User:Rootsrat/TheWitcher3 Return Of The White Wolf

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THIS GUIDE IS NO LONGER SUPPORTED
USE AT YOUR OWN RISK

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CURRENTLY SUPPORTED GAME VERSION:
1.22

REQUIRED EXPANSIONS:
Hearts of Stone
Blood and Wine

LATEST UPDATES:


  • 28/06/2016
    • MAJOR UPDATE. Full re-write of the guide.
    • Purge your game, start from scratch


FULL UPDATE LOG


Contents

Introduction

This guide's main aim is to make the game a better experience, improving all of the game aspects and focusing specifically on the following areas:

  • Graphics - improved textures and models
  • Realism and immersion - introducing mods that enhance the gaming experience
  • Challenge and balance - making the game more difficult and demanding, but still fun and entertaining
  • Lore - remaining friendly to The Witcher universe lore, including the previous games and the books

This last part is very important to me, so you can rest assured that if you follow this guide, you'll get The Witcher experience as close to the books as possible and the one that will be serious and realistic.

The guide is using step-by-step method to instruct users how to install the mods. It's listed from top down and it is advised to install the mods in that order to make sure that all directions are followed correctly and no steps are missed.

Without the support of STEP, this guide would not be possible. If you would like to make a donation, that would be awesome! Do so with Paypal.

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System requirements

The below is taken from The Witcher 3 Support website.

Please note that the game is both graphics- and processor-intensive and it’s the graphics card and the processor not meeting the minimum requirements that will often be responsible for performance problems with the game.

Minimum requirements:

OS: 64-bit Windows 7 or 64-bit Windows 8 (8.1). DirectX 11 is necessary to run the game.
Processor: Intel CPU Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz, AMD CPU Phenom II X4 940
Finding a Gaming CPUs performance chart and comparing one’s CPU with our minimum is suggested.
Graphics: Nvidia GPU GeForce GTX 660 or AMD GPU Radeon HD 7870
Please mind that we only officially support full-size desktop graphics cards. Finding a graphics card performance hierarchy chart online and comparing one’s video card with our minimum is suggested.
RAM: 6GB
Disk space: 40 GB

Recommended requirements:

OS: 64-bit Windows 7 or 64-bit Windows 8 (8.1). DirectX 11 is necessary to run the game.
Processor: Intel CPU Core i7 3770 3,4 GHz, AMD CPU AMD FX-8350 4 GHz
Graphics: Nvidia GPU GeForce GTX 770 or AMD GPU Radeon R9 290
RAM: 6GB
Disk space: 40 GB

The graphic settings can be adjusted to go BEYOND the in-game Ultra settings, which are already quite demanding. Please be aware of your hardware limitations when introducing graphical changes. I play on the following system, so if you have similar or better machine, you don't have to worry.

Windows 10
Intel Core i5 4590 @ 3.30 GHz	
Corsair Vengeance 8.00 GB @ 1600 MHz (9-9-9-24)
MSI Z87-G45 GAMING (MS-7821)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 ASUS Strix 


The Witcher 3 modding

I. Overview

Witcher 3 supports mods created with help of the official ModKit tool. It allows for easy access to the game files and also for modifying game scripts. The mods are installed into

\The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt\Mods

directory which needs to be manually created.

The Nexus Mod Manager application, which is being used as the mod manager of choice for this guide, allows for automated download, installation and management of the mods, which makes the whole process very easy.

Some of the mods that will be used in this guide were created before Mod Kit was released. Nexus Mod Manager does not support these older mods and they need to be installed manually. Detailed step by step installation instructions are provided for each mod.

A few points to note

  1. The Witcher and GOG Galaxy in general should not be installed in the Program Files or Program Files (x86) directory on your system drive.
  2. Make sure The Witcher 3 directory is clean from any other modding previously done. You can achieve that by deleting Mods folder and then verifying the game files using built-in GOG or Steam functionality.
  3. Delete the user.settings, input.settings and mods.settings files from your Documents\The Witcher 3 directory and then launch the game. Exit the game when main menu is displayed. This will allow for all the config files to revert back to default before starting.
  4. Remember to make a backup of every file that you modify. This will save you time reinstalling the game should things go south.


II. Pre-modding hardware and software configuration

Monitor Calibration

This is a crucial step in the process, please DON'T SKIP THIS STEP.

Correct monitor calibration will ensure your monitor has correctly calibrated colours, contrast, white/black balance etc. This is required for the weather mod and ReShade preset to work correctly. If you skip this step you may experience the game being too dark, too bright, washed out/exaggerated colours etc.

Navigate to Control Panel (Win8/10 users: right click Start menu and select Control Panel)
Select View by: Large Icons
Select Display
Select Calibrate Colour
Follow on screen instructions


nVidia Control Panel settings

For nVidia users only

Open nVidia Control Panel (you can access it from your PC Control Panel or - if you use GeForce Experience - from this application's icon in the tray). Follow these instructions:

Select "Manage 3D Settings" from the left hand side menu
Go to "Global Settings" tab
Expand DSR Factors setting and activate all multipliers
Leave DSR Smoothness at 33%

DSR allows for rendering a game at a higher, more detailed resolution and then downscaling the result back down to the resolution of your monitor, giving you ability to use much higher resolution if your PC is capable of running it.

