The Witcher

The Witcher: Enhanced Edition – Revised Modding Guide

I published a modding guide here some time ago, and I've received good feedback from almost everyone who played the game with it. Back then I promised a TW2 guide, too, but it didn't materialize because real life happened. After the disappointment of CP2077 I thought it was a good time to have another playthrough of The Witcher games. I'll be posting updated modding guide for all three games. If you want to have a look at my original guide – here it is. On a gameplay level it's identical to this one, but the new one has significantly enhanced visuals. Now for the revised one:


THE WITCHER – IN-DEPTH MODDING GUIDE

This modding guide is written for The Witcher: Enhanced Edition Director's Cut version 1.5 (A) from GOG. It should be compatible with all 1.5 versions of the game, regardless of the platform you're using.The aim for this guide is to give the player a better experience by fixing vanilla bugs, improving the visuals and tweaking the gameplay. The improvements are lore-friendly and respectful to CDPR's original vision of the game and the rich world Sapkowski created. All the changes are made to provide the most stable and bug-free experience possible, and from my tests the modded game is more stable than the unmodded one on modern systems. This guide supports only the main story.


< INITIAL SETUP >

After downloading the game, verify/repair the game files. Launch the game for the first time and go to Options. In Video Options set all graphic options to max. In Game options disable Autosave, Tutorials, Floating Info, Combat Feedback and Show Object Names. The reason to do all of this is to increase game stability and neither of those options are that important, anyway. The game runs on an ancient Bioware engine, so every bit helps. Autosave and the pop-up tutorial images are the biggest culprits here. To further increase game stability keep only 10 to 15 saves for the whole game and save frequently. The save files in this game are relatively huge and if you have a high number of them expect frequent crashes even on unmodded game. The disabled pop-up tutorials will appear in Geralt's journal, so you're not missing anything by disabling these features. Exit the game.

Now go to The Witcher Enhanced EditionSystem and create a desktop shortcut of the 'witcher.exe'. You'll start the game from here to improve the game's stability. By default, the game uses a launcher that can cause many problems. You should check in the shortcut's properties (right click) under the compatibility tab if it runs under Windows 7 compatibility mode with admin privileges. By default it should, if not, check both boxes there and click apply.

Even with all of this, you might experience a crash here or there. Some places include:

  • after a long cut scene
  • at the end / start of a chapter
  • inns, crypts and caves
  • at the plaza and market in Chapter 3
  • after fighting your first enemy in the prologue
  • during Oddo's quest in Chapter 1
  • in the crypt in Chapter 4
  • after the final cut scene in Chapter 2
  • there might be a bug after continuous play at the start of chapter 2. if you can't click on anything after the cut scene, simply exit the game and reload a previous save before the cut scene. the bug won't return.
  • loading multiple saves in quick succession

These issues were present 10 years ago and are still present today in the vanilla game. Nothing a quick load can't fix. On my last playthrough I had 7 crashes. Thankfully, game-breaking bugs are very, very rare. This modding guide has been tested by two people and both of them completed the game successfully with 6 and 14 crashes. Not bad for a 40+ hour playthrough.

NOTE: This is a very in-depth guide. It's required that you install the mods as I have listed them. All mods have a readme that instructs how to install them, but ignore it and follow my instructions as we're combining different, often conflicting mods. Some mods will have the tag OPTIONAL because you can skip them, but I recommend installing them. Also, I would like to advise you to read the installation paths carefully. There are two different 'Override' folders in the guide. It's very important for everything to work as it should. Don't rush it.


