Looking to get the right Witcher 3 ending for you? It's been a fair few years now since Blood and Wine launched, and we bade farewell to the monster-slaying RPG, but as ever, Geralt is still on our minds with the release of a new saga and The Witcher 4 somewhere on the horizon.
Perhaps The Witcher TV show has got you itching for a read-through of The Witcher books (opens in new tab), or a new playthrough of Wild Hunt with a different conclusion? There are 36 variations that all centre around the fate of Ciri, so if you want a specific Witcher 3 ending, you have to start laying the groundwork relatively early in the game.
As it's been years by now, we won't blame you for not remembering which seemingly-minor details and decisions each Witcher 3 ending hinge on, but if you want to try for a specific one, this list should give you the details you need. There are also variable endings for Blood and Wine, so you can give Geralt his happiest retirement.
Between the power struggles, love triangles, and wandering non-humans that fill The Continent, there are 36 possible Witcher 3 endings. The most important factor—the fate of Geralt’s companion, Ciri—affects only three of the game’s major conclusions, however. To determine what happens to her, you’ll have a number of key decisions to make throughout the game’s second and third acts. But be warned, from here there are major story spoilers for The Witcher 3 throughout.
The Witcher 3 main story endings
To trigger the ‘best’ ending, Geralt has to help Ciri prepare for her battle. To do that, he needs to trigger three ‘positive’ choices:
- After the Battle of Kaer Morhen, telling Ciri that you “know what might lift your spirits,” will trigger a snowball fight, cheering her up after her disagreement with Avallac’h.
- When Ciri wakes Geralt up to hunt for Imlerith, taking her straight to Velen skips the scene with Emhyr, and counts as a positive choice.
- In the meeting with Phillippa, sending her alone encourages the Lodge to take Ciri seriously.
- Letting Ciri trash Avallac’h’s lab offers her a way to channel her pent-up aggression.
- Visiting Skjall’s grave with Ciri boosts her confidence in the confrontation with the villagers.
Picking at least three of these choices sees Ciri return to The Continent after defeating the White Frost. At the end of the game, Geralt meets her in a tavern and presents her with a specially-crafted sword. The two then spend some time journeying together on the Path as witchers.
In what’s widely considered the game’s worst ending, Ciri dies during her climactic battle with the all-consuming White Frost. For this to happen you need to trigger at least three of the following five ‘negative’ choices that undermine Ciri as she prepares to face her destiny:
- Immediately after the Battle of Kaer Morhen, telling Ciri that “you don’t have to be good at everything” invites her into the castle for a drink, but fails to improve her mood.
- When Ciri informs you of Imlerith’s whereabouts, if you encourage her to visit her father, Emperor Emhyr, and then accept his reward for finding her, she will be visibly upset.
- When Ciri goes to visit The Lodge of Sorceresses, accompanying her to the meeting with Phillippa Eilhart knocks her confidence.
- In the scene in Avallac’h’s lab, telling Ciri to “calm down” frustrates her.
- When Ciri asks Geralt to visit Skjall’s grave with her, telling her that there’s “no time” causes her to storm off.
Making three or more of these choices reduces Ciri's faith in herself as she prepares to face the White Frost. She never returns to The Continent, and the credits roll as Geralt mourns over Ciri’s Witcher medallion in Velen.
If Ciri survives her battle after visiting Emhyr—and you helped Nilfgaard win the war—her father convinces her that in order to truly be a force for good in the world, she must return home to rule. In a bittersweet ending, Ciri is escorted back to the Emperor. You’ll still need to have chosen at least three positive outcomes to unlock this ending, but bringing Ciri to Emhyr is the only choice that differentiates this from the 'best' ending.
The Witcher 3 Blood and Wine endings
Of course, if you own the second expansion, the events above are not where Geralt’s story ends. Blood and Wine also features three main endings which concern the fate of its central characters: Duchess Anna Henrietta, her estranged sister Syanna, and vampire Detlaff.
Blood(bath) and wine
In Blood and Wine’s 'worst' ending everybody dies. During the Night of the Long Fangs quest, if you choose to seek the unseen vampire, you’ll be forced to kill Detlaff. Later on, when Syanna and Anna Henrietta meet in the palace grounds, you’ll have no way of stopping her from stabbing her sister, after which she is shot by Damien, the captain of the guard.
If you choose to find Syanna (with the help of either Damien or Orianna), you’ll have the option to enter a magical Fairy Tale world, the Land of a Thousand Fables. There a pigtailed girl offers you multiple ways to acquire a ribbon. Take it to protect Syanna from Detlaff during the Tesham Mutna quest, which also forces you to kill the vampire with Regis’ help. If you don't investigate Syanna further, you won’t have the forewarning that helps you dissuade Syanna from killing Anna Henrietta. If you investigate but fail to convince Syanna of her sister’s innocence, she stabs Anna Henrietta anyway.
A Fine Vintage
There’s no way to keep everyone alive in Blood and Wine, but if you want the expansion’s ‘best’ ending you must kill Detlaff and save the sisters. To achieve this, seek out Syanna during the Night of the Long Fangs, enter the Fairy Tale world, take the ribbon, and defeat Detlaff. You’ll need to have done all of the following in order to convince Syanna to spare Anna Henrietta:
- Before entering the Fairy Tale world, read all the governess’ five journal entries in the palace nursery.
- In the Fairy Tale world, tell Syanna you’ve come to free her and listen to all of her subsequent optional dialogue choices. Acquire the ribbon from the pigtailed girl, and allow Syanna to tell you why she was cast out from the Duchy.
- After leaving the Fairy Tale world, continue to investigate Syanna by returning to the bootblack. He’ll point you in the direction of the beggars paid to inform Detlaff of the names of his victims, from whom you should confiscate the letter.
- After learning that Anna Henrietta was to be Syanna’s last victim, confront her in the palace and tell her that you understand that her sister “turned her back on you.” Then, ask if she’d “ever thought to forgive her,” and tell her the wrongs Anna Henrietta did her took place when “she was a child.”
If you do this in the correct order, the Duchess forgives her sister at her trial, the pair embrace, and everyone lives happily ever after.
The third Witcher 3 Blood and Wine ending is the clumsiest, as it involves Syanna dying before she makes it to trial. If you seek her during the Night of the Long Fangs, but choose not to take the ribbon in the Fairy Tale world, Detlaff kills her at Tesham Mutna. Then you can choose to kill Detlaff or let him escape, but the Duchess won’t be too impressed either way. Geralt is thrown in jail for letting Syanna die, relying on Dandelion to free him.
Whatever happens, Blood and Wine concludes with Geralt retiring to his vineyard. As he arrives, he’s informed of the arrival of a mysterious visitor. Their identity is based upon your choices in the main game; if you chose the correct romance option, Triss joins you, while if you’re wrong, it’ll be Yennefer [you're on thin ice, Jones — Ed]. If you chose neither, Ciri arrives in either her guise as a witcher or heir to Nilfgaard. But if your Ciri ending was that she lost her battle against the White Frost, Dandelion visits in her place.
The final state of The Continent rests on many more choices made throughout the The Witcher 3. Geralt holds sway over the result of the war with Nilfgaard (and the fate of its emperor), the Skelligan succession, and the destinies of multiple minor characters (and often their family and friends). But despite all those intertwining narratives, it’s Ciri’s importance to Geralt and the wider world of The Witcher that shapes each major ending. Pay attention to her and everything else falls into place.