The Witcher 3 Nex-Gen Experiences - yours and mine

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The GPU vs CPU issue is beyond my tech grade, or at least beyond my desire to dig into the details. There are multiple "claims" from players on both the Steam Forum & the W3 (GoG) Forum about performance issues. Many are legitimate I'm sure, but when it comes to the reason "why", it can become a bit obscure to downright false, so it's a bit hard to glean out the truth.

P.S. Keep posting pics! Actually, maybe we could try something...

This shot of having supper in the forest is from fairly early in the game. Maybe you could take a similar shot when that scene shows up in the game to compare with? (Hopefully, it wasn't one where I pulled the camera away with a mod.)
Great idea! I can't post comparison shots myself, as I have none from my original playthrough on GoG from years ago. I believe that shot is of Keira Metz in Chapter 1? I just finished the prologue in White Orchard, which took me about 60 hrs (at least 25 hrs of that was playing with the photo mode), so it will be sometime before I get to that scene. But keep posting shots you'd like to have comparison's for and I'll try to match them.


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Yep, that's Kiera Metz. Did you get out of that big castle yet? There's a bunch of candlelight in there that could be interesting.



Here's another from the Kiera phase. I'm curious how the reflections will work and if the cave is a lot darker under RTX.

There are lots of pretty sunset/sunrise shots, but those will depend on finding the same place and waiting for the same time. Or does the new screenshot tool let you change the time of day?
Yep, that's Kiera Metz. Did you get out of that big castle yet? There's a bunch of candlelight in there that could be interesting.

Yeah, I just left the castle in Vizima last night and started the Velen region (that area is huge, even before you get to Novigrad). But here's a weird thing, the photo mode key ("U") no longer works when in a cut scene or conversation screen. I'm almost positive I was able to do that in the beginning of the game back in Kaer Morhen. It's not a huge deal, as they fixed the Steam Overlay so I can use F12 in cut scenes and conversations, I just loose the ability to manipulate the scene.

I have a similar shot of Emhyr var Emreis (F12 screen shot):


I missed Yennifer opening the portal, but there is a lot of candlelight and subtle ambient light in that area. I think the source lighting affects and subtle reflections were very well done by CD Projekt.




Here's another from the Kiera phase. I'm curious how the reflections will work and if the cave is a lot darker under RTX.
I'm probably a long way off from Kiera, but I'll definitely try to get some shots from the cave. It will be interesting because there is an option for darker nights in the options menu which I turned on. If there's no light source areas can be really dark, but I like the immersion, and it makes any type of light source a bit more dramatic to me.

There are lots of pretty sunset/sunrise shots, but those will depend on finding the same place and waiting for the same time. Or does the new screenshot tool let you change the time of day?
There is no controlling the time of day in photo mode, you just have to deal with whatever the time of day is and the current weather, with weather affecting both the quality of light as well as the intensity and mood. I personally like that feature, but it could be due to my past experience (in real life, when I was younger) as a freelance nature photographer. With the photo mode you get a lot of tools to control both the lighting, the distance, and the angle in which you take the shot.


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Interesting! Our first two pictures look almost exactly the same except for the tile floor between the rug and the window. There are 10 distinct light sources in that image, I was hoping for some faded shadows to pop up.

Oh, I think I see why. We're seeing two sets of candles that are perfectly identical, and you can see the same set showing up in several different screenshots. If they made that group of candles into 5 distinct light sources and you walked into a room with half a dozen of those groups.... ouch!

Wow, look how red the sunset is making everything in that last picture! Here's one from Novigrad's harbor:

I'm not sure if the buildings across the harbor are at the right angle to be lit up, but it might make a good comparison once you make your way there.
@Zloth - Yeah, I didn't see much difference in our Emhyr shots, very subtle at best. I'm really liking this idea of yours of comparing screenshots to see what differences RT makes in scenes. The original W3 was a good-looking game to begin with, so I'll check back to this post as I get to the areas of any screenshots you post.

Novigrad makes me nervous, as I know it will be the make-or-break point for my current graphics settings because of all the NPCs, light sources, and reflections. I'll try to hit that same harbor location during a sunset, as well as Kiera in the cave and anything else you might post. As slow as I'm going, it may be weeks before I hit Novigrad.

In terms of general performance, things are going well in Velen with no noticeable slowdowns or stuttering at this point, but I'm in the countryside but it's not nearly as graphically demanding that Novigrad will be. Also I've had no CTDs nor any issues with saving and/or loading game saves.