The credit for the following settings goes to Neovalen and his Witcher 3 Revisited modding guide:

Open Nvidia Control Panel and navigate to the Mange 3D Settings page.
Click on the Program Settings tab.
In the top drop down box, select The Witcher 3 (witcher3.exe). If the option is not there, click on Add and select The Witcher 3.
In the window below, set the following:
Anisotropic filtering: 16x
Antialiasing - Gamma correction: Off
Texture filtering - Anisotropic sample optimisation: Off
Texture filtering - Negative LOD bias: Clamp
Texture filtering - Quality: High quality
Texture filtering - Trilinear optimisation: Off
Vertical Sync: On
Select Apply and close the application

If you don't have an nVidia card, please use your card's equivalent control panel to set the Anisotropic Filtering.


GOG Galaxy

For GOG Galaxy users only

Navigate to GOG Galaxy and select The Witcher 3 game
Select "More" buttton
Select "Configure"
In the "Install Updates" section change Automatically to Manually

This allows to keep the game at a specific version if required and also allows rolling back to a previous version if required.


DLC

Navigate to GOG Galaxy and install all the DLC, expansions and extra content. For GOG Galaxy users the process is as follows:

Navigate to GOG Galaxy and select The Witcher 3 game
Select "More" buttton
Select "Configure"
Under "Game > "DLCS INSTALLED" select Free DLC Program
Under "Game > "DLCS INSTALLED" select Hearts of Stone
Under "Game > "DLCS INSTALLED" select Blood and Wine

Now launch the game, navigate to Downloadable Content in the main menu and select Options. Turn off the following:

Alternative Look For Triss
Alternative Look For Yennefer

The alternate look for Triss will be activated in game during a certain quest, where it's most fitting from the story point of view. Otherwise it doesn't make sense for Triss to wear the posh dress, as she is a fugitive and on the run.

The alternative look for Yennefer is not lore friendly, as she always, no exceptions, wore black and white clothes (and obsidian star pendant).

The other DLCs can be activated as you please.

Don't exit the game yet.


III. Game and Configuration File Edits

Before modifying the game files launch Witcher 3 and set all the graphical and Post Processing options according to your liking and your PC capabilities. Exit the game. Now it's time to modify the game setting files:

user.settings

MANDATORY CHANGES

The below changes are required for the purpose of this guide, for various reasons, from technical to gameplay. Note that some settings won't be in your file if they're set to default in the game options. If something's not in your file, simply add it in to the relevant section.

Navigate to your "Documents\The Witcher 3" directory. Right click the user.settings file and select Open With, then select a text editor of your choice (I recommend Notepad++).

Under [Rendering] section:

MaxTextureAnizotropy=0 We'll be using Anistropic Filtering provided by the graphics card driverm, as configured earlier.

Now find [LevelOfDetail] section, delete all the entries from it and replace them with the below ones. These settings control Level Of Detail (trees in the far distance etc.). Setting them to the below values will greatly increase the distant detail at a very low performance cost:

[LevelOfDetail]
SwarmHideDistance=800
DecalsHideDistance=400
DimmerHideDistance=400
DynamicDecalsHideDistance=400
StripeHideDistance=400

Now find [Hud] section, delete all the entries from it and replace them with the below ones:

[Hud]
NPCNames=true
Minimap2Module=false
MessageModule=true
OnelinersModule=false
BossFocusModule=false
ItemInfoModule=false
TimeLapseModule=true
HudSize=0
QuestsModule=false
BuffsModule=false
DamagedItemsModule=true
HorsePanicBarModule=false
ConsoleModule=true
MiminapPoiQuestionMarks=true
WolfMedalion=false
OxygenBarModule=true
EnemyFocusModule=false
EnemyHitEffects=false
HorseStaminaBarModule=false
CompanionModule=true
MinimapTracksWaypoints=false
ControlsFeedbackModule=false
BoatHealthModule=false

Now find [Audio] section, delete all the entries from it and replace them with the below ones:

MusicVolume=80 Default music volume is too loud and you'll want it lowered down because of a certain mod we'll install later on.
Subtitles=false This controls the subtitles in the retrospective slides shows during loading a game.

Now add a new [Streaming/Textures] section at the end of the file:

[Streaming/Textures]
UseMipRefiner=true
CinematicModeMipBias=-0.3


OPTIONAL SETTINGS

The following modifications are purely optional and you need to decide whether you want to introduce them. Some of them will have significant impact on your performance and some just minimal. The FPS hit varies per user and seems to depends on the individual PC build, so the best thing is to introduce the change one by one and check in game what performance impact the modifications have on your game. You can go with even higher values than the ones below, but beware of the performance hit!

Under [Gameplay/EntityPool] section:

SpawnedLimit=300 This controls how many actors can be active on the scene at any given time. Ultra setting value: 150

Under [Hidden] section:

These two entries control the location of HUD on the screen. These values will move them HUD more towards the edges of the screen. WARNING - APPLIES TO 16:9 aspect ration only! For other aspect ratios experiment with the values.
uiVerticalFrameScale=1.065 
uiHorizontalFrameScale=1.0375 

Under [Budget] section

This section controls how much system resource will be spared to run the game.
TerrainTileMipDataBudget=300
TerrainTileMinTimeout=2
TerrainTileTimeout=10
OcclusionQueryAdditionalMemory=5
TerrainTileLoadingTimeout=5

Under [Rendering] section:

