The Witcher 3 Optimization Guide for FPS and Performance

In this guide for The Witcher 3, we will be showing some Optimization tips to boost FPS. These Optimization tweaks will hopefully help you in boosting Framerates and performance for the overall game.

With the release of the Netflix series, The Witcher 3 has more players than ever before, and is one of the best games of the last few years. In this The Witcher 3 PC Optimization Guide, we are going to show you how to make the game perform better.

The Witcher 3 Optimization and Performance Guide for FPS

The Witcher 3 Optimization Guide and Tweaks

There are a lot of settings you can change in The Witcher 3 to get better performance. You can play around with different settings to get the best performance. Some of the optimization options are as follows:

  • NVIDIA HairWorks
  • NVIDIA HBAO+ Ambient Occlusion
  • Anti-Aliasing
  • Bloom
  • Blur & Motion Blur
  • Chromatic Aberration
  • Depth of Field
  • Detail Level
  • Foliage Visibility Range
  • Grass Density
  • Light Shafts
  • Number of Background Characters
  • PhysX
  • Shadow Quality
  • Sharpen
  • Terrain Quality
  • Texture Quality
  • Vignette
  • Water Quality

Let us go over each of these settings so that the optimization for the game becomes easier for you.

Optimization for Nvidia Hairworks

This feature improves the appearance of hair and fur in The Witcher 3, along with other games. This is a feature only available on the PC. The visual quality of the hair and fur can be improved by adding tessellated hair strands to the character.

The performance of the game can be degraded by that. This setting can be turned off in order to get higher levels of play in the game. If this setting is turned off, you can get an additional 15-20 FPS

Nvidia HBAO+ Ambient Occlusion Optimization

The setting adds contact shadows. Adding shadows blocks light from reaching another game element. The accuracy of shadows is affected by the setting. The performance hit for this setting is around 4 frames.

Anti-Aliasing Optimization

This setting creates a softer looking image. It looks like a picture is being captured instead of a real-time image in The Witcher 3. Increasing this setting will cost you 5-10 FPS depending on the pre-set that you go with.

Bloom Optimization

This setting makes the quality of light more even throughout Witcher 3. With this effect off, the lighting optimization in some areas can look very bright while other areas are dark.

This can cause hard shadows or an uncomfortable or unpleasant brightness. The cost to performance is pretty low and you should keep this setting on.

Blur & Motion Blur Optimization

Blur and Motion Blur creates screen noise also called distortion. These three settings create three different levels of simulation. Turning on Blur will give you a slight performance hit, but it’s not accurate enough to use for recording purposes. You can keep this setting on if you want an additional layer of real feel to Witcher 3.

Chromatic Aberration Settings and Tweaks

you can turn this off if you want. This makes sure that you have a clear image quality. This setting has a very minute impact on performance and you can expect 1FPS plus or minus. This one is up to personal preference.

Depth of Field Optimization

A subtle out of focus look can be added to this setting. This can help hide the low-quality elements of the game. This is for people that would like to play The Witcher 3 at a high definition setting. The performance hit is less than 2 frames per second.

Optimization for Detail Level 

What the name implies is the detail level. The number of elements can be seen on the screen at any one time. If you have a decent graphics card you should be fine if your hardware lags behind.

Foliage Visibility Range Settings

This is a very important setting. When you are playing in an urban area with lots of buildings and concrete and asphalt then this setting should be set as high as possible without causing stuttering or video lagging.

However, when you are in the woods or on a farm or in a more natural setting then you should adjust this setting as low as possible without causing a big performance hit.

Grass Density Optimization

If you have a powerful enough PC, you can raise this setting, which will increase your FPS, but at the cost of more grass being visible. So decide if you really need or want to mess with this setting for best performance.

Light Shafts Settings

Also known as God Rays, these are the beams of light that shoot out from objects in the foliage. This setting has a very slight negative impact on FPS, and you can turn it off if you have a decent graphics card.

Sharpen Optimization

It sharpens the image slightly, but unnaturally. That’s why you may see people using this optimization setting it all the time even though it can cause a small performance hit. Don’t worry about that though, just keep in mind that if you do use it, it’s going to look a little off.

Texture Quality

The texture quality for characters and the environment around you is controlled by this setting.

You can raise the setting up to ultra if you want. Unless you have a lot of VRAM, you should keep this setting at high because most people will not notice the improvement in quality when moving from high to ultra.

It’s possible to get a couple of additional frames by turning this setting down.

Water Quality

No matter what the situation is, the difference between rivers and ponds is almost indiscernible. You can set this to “High” with water simulation as the impact on performance is little.

Other Optimization Settings for The Witcher 3

Do the above settings and Close The Witcher 3. Go to C:\Users\USERNAME\Documents\The Witcher 3.

  • Backup user.settings.
  • Open user.settings with a text editor
  • Edit one or more of the values described below.

Save your modified file, and in Windows Explorer right-click on it, selecting Properties. Click “Read-only”, and finally, “Apply”. This will stop The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt from overriding your changes, allowing you to enjoy the optimized visuals.

Detail Level Tweaks and Optimizations

In-game, the only thing you can do to adjust the detail level is to change the settings for the decals. You can make the other items, such as the number of coins to collect or the life of a powerup, more or less visible.

DecalsHideDistance= [Ultra value: 80]
DynamicDecalsHideDistance= [Default value: 20]
DimmerHideDistance= [Default value: 60]
StripeHideDistance= [Default value: 60]
SwarmHideDistance= [Default value: 200]

Dynamic Decals are the animated pools of blood that come out of slain monsters, but the other options we can only guess at given the limited time available to us.

There is a section in the config file where you can increase the chance of decals spawning and allow enemies to emit blood spatter if you hit them with a sword.

DecalsSpawnDistanceCutoff= [Default value: 10]
DecalsChance= [Default value: 1]

It is possible to increase the number of decals in large battles with the use of the cvMaxAllowedDecalsDynamic and cvMaxAllowedDecalsSS values under the budget. Battles and decals spawning are difficult to replicate, so we can’t say for certain.

That is all we are sharing in this Witchers 3 Optimizations guide. This is mostly applicable for PC but you can use these tips for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt also for Mobile Devices. Leave your comments if you found this helpful.

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