There is one issue that's been reported on both the Steam and W3 forums. When Geralt is standing completely still and you press "W" to move forward, there seems to be a fraction of a second delay in response time for him to move. It's only when moving from a complete standstill, and not every time, nor does it occur during combat which is fast paced anyway; but it is noticeable. It doesn't really bother me, as it doesn't affect gameplay, but it may be annoying to other players.
I'm beginning to think that there may be a memory leak issue, which I've seen a few posts about on both the Steam and W3 forums. I had a situation yesterday, after about 5-6 hours of playtime, where the game just became noticeably jittery and slow, and it was in an interior with very few light sources/shadows and only about 6 NPCs in the area. But it was nearing the point of being unplayable (even by my low standards of acceptable FPS).

So I did a quick save, exited the game, and then loaded that saved game, and the gameplay/movement was smooth again (smoothness, for me personally in this graphically demanding game, is in the low 30's to high 50''s in terms of FPS). To me that's indicative of a memory leak issue, where game performance gradually decreases over time (I could be wrong, but that's what if feels like to me). But other than that, no serious issues like crashing.

Some shots early in the Velen area:


And playing as Ciri for the first time:


Here's another from the Kiera phase. I'm curious how the reflections will work and if the cave is a lot darker under RTX.

I think I found the same spot, and it seems similar, yet I don't see the same reflection that you have in your shot, which almost looks like a puddle of water (?). It's definitely dark, but I'm getting more reflections on the tiled floor of the Elven ruins.


And here's a couple shots while using a torch, which I think really gives a dramatic sense to that area with the reflections and a sense of depth the way the light from the touch gradually fades to darkness.


While I'm at it, here's a few shots of Keira in that same area:




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Wow! Yeah, the area is much more lit up for you, even without the torch. The limestone on the stairs seems similarly shiny, it just stands out more in mine because the rest of the room is darker.

Is the shadow being cast by Geralt when holding the torch correct?? I don't think it should be anywhere near that sharp with a big light source like a torch, but is the shape what it should be? Flap your other arm around some, Geralt! ;)

After the little supper with Keira, I walked to the shore where I could see Fyke Tower.

I'm wondering if the water got any better?
After the little supper with Keira, I walked to the shore where I could see Fyke Tower.

I'm wondering if the water got any better?
I'll go down there after dinner with Keira, hopefully I can get it in a similar light. I got the quest to meet her after exiting the cave, but I needed to repair my equipment so I headed back to Crow's Perch and got involved with the Bloody Baron questline (still one of my all-time favorite quests), so meeting Keira afterwards will be a nicer respite.

I'm late to this party. But I'm really surprised to hear that you had better results from FSR2 than DLSS.
You and me both. i was really excited to play a game not only with ray tracing, but to be able to take advantage of DLSS, but there was a noticeable increase in smoothness when I switched from DLSS to FSR2. I may at some point try to switch back, maybe after a big performance patch (which I'm expecting), but I'm hesitant at this point to do anymore tweaks as I'm happy with the performance that I'm currently getting.

I'll be the first to admit that my PC technical expertise is limited, and there are so many graphical options to tweak in this game that it could take a person literally hours just to achieve a good balance of performance to graphics. There are also claims on several forums about memory leaks and/or poor DX12 implementation, both of which seem credible to me, so it's difficult for me to know if I really need to tweak a setting or if a patch could fix something.
A major patch release seems to be imminent:
The Witcher 3 Next-Gen First Update Is In The Final Stages Of Development (

Though the article doesn't say specifically what is being patched, I'm hopeful that it will address the memory leak issue, which has become more apparent to me the longer I play. Out of the 170 hours I've played so far I've encountered it maybe 8-10 times, and only after an extended playtime of 6-8 hours or more. It's like old game data isn't being swapped out with the new data in an efficient manner.

It's noticeable and rather abrupt where movements and animation becomes jerky and lip-syncing is out of sequence. I can work around it (though it's annoying), by saving the game, exiting the game, and then reloading that save. Same exact scene, but the stuttering and jerkiness are gone. It seems to happen more frequently just before an extended cutscene or conversation, though I have no proof of that, more of a gut feeling.
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I don't have any screenshots to match @Zloth 's images yet, but I thought I'd post a few combat and monster screenshots of my current game (still in Velen). Integrating the screenshot key, "U", into the combat controls is becoming much easier with practice. It's still a bit of a "shot in the dark", as you can't pinpoint the exact moment you want the image because combat is so fast paced, but it still works pretty well as you can then manipulate the angle, distance, depth of field, contrast, and lighting of any scene.