Note the values in this section can have significant performance hit. Try the below ones and experiment with different values to get the best performance vs quality.
GrassDensity=3600 Self explanatory. Density of grass. Ultra setting value: 2400. Settings above 3600 look messy and not natural.
DecalsSpawnDistanceCutoff=10
TextureStreamingHeadsDistanceLimitSq=200 Ultra setting value: 100
GlobalOceanTesselationFactor=128 This controls the water quality. Ultra setting value: 64
WaterGeometryQuality=10 This controls the quality of water display.
TextureStreamingCharacterDistanceLimitSq=400 Ultra setting value: 200
CascadeShadowFadeTreshold=1
HairWorksGlobalWidthLimit=10 Ultra setting value: 5.
CascadeShadowDistanceScale2=4 Best quality vs performance setting for this shadow type: 4. Change it to 2 or 1 if you have performance issues.
TextureStreamingDistanceLimitSq=80000 Ultra setting value: 40000
HairWorksGlobalDensityQuality=1
TextureMemoryBudget=2000 Ultra setting value: 800.
CascadeShadowDistanceScale3=2 Best quality vs performance setting for this shadow type: 2. Change it to 1 if you have performance issues.
HairWorkstGlobalDensityLimit=2
MeshLODDistanceScale=8
ScaleformTextureUnstreamDelay=2.5
DecalsChance=1
TerrainReadAheadDistance=1200 Ultra setting value: 800.
HairWorksLevel=2 
TerrainScreenSpaceErrorThreshold=1.6
TerrainScreenSpaceErrorThresholdFar=3.5
MaxTerrainShadowAtlasCount=4
HairWorksGlobalDetailLODFactor=1
TextureMipBias=-0.7
HardwareCursor=true
TextureInFlightCountBudget=12
TerrainErrorMetricMultiplier=2 
CascadeShadowmapSize=4096 Shadows resolution. Ultra setting value: 3072. Feel free to try other settings: 2048,3072,4096,8192.
CascadeShadowDistanceScale0=16 Best quality vs performance setting for this shadow type: 16. Change it to 8 or 4 if you have performance issues.
MeshRenderingDistanceScale=4 Ultra setting value: 2
CascadeShadowQuality=4 Change it to 2 or even 1 if you have performance issues.
HairWorksAALevel=2 HairWorks AA. Best quality vs performance setting: 2 or 4, depending on your rig. Input 8 if you want, but it's no visible quality improvement vs performance drop.
CascadeShadowDistanceScale1=8 Best quality vs performance setting for this shadow type: 8. Change it to 4 or 2 if you have performance issues.
CharacterShadowsFallbackDistance=40 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has some issues with shadow pop-in on character held objects such as boxes, clothing, and weapons. This tweak makes the distance where this pop-in occurs to be further away from the player. Thanks to Neovalen for this tweak.

Under [Rendering/SpeedTree] section:

These settings control drawing range of grass and foliage. They hit performance heavily so you need to experiment with what is best for you. I have them set up as follows. They cause my game to stutter if I set them any higher than that, but feel free to experiment.
GrassDistanceScale=2 High and Ultra setting values, respectively: 1.0, 1.5
FoliageDistanceScale=2 High and Ultra setting values, respectively: 1.0, 1.8
FoliageShadowDistanceScale=54 High and Ultra setting values, respectively: 16, 54
GrassRingSize=16777216 High and Ultra setting values, respectively: 4194304, 16777216. IMPORTANT! If you want to increase this setting ensure the value is a multiplication of 4194304

Under [Foliage] section:

Again, this depth of grass and foliage. This setting also can have performance it, so - again - experiment with what's best for you. Ultra setting: 24.
MaxVisibilityDepth=48

When you're finished editing, Save the file and exit. Now, set the file to Read Only (right-click the file, select Properties, place a tick in Read-Only box, select Apply and then OK).

Warning-Logo.png Warning: This file needs to be set to Read Only, to prevent the game reverting the changes as soon as you enter the in game options menu. That means you still will be able to change options in game, but they will only apply to this single game session and won't be saved. It's therefore recommended to set all the options to what you want in game first, then modify the file. If you miss this step you will have to repeat the whole process again.


IV. Modding the game

Tools and Utilities

ModKit
  • Author: CD Projekt RED
  • Version: n/a
  • Installation: Download both the ModKit and Documentation.
Run the installation program and follow on-screen instructions

ModKit is the software provided by the Witcher 3 developers, CD Projekt RED that allows to access the game files in order to modify them. It's not mandatory for this guide, but it's good to have it.


ModKitchen - GUI for The Witcher 3 ModKit
  • Author: vervurax
  • Version: Always Latest
  • Installation: Download the main file
Unzip the file somewhere on your disk.
Run the program.
Select "Browse" button in the "wcc_location" section.
Select your \Witcher 3 Mod Tools\bin\x64 directory, then click OK.
In a location of your choice, create a "Uncooked" folder. WARNING! Spaces are not allowed in the path for this directory. Therefore anything like, for example, C:\My Witcher 3 Modding is NOT allowed! Personally, I have this in this location: "D:\W3Modding\Uncooked".
Select "Browse" button in the "Uncooked files location" section.
Select the Uncooked folder you have created and click OK.
Close the program.

This tool will provide the GUI for ModKit commands that would have to be run manually from the command line. It's not mandatory for this guide, but it's good to have it.


Script Merger
  • Author: AnotherSymbiote
  • Version: Always latest
  • Installation: Download the main file only
Unzip the files to a location of choice on your disk.
Run the program.
Click the "..." button, then select your "The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt" folder and click OK.
Confirm the "No mods detected" dialogue and close the program.

This tool allows for detecting and auto-resolving conflicts between mods for Witcher 3 game. This will be covered at the end of the guide, after all the mods have been installed.


Nexus Mod Manager
  • Author: Nexus
  • Version: Always Latest
  • Installation: Click on the relevant Download button. Follow these instructions:
Run the installation program and follow on-screen instructions
Run the program
Wait until scan for all the compatible games is finished and confirm
Select Witcher 3 from the menu
Select Mod Downloads location and leave the other paths in the default location
Navigate to your The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt directory and create a new directory in there called Mods

The Nexus Mod Manager (NMM) is a free and open source piece of software that allows you to download, install, update and manage your files through an easy to use interface. It integrates with the Nexus sites allowing you to download the compatible mods using Download With Manager button on the mod pages. When you will use this functionality for the first time you'll be required to log in, using your Nexus credentials.

