What's up, witcher fans? I'm a long-time fan of CDPR and I've decided to start my first run of all three games since BaW dropped. I saw there are a few outdated modding guides for the first game and I've decided to write an updated one as of 2019 for newbies to the series or for anybody, who wants to revisit The Witcher: Enhanced Edition once again. The mod list is lore-friendly and respects both the overall vision CDPR had for their game and the world Sapkowski created. The main goal is improved visuals and gameplay, but not at the cost of buggy or unstable experience. I alwo weed some popular mods that are known to cause trouble. Now let's dive into it.
After downloading and installing the game make sure to verify/repair the files. Launch the game and set all the graphic options to max. The Witcher is running on a heavily modified ancient engine and is prone to crashing on modern systems even without mods. Make sure to disable the autosave feature in the options as this is one of the main culprits. Make sure to disable the tutorial pop-ups. They still can be found in the jounral and that way you don't risk the game hanging. Also, disable any overlays you have outside of the one I'll include down below. If you're playing the GOG don't use the galaxy features or the game's launcher. You shall start the game directly from the game executable anyway. The exe should be set to run under admin with windows 7 compitability. While you play make sure not to have a lot of save files. They are enormous and slow down saving/loading and can cause a crash on load. Keep no more than 10-15 saves for the entirety of your playthrough. All of this is to ensure a more stable experience and it will help in the long run. Some areas where the game is prone to crashing/bugging out:
- after a long cutscene
- at the end/start of a chapter
- inns, crypts and caves
- at the plaza and market in chapter 3
- after fighting your first enemy in the prologue
- during Oddo's quest in chapter 1
- in the crypt in chapter 4
- there might be a bug after continous play at the start of chapter 2. if you can't click on anything after the cutscene simply exit the game and reload a previous save before the cutscene. the bug won't return.
Most of these issues were present 10 years ago, so don't be afraid – it's nothing new. If you install all of the mods below the chance of a crash increases marginally, but you shouldn't see more than a couple of "bonus" crashes compared to an unmodded game for your entire playthrough.
If your pc is weak and has trouble even maxing the game use only mods 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. If you want a vanilla experience with only improved graphics and bugs fixed – install mods 01 to 18. If you want a more difficult, but rewarding combat with emphasis on oil and potion preparation, and with an overall gameplay overhaul – install everything. If you install everything you won't be able to play the fan adventures or the couple ones made by CDPR who are not lore-friendly anyway and should be viewed as bonuses to the enhanced edition.
- FPS Counter 3.4.0 – Extract to the System folder in the main game directory. Start the game and press F12. Enable the ultra AA from the options. Enable V-Sync from the options. Decrease the sharpness to 25. You can enable 4X Transparency AA in the Nvidia Control Panel. (enabling v-sync is vital to fix an annoying visual bug during conversations with npcs, you can pretty much tweak/disable anything you want similar to a reshade. it can be used purely as a .dll overloader) – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/738
- Engine Texture Fix 1.0 – Extract the .2da file to the Override folder in the Data folder of the main game directory. If such folder doesn't exist – create one. https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/649
- Texturen Mod 1.1 FX Only Version – Extract all the loose files to the Override folder. (the texturen mod is popular, but is buggy and of low quality. the modder used a sharpen filter on all the textures without consideration if one should be applied or not. the texture resolution remains the same as vanilla. if you use the full mod with ~5000 sharpened textures your game won't handle it well. some people think it looks somewhat better, but I don't think so. the fx only version is only the fx effects extracted from the whole package as some of them are made from scratch and are better than vanilla) – https://www.kirmiziperfect.com/downloads/texturen-mod-fx-only/# ; alternative link – https://mega.nz/#!O3pXlCxB!Y_XXBU79bABp0aOIMXc7T8GnIpHTqSBBViM1813wCEY
- Hi-Res Character Models 1.0 – Extract all of the loose files to the Override folder. (unlike with the texturen mod, the modder applied sharpening only when needed and the overall quality of the edited textures is increased) https://www.moddb.com/mods/witchercharactermodels/downloads/the-witcher-hi-res-character-models
- Realistic Blood Effects 1.0 – Extract the .2da file to the Override folder. (the optional file from the overhaul project) https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/703?tab=files
- The Witcher Overhaul Project 3.3 – Extract all of the loose files from both folders to the Override folder. Overwrite the two files when asked. The new sound files from the Sound folder aren't needed and you can skip them, if you don't like them. (some of the sounds are from other games, some annoying sounds are cut, some are from skyrim. I don't recommend the sounds folder, but it's up to you. The texture work is the best so far and improves the game a lot. Some texture are 2-3 times the size of the original) – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/703