I'm not sure what this is, some kind of dragonoid I guess, but I was level 6 and it was level 16, so I ran away.



Noonwraith (I think), another high level encounter that I wasn't ready for. I died roughly 6 seconds after taking this shot.

Just a Pirate (sans head).


My mother-in-law after a few drinks (No, no, I'm not married; it's actually a Water Hag)

Oh, watch out for those wyverns. They can be sneaky! ;)
I came across my 1st wyvern a couple days ago, and they are a bit sneaky, attacking from above and behind you.


I found harpies to be even more of a pain, while not as strong as wyverns, they attack in packs, and while you're attacking one, the others will flank you or come at you from behind and can decimate your health.
Major patch (2.0 GB) released today updating W3 Next-Gen to version 4.01. Patch notes are rather sparse, and I don't see any mention of a memory leak being fixed (though I feel as if it was/is my major issue). I'm about to back in game, so I'll post any relevant improvements.
Jul 17, 2022
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An open thread for anyone playing The Witcher 3 Nex-Gen and your experiences, as well as my own, gameplaywise or technical.

So far (and I've only played about 6 hours at this point), I've had no severe technical issues, like CTDs or constant stuttering. I have had visible slowdowns in FPS in interior sections with multiple NPCs, but that's due to me setting my graphical options a bit too high for my current hardware. Briefly, my current specs are an RTX 3080, I9-9900K CPU, Memory 32GB Corsair 3000MHZ., 60Hz 4K 43" Phillips monitor. Nothing top-of-the-line in 2022-23, but probably above average.

And there are a lot of graphic options, with 6 presets from "Low" to "RT Ultra" (I'm assuming that "RT" stands for Raytracing).

I really think that the "RT Ultra" setting is for the RTX 400 series of cards which maxes out every setting. But the good thing is, you can choose any base setting and then tweak any individual setting up or down. Which is great because there's probably a graphical setting for almost any hardware setup. My only wish, is that there could be "rollover" information as to what each setting does (or how it varies from another setting) when you hover your mouse cursor over each setting option. Some settings are obvious as to what they do, but others don't give me any information on what the differences are.

Like the "Number of background characters" option. What's the difference between the settings of Ultra+, Ultra, and so on. Obviously, the number of NPCs increases, but by how many and how does it affect FPS? A bit more information would be welcome, as well as a recommended graphics card.

There are 4 adjustable options for Raytracing and I hope to keep those on, as the reflections are such a difference on water and shiny surfaces. The "Global Illuminations" and "Ambient Occlusion" options I'm not sure what exactly those are, as well as the differences between "DLSS Quality" over "FSR Quality", so I'm slowly tweaking various graphic options as I play.


There are also many UI options allowing you to choose what shows on the game screen.

There are many other additions such as the Photo Mode, new quests, and new weapons & armor, you can even pat your horse Roach:
You can now pet Geralt's horse in The Witcher 3, and it's about time | PC Gamer

It's great to hear that your experience with The Witcher 3 on next-gen has been positive so far. It's great that the game offers a variety of graphic options to accommodate different hardware setups. The lack of information on some of the settings is a minor inconvenience, but it can still be adjusted to your preference. The addition of raytracing features enhances the visual appeal of the game, especially with reflections on water and shiny surfaces. The Photo Mode is a nice touch, as well as the new quests, weapons & armor and the ability to pet your horse. Overall, it seems like a great upgrade to the game.
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Major patch (2.0 GB) released today updating W3 Next-Gen to version 4.01. Patch notes are rather sparse, and I don't see any mention of a memory leak being fixed (though I feel as if it was/is my major issue). I'm about to back in game, so I'll post any relevant improvements.

After about a week of playing W3 with 4.01 patch, these are my current impressions. Overall opinions on the Steam W3 forums seem to be negative. Ranging from not having a noticeable effect on performance to having worse performance, increased stuttering, CTDs, and not even being able to load a saved game. We all know that some players love to complain & bash game developers over on Steam, and that there are infinite varieties of PC configurations, but many of those posts feel legitimate to me.

