New hotfix for The Witcher 3 next-gen update 'should improve overall stability and performance'

The Witcher 3 next-gen update
(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)
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A hotfix has just been released to try and soothe performance issues (opens in new tab) PC players were facing when playing The Witcher 3's next-gen update (opens in new tab). The update should reportedly "improve the overall stability and performance of the game" and is live now.

If you are hoping to relive your witching days and start a new game+ in The Witcher 3, you should install the latest patch before you do. It's around 3GB in size on Steam, though it's compressed down a little smaller on GOG at 1.9GB. A pretty big hotfix, but we'll take it, and it also is intended to fix GOG and Steam overlays in-game.

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The Witcher 3's next-gen update released just last week, and I, like many of you, did not need any more reason to boot the game up for another lengthy playthrough. The new update brings with it gorgeous improvements to the look of the game, including new Ultra+ textures and quality settings and ray-traced effects. 

It all sounds fantastic, though unfortunately the launch wasn't entirely smooth sailing. When I went to boot the game on AMD's latest RX 7900 XTX, I ran into dreadful performance issues. Stuttering was particularly bad, as was random crashes back to desktop, and that's even with ray tracing and the graphics preset lowered to a more moderate setting. I was beginning to think that AMD's new high-end GPU wasn't everything it was cracked up to be.

But alas, it wasn't entirely my GPU's fault. I swapped a few GPUs into my machine here and ran into similar issues, though notably not quite as bad. It just seems that The Witcher 3's next-gen update doesn't play too nicely with heaps of PCs—the DirectX 12 version of the game, the version with all the fancy new RT effects, seemingly the worst offender.

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(Image credit: Future)

Best gaming monitor (opens in new tab): Pixel-perfect panels for your PC
Best high refresh rate monitor (opens in new tab): Screaming quick screens
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Best 4K TV for gaming (opens in new tab): Big-screen 4K PC gaming

The DirectX 11 version of the game fared a little better, though if you've been waiting for a big visual upgrade to play it's not great having to turn off half the big new graphical changes just to play the game with something resembling a frame rate. 

But perhaps this hotfix can help somewhat, though initial reports seem a bit patchy. Users are reporting the new hotfix patch works in some instances over on Reddit (opens in new tab), though others haven't had as much luck. Same goes for the replies to The Witcher account on Twitter (opens in new tab). We're going to have to keep an eye out on this one to see what the overall verdict is, but in the meantime it's worth a go if you've been starved of ray-traced Geralt all weekend.

There's unlikely to be a single panacea for performance in The Witcher 3's big visual update right after launch, as the dev team note when they say they are "working on further improving the experience on all platforms."

Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog from his hometown in Wales in 2017. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, where he would later win command of the kit cupboard as hardware editor. Nowadays, as senior hardware editor at PC Gamer, he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industry. When he's not writing about GPUs and CPUs, however, you'll find him trying to get as far away from the modern world as possible by wild camping.