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Everything you need to know about The Witcher 3’s epic next-gen update

Geralt is back.

CD Projekt Red

Seven years after its original release, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has gone down as one of the greatest fantasy RPGs ever created. Amazingly, the game is set to get even more content and enhancements with the “next-gen upgrade,” announced earlier in 2022. On top of plenty of visual enhancements, there’s even a bit of new content inspired by The Witcher series on Netflix. It’s the perfect opportunity to jump in, whether it’s your first time or your fifth, so here’s everything we know about The Witcher 3’s next-gen update.

When is The Witcher 3 next-gen update’s release date?

The next-gen update for The Witcher 3 will officially go live on December 14, 2022.

The next-gen update is free to all players that own The Witcher 3.CD Projekt Red

Players actually won’t need to pay anything for the upgrade, as it’s free for anyone that currently owns The Witcher 3. While PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC will get the full range of visual enhancements and gameplay changes, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One players won’t be left totally in the dust. An update for those the older consoles will still add on the gameplay enhancements and Netflix-themed items.

Is there The Witcher 3 next-gen update trailer?

Yes, there actually is a trailer for The Witcher 3’s next-gen update, and it was released shortly after a 30-minute stream that saw CD Projekt Red take a deep dive into the changes coming. The trailer feels like a pretty typical Witcher 3 trailer, but it puts the spotlight on some of the visual enhancements. You can also watch the entire presentation for the update on The Witcher YouTube channel.

What’s included in The Witcher 3 Next-Gen update?

The next-gen update will feature a brand-new quest with full voice acting. CD Projekt Red

The most obvious change for the next-gen update is improved visuals, and on consoles, this comes with different graphics modes. Players will be able to pick either a 30fps mode with ray tracing enabled or a 60fps mode without ray tracing. Before we dive into gameplay changes, here’s an overview of the visual enhancements.

  • Ray Tracing
  • Improved Screen Space Reflections
  • Improved foliage
  • Improved textures
  • Dynamic resolution scaling
  • FSR 2.1 support
  • DLSS 3 support
  • Graphics modes

The update also brings a host of gameplay changes to The Witcher 3, including the much-requested photo mode that surprisingly hasn’t been introduced until now. Here’s an overview of the gameplay enhancements

  • Cross Progression saves between all platforms
  • New zoomed-in camera option
  • Quick Sign casting
  • Hide minimap option
  • New map filters
  • Photo mode
  • Subtitle scaling
  • Ability to pause cutscenes
  • Slow walk mode
  • Fixes for broken quests (can be applied retroactively to saved games)

That’s already a massive list of changes, but the next-gen update doesn’t stop there as it also brings a small dose of new content. Geralt gets new equipment and armor based on the Netflix series, and there’s also an alternate look for Dandelion and Nilfgaardian Soldiers. What’s most interesting about the Netflix content is that there’s a brand new quest added to the game, with full voice acting and everything.

CD Projekt teased during its presentation that this quest will take place somewhere vitally important to The Witcher, but wouldn't say more. At the same time, the studio said the update will have other “surprises” that they don’t want to talk about before release.

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