My own experience on the day that the patch dropped was also negative. At first the performance felt much smoother, but then I started to get random, but consistent jerks. Not jerks like in people-type jerks, but performance jerks in FPS and/or data loading. That issue became more frequent the longer I played, to the point that I wasn't sure I could continue playing. Saving, then exiting the game, then loading a save didn't fix the issue.

So on a whim I tried something. I disabled the Steam Overlay. I'd been running both the Steam Overlay and the Nvidia Overlay at the same time. Why, you ask? Because I've never had an issue before in any other game with both of the overlays running. But W3 Next-Gen is probably the most graphical intensive game I've played (barring possible exceptions of heavily modded games).

The difference? Absolutely (redacted) amazing boost in performance. I don't run an FPS monitor/counter as I just eyeball performance (Yeah, not very scientific), but the FPS increase, with all raytracing options maxed and mid-level hairworks, was at least 15-25% faster than before. Scary fast at times, at least in comparison.

Was that entirely due to disabling the Steam Overlay, or a combination of both that and the 4.01 patch? I don't know, I'm not a scientific person when it comes to PC gaming performance, but more of a if-it-feels-good-do-it-type-player. Just my experience for what it's worth for those playing or thinking about playing.

The 4.01 patch did not address the memory leak issue, as that still exists, though it does seem to be less frequent. It wasn't even acknowledged in the patch notes.

On a lighter, and humorous note (humorous to me at least) was this recent PCG article:
The Witcher 3's next-gen update has added detailed vaginas to female monsters, apparently by mistake? | PC Gamer
I don't normally look at female monster's private areas, but I may be more observant in the future. Screenshots forthcoming (just kidding moderators).
After the little supper with Keira, I walked to the shore where I could see Fyke Tower.
I'm wondering if the water got any better?
Oi' Mate! I finally got a shot in that area, though the time of day and lighting is different, yours appears to be AM while mine is PM.

I think the water looks pretty good in the game, very clear in some places, especially near the shoreline where you can see the bottom, and also how it deals with reflections, which I think is at least partially due to Ray Tracing. Same area in a boat:

And just a few more random screenshots from the past few days:

Crookback Bog, sunset

Incoming Harpies

A little less tongue please! (Grave Hag in a crypt)
I've gotten six small updates in the past 10 days, small as in 70-80 KB size, so I think 3D Projekt must be gradually tweaking W3, maybe as a prelude to a larger performance patch (?). There are no patch notes, no information on the Steam forums (nothing new there), and I haven't noticed any difference while playing the game. My only major technical issue is still that annoying memory leak (or what I assume is a memory leak), where the game will just gradually slow down to the point of being unplayable, and only exiting/restarting cures it.

I ran into my first new side quest that was added by the Next-Gen update (there are a few of those), but I won't name the quest or give any specific details to avoid spoilers. It's an underground area from the original version that's been expanded. It's very dark, with good exploration, and finding the right path can be difficult, but I like that feature. It has a good story with many clues around if you explore everywhere. That's the good part.

The bad part is the final boss battle for that quest. Without giving anything away (I hope), you search for, and find, a certain individual who's been possessed. Whatever your conversation choices are, you end up fighting that person, and are only able to defeat it by using a combination of signs (spells for you non-witchers). It's a tough battle, for me at least, and I was down to about 25% health when it was over.

But it wasn't over. The spirit (whose name I won't mention) then exits the body and attacks with both devastating melee and ranged attacks, teleporting around the area, and resurrecting dead bodies in the area to help; and they're no pushovers as they take a good 6 hits to defeat. Big boss to mega boss + minions, and me at 25% health. Even though my level was the same as the quest level, I felt the difficulty was way beyond acceptable levels, at least for me. I tried about 8 times, but finally had to reload an earlier save and go in another direction. I'll go back to this quest when I'm a higher level, but I found that battle frustrating.

A few recent screenshots from the past couple weeks:

Dear Sir or Madam: We regret to inform you that your dental insurance policy has been canceled (Nightwraith):

Noonwraith (there's a lot of tongue action in this game):):

I can't remember what this monster is, just that it took me 4 tries to defeat:



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I think I remember that noonwraith quest!

Here's an effect to watch for:

I think that's actually from the Blood & Wine DLC, but the problem could be everywhere. The new moon in the mist has a reflection in the water that is brighter than the moon itself! I guess the reflection is set for 'full moon' and never changes in the old version.