The mods will be downloaded to the directory of your choice and installed into your \The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt\Mods directory, which needs to be manually created.

Warning-Logo.png Warning: Please be aware thjat if you modify contents of any files witing the mods installed with NMM or manually add any new files to the mod directory, the application won't be able to automatically uninstall that mod and all the modified/added files will be leftover. Every time you UNINSTALL such a mod in NMM you need to go to your Mods folder and manually delete the leftover files.


Debug Console Enabler v1.22
  • Author: Skomski / Aquileon
  • Version: 1.22
  • Installation: Download the main file only. Follow these instructions:
Unzip the file somewhere on your disk.
Copy "dsound.dll" file and "plugins" folder into your "\The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt\bin\x64" folder (where the witcher3.exe file is located).

This mod adds a developers' console (similar to the one in Skyrim) and also enables the free camera.


PhotoMode 2inOne
  • Author: CAPA
  • Version: 2.7.2
  • Installation: Download Photomode2inOne v2.7.2 file by clicking on the Download with Manager button. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manger install Photomode2inOne mod by double clicking on it.
Navigate to \Documents\The Witcher 3 folder
Edit input.settings file
Copy and paste this block of data into the first line of input.settings file (located in your "\Documents\The Witcher 3" directory).
Save the file and exit
Set the file to be read-only
This mod requires a custom input.xml file. This will be covered in a later part of the guide.

The main purpose of this mod is to capture action scenes, which becomes very difficult when you have to bring the console down and type the commands. It also come handy when testing mods.

The main function is to "hide hud and pause" with one button and "unhide hud and unpause" using the same button. Then you can use the Freecam solution of the Debug Console Enabler to take some nice action Screenshots.

It's also possible to:

  • Change Weather (by area)
  • Select and Toggle Visual Effects like Sepia, Cat, Toxicity, Low Health, Drunk, etc.
  • Control Time: SlowMo or FastForward and reset to default.


Tweaks and Fixes

Gear Improvements Last Longer
  • Author: Elenear / starwarssonic90
  • Version: 1.22
  • Installation: Download "Gear Improvements Last Longer (GILL)" main file by clicking on Download with Manager button. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager activate the mod by double clicking on it.

This simple mod changes the duration that armour and weapon improvements last to more realistic, not exaggerated values. Both improvements now last for a full in game day (roughly 96 minutes) after which they wear off. The vanilla 15 mins was 3h 45 min in game time. Sharpening your sword and improving the armour should last longer than that! A full day makes them more useful and actually worth getting, but also short enough to actively look for the places where we can make improvements when they wear off.


Geralt is Smart - MOD TEMOPRARILY REMOVED
  • Author: SheepDarklord
  • Version: 1.22.2
  • Installation: Download the main file by clicking on Download with Manager button. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager activate the mod by double clicking on it.

Did you ever wonder why in Witcher 3 Geralt of Rivia, the famous monster slayer also known as The Butcher of Blaviken, doesn't know any potion recipes and why his bestiary is empty, despite his now nearly fully recovered memory, despite learning all this stuff about potions and monsters anew in the 2 previous games and spending loads of recent time (between Witcher 2 and Witcher 3) in Kaer Morhen with the other witchers? It doesn't make sense! Did he forget all this stuff yet again?

This mod changes this aspect of the game by adding all the basic recipes into the Alchemy and all basic monsters entries into the Bestiary. This will only add the first level recipes of the alchemy items to your inventory, and does not include any of the entries for the unique Witcher Contract monsters in the bestiary, so there is still plenty of things to search for and discover.

This also balances the ridiculously high difficulty level at the beginning of the game, allowing you to have more support in the shape of potions, but not making you overpowered.


Immersive Cam
  • Author: KCS
  • Version: 2.6
  • Installation: Download the main file. Follow these instructions:
Activate the mod in Nexus Mod Manager.
Navigate to "\The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt\Mods\modImmersiveCam\gui_setup" folder.
Copy ImmCamMenu.xml to your "\The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt\bin\config\r4game\user_config_matrix\pc" folder.
Navigate to "\The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt\Mods\modImmersiveCam\" and delete the "gui_setup" and "keybind_setup" folders.
This mod requires a custom input.xml file. This will be covered in a later part of the guide.

This mod allows for extensive camera customisation, as well as introduces a few more features such as head tracking and critical hits slow-mo.


More Realistic Food And Drink
  • Author: Elenear
  • Version: 1.3
  • Installation: Download the main file only by clicking on Download with Manager button. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager activate the mod by double clicking on it.

This mod changes how food and drink items work to a semi-realistic way. Now the food and drink will heal you slowly over long period of time, which is supposed to simulate satiation and hydration. Both duration and healing rate are randomised to simulate various quality of food within it's in game tier.


No Infinite Horse Galloping
  • Author: Alexander Dikanchukov / Skkragggh
  • Version: n/a
  • Installation: Download this file, which is updated for 1.22 game version. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager select the "Add Mod From File" button (the big, green + icon)
Navigate to the download location and select the file
Double click the mod in NMM to activate it

This mod restores normal stamina draining while following road on the horse.


No More Rolling Down Stairs
  • Author: KCS
  • Version: 1.4
  • Installation: Download the main file by clicking on Download with Manager button. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager activate the mod by double clicking on it.

This mod fixes the silly rolling down the stairs bug by replacing it with stuttering animation, which looks much more natural.


