The recently launched Witcher 3 Game of the Year Edition marked the end of the line for Geralt's latest outing - pulling together the outstanding base game and two equally impressive expansions. Now seems like as good a time as any to visit its best mods for some extra mileage.
I love mods, I do, and while I'm of the view the vast majority of games thrive with the addition of inventive user-made tweaks, nips and tucks, it must be said that The Witcher 3 is one of the few games I feel stands up so well unsullied that expanding upon it should be done so with discretion.
Since launch almost a year and a half ago, a wide array of mods have come to the fore - some good, some great and some which, well, stink of decomposing flesh. The following assortment of adjustments therefore aims to improve one of the best open-world games to date (some might say the best) with neat twists on how it works, moves and feels. With that in mind, these mods are likely best served after you've spent a bit of time with the base game and are familiar with what makes it tick.
How to install Witcher 3 mods
Manual install vs Nexus Mod Manager
Without Steam Workshop support, installing mods for The Witcher 3 is best done via the game's corner of the Nexus Mods website. Downloading the Nexus Mod Manager (which you may already have installed as a means of accessing mods for other games such as, say, Skyrim) handles much of the heavy lifting - and takes care of updates - however mods can be installed manually if that's something you prefer. Doing so is pretty straightforward and is detailed in the step-by-step video above.
(Skip to 9.36)
As mentioned up there, The Witcher 3 boasts a staggering amount of mods (over 1,500 if my cursory and irresolute arithmetic serves me right). A combination of multiple post-launch patches, preoccupied modders, and the way in which the game accesses files, though, has led many mods to break down over time - which is why AnotherSymbiote's Script Merger is an essential download before you've even kicked a ball/griffin's head.
By detecting conflicts in .bundle packages and .ws scripts, Script Merger alleviates any issues by creating merged versions of the offending text files. It leaves the original files untouched, but overrides them, and while it can't merge non-text conflicts it can help you manage custom load order which in turn lets certain mods override others.
If you're new to the modding game, this isn't as complicated as it might sound. In short: Script Merger lets you download the mods you want while ensuring you game never fails to start.
By JupiterTheGod and Wolfmark respectively.
Now, without any further ado, here are the best mods to make Novigrad that little bit more marvellous.
First of all, what about that landscape eh? It goes without saying that Novigrad can be a breathtakingly beautiful and picturesque place - what with its rolling hills, verdant forests and knife-edged gullies. But don't you dare tell me you haven't been at least a wee bit pissed off with its fast travel system from time to time. With Fast Travel Anywhere, gone at last is the need to travel while stood next to a signpost. "This mod allows you to fast travel to a signpost no matter where you are," reads the mod's description. "It works if you are in the middle of the wilderness and don't feel like traveling to a signpost a billion light years away." Which, after hoofing it around The Witcher 3's absolutely massive map for hours and hours and hours on end, I am absolutely all for.
Wolfmark's All Quest Objectives On Map is another cartographer's curio that allows you to track more than one questline at any given time. Assuming you've got the quest logged in your journal, this mod adds readily identifiable pins to the map which follow all active quests. Simply click on whichever one you please to prioritise.
It's worth pointing out that these mods aren't immediately compatible with one another, without the use of the aforementioned Script Merger.
By pMarK and sjbox respectively.
Of course, who's to say you want to waste those wonderful vistas and views entirely, by speeding around the place without taking the time to drink in the landscape? pMarK's Absolute Camera puts you in sole control of camera placement, meaning you get to customise camera distance between yourself and Geralt in relation to 16 of the witcher's actions - be that running, swimming, fighting, or one of several other movements. Having used this mod for a while now, it's one I struggle to do without, and while the video above does a great job of portraying its variety in motion, it's one which is best experienced first hand.
In order to properly take in your newly proportionate camera views, Increased LOD lets you do so with the draw distance of small and medium-sized objects increased by 30 percent, and detail levels "for a lot of objects in the game" increased by anything from 50 percent to 300 percent. "For maximised draw distance, make sure FOV is set to 60 or less" warns the mod's blurb alongside its full installation instructions.
