The Witcher 3 Next-Gen Unofficial Ray Tracing Optimizations Bring Considerable Performance Improvements

Francesco De Meo
The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3 next-gen update brings tons of new features and content to the open-world RPG by CD Projekt Red, including impressive ray tracing features that sadly impact performance too much on most gaming systems.

While the Polish developer is working on fixing the issues found in the update and improving performance, some dedicated fans have taken it into their hands to improve ray tracing performance. The Optimized Raytracing config file, which can be downloaded from Nexus Mods, introduces some tweaks for ray traced global illumination that improve performance with minimal impact on the visuals. In many cases, performance is still not where it's supposed to be, but these tweaks may finally make The Witcher 3 next-gen playable on certain systems with ray tracing features.

As mentioned above, CD Projekt Red is working on The Witcher 3 next-gen update issues and has already released two hotfixes that introduce slightly improved performance and stability on PC and more. The console versions of the game have yet to receive any major update, but it is likely that the first will come shortly after the beginning of the new year.

The Witcher 3 is now available on PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch worldwide. You can learn more about the next-gen update by checking out Alessio's piece.

The free The Witcher 3 Next-Gen update is finally here, at last, featuring a host of quality-of-life and gameplay improvements in addition to all the technical enhancements. On PC, players can enjoy a brand new Ultra+ graphics preset. Then, on top of that, they can enable four ray traced effects: global illumination, ambient occlusion, shadows and reflections, with the latter two unavailable on consoles.

With everything turned on, the game looks absolutely fantastic. Granted, it had a great base to begin with, but the textures are clearly higher quality here (partly thanks to the integrated mods), and the draw distance is massively improved, just like the accuracy and sharpness of reflections and shadows. The star of the show is the ray traced global illumination, though, which elevates the game's lighting to new heights.

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