Refill Alcohol Selection
  • Author: aquisitor
  • Version: 1.22
  • Installation: Download the main file by clicking on Download with Manager button. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager activate the mod by double clicking on it.

Drowning in Dwarven Spirit while Alcohest is drying up? No more! This mod changes the way of selecting alcohol for replenishing potions when meditating. Instead of choosing the cheapest, which happens to be Alcohest, refill now picks the alcohol you have the most of.


Screen Fades When Enhancing Gear
  • Author: ghostneedle / Skkragggh
  • Version: n/a
  • Installation: Download this file, which was updated for 1.22 game version. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager select the "Add Mod From File" button (the big, green + icon)
Navigate to the download location and select the file
Double click the mod in NMM to activate it

This game fixes the animation and sound when you're improving your gear (both weapons and armours) by smoothing the fade-out and -in transitions.


Unseen Monsters
  • Author: DJ_Kovrik
  • Version: 1.22
  • Installation: Download the main file by clicking on Download with Manager button. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager activate the mod by double clicking on it.

This mod make the game more challenging by removing highlighted circles from monsters while using witcher sense. Now you need to really pay attention when using witcher sense! This mod is the reason for reducing the music volume at the start of the guide.


HUD and UI

AutoLoot - AutoLoot the items you want
  • Author: JupiterTheGod
  • Version: 1.6.5 Awaiting update to 1.22 game version. Do not install!.
  • Installation: Download the main "AutoLoot - Herbs Only" file only by clicking on Download with Manager button. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager activate the mod by double clicking on it.

This mod eliminates the looting pop up for herbs only.


Friendly HUD
  • Author: wghost81 aka Wasteland Ghost
  • Version: 10.07
  • Installation: Download the main file. Follow these instructions:
Activate the mod in Nexus Mod Manager.
Navigate to "\The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt\Mods\modFriendlyHUD" folder.
Move the "bin" folder into your main "\The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt" folder and overwrite all the files as requested.
Navigate to \Documents\The Witcher 3 and edit "input.settings" file
Insert this block of text at the beginning of the file
Save the file, exit and set it to read only
Navigate to \Documents\The Witcher 3 and edit "user.settings" file
Insert this block of text at the end of the file
Save the file, exit and set it to read only
Navigate to \The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt\Mods\modFriendlyHUD\content\scripts\game folder and edit "modFriendlyHUDConfig.ws" file
Change these records accordingly
Save the file and exit
Make sure you have copied [HUD] section over from user.settings file from the beginning of this guide
This mod requires a custom input.xml file. This will be covered in a later part of the guide.

Switching some parts of the HUD off allows for more immersive gameplay. But playing without minimap or healthbar can be as painful under certain circumstances as it's fantastic while just exploring the world. This mod offers a lot of options to configure HUD modules appearance and also adds some new features for quest tracking and meditating without a menu.

Please read the mod description carefully!

All of this mod features can be configured directly from the ESC > MODS > Friendly HUD menu. It's advised that the users configure the mod to their liking, however a recommended configuration will be provided at the end of this guide.


Toxicity - Clean Face and Screen
  • Author: DJ_Kovrik
  • Version: 1.22
  • Installation: Download only the "Toxicity - Clean Screen" file by clicking on Download with Manager button. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager activate the mod by double clicking on it.

This mod removes toxicity green swirls from screen corners.


Lighting and Weather

Warning-Logo.png Warning: No mods here for now...


Models and Textures

Black and Grey Mare Roach
  • Author: Stairz
  • Version: 0.2
  • Installation: Download the "GreyRoach" main file by clicking on Download with Manager button. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager activate the mod by double clicking on it.

This mod changes Geralt's horse textures. It's not mandatory, but in my opinion grey Roach looks much better than the default brown one.


Ciri Ashen Hair
  • Author: Rustine
  • Version: 1.02
  • Installation: Download the main file by clicking on Download with Manager button. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager activate the mod by double clicking on it.

This is a mod that will change the colour of Ciri's hair to better match the lore.


Ciri Bath Bandage Removal - MODKit Version
  • Author: Ryunaito / HartXIII
  • Version: 1.0
  • Installation: Download the main file. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager activate each mod by double clicking on it. 

Note THIS IS NOT A NUDE MOD.

This mod will make Ciri wear no bandages during the bath scene, which makes it more realistic. Note Ciri isn't actually naked, it's just her bandages gone. The model was already in game, but wasn't used.


Concept Art Bear Armor
  • Author: Rustine
  • Version: 1.01
  • Installation: Download the Concept Art Bear Armor file by clicking on Download with Manager button. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager activate the mod by double clicking on it.

This mod brings back the design from the 2014 artwork for the Bear Armor. There is also an optional no-bandana version if you prefer that one.


Concept Art Cat Armor
  • Author: Rustine
  • Version: 1.1
  • Installation: Download the main file by clicking on Download with Manager button. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager activate the mod by double clicking on it.

This mod brings back the design from the 2014 artwork for the Cat Armor.


Dearg Ruadhri - The Wild Hunt Redesign
  • Author: Rustine & PATROL
  • Version: 1.00
  • Installation: Download the main file by clicking on Download with Manager button. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager activate the mod by double clicking on it.

The Wild Hunt was also called Dearg Ruadhri - The Red Riders. We wanted to make them darker, more unnatural and out of the world. People were terrified by the sight of the Hunt. They were scared of the riders in skeleton armors, scared of red color of blood, black and dark armors and old, white bones. The mod changes the appearance of the king, the generals the troops of the Hunt and their horses. It also erases Eredin's eyeliner and makes his eyes green, as they were in the books.


