The Witcher 3 is a great game. It’s probably my favorite this year, even surpassing Bloodborne which I loved a ton. Seeing how Witcher is a massive game and the third in the series, it’s understandable for you to be a little hesitant to jump right in. There are plenty of beginner tips and guides already out there, and I even read some. Even with that extra help, there were still a couple things that I wish I knew when I started. They are simple and basic, but worth remembering as you start your journey.
1. Read Everything
One of my favorite things in the Witcher 3 is how important information is. Having the right oil on your blade and spell equipped to fight a monster can make a huge difference. Of course this doesn’t do you any good unless you know the monster’s weaknesses. Once you beat an enemy they are revealed, but that doesn’t really help when you haven’t fought them yet and are about to. That’s where reading comes into play. Reading books and notes is extremely important in the Witcher 3. It will update your bestiary and reveal the strengths and weaknesses of a creature.
That’s the obvious benefit. It also reveals the world to you in a deeper understanding. This is cool for the obvious reason of diving into the lore, but even if you don’t care about the lore (for whatever lame excuse of a reason) this can actually help you make decisions. I won’t get into spoiler territory since this article is for beginners, but I was amazed at how some books can help influence your decision. The game won’t change at all with this new information, and it won’t even tell you that you have just read something important. But often times you will read something trivial assuming it is only for lore purposes, only to discover later in the game the book referenced something you are now dealing with. I know, that’s very cryptic, but I after I made an important decision. I read a book that talked about the very character I was interacting with. I thought to myself, “man, really wish I knew that before I had to make that decision.” If only I read the book first!
2. Craft Potions and Oils Immediately
This one I am a little embarrassed to admit I did not realize, since I believe the game does try and tell you in the beginning. I did not know potions and oils would automatically refill. I figured it out pretty quickly, but (embarrassingly) it took me a bit to realize that once I crafted any position or oil with the desired ingredients, I never had to do it again. I was saving ingredients to make the potions again in the future when I thought I would need them. I should’ve been crafting everything as soon as possible so they would already be in my inventory ready for me.
3. Don’t Worry About Money
I hoarded money in the beginning of the game. I was afraid to spend money and I always sold items for money. I looted everything I could to sell and it was always a worry on my mind. I never wanted to buy anything, even when it looked like something I could really use. I’m a firm believer you must find the items you use in RPGs, and never buy anything. Especially when I always seemed to be broke.
After a while, you will have more money than you ever need. I stopped looting dead bodies for low-level steel swords and broken rakes and whatever else I use to scrap up for the tiniest amount of profit. Most items I had I would end up dismantling anyways. I’m not saying don’t ever loot or sell items, but dismantling will almost always be better. Getting more items will be far more useful than a little big more money. When I started crafting master gear I had everything I needed. Admittedly, some of it was from quests, but I dismantled some impressive gear for their rare ingredients to help build better stuff.
4. How Experience From Quests Work
Quests that are 6 levels below you will not give you exp. This is important, because it essentially puts a deadline on quests. I’m not saying I agree with this system, but I didn’t know about it until it was too late. Some still gave me a little exp, but many of them didn’t. When you know you’re going to level up soon, complete the quests that will gray out. A grayed out quest means you are overleveled.
It’s worth stating any gray quest is still worth doing even without the exp. You may get a nice item, see a cool place, and definitely discover a worthwhile story or character. Also, the quests in red (6 levels above you) should net you a little extra exp, but I can’t say for sure because I haven’t done that many red quests. Make it a habit to go through your quest log and see what quests are about to become under-leveled.
5. Don’t Be Afraid
Following the last piece of advice, I wish I knew earlier not to be afraid of enemies a few levels above you. It’s perfectly possible to kill a creature 5 levels (or more) higher than you. This goes for quests too. Some quests higher than you may not even require fighting, basically netting you a lot of exp for only using dialog options. Scout out the quests to see if they will have fighting or not. It may be hard to tell, but chances are if you’re walking into a dungeon…you’re probably going to fight. You can still win against the tougher opponent with your sheer skill (and maybe some luck). Don’t get too cocky, but don’t be afraid to stray off the path. I was avoiding guarded treasures and exploring because I would see an enemy’s level. I pulled up my big-boy pants one time to take on an earth elemental a few levels above me to find the fight surprisingly easy. Moral of the story, don’t wuss out like I did upon seeing their level.
There are my quick tips. Do you have your own you’d like to add? Leave them in the comments below.