- Realistic Moon 1.0 – Extract the two .dds files to the Override folder. Overwrite when asked. (double the moon/sun texture) – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/662
- Natural Shani 1.0 – Extract the three .dds files to the Override folder. Overwrite when asked. (more lore-friendly version of Shani, no big changes compared to vanilla) – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/783
- Shani See Through Black Nighty 1.4.5 – Extract the three .dds files to the Override folder. (both love interests wear the exact same nightgowns in vanilla, this mod brings some variety in somewhat tasteful way) – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/240
- Better Dice and Desaturated Board 1.0 – Extract the three .dds files to the Override folder. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/338
- Missing Kalkstein and Leuvaarden Clues Fix 1.0 – Extract the .ncs file to the Override folder. (CDPR didn't fix this bug in the enhanced edition) – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/657
- Fair Kalkstein Mod 1.1 – Extract the five loose files to the Override folder. (a little lore-friendly addition to the Kalkstein quest chain) – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/307
- Sex Takes Time Mod 1.1 – Extract the SexTakesTimeMod(updated) folder to the Data folder in the main game directory. Just move the whole folder there with all 119 files inside it. (a simple time skip with some humorous dialogues added by Corylea after you collect a card, lore-friendly) – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/330
- Leuvaarden Buys Salamandra Badges 1.0 – Extract the five loose files to the Override folder. (fix for Leuvaarden not buying badges after your initial conversation. he buys them for 20 a pop now as per his statement in the beginning) – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/659
- Celina Wraith Fix 1.0 – Extract all the loose files to the Override folder. (an addition to the sisters quest chain. it's a short dialogue with some awful voice over, but it adds closure to the quest in a lore-friendly way) – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/741
- Quest Tweaks 1.0 – Extract the files from Berengar's Secret folder, Contracts in Act V folder and Yamo Ryeboozer reward folder to the Override folder. Don't touch the rest. ( a few different minor quest fixes. some of them change CDPR's intentional decisions, so just use only the ones I've listed for a balanced vanilla experience) – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/774
- Han Gives Han NOT Berbercane 1.0 – Extract the hemp.ncs and hemp.nss files from the Plentiful Han archive to the Override folder.(corrects the drop from the plant in chapter 4) – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/32
- Plentiful Herbs 1.11 – Extract the various archives from the main archive to a location of your liking. Inside each of these arhives there are a couple of files. Extract all of them. After finishing you should have 16 loose files. Move them to the Override folder. – (increases the amount of drops from the most common plants, which is good since with FCR you'll need to brew a lot more potions. it doesn't affect the rare plants or quest specific plants) – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/31
- Full Combat Rebalance 1.6a – Run the installer as admin. From the different options choose ONLY: Easy difficulties pack; Ecosystem: fewer monsters in game; All armors have three quick slots; Nightvision without fisheye efect; Flaming sword icon on hard difficulty; No logo movies; Easier dice poker; Potions changing game difficulty; Cat pupils for all witchers; Item stacking up to 999; Werewolf fur in shop in Chapter 4. If you enable anything else it will cause problems with other mods from the list. After installation boot the game up. Go into options -> controls and key bind the walk option at the top and the turn off/on gui option at the very bottom. – (the reason not to choose any of the other options during installation is because it conflicts with various other mods. don't choose the high difficulty pack too, unless you're a masochist. FCR has a bad reputation, but IMO it makes the game mor engaging and eliminates some of the annoyances and wonky game decisions the first game has. If you play on one of the lower difficulties it actually makes the game a lot easier. Certain boss fights (like the one in CH1) are easier in FCR, while other enemies, especially monsters are harder and need oil and potions preparation, similar to the contracts in W3. There are implemented tutorials to familiarize you with the changes compared to vanilla.) – https://www.moddb.com/mods/full-combat-rebalance1
- Scabbard Mod 1.04 – Run the installer as admin. Select The Witcher EE with FCR mod option from the select components tab during installation. This is mandatory for compatibility between those two mods. (the sheating/unsheating animation might bug out from time to time, but for 95% of the time has no issue, so be warned if little things tend to annoy you on occasion) – https://www.moddb.com/mods/scabbard-mod/