< MODDING >

  • < MANDATORY > – FPS Counter 3.4.0 – Extract to the System folder in the main game directory. Start the game and press F12. Enable the Ultra AA from the mod's options. Enable V-Sync from the options. Decrease the sharpness to 25. Additionally, you can enable 4X Transparency AA in the Nvidia Control Panel for even better results. Enabling V-Sync is vital to fix an annoying visual bug during conversations with npcs. You can tweak/disable anything you want similar to a reshade. It can be used purely as a .dll overloader. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/738

Additional Note: The GOG .exe is patched to be large address aware which means it can access up to 4gb ram on modern systems. I think steam is the same, but if you're unsure about your witcher.exe, look at FPS Counter's in-game options to see the status. It's important to patch it if the .exe isn't. You can do it with FPS Counter or use an external patcher like NTCore's 4gb Patch. The patched .exe improves the game stability significantly.

  • < MANDATORY > – Full Combat Rebalance 1.6a – Run the installer as an administrator. Select the main game directory. From the different options, choose ONLY: Easy difficulties pack; Ecosystem: fewer monsters in game; All armors have three quick slots; Nightvision without fisheye effect; Flaming sword icon on hard difficulty; No logo movies; Easier dice poker; Potions changing game difficulty; Cat pupils for all witchers; Item stacking up to 999; Werewolf fur in shop in Chapter 4. If you enable anything else, it will cause problems with other mods from the list. After installation boot the game up. Go into Options -> Controls and key bind the walk option at the top and the turn off/on gui option at the very bottom. Personally, I bind them to Left CTRL and HOME buttons respectfully. The reason not to choose any of the other options during installation is because it conflicts with various other mods. Definitely don't choose the high difficulty pack, unless you're a masochist. FCR has a bad reputation, but IMO it makes the game more engaging and eliminates some annoyances and questionable gameplay decisions the first game has. If you play on one of the lower difficulties, it actually makes the game a lot easier. Certain boss fights (like the one in CH1) are easier in FCR, while other enemies, especially monsters, are harder and need oil and potions preparation similar to the contracts in W3. There are implemented tutorials to familiarize you with the changes compared to the vanilla game. – https://www.moddb.com/mods/full-combat-rebalance1

  • < MANDATORY > – Scabbard Mod 1.04 – Run the installer as an administrator. Select the main game directory. Select 'The Witcher EE with FCR mod' option from the 'Select Components' tab during installation. This is mandatory for compatibility between those two mods. The sheating / unsheating animation might bug out from time to time, but for 95% of the time has no issues, so be warned if little things annoy you occasionally. This was an original feature implemented by CDPR, but was cut late in development. – https://www.moddb.com/mods/scabbard-mod/

  • < MANDATORY > – Rise of the White Wolf: Enhanced Edition 2.0 – Run the installer as an administrator. Select the main game directory. From the different options, choose ONLY: Interface – English (and other languages); FCR Compability; New dialogue fonts; Items icons; Character textures – FCR compability; "Trial of Herbs" soundtrack in the main menu. The installer has problems with some AVs. Just in case you should disable your virus protection until everything is installed. The files are 'safe' if you download it from the link I provided, so don't worry. The mod "modernizes" the user interface. It's not exactly my cup of tea, but many people prefer it. The texture work on the characters is good, and it makes changes that are both lore-friendly and in line with TW2 and TW3. RotWW adds a new dialogue font and UI icons. I had minor problems with the Nexus version of the most, so I don't recommend it. The moddb installer should be identical, but it didn't give me any problems, so with that in mind, I recommend the moddb one. – https://www.moddb.com/mods/the-rise-of-the-white-wolf-powrt-biaego-wilka

  • < MANDATORY > – Complete Sword Overhaul 1.0 – Download the main file and the 4 optional files. Extract the folder z_zSwords_DM somewhere on your pc. Now we'll extract the optional files and overwrite files in the main z_zSwords_DM folder. Do this in the EXACT order I describe. First the folder from the Scabbard mod compatibility patch. Overwrite the 24 files when asked. Then the folder from the FCR compatibility patch. Overwrite the 32 files when asked. Then the folder from the HD textures patch. Overwrite the 42 files when asked. And finally the folder from the RotWW-style icons patch. Overwrite the 86 files when asked. Now take the complete z_zSwords_DM folder and place it in The Witcher Enhanced EditionData folder. This mod improves the textures of every sword and scabbard in the game. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/719