Griffin Set Redesign
  • Author: Rustine & Holgar96
  • Version: 1.1
  • Installation: Download both the main and the optional files by clicking on Download with Manager button. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager activate both files by double clicking on them.

This is a redesign and retexture of the whole set of Griffin Armor.


Horse DLC equipment fix
  • Author: Rivianbleidd
  • Version: 1.0
  • Installation: Download the main file. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager activate each mod by double clicking on it.

This mod fixes some mesh visibility issues with the dlc horse equipment. There was a problem with some empty meshes meant for the Nilfgaard saddle bags, as for the rest, their LOD and visibility settings were way more conservative than the non-DLC equipment.


Lore-friendly Silver Swords
  • Author: ErdnussSpass
  • Version: 1.0
  • Installation: Download the main file by clicking on Download with Manager button. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager activate the mod by double clicking on it.

This mod enhances the appearance of silver swords in the game. The books of Andrzej Sapkowski describe silver swords as very special and unique weapons. The game degrades the silver sword to being the second sword on your back, so it is my aim to add more remarkable optics to it.

The newest version of this mod includes:

  • Main Game (vanilla)
  • Wolf School Gear DLC
  • Hearts of Stone Expansion
  • Blood and Wine Expansion

The mod does not interfere with or change the optical effects of runes.


Lore-friendly Witchers
  • Author: DazzlingDjango
  • Version: 0.6 and 0.7
  • Installation: Download the 3 main files by clicking on Download with Manager button. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager activate each mod by double clicking on it. 

This modification series aims for a more lore-friendly appearance of Geralt and the other witchers. By "lore" I mean the previous games, references in the current game itself and Andrzej Sapkowski's books. So far, three mods have been realized:

  • Real Witcher Eyes - Makes the witchers' ordinary eyes from the main game look more extraordinary and cat-like as it can be seen on earlier artworks or in the first game.
  • True Mutantism - Turns Geralt into the sickly-looking mutant he should be.


New Djinni Face
  • Author: Rustine
  • Version: 1.0
  • Installation: Download the main file by clicking on Download with Manager button. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager activate the mod by double clicking on it.

This mod give Djinni a face taken from the cover of Polish edition of "The Last Wish".


The Witcher 3 HD Reworked Project
  • Author: Halk Hogan PL
  • Version: 3.31
  • Installation: Download the main file by clicking on Download with Manager button. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager activate the mod by double clicking on it.

This is a comprehensive retexture of The Witcher 3 world. Including:

  • Rocks
  • Spruces
  • Toadstools
  • Wood Logs
  • Wood Crates
  • Water Puddles
  • Sacks
  • Round Stool
  • Square Stool
  • Books Stack
  • Ceramic Roof
  • Checkered Floor
  • Rocks (Toussaint)
  • Wood Logs (Toussaint)


Triss DLC Dress as Masquerade Dress
  • Author: Sarcenzzz / Ryunaito
  • Version: 1.0
  • Installation: Download the main file by clicking on Download with Manager button. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager activate the mod by double clicking on it.

This mod makes Triss use her alternate outfit from the DLC only during a certain scene/quest in the game where is makes sense from the story point of view.


Equipment

Crow's Saddle Overhaul
  • Author: Crow
  • Version: 1.3.2
  • Installation: Download only the main "Crow's Saddle Overhaul Pack" file by clicking on Download with Manager button. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager activate the mod.

Saddle Overhaul allows players to choose between four different saddle and saddlebag types, each of them having distinct style and uses. You'll be able to immediately tell the difference between the racing saddle and a cavalry one. Each saddle type is divided into four tiers, and you should get new tiers as the game progresses. Now each of those types is a viable option and is best for doing certain things.


Gameplay

Warning-Logo.png Warning: No mods here for now...


Combat

Warning-Logo.png Warning: No mods here for now...


Miscellaneous

No Dirty Lens Effect
  • Author: RumenWest
  • Version: 1.0
  • Installation: Download the main file by clicking on Download with Manager button. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager activate the file.

This mod removes the dirty lens effect from the camera.


No or Permanent Rune Glow Effect
  • Author: Gismogin
  • Version: 1.21
  • Installation: Download only the "Permanent Rune Glow v1.21" file by clicking on Download with Manager button. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager activate the file.

In the vanilla game the runes that Geralt enhances his swords with were visible only when in combat. This mod makes the rune glow effect on swords permanent even when out of combat.


Pesky sword trails begone
  • Author: Christoffer
  • Version: 1.2
  • Installation: Download only the "No Pesky Trails" main file by clicking on Download with Manager button. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager activate the file.

This mod removes the cartoonish trails/tracer effect from all the weapons, including projectiles, from all the characters in game.


Remove Screen Water Droplets Effect
  • Author: FPSRazR
  • Version: 1.1
  • Installation: Download only the "No Water Droplets on Screen" main file by clicking on Download with Manager button. Follow these instructions:
In Nexus Mod Manager activate the file.

This mod removes the water droplets effect that appear on the screen while its raining.


Witcher 3 Witcher Sense Color Customizer
  • Author: Tomwa Lee Ivory
  • Version: 1.04
  • Installation: Manually download only the "Sense Customizer 1.04" main file by clicking on download manually link. Follow these instructions:
Unpack the archive into a location of your choice
Navigate to that location
Run "Witcher 3 Witcher Sense Customizer.exe" file
Select "Browse" button and select your Witcher 3 root installation directory
Input "#ff0002" in the Quest Color field
Input 0.3 in the Opacity field next to Quest Color 
Input "#ff6600" in the Interact Color field
Input 0.2 in the Opacity field next to Interact Color
Select "Save" button
Press Enter when the mod finished installation (you will be prompted in the pop up window)
Close the program

This mod reduces the opacity of the outline of quest and interaction targets when using witcher sense, so they are more subtle, but still visible. Note you can change the actual colours to your liking by entering the relevant HEX code. The codes used during the installation are the default ones used in vanilla game.


