Graphics and camera changes
Photo mode, reworked textures, HUD tweaks and more.
Unhappy with the camera placement while you're running, fighting, riding, or swimming? Absolute Camera doesn't just change the camera distance and angle but gives you over a dozen completely customizable options for camera placement during Geralt's many activities. In the video above you can get a look at just how flexible the new camera tools are.
If you're looking for a better weather experience in Novigrad and environs, then be sure to pick up this relatively recent mod. It places a heavy emphasis on fog, but it also brings other treats such as more snow in Skellige and better light rain animations. If you think it overdoes it, the description page has a list of settings you can freely change with console commands.
Want to take some awesome screenshots of Geralt in action? This mod provides a toggle button that lets you freeze the game at will, then fly your camera around in 3D space to line up the perfect picture. There's also a toggle for making yourself invisible (good for landscape shots), and an option to spawn fog and mist to make your shots more atmospheric. Requires the Debug Console Enabler.
HD Reworked (Updated to 10.0)
This graphical overhaul mod hit a major milestone, version 10.0 in July 2019 (Only a year after the 5.1 update we previously had entered here). The latest update, according to the modder's changelogs "reworked almost everything." The video above gives some great transition examples so you can see the difference yourself.
If you looking for better, crisper, more detailed models and textures, feast your cat-like peepers on this mod. Rocks, trees, crates, roofs, walls, waterfalls, furs, and floors have all been overhauled with increased resolutions and brightness. If your rig is chugging already, you probably don’t want to add this mod’s extra workload. You should be OK as long as you’ve got a GTX970 or higher, though.
Looking for a more lush and colorful look? The Fantasy Graphics mod removes some of the bluish tint from the game and makes some tweaks to the lighting to provide more of a high fantasy look.
No Dirty Lenses
The Northern Kingdoms, especially Velen and Novigrad, are filthy places full of muck, but you can’t do any decent photography with a dirty lens! Wipe them on your pants to get them clean, just like the pros do. No Dirty Lenses removes the old water spots and dirt effects from the in-game camera, but you’ll still get water on the screen from splashing through a river or looking up at the rain.
The Witcher 3 is good. Great, even. But what if it was more like a Tarantino film? More Blood adds bucketloads of blood and blood trails. Geralt gets covered in blood, blood sprays off of swords, demons spray out black blood, it’s a bloody blood good blood time.
Increased Draw Distance
If your rig has the horsepower to spare, consider using this mod to ramp up the draw distance. The wide open world of the Witcher is huge, after all, but it’s even better if you can see miles of it at once. This mod comes with a whole range of options from a little boost to a huge, miles-long vista view. Fair warning that you’ll probably see your performance drop if you turn on Ultra mode in Novigrad—unless your computer is beefy enough, that is.
Filing once again to the department of “If your rig can handle it,” More Shadows adds dynamic shadows to many in-game light sources. Torches on walls will cast their own shadow over the sconce below them, and large braziers in cities will throw all kinds of harsh angles across cobbled streets. Patrolling guards carrying torches will also cast shadows, but this can be a little wonky. If you run into problems, there’s an alternate version that removes shadows from guards’ torches.
Vampires Have No Shadows
Just like the More Shadows mod, except exactly not like that. The opposite, in fact. Most NPC vampires, being the unnatural creatures that they are, cast no shadows even though they walk in the sun! Chilling.
This graphical mod does the inevitable: turns Geralt of Rivia into Henry Cavill as he appears in the Netflix Witcher series. Check out the mod's page for a list of other Witcher 3 mods to turn Geralt into the biggest, TV-ready version of himself possible. As of posting, the Henry Cavill mod is still very new, but the author has plans to continue adding additional Cavill versions of Geralt in the future.
Make massive changes to The Witcher 3's combat, alchemy, and other systems.
The Enhancement System
Need a few more weapons and armor options? This mod makes NPC weapons, like Imlerith's giant mace and several others, available to Geralt either through merchants or by crafting. New schematics in shops will allow for even more weapon options, and upgrades are available for relics as well.
Be careful: this one makes a lot of changes, so it's a bit of a doozy to install.
The Witcher 3 Enhanced Edition
We've written about this one in more detail: it’s a complete reimagining of The Witcher's combat systems. The biggest change is that it removes autotargeting. Instead of twirling around between enemies like a demented pinball with a sword, Geralt’s acrobatic attacks just go wherever you point him. This means you can charge and flip behind an enemy or around an enemy’s shield.
It’s a big change, but it doesn’t even begin to describe how much stuff TW3EE changes. There are new animations, new ways to parry, and different ways to charge over distances. Every attack has a chance to cause an injury, so you might need to finish a fight with a crippled arm or a broken leg. The changes are so big that they bleed over into leveling, alchemy, signs, and items.
If you’ve played through New Game+ a few times and you’ve just seen and done everything The Witcher 3 has to offer, then the enhanced edition might be your new excuse for reinstalling. It’s best to use a clean, un-modded install for this one, then gently add in other mods one at a time.
Ghost Mode is no less ambitious than the Enhanced Edition, but it uses a scalpel instead of a sledgehammer. It doesn’t throw out the vanilla game, but it polishes all those little things that weren’t quite right. You can’t find rare dimeritium plate on a poor peasant’s bookshelf, all ingredients weigh something (but you’ll need less of them for alchemy), non-Witcher gear sets are more useful and powerful, descriptions and typos have been cleaned up, enemies have new armor bonuses and limited stamina pools, and on and on and on.
If you think The Witcher 3 is busted and needs a total overhaul from the roots, head to the Enhanced Edition. If you think it needs a solid two years’ worth of careful balancing and polish from a talented QA team, then Ghost Mode will be more your speed.
Again, use a clean, un-modded install for this one before you start to tinker with other mods.