  • < MANDATORY > – Dagger Overhaul 1.0 – Download the main file and the 3 optional files. Extract the folder z_zDaggers somewhere on your pc. Now similarly to the previous mod, we'll extract and overwrite the main mod folder with those from the optional files. Extract the files from the HD Textures patch and the RotWW-style icons patch and overwrite the main mod folder. You should overwrite 17 files: 10 for the HD Textures and 7 for the icons. Now take the complete z_zDaggers folder and place it in The Witcher Enhanced EditionData folder. This mod improves the textures of every dagger in the game. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/708

  • < MANDATORY > – AI Upscale Textures 1.5 – Download the 'AiO AI Textures with RotWW and The Witcher Overhaul Project by lexo1000' optional file. Extract the 2 folders and 1 .2da file somewhere on your pc. Open the 'RotWW' folder. We need only the 'Characters' folder. Move the 'Characters' folder to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataz_zrotww folder. Overwrite the 290+ files when prompted. Navigate to The Witcher Enhanced EditionData and create a New Folder named 'Override' without the quotation marks. Next, look at the 'AiOlexo1000' mod folder. Gasp after seeing 2000+ files inside. Select all of them and move them to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataOverride folder. Move the TexSettings.2da file to the same Override folder. This mod upscales the vanilla textures and is the best one to date to do so. The quality it brings to the table is unmatched so far. The .2da file is essential for it to work as it blocks texture scaling to lower resolution. In the optional file we downloaded, the mod includes upscaled versions of RotWW textures and original textures from The Witcher Overhaul project. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/808

  • < MANDATORY > – The Witcher Overhaul Project 3.3 – Download the main file and the Realistic Blood Effects optional file. Inside the archive of the main file you'll see two folders. 'The Witcher Texture Overhaul' doesn't interest us because its contents were included in the previous mod we installed. Inside 'The Witcher Sound Overhaul' there are 115 files. Select all of those files and extract them to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataOverride folder. Some of these files are major improvements over the ones in the vanilla game, others not so much since some of them are taken from other games. It's up to you if you want them. If you don't, skip this step. The reason this mod is mandatory is the optional file. Extract the attackeffects.2da file to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataOverride. Enjoy better blood effects in the game. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/703

  • < MANDATORY > – Kaer Morhen Witcher 3 HD Retexture (with unique textures) 1.1 – Extract the 19 .dds and 4 .mdb files to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataOverride folder. This mod retextures the Kaer Mohren prologue section entirely. It includes unique high quality textures. In vanilla game Kaer Mohren shares textures with certain buildings in Vizima, the mod fixes this, too. Good for continuity. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/892

  • < MANDATORY > – Missing Kalkstein and Leuvaarden Clues Fix 1.0 – Extract the .ncs file from the mod folder to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataOverride folder. This mod fixes a well-known bug. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/657

  • < MANDATORY > – Celina Wraith Fix 1.0 – Extract the 13 loose files to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataOverride folder. This mod fixes the inability to report a certain quest outcome in Ch. 4, resulting in Geralt always saying that he failed to resolve a certain problem. This mod adds some dialogue to the conversation. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/741

  • < MANDATORY > – Fair Kalkstein Mod 1.1 – Extract the 5 loose files to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataOverride folder. It's a little lore-friendly addition to the Kalkstein quest chain) – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/307

  • < MANDATORY > – Leuvaarden Buys Salamandra Badges 1.0 – Extract the 5 loose files to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataOverride folder. This mod provides a fix for Leuvaarden's inability to buy badges after your initial conversation. He buys them for 20 a pop now as per his statement in the beginning.) – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/659

  • < MANDATORY > – Quest Tweaks 1.0 – Extract the 7 files from Berengar's Secret folder, Contracts in Act V folder and Yamo Ryeboozer reward folder to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataOverride folder. Don't touch the rest. This mod provides a few different minor quest fixes. Some of them change CDPR's intentional decisions, so use only the ones I've listed for a balanced gameplay experience. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/774

