The Witcher 3 for Nintendo Switch: The ultimate guide

The Witcher III: Wild Hunt
The Witcher III: Wild Hunt (Image credit: iMore)

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is widely regarded as one of the best games of this generation, so we were really happy when the game finally released on the Nintendo Switch. Admittedly, there have been some serious visual compromises to get it to run on the hybrid system. But at the same time, the Switch's portable nature means you can now play CD Projekt Red's classic action-RPG anywhere you go.

On top of that, all of the previously released Witcher 3 DLC is included in the Switch version, making the game longer and more interesting. If you've never played this fantastic RPG, now's your chance.

What is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt?

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the third game in The Witcher series from developer CD Projekt Red, which is in turn based on a series of novels. It's an action-RPG set in a medieval dark fantasy universe full of monsters, magic, and mysterious happenings. The games and novels follow the story of Geralt of Rivia, a "witcher" or monster hunter with a particular set of magical powers to aid him.

This is the third installment of the game, and the first two Witcher titles have not been released on the Nintendo Switch. However, it is not necessary to have played them in order to enjoy The Witcher 3. Though the story picks up where 2 leaves off, you'll be given enough information and background to follow the story and Wild Hunt has its own new plot that will keep your attention.

What is the story of the game?

The Witcher III: Wild Hunt (Image credit: iMore)

The Witcher 3 opens with Geralt reuniting with his love interest Yennefer and paying a visit to Emperor Emhyr. Emhyr assigns Geralt to look for a young woman named Ciri, the emperor's daughter and a person of interest due to her lineage and extraordinary powers. She also happens to be Geralt's adoptive daughter.

The main plot of the game revolves around Geralt's search for Ciri and the various adventures and troubles he encounters along the way, specifically revolving around the titular otherworldly force called the Wild Hunt that wants Ciri for its own. You can follow the main plot of the game, but The Witcher 3 is an expansive RPG with a number of side quests, dialogue and action choices that will change the way your story plays out.

In fact, the amount of information about the narrative you learn will be dependent on the choices you make. You can choose to focus only on the main story, or you can try to do as many other quests as possible and learn as much about the world of The Witcher as you can in the process.

How do you play?

The Witcher III: Wild Hunt (Image credit: iMore)

The Witcher 3 is an open-world RPG, meaning you'll be given locations to travel to in order to follow the main story, but you can also explore the large world on your own and pursue other quests, fight monsters, and interact with characters as you like. Controlling Geralt, you can move around the world and talk to NPCs to gain information or new quests, and also enter action-based combat with enemies.

Quests give rewards like gold and experience points, which will help you level up, learn new abilities, and get stronger and more able to take on beefier monsters. Conversations you have with characters may have dialogue choices, which will influence the way the game ends for you, and Geralt can also pursue several different romantic relationships with various possible partners in the game,

In combat, Geralt can use his sword to attack as well as multiple magical powers to damage, incapacitate, or otherwise harm enemies or prevent them from harming him. Geralt's combat style can be somewhat customized both through obtaining new equipment by purchasing it through NPCs, or by using ability points earned upon leveling up to strengthen certain abilities of his.

There are a number of different kinds of activities, quests, and fights, with an enormous map full of unique locations, story points, and even some minigames. The Witcher 3 is heavily focused on the story, so you'll want to focus on the game's narrative beats to get the absolute most out of the game's 100+ hours worth of content.

What's new in the Nintendo Switch edition?

The Witcher 3 physical copy (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Complete Edition does not include any brand new content. It does, however, include all DLC that has ever been released for the game, including both of its story expansions: Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine.

It's worth noting that the entire massive game comes on a single 32GB Nintendo Switch cartridge, and the physical boxed edition of the game includes some goodies such as a map, stickers, and a compendium that can help new players catch up on the story so far and the world of The Witcher. The downside to all this is that the game runs at 540p in handheld mode and 720p docked, so it won't look nearly as good as it does on other consoles.

However, if you also own the Witcher 3 on Steam or GOG, you'll be able to cross-save your game between the two versions. That means that you'll be able to progress on the PC version and can continue playing on the Nintendo Switch. This is perfect for when you're on your daily commute or when you go on a trip and can't take your PC with you.

Updated March 2020: Change article to an ultimate guide.

Reb Valentine