The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s Free Next-Gen Update Is Available Now, Bringing NVIDIA DLSS 3 & Ray Tracing

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of the highest rated games of all time and needs little introduction. Now, developer CD PROJEKT RED is upgrading their open-world role-playing masterpiece with a swathe of enhancements, a suite of advanced ray-traced effects, and NVIDIA DLSS 3 – totally free of charge for all existing owners.


The “Next-Gen Update” is available now on all storefronts, upgrading your existing installs of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt automatically. Once you load into the DirectX 12 version of the game, you can enable:

  • RTX Global Illumination (RTXGI), adding more immersive and realistic outdoor ray-traced lighting,
  • Ray-traced ambient occlusion, improving shading around objects occluding light,
  • Ray-traced shadows, improving the fidelity, clarity, realism and visibility of shadows,
  • Ray-traced reflections, increasing the accuracy and quality of reflections on bodies of water and other suitably reflective surfaces,
  • NVIDIA DLSS 3 AI-powered performance boosts for GeForce RTX 40 Series graphics cards,
  • NVIDIA DLSS 2, DLSS Super Resolution on all GeForce RTX PCs, laptops and GPUs,
  • NVIDIA Reflex, reducing system latency by up to 43%, for an even smoother, more responsive experience.

In addition to all that amazing tech, Ultra+ game settings increase draw distances, foliage density, background character detail, asset quality, and more. Texture resolutions are increased and environments gain new geometric detail. And so much more, which you can read about in full in the patch notes.

All of this is best experienced on GeForce RTX systems, thanks to our performance-accelerating Ray Tracing Cores, and DLSS, our best-in-class AI-powered super resolution technology. For further info, keep reading.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Ray Tracing

NVIDIA has worked closely with CD PROJEKT RED on numerous projects, and helped bring its awe-inspiring Cyberpunk 2077 ray tracing effects to life. Much of this work was instrumental in helping upgrade The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, enabling the introduction of four high-fidelity ray-traced effects that greatly enhance the realism of the game’s graphics.

Ray-Traced Global Illumination (RTXGI)

In reality, sunlight bounces, increasing the illumination of nearby surfaces and objects. Furthermore, the color properties of surfaces are absorbed and added to bounces, so for example, bright light bounced from a red wall to a white tiled floor would feature a tinge of red.

Recreating this effect in games requires ray tracing, and with the addition of NVIDIA RTX Global Illumination (RTXGI), the realistic properties of light can be accurately simulated with our highly performant technique (a lower-precision implementation of RTXGI is also available in the next-gen console edition of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt).

RTXGI is utilized in all gameplay and cutscenes, and is truly transformative. Combined with the updated time of day weather conditions, players will now experience a much more realistic image when exploring the massive world of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Colored lighting bounces realistically across the scene and onto characters, the warm glow of the sun is replicated across surfaces rather than just in the sky, and in general scenes appear as you would expect them to in reality.

Ray-Traced Ambient Occlusion

Ambient Occlusion generates shadows and adjusts shading where objects and game elements occlude light. This often manifests as the smallest, finest shadows around creases in clothing, between pages of paper, and around pebbles on the ground. Without ambient occlusion, games look flat, objects appear to be floating, and realism is greatly diminished.

With ray tracing, we can crank up the accuracy and quality of the effect, ensuring every nook and cranny is correctly shadowed, further refining image quality and immersion.

Ray-traced ambient occlusion enhances all gameplay and cutscenes, and works in tandem with RTXGI to make visuals even better.

Ray-Traced Shadows

Using ray tracing, we’re adding an extra level of refinement to shadows created by the sun, and the moon. These are intelligently incorporated with the game’s rasterized shadows to increase detail, most noticeably on finely-detailed game elements, and to alleviate shadow aliasing and other common issues.

These enhancements help ground objects and shadows, add genuine contact hardening and softening, and in general further improve fidelity, immersion and realism.

Ray-Traced Reflections

Ray-traced reflections primarily enhance large bodies of water and puddles, which previously relied on screen space reflections. With ray tracing, reflections are far more accurate, and occlusion artifacts are eliminated, creating a more cohesive and immersive image.

Ray-traced reflections are also applied to most other surfaces, improving image quality and realism throughout, with added detail most visible on floors, as in the game’s opening scene, on metal armor, and so on.

NVIDIA DLSS 