  • < MANDATORY > – Plentiful Herbs 1.11 – Inside the mod archive there are 8 other archives. Extract them somewhere on your pc. In each of these 8 archives there are two two files. Extract those two files from every of the 8 archives to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataOverride folder. All in all you should've extracted 16 .ncs and .nss files. This mod adjust the drops for the most common herbs for a more balanced experience. It gives you more herbs compared to the original value because with FCR you must make many more potions compared to the vanilla game. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/31

  • < MANDATORY > – Han Gives Han NOT Berbercane 1.0 – Download the Plentiful Han main file. Extract the loose files to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataOverride folder. The mod fixes a bug in Chapter 4. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/32

  • < MANDATORY > – Reverend Beard Texture Fix 1.0 – Extract cr_pries2_g3.dds and cr_pries2_g3_n.dds to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataOverride folder. The mod fixes a texture bug. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/845

  • < OPTIONAL > – Toss a coin to your Witcher Cutscene Mod 2.2 – Extract the files to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataOverride folder. The mod adds a quick cutscene in which Dandelion sings the song from the tv series. You can trigger the scene at the inn in Chapter 3. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/816

  • < OPTIONAL > – Sex Takes Time Mod 1.1 – Extract the SexTakesTimeMod(updated) folder to the Data folder in the main game directory. Just move the whole folder there with all 119 files inside it. This is a lore-friendly time skip that triggers a different scene with some humorous dialogues after you collect a sex card. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/330

  • < OPTIONAL > – Hiuuz's Witcher 3 Vesemir for The Witcher 1.0 – Extract the 3 .dds files and 1 .mdb file to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataz_zrotwwCharactersWiedzmini. Overwrite when asked. The mod replaces Vesemir's face with the one from The Witcher 3. Good for continuity. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/868?

  • < OPTIONAL > – Vesemir HD Retexture 1.0 – Extract ONLY cr_vesem1_c1.dds and cr_vesem1_c1_n.dds to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataz_zrotwwCharactersWiedzmini. Overwrite when asked. The mod updates Vesemir's armor. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/846

  • < OPTIONAL > – Geralt Face and Leather Jacket Retextured 1.2 – Go to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataz_zrotww. Create a New Folder and name it 'Override' without the quotation marks. Extract the 10 .dds and 1 .mdb file from the RetexturedDataGeralt_retextured_mod from the mod folder. Don't extract anything else from the mod folder. This improves Geralt's armor textures. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/780

  • < OPTIONAL > – Hiuuz's Witcher 3 Geralt Face for The Witcher 1.1 – Extract the 3 .dds files to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataz_zrotwwOverride. Overwrite when asked. This mod replaces Geralt's default face with TW3's textures. Good for for continuity purposes. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/840

  • < OPTIONAL > – Orange Weapon Trail Fix 1.0 – Download the 'Orange Weapon Trail Fix' main file and 'Loading Bar Replacer', 'Pause Load Menu Replacer – Vanilla Variant' optional files. Extract the z_zrotww from each of these three archives to The Witcher Enhanced EditionData folder. Overwrite when asked every time. The mod brings back the orange sword trail from vanilla game, the old loading bar and vanilla load menu, changed for some odd reason by the RotWW mod team. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/734

  • < OPTIONAL > – Bigger Fonts for RoWW 0.5 – Extract the z_zrotww folder with all the loose files inside to The Witcher Enhanced EditionData. Overwrite the file when asked. This step is required only if you're playing at a higher resolution than 1080p or if you're using DSR (or similar) upscaling. For 4k use the optional file instead of the main one. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/714

  • < OPTIONAL > – Hiuuz's Witcher 3 Thaler for The Witcher – Extract the 4 .dds files to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataz_zrotwwCharactersTalar. Overwrite when asked. Upgrades Thaler's low-res textures and gives him his TW3 appearance. Good for for continuity purposes. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/873

