The Witcher 3 on Nintendo Switch comes with a lot of options that you can tweak — and many of them can have a significant effect on your gameplay experience. In this guide, we're going to run through what we think are the settings that you should at least consider checking out before you start a new game.
The Witcher 3 Gameplay Settings - 10 Options You Should Check Out Before Starting
1. Automatic Finishers
This option either enables or disables automatic finishing moves in combat. If it's enabled, Geralt will often kill human enemies in particularly bloody fashion, severing limbs or even cutting them in half. Brutal stuff.
Finishers can add a satisfying punch to combat, but if you're squeamish, you may want to disable them. It's also worth noting that Geralt will sometimes perform finishers in the middle of a fight — not just at the end of it. This can, on rare occasions, leave you open to attacks from other enemies.
2. Manual Sword Drawing / Sheathing
With this option enabled, Geralt won't draw his sword automatically as soon as combat starts. Instead, you'll need to either press left on the d-pad to draw his steel sword, or right on the d-pad to draw his silver sword. The same applies when sheathing.
But why would you want to do it manually? Well, for the most part, automatic sword drawing works fine — it's just that in some rare cases, Geralt will put his sword away like a fool if you happen to stray just a tiny bit too far from an enemy. In some even rarer cases, you can be fighting both an enemy that requires a steel sword and an enemy that requires a silver sword. This can result in Geralt drawing and sheathing his swords over and over again because he keeps targeting a different foe. Not ideal when you're trying to survive a tough battle!
Again, automatic drawing and sheathing works perfectly fine most of the time, but if you want more control, you should consider the manual setting.
3. Turn Off Witcher Senses "Fish-Eye" Effect
This option does what it says on the tin — it turns off the fish-eye visual effect that covers the screen when you hold down ZL to use Geralt's Witcher Senses.
Now, this is going to come down to personal preference, but we honestly think that turning the effect off is the way to go. The fish-eye effect doesn't look terrible, but it can be distracting, and can blur nearby scenery. With it disabled, the camera simply zooms in closer to Geralt's back. Other than the lack of the fish-eye effect, it works just the same.
4. Movement Response
The Movement Response option was actually patched into the game back on other platforms. It was CD Projekt Red's response to criticism regarding Geralt's movement. Some players felt that he had too much weight to him and that he wasn't responsive enough.
By default, this is set to "standard", which is the movement that the game originally shipped with. However, we think "alternative" is the better option overall. There's quite a clear difference in how responsive Geralt becomes when this is set to "alternative", allowing him to turn or change direction much more quickly while running or sprinting.
5. Enemy Upscaling
By default, Enemy Upscaling is set to off, as this is how the game is meant to be played — at least the first time around. When it's on, Enemy Upscaling boosts the levels of enemies so that they're stronger across the board. Essentially, this is an additional modifier that ups the difficulty of Geralt's adventure.
The one issue with Enemy Upscaling is that it can make some very specific enemies — which are meant to be quite easy to deal with — incredibly difficult to defeat. As such, Enemy Upscaling is kind of meant to be used for New Game Plus runs, when you've already levelled Geralt up considerably.
If you want a real challenge on your first run, maybe it's worth a shot — but be aware of potential roadblocks that may force you to temporarily turn it off.
6. Alternative Looks for Yennefer, Triss, Ciri, and Gwent Cards
Originally released as free DLC on other platforms, the alternate look options give Yennefer, Triss, and Ciri different outfits. Yennefer gets a stylish witch-like costume, Triss gets an elegant looking dress, and Ciri gets some cool adventurer gear. It's worth checking these costumes out once you've met each character and seen them in their default attire.
As for the additional Gwent card set, this setting just changes the character art on several key cards. Again, worth a look to see which art you like better.
7. Action Log
The Action Log setting can make The Witcher 3 feel a little more like a traditional, old school RPG. When it's enabled, it basically adds a list of your most recent actions to the left side of the screen. It keeps you up to date on stuff like enemy attacks, the damage that you're doing, and what you've looted. It can be handy if you want a stream of information, but it does make the screen even busier than it already is.
Worth considering if you want more in-depth information on the game's core RPG elements. In other words, the numbers.
8. NPC Chatter
This option enables or disables text that appears above the heads of non-playable characters. If you're walking through a village and a peasant mutters something, you'll see it pop up above them. It can be handy if you really want to see what random NPCs are nattering about, but all the text can really clutter the screen. If you want a more cinematic experience, we'd recommend turning this off.
9. Motion Blur
Whether you like Motion Blur or not is going to come down to personal preference. The best way to try it out is to enable it and then spin the camera around Geralt. See the blur that occurs all over the screen? That's Motion Blur. It can help mask frame rate drops when moving at speed, and it can look kind of cool, but it's an effect that makes some people feel queasy, and at times, it can appear distracting. Again, it's best to try flicking it on and off for yourself.
There's actually some debate on the internet over what the Blur setting in The Witcher 3 actually does, and that's because turning it off and on doesn't seem to make much of a difference. Some suggest that it adds a certain blurred effect to various attacks, like Geralt's Igni or Aard signs. Ultimately, this is another setting that you're going to have to play around with and see what you think.
Will you be tweaking any settings before you start up The Witcher 3 on Switch? Select on or off in the comments section below.
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The above guide is adapted from an existing guide on Push Square. You should check out that site's exhaustive library of Witcher 3 guides if you want even more info on this epic game: