Witcher 3 ‘Next-Gen’ Update Runs Badly On Even High-Powered PCs

Geralt faces off against a big beastie.

Image: CD Projekt Red / Kotaku

The Witcher 3 just got a big “next-gen upgrade” this week. The update includes a variety of graphical improvements to spruce up the now seven-ish year-old game to look a bit more relevant in our era of ray tracing and AI-based resolution techniques. While we felt that the updates made for a nice way to get into or revisit this modern-classic of an RPG, PC gamers have had a bit of a rough time. The new update, it seems, is introducing a number of new, frustrating bugs.

Originally released in 2015 for PC and consoles of the era, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt remains a modern standard of feature-packed, immersive RPGs with wonderful characters and engaging gameplay. It’s only natural then that this wildly popular title receive a graphical upgrade to make use of new consoles like PS5 and Xbox Series, and GPUs that feature lighting technology like ray-tracing, which was not commercially available at the time it first released. While it seems the console versions are faring well, according to comments in a Reddit post aiming to take a temperature check of PC-gamers’ experiences, the updates is causing some serious road bumps.

“Still haven’t figured out optimum settings” starts one such comment, “it’s a slideshow with [ray tracing] we even with [AI-based super sampling] we drive.” They go on to list their specs, with an RTX 3080 GPU (top model of the last series of cards that’s only about 12 percent less powerful than the current, and expensive, 4000 series). Another user reports the same with a more bleeding edge RTX 4090 card.

Several other comments point out various solutions like disabling advanced hair rendering, turning off ray tracing and DLSS, but as one commenter points out “the problem is this was supposed to be the definitive edition for the game, solve quality of life issues, and make it so beautiful that it gives me a reason to replay it on my 3080+5900x […] maybe I’ll have to wait til they patch it out to relive this masterpiece.” Many of the comments reiterating the same performance issues list plenty-powerful hardware, and the amount of upvotes indicate some resonance with fellow players.

On Twitter, players are also finding their once-powerful gaming rigs are struggling to keep up with The Witcher‘s fancy new tech.

PC gaming often requires a fair bit of troubleshooting, especially with cutting edge games. It’s not uncommon to fire up a new game only to have it think you’re running some strange resolution. Fixing little things like that is a part of the hobby, but when you’re chasing down every possible setting to get what should be a pleasant, free-upgrade to a classic game running well, it still kinda sucks.

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