- Rise of the White Wolf: Enhanced Edition 2.0 – Run the installer as admin. Select the main directory of the game /The Witcher Enhanced Edition/. From the different options choose ONLY: Interface – English (and other languges); FCR Compability; New dialogue fonts; Items icons; Character textures – FCR compability; Ballads; "Trial of Herbs" soundtrack in the main menu (only if you like it). The installer has problems with some AVs. It's recommended to disable your protection until everything is installed. (it "modernizes" the ui. it's not exactly my cup of tea, but many people prefer it. the texture work on characters is top notch though and it makes changes that are both lore-friendly and are in line with W2 and W3. improved resolution too. it adds a better font and ui icons. the nexus version gave me some problems and my av didn't like it that much. the moddb installer should be identical, but it didn't give me any problems, so with that in mind I recommend the moddb one) – https://www.moddb.com/mods/the-rise-of-the-white-wolf-powrt-biaego-wilka
- NTCore's 4gb Patch 22.214.171.124 – Extract to the System folder in the main game directory and apply. If you have the GOG version of the game this step is not needed. Also, FPS Counter has an option for patching the exe, but I included it anyway for people who want to do it manually. The Rise of the White Wolf Mod replaces the game executable and the launcher with new ones. After patching the new game executable in the System folder, create a shortcut to it and use that to start and play the game. – https://ntcore.com/?page_id=371
- Complete Sword Overhaul 1.0 – Extract the z_zSwords_DM folder to the Data folder in the main game directory. Leave all the loose files inside it. You should've downloaded all the different optional and miscellaneous files from the download page (6 in total). We'll do some extracting and overwriting now. Do everything in the EXACT SAME ORDER I describe or you'll have a bad time. Extract the z_zSwords_DM folder from the Scabbard compatibility patch to the Data folder in the main game directory and overwrite the 24 files when asked. Do the same for the FCR compatibility patch. Overwrite the 32 files when asked. Do exactly the same with the z_zSwords_DM from the HD Textures archive and overwrite the 42 files when asked. Do the same for the z_zSwords_DM from Witcher 2 Silver sword model archive. Overwrite the 4 files. And finally the very same procedure for RotWW-style-icons archive, overwriting the 80+ files. (both sword and dagger overhaul doubles or even triples the vanilla texture quality, highly recommended.) – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/719
- Dagger Overhaul 1.0 – Extract the z_zDaggers folder with all the loose files inside from the archive to the Data folder in the main game directory. Similar to the Complete Sword Overhaul – overwrite the folder with the z_zDaggers folders from the HD Textures archive and RotWW-style-icons archive in this order. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/708
- Geralt Face and Leather Jacket Retextured 1.2 – Extract the loose files to a newly created Override folder in Dataz_zrotww in the main game directory. DO NOT extract it to the main Override folder. You have to create a new one inside the z_zrotww folder. (higher resolution armor and W3 style face, it improves the changes RotWW makes to vanilla) – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/780
- Bigger Fonts for Rise of the White Wolf 0.5 – Extract the folder with all of the loose files inside to the main game directory. Overwrite the file when asked. This step is mandatory only if you're playing at a higher resolution than 1080p or if you're using DSR (or similar) upscaling. – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/714
- Lore Triss by DeMelodit Pack 3.1 – Extract all of the loose files to the Override folder in z_zrotww folder, not the main Override folder in the Data folder. This step is only mandatory if you want a lore-friendly version of Triss Merigold. (the changes from RotWW are in style of the games – red hair, green eyes. this is book style changes in line with the art from W1, journals from W2 and W3, it eliminates the slutty clothes and the neck seem so prominent in the W1 model of Triss – basically blue eyes, brownish-reddish hair and clothing that makes sense; be sure to d/l the right package) – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/753
- Triss Blue Eyes Mod 1.1 – Extract the Lore Triss RotWW-Version to a location of your liking. Inside the Dark Blue folder find jp_triss.dds and move it to the Override folder in the z_zrotww folder, not the main one in the Data folder. Overwrite the file when asked. Don't bother with any of the other files from the archive. Only mandatory if you want a lore-friendly version of Triss Merigold. (changes the journal art to blue eyes, ignore if you have skipped 27) – https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher/mods/724
I don't have time for an in-depth screen comparison or video. The visual improvement is significant. Here are some saves from different chapters, so you can test it out and judge by yourself. – https://mega.nz/#!H2gARaQb!pAOherVCH9jA0_v90wtD6A3LOKE8DEu3AuwaD6in6Sk and a few shots just to get the idea of what to expect – https://imgur.com/a/KXc47C5
If you followed the guide step by step you should have no problems outside of the vanilla specific ones I mentioned in the beginning. I really can't recommend any other mods except the ones listed here as most of them are either buggy or don't play nice with others.
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