  • < OPTIONAL > – Kalkstein HD Retexture 1.0 – Extract the 2 .dds files to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataz_zrotwwCharactersKalkstein. Overwrite when asked. Improved textures for Kalkstein – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/849

  • < OPTIONAL > – Ramsmeat HD Retexture 1.0 – Extract the 2 .dds files and 1 .mdb file to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataz_zrotwwOverride. The mod upgrades Ramsmeat's textures compared to vanilla and replaces the over-sharpened RotWW textures. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/850

  • < OPTIONAL > – Better Dice and Desaturated Board 1.0 – Extract the 3 .dds files to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataOverride folder. Does what it says. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/338

  • < OPTIONAL > – Hiuuz's Witcher 3 Triss Merigold for The Witcher 1.0 – Navigate to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataz_zrotwwCharactersTriss. Delete all 10 files there. Then extract the 6 .dds files from the mod to that folder. The mod ports Triss' TW3 face to the first game. Good for continuity. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/844

  • < OPTIONAL > – Lore Triss by DeMelodit 1.0 – Download Pack_0 main file. Extract the 4 files to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataz_zrotwwCharactersTriss. You can skip this step if you don't want Triss with her lore-friendly blue eyes. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/753

  • < OPTIONAL > – Hiuuz's Witcher 3 Shani for The Witcher 1.0 – Extract the 4 .dds files to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataOverride folder. Overwrite when asked. Gives Shani her TW3 face. Good for continuity. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/852

  • < OPTIONAL > – Hiuuz's Witcher 3 Zoltan Chivay for The Witcher 1.0 – Extract the 2 .dds files to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataz_zrotwwOverride folder. Gives Zoltan his TW2/TW3 face. Good for continuity. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/869

  • < OPTIONAL > – Hiuuz's Witcher 3 Eskel for The Witcher 1.0 – Go to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataz_zrotwwCharactersWiedzmini folder. Delete the 5 .dds files and 1 .mdb file that has 'eskel' in its name. Extract the 4 loose files from the mod to the same folder. Overwrite when/if asked. Gives Eskel his TW3 face. Good for continuity. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/863

  • < OPTIONAL > – Hiuuz's Witcher 3 Dandelion for The Witcher 1.0 – Extract the 2 .dds files to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataz_zrotwwOverride folder. Gives Dandelion his TW2/TW3 face. Good for continuity. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/860

  • < OPTIONAL > – Hiuuz's Witcher 3 Lambert for The Witcher 1.0 – Go to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataz_zrotwwCharactersWiedzmini folder. Delete all files with 'lambert' in their name. Extract the 4 loose files from the mod to the same folder. Overwrite when/if asked. Gives Lambert his TW3 face. Good for continuity. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/861

  • < OPTIONAL > – Hiuuz's Witcher 3 Radovid V for The Witcher – Extract ONLY cr_knigh3_g2.dds and cr_knigh3_g2_n.dds to The Witcher Enhanced EditionDataz_zrotwwOverride folder. Gives Radowid his TW2/TW3 face. Good for continuity. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/876

Read more:  Should I get Witcher for ps4 or switch

< TESTING >

The best way to test the overall stability is to load one save from Chapter 3 (Trade Quarter) and walk around for 5-10 minutes. Try walking in and out of some houses and see if it crashes. Even it it does, load again and try to replicate the crash, if it doesn't crash again you're good to go. Keep in mind that if you're using old saves for testing, they are more crash-friendly than any new game saves you'll have during a normal playthrough.

I've included some screenshots for you to see how the game looks in 4k with all the mods installed. You can find them here.

I completed The Witcher 3 modding guide and I'm doing some additional testing on The Witcher 2 one. Expect both of them in the upcoming weeks. Don't worry, their installation will be a piece of cake compared to this one. Happy Gaming!

P.S. Many thanks to Benny and Jacinda for their testing efforts!

Source: reddit.com

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