Resolving Mod Conflicts

Witcher Script Merger

This program will allow to auto-resolve most of the conflicts between various mods. Follow these steps:

Run Witcher Script Merger program (ensure it's configured correctly, as per Tools and Utilities section of this guide).
Wait for the program to scan through all the installed mods.
Select both "Scripts" and "Bundled Text" tickboxes.
Press "Create Selected Merges" button below.
Confirm all the dialogue boxes and wait for the process to finish. 

"Scripts" and "Bundled Text" should now be moved to the right hand side pane and only "Bundled Non-text" files should be in the left pane. We will resolve these conflicts by using mods.settings file to control the load order. You can now close Witcher Script Merger.


mods.settings

This file controls mod load order and it is used to ensure the mod are loaded into the game in the correct order, to achieve all the required effects and changes. It can also be used to check for mod conflicts (more on that later). Follow these instructions:

Navigate to your \Documents\The Witcher 3 folder
Create a new text file
Name it "mods.settings" and remove the .txt extension
Edit the file
Add the following contents:
  
[mod]
Enabled=0
Priority=0

[mod0000_MergedFiles]
Enabled=1
Priority=1

[modBear]
Enabled=1
Priority=2

[modCiriHair]
Enabled=1
Priority=3

[modSilverSwords]
Enabled=1
Priority=4

[modNewGriffinArmor]
Enabled=1
Priority=4
  
Save the file and exit

If you run Witcher Script Merger again now, you will see the winning mods being in black text and losing mods greyed-out in the left pane.


input.xml
  • Installation: Download this file and paste it into your "\The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt\bin\config\r4game\user_config_matrix\pc" folder, overwriting the existing file.

This file is required for the following mods to function correctly:

  • PhotoMode 2inOne
  • Immersive Cam
  • Friendly HUD


Post Processing

Warning-Logo.png Warning: IGNORE THIS SECTION FOR NOW. CURRENTLY LOOKING INTO A SUITABLE RE-SHADE PRESET.
ReShade
  • Author: Crosire
  • Version: Framework
  • Installation: Download "Framework" version and fllow these instructions:
Navigate to \The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt\bin\config\base\ReShade directory
Create a new directory called "Fantasy Ultimate 3.4"
Unzip the archive to this new directory. 
Delete Reshade32.dll file
Rename Reshade64.dll to d3d11.dll

Crosire's ReShade is an advanced, fully generic post-processing injector for games or alike. Imagine your favorite game with ambient occlusion, real high quality bokeh depth of field, color correction and more ... No more waiting: ReShade provides a generic way to access both color and depth information (latter is automatically disabled during multiplayer to prevent exploitation) and all the tools to make your dreams come true.


V. New Game Configuration

Please read this section fully before starting a new game.

There is some final in-game configuration that needs to be done after starting the game before we can start playing.

I strongly recommend playing the game on Death March difficulty level. That's what was set in the settings file initially. It will provide quite challenging experience at the first few levels to then balance out and be accordingly demanding. The lower difficulty levels get really trivial from mid-game and the opponents pose no real challenge. By learning how to survive at the early levels you will get the necessary skills to play the game comfortably later on.

Once you start the game, fully play through the initial Kaer Morhen introduction scene until you get the access to the alchemy menu and the inventory (when you'll be back on the road with Vesemir), as that's where we'll need to follow a few extra steps.

Follow these instructions

1. Run the game
2. From the main menu select New Game
3. Select Death March (read the notes below regarding the difficulty level)
4. Select Tutorials On or Off (I recommend to turn them on if it's your first playthrough)
5. If you have The Witcher 2 finished game save, select "Import The Witcher 2 Save". Skip to step 6.
5a. Otherwise select On for simulating W2 story choices
6. Select the relevant Witcher 2 finished game save file.
7. Select New Game or New Game+ (only if you've already finished Witcher 3)
8. Watch the starting cinematics
9. Play the game

The game will now start. Watch the cinematics and play the game until you're back on the road with Vesemir. Once you gain control over your character follow these instructions:

Press the hotkey for Alchemy menu, default "L" 
Press the hotkey for Bestiary menu, default "B"

These two actions will activate Geralt Is Smart mod. You can now continue playing.

Warning-Logo.png Warning: THE BELOW PART IS WORK IN PROGRESS! IGNORE IT FOR NOW.

With progressing the game additional markers will be added to the map. You'll eventually get notification about Points Of Interests. I strongly recommend turning the following ones OFF (open the map and press F for filters):

Hidden Treasure
Dungeon
Monster Nest
Place of Power
Person In Distress
Spoils of War
Smugglers' Cache
Guarded Treasure
Abandoned Site
Bandit Camp
Monster Den

By turning all these markers off you will ensure realistic experience. Geralt doesn't know where all the stuff is in the world. I can assure you that this is a massive game changer. Your game experience will be greatly enhanced by allowing you to just explore the world and discover all these places by yourself. Note that once you discover them you'll get on screen notification and they'll be shown on the minimap. It's awesome to just stumble upon POIs randomly while exploring the world and I really can't recommend this enough. I encourage you to give it a go! You can always turn the filters back on if you don't like it.


Additional Information

In Game Mod Configuration

Warning-Logo.png Warning: THIS SECTION IS WORK IN PROGRESS. FEEL FREE TO CONFIGURE THE MODS TO YOUR OWN LIKING FOR NOW. THE RECOMMENDED CONFIGURATION WILL BE ADDED IN DUE COURSE.

