meadows, as far as I was concerned.

witcher-3-plant-mod

Please note that this isn’t the only Witcher 3 grass mod in town, and sometimes it’s not quite a perfect improvement either – in some places, the grass is all the same height, for instance something the creator says he’s working on. But it’s some real nice grass alright, in a game that at least 50% of the reason for playing is the vegetation, so it’s good enough for me.

To install, download the mod from here and extract the contents to your Witcher 3 mods folder. Then, browse to My Documents – The Witcher 3 and open up user.settings in Notepad. Find the below lines, and change the values to the following:

GrassRingSize=67108864

GrassDensity=8000

GrassDistanceScale=2.5

This is likely to cause a big performance hit if you haven’t got a pretty beefy graphics card, so you could try the following if the framerate is intolerable. Still a decent visual improvement, but only half the GPU toll.

GrassRingSize=33554432
GrassDensity=4500
GrassDistanceScale=2.0

26 Comments

  1. dStick says:

    “in a way that almost no other graphics tweak could not”

    So… all graphics tweaks can? ;-)

    • Skiv says:

      “A little graphic tweak that could” ;)

    • Unclepauly says:

      Almost =/= all ?

      • dStick says:

        Sure, have it your way:

        “in a way that almost all graphic tweaks can”

        The point was ofcourse that the author was trying to convey the opposite as deductable by the previous text and the fact that an entire article was devoted to said graphic tweak ;-)

  2. Lugg says:

    I don’t get these mods. All they do usually is make things look worse. Just because it says “HD Textures!” doesn’t mean it actually improves the art, you know?

    Case in point, compared to the stock grass, this mod seems to cause way too heavy AO on the foliage-to-ground transition.

    • Tiax says:

      Isn’t the increased AO directly linked to the increased grass density?

    • DeusExMachina says:

      Maybe the day you grow up and realize the Universe doesn’t spin around you, you will realize that Aesthetics are completely subjective and it is entirely possible that there are people out there enjoying the way these mods alter the game.

      • bob27 says:

        Who pissed in your cornflakes?

        • DeusExMachina says:

          Your mother, sadly she could´t help it. The poor thing

      • Lugg says:

        Aesthetics are subjective? You’ve never made any art, have you? This is about realism, and what the real world looks like is not a matter of opinion, but of skillful observation.

        • Cinek says:

          Problem with HD mods is that most the time they increase resolution in Photoshop and run sharpness filter. Alternatively they paste stock photos on higher res textures with no regard to color balance or brightness.

          It’s not a matter of taste, really. They objectively tend to suck.

          Still though – no idea why OP talks about HD mods under an article that got nothing to deal with them…

    • waltC says:

      The mod should be entitled: “More Dead Grass–for that ‘Just Decayed’ Look everyone loves”….;)

  3. Stevostin says:

    I first thought it was a before after shot and indeed, so much nicer on the right part of the picture!

  4. Sinjun says:

    All of the visual mods for TW3 are utterly pointless. They don’t make the game look better. The game has a specific design and art style, stuff like this just changes that and throws off the atmosphere.

    • zat0ichi says:

      Lots of dross and a few UI improvements but in particular there are two lighting mods that have been flaming each other for a while. (Drama)
      CDPR had to change their lighting method late in production and some of the short cuts and compromises they had to take have been addressed. (Other things as well but they’re all core assets that cannot be modded back in)

      Interior lighting was a bit shit, the lighting mods try to sort it. When you take away Geralts personal spot light you need to re-balance loads and they deal with some of the draw distance stuff.

      The modders are just fine tuning a lot of things CDPR didn’t have time to and, well you know, Cyberpunk.

      If you play through again
      STLM 3.2 or WLM VIII
      Well worth checking out along with the HD reworked project. (You don’t know how worth it is until you turn it off)

      Minimal performance hit unless you are on a 1gb card…

  5. K_Sezegedin says:

    Most of the improvement is from the user.settings density tweak tbh,

    It’s good grass though, the same height thing isn’t quite noticeable when everything is blowing around as W3 is wont to do.

    Also when I bump up my grass fps doesn’t exactly suffer but I get little hitches especially when riding around, and this is on a 1080ti and SSD install..

  6. AutonomyLost says:

    I have a list of mods to download prior to me jumping back into my NG+. This grass mod shall be added, no question! Thanks for the tip, Meer.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      There’s several which change the passage of time, so that 1 minute of clock time equates to 1 minute in game (or 5, or whatever), or you can change just one number in a config file to get the same effect.
      I’d recommend doing similar otherwise the days just seem to wizz past.

      • AutonomyLost says:

        Oh, that’s intriguing actually. I think the 1:1 ratio of passing time would be great for a game such as TW3. Thanks for the tip!

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          phuzz says:

          The only problem is with those quests which tell you to (eg) come back in three days to receive a reward, but you can just meditate for a while.

  7. Kefren says:

    When it is first-person and works in VR I’ll go back to it. :-)

  8. sebmojo says:

    First person mod: link to nexusmods.com?

    Witcher 3 with Oculus VR: link to reddit.com

    • Kefren says:

      I don’t normally play with mods after so many poor experiences in the past with it breaking games – but after your kind suggestion I think I will break my rule instead. Thanks! :-)

  9. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    But it’s some real nice grass […] in a game that at least 50% of the reason for playing is the vegetation

    The other 50% is Gwent.

  10. oliseo says:

    The majority of the time I find specific mods like this cause unbalance. Picture a very good painting in a certain style. Now imagine saying “gee, if I improve the look of just the grass in that picture, it will look miles better”.

    Wrong. All it will do is make the picture look odd. The only way it would make the picture look “better” is if everything else in the picture was also “enhanced”, but at that point it’s no longer the same picture, so you can’t say it’s “better” as that’s subjective anyway.

    But singling out just one aspect, that’s going to make it look terrible.

    Think of watching an old SD movie, and then just adding HD grass. It would look stupid.

    The only reason people THINK these mods improve the game is the human desire for novelty. It’s why people try different hairstyles, clothing, etc.