By Halk Hogan PL
Admittedly, I was a wee bit apprehensive of The Witcher 3 HD Reworked Project when I first caught wind of it. As noted in the intro up top, this is a game whose vanilla state is one of the prettiest I've ever laid eyes on, which made me ask the question: does it really need an HD graphics overhaul? The answer is no, but the Reworked Project is nonetheless a very impressive mod which is absolutely worth a look.
So, what does it change exactly? A better question might be what does it not tinker with, as the current build modifies the textures and models of:
- Wood Logs
- Wood Crates
- Water Puddles
- Round Stools
- Square Stools
- Books Stacks
- Ceramic Roofs
- Checkered Floors
- Bear Furs
- Rocks (Toussaint)
- Wood Logs (Toussaint)
- Sacks (Toussaint)
Like Absolute Camera, the video above showcases this mod in practice - complete with handy before and after sliders - however it's also one that's best lived in for full effect.
By GiecuMan and JupiterTheGod respectively.
(Skip to 6.52)
Confession time: I'm an RPG hoarder. Whenever I sink my teeth into a deep and engaging role-playing game, I become slightly obsessed with collecting things. What if that antique vase comes in handy down the line? I'll feel like a right fool for throwing it away now, won't I? Thing is, while our favourite heroes often flaunt some near interminable Mary Poppins-like pouches, they can't carry everything. Or can they? GiecuMan's Over 9,000 Weight seems to think so and ups Geralt's carry limit to 9,000 to prove it. Ultimately, this means he can pocket just about anything he wants. Hello antique vase. Begone, over-encumbrance!
And while we're talking hoarding, we know full well I'm going to ravage each and every fallen corpse I happen upon in search of trinkets - it'd be nice if there was a way to expedite the process. With AutoLoot, there is. What's more, this mod lets you slap filters on what you automatically acquire and what you choose to leave behind - marking the end of muddled miser-ing.
By SheepDarklord and mindkiller316 respectively.
Weapon oils are one of the most tedious features of The Witcher 3's combat system - namely applying specific oils so as to stand a better chance against specific foes. In the interest of streamlining, Auto Apply Oils does exactly what it says on the tin by automatically applying relevant weapon oils in relation to specific enemy types who may stumble into your range.
And of course once I've felled said beasts, I've made quite clear my desire to pillage whatever specialities might've been spilled in the process. Increased Creature Loot is another self-explanatory mod that ensures gruelling battles are met with sufficient spoils. "Whether you're hunting for monster parts, or just to earn a little extra cash, it can be difficult when only half of the creatures you kill drop loot," reads the mod's description, before outlining its five different loot-drop settings, each of which can be set at will.
By Skomski and Nalatroz with AloisManas, and CAPA respectively
You'll almost certainly have the most fun with these mods. First, the Debug Console Enabler grants you access to the debug console which in turns allows you to input loads and loads and loads of game-altering commands. Spawn NPCs, baddies, monsters, change your appearance, make yourself indestructible, instantly learn skills, add buffs - so long as it's possible in-game, the Debug Console Enabler mod will most likely let you do it. The full list of options is probably too long to cite here, however there's a pretty decent rundown of what the mod's capable of over here.
As for Photo Mode, well, even hardened, cold-blooded witchers love a selfie. This mod requires Debug Console Enabler to function and lets you freeze the game, spin the camera around in 360 degrees, and land the perfect snap. You can make yourself invisible so as to grab dramatic landscape shots and can even spawn bespoke weather options to add a certain level of character to those panoramic pics.
Slots, Slots, Slots
Think the standard 12 skill slot restriction is too stifling? This 'un ups that number to a stonking 96.
Traders carry more goods and more money. Trade on your terms.
By Wasteland Ghost
Drop the minimap, health bar and, well, everything else for less clutter.
Critical Slow Motion Combat
Slow motion fighting is never not cool.
As outlined in the intro, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a truly fantastic game without the use of any mods whatsoever. This list is just a few that've made my own time in Novigrad a little more enjoyable - for experimental purposes if nothing else. With so many available, though, we've inevitably missed at least one or two that you might enjoy - let us know about them in the comments south of here.