Navigate to ESC > OPTIONS > MODS and (for now) configure the mods to your own liking. Recommended settings will be added in due course.


Mod Hotkeys

Warning-Logo.png Warning: THIS SECTION IS WORK IN PROGRESS.

If you have followed the guide correctly, here is a list of all the new hotkeys from the mods we've installed:

F1 - activate/deactivate Free Camera mode
F2 - open/close Console
F3 - turn the whole HUD on/off
Left/Up/Right/Down/PageUp/PageDown - Control the camera (works while on foot, on a horse, in a boat, swimming and diving)
End - Reset the camera
NumPad0 - activate/deactivate Photo Mode for screenshots (usable at any time, including cutscenes). Enable Free Camera after activate this mode to take some nice screenshots.
NumPad1/2 - decrease/increase game speed 
NumPad3 - activate Slo-Mo mode
NumPad4/5 - cycle weather
NumPad6 - activate weather
NumPad7/8 - cycle visual FX
NumPad9 - activate visual FX
ScrollLock - turn ReShade processing on/off 
PrintScreen - take a screenshot (saved into the \The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt\bin\x64 directory)

Hold keys (defaults)

N (or your reassigned meditation menu key) - active meditation
K (or your reassigned character skills key) - show health
M (or your reassigned map key) - show minimap + essential HUD
J (or your reassigned journal key)" - show tracked quest objectives
Enter (or your reassigned quick menu key) - show all HUD 
Warning-Logo.png Warning: THE BELOW HOTKEYS ARE NOT TESTED YET!

While in Radial Menu: Q - switch between buffs and potions 1 - consume potion / equip bomb 1 2 - consume potion / equip bomb 2 3 - consume potion / equip bomb 3 4 - consume potion / equip bomb 4 5 - consume potion / equip bomb 5 6 - consume potion / equip bomb 6 7 - consume potion / equip bomb 7 8 - consume potion / equip bomb 8 9 - consume potion 9 0 - consume potion 10 - (minus) - consume potion 11 = (equal) - consume potion 12

"F2" - cycle through 3D quest markers/compass display modes (witcher senses/always show/never show); "F3" - additional user 3D markers on/off; "F4" - potions refill on/off; F4 - toggle between bomb and crossbow "F10" (controller Left Thumb) - essential HUD modules on/off; "F11" - pause/unpause the game; "~" - switch between crossbow and selected bomb; "Esc (press controller Select button)" - menu in dialogs/scenes; "Hold Right Shift" - pin module modifier (hold RShift and press M to pin map module, for example). "1-9, 0, -, =" - drink potions/equip bombs/apply oils in radial menu; "F1" - show potions in radial menu; "F2" - show bombs in radial menu; "F3" - show oils in radial menu; "F4" - show currently active buffs in radial menu; "Q (controller Y button)" - cycle through potions/bombs/oils/buffs in radial menu; "Controller D-Pad arrows" (or WASD if corresponding option is enabled) - navigate quick items list in radial menu; "Controller Right Thumb" (or "C" if corresponding option is enabled) - drink selected potion/equip selected bomb/apply selected oil in radial menu;


CONGRATULATIONS!

This is it! Well done for completing the whole process! Now you can fully enjoy your heavily modded Witcher 3 game. It is a very different experience to the unmodded vanilla game and I hope you will find at as engaging and immersive as I did. Stay vigilant, Witcher. The danger lurks out there and remember that there is a hidden monster in a lot of people. Good luck!


Mod Conflicts - Additional Information

This part is for information only and serves as a learning experience.

To check your mods for compatibility follow these instructions:

Navigate to your \My Documents\The Witcher 3 folder
Make a backup of "mods.settings" file 
Edit "mods.settings" file
If you have any patches installed, change their priority to something like 99
Input the following lines:
  [modName_Of_Confliting_Mod_1] 
  Enabled=1
  Priority=0 
  
  [modName_Of_Confliting_Mod_2] 
  Enabled=1
  Priority=1
Save the file

Now run the game and check if Mod 1 and Mod 2 are working.

  • Both mods working correctly = No Mod Conflict.
  • Mod 1 YES and Mod 2 NO = Mod Conflict. Follow these instructions to double check
Navigate to your \My Documents\The Witcher 3 folder
Edit "mods.settings" file
Swap the mod priority:
  [modName_Of_Confliting_Mod_2]
  Enabled=1
  Priority=0
  
  [modName_Of_Confliting_Mod_1] 
  Enabled=1
  Priority=1
Save the file

Now run the game and check if Mod 1 and Mod 2 are working.

  • Mod 1 NO and Mod 2 YES = Mod Conflict Confirmed. Most likely outcome. You can either use only one of the mods or nicely ask mod authors for a patch.
  • None of the mods work = Mod Conflict Confirmed. Same as above.
  • Both are working correctly = Magic? Change the patch priority to 0, and move both mods up 1 priority and pray that the magic lasts forever.

After troubleshooting your mods don't forget to restore the mods.settings backup file and introduce any changes if necessary.


Support & Feedback

Support is provided via a forum thread on STEP Community forums, so if you have any questions, suggestions or any feedback in general please post there and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.


Credits

rootsrat aka Elenear - Master Witcher
EssArrBee and Neovalen - the guide style sheet.
STEP for being one the best communities on the internet, gaming or not
A.l.e.x. for the configuration files guide
The Nexus for hosting all the mods
SkacikPL for providing a lot of information about Witcher 3 scripting
Countless modders for making their excellent contributions, this one goes without saying, we wouldn't be here if not for them!

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