If you thought the Witcher 3 was lacking mod support, you’re wrong. While the mods that have been released thus far don’t reach anywhere near the scope of certain Skyrim mods (For example, we haven’t seen a Faalskar-sized mod for the game yet), they do improve several other aspects of the game. The Witcher 3 modding community is actually pretty darn talented, and quite active to boot!
As you probably know, mods can really enhance your playing experience, no matter what game you’re playing. Even little things like texture overhauls in Skyrim can make the 5-year-old game worth going back to. The Witcher 3’s mods are no different. While there are hundreds of Witcher 3 mods available, I’ll be focusing on what I believe to be the top 10 best Witcher 3 mods – the mods that I consider absolutely essential for current and future playthroughs. Please bear in mind, though, that some of these mods may impact performance negatively on lower-end systems!
Regardless, if you’re reading this article, you probably already know what mods are, and what they typically add to the game. You don’t need me to tell you that.
So, without further ado, let’s jump right into the list!
#1 – Realistic Weather
Witcher 3 already has pretty decent weather effects – the wind howls through the trees, causing them to sway and crack violently. Rain coats the landscape, and ambient fog and other effects serve to make the game feel pretty darn realistic.
But there’s always room for improvement – and the modder who created the fantastic “Realistic Weather” mod understands that fully.
Light shafts become less noticeable in poor weather (As you’d expect), more snowy weather has been added to the Skellige Isles, more foggy weather has been added to various regions in the game and violent storms will now block out the sun, making the landscape much darker.
#2 – E3 Dodge System
There’s a certain obsession (Among the Witcher 3 community) with the early E3 footage of the game – and for good reason. The graphics, textures, and animations were all pretty darn impressive, and it’s clear that things were toned down a bit for the final release.
Though plenty of graphical mods exist that seek to emulate the E3 footage from a visual perspective, the E3 dodge system seeks to bring the game’s pirouette and dodging system closer to what you see in the E3 footage.
It’s hard to describe exactly, but it just feels better and more witcher-like. Geralt’s dodges are faster and smoother, and his rolls are converted to pirouettes. It takes a few minutes to get used to, but once you do, combat becomes a lot more fun.
#3 – Better Than Icons
There really isn’t much to say about this mod. It’s a simple quality of life mod that makes accessing your potions, decoctions and blade oils much more efficient. All this mod does is add some simple color-coded labels to each potion icon that tells you what they are!
Since many potions and oils have similar colors, this mod goes a long way towards making them more distinguishable in a pinch – after all, who wants to dig around through 15 different blade oils in the middle of a fight with a pack of drowners?
#4 – Always Full XP
This is another simple mod, but one I consider to be absolutely essential for any playthrough. Ever feel like there’s just too many quests to do, and that you always end up having to prioritize the ones that are closer to your level to avoid getting gimped XP rewards?
Well, you aren’t alone. The vanilla XP system can be a bit frustrating at times – the intent behind lowering your XP multiplier for quests that are far below your level is to prevent you from getting boatloads of XP whilst 1-shotting enemies.
This makes sense, but when you consider the fact that there’s now an option to upscale enemies no matter what your level is, the system just seems a bit redundant now. This mod comes in a few different variants, but the basic version just gives you 100% of the XP for every quest, no matter how over or underlevelled you might be. It’s up to you whether or not you turn on enemy upscaling, but if you do, this mod essentially allows you to complete any quest at any time, and still have an appropriate level of challenge. Not bad!
#5 – The Aard
If you felt that the vanilla Aard sign was a bit underwhelming compared to the E3 footage (Or just underwhelming in general), have no fear. This lightweight visual mod vastly improves the graphical effects of the Aard, improving the distortion and making it feel more like telekinetic energy rolling across the ground.
This is another tough mod to adequately describe, so just check it out for yourself!
#6 – Witcher 3 HD Reworked Project
The Witcher 3 is a pretty game. We all know this. The animations and graphics are fantastic, and really show what studios with small budgets are capable of – when they put their minds to something.
But, as with the weather mod above, there’s always room for improvement – particularly in the textures. the Witcher 3 HD Reworked Project seeks to improve a ton of textures in the game, making them higher-resolution and more realistic overall.
Think of this mod as the Witcher 3’s version of Skyrim’s Static Mesh Improvement Mod.
#7 – Immersive Cam
At its core, Immersive Cam is a mod that allows you to tweak the Witcher 3’s camera to suit your needs. You can adjust it very precisely, shifting it to the left or right, widening or tightening the FOV, and even zooming in and zooming out. You save these settings as presets for various situations in game, and they will automatically switch to the appropriate preset.
If that all sounded a little confusing, let me elaborate. Let’s say you want different camera angles and FOVs for combat, exploration, horseback riding, and maybe even an extra one when casting something like the Igni sign’s alternate form.
You set a preset for each of those, and the game will switch the camera whenever they happen! It’s really quite a smart, functional system. The mod also comes with several presets already built-in, such as an E3-inspired camera preset, etc.
This mod also has a few other awesome features, like player headtracking (Geralt will turn his head to look at NPCs and objects in passing) and a toned-down Witcher Senses zoom, giving you a wider angle (Vanilla witcher senses always made me want to vomit).
#8 – Lore-Friendly Witchers
This mod is a texture rework for Geralt’s face and eyes, seeking to make them more lore-friendly and in line with how the books describe Geralt.
As a result, I think it’s a little more appropriate to call this mod Lore-Friendly Geralt, since he’s really the only Witcher who was described as being exceptionally pale (Due to the extra mutations he underwent). Check out the picture above for an example.
#9 – Glowing Witcher Eyes
This one actually works in tandem with the last mod, but they can work independently. It simply makes Geralt (And the other Witchers) have glowing pupils, which is most noticeable in the dark (Of course). You can choose from a few different brightnesses in the mod files, but I just go with extra bright out of personal preference.
While Witcher’s eyes don’t necessarily glow in the dark in terms of the lore of the books and games, this mod makes them look pretty badass – and serves to make them feel more cat or mutant-like.
#10 – Wiedzmin Lighting Mod
The Wiedzmin Lighting Mod is one of the best lighting overhauls available for the Witcher 3 right now. It adjusts everything from the bloom in the Skellige isles (Significantly toning it down to make it feel a bit more somber and wild) to the lighting effects in the swamps, making the latter in particular feel far closer to the E3 demos.
Check out the screenshot above to see the mod in action, or visit the mod’s Nexus Page for yourself!
There’s plenty of excellent mods out there for the Witcher 3, but these are my top 10 favorites! I hope this list has helped you get back into the game.
What are YOUR favorite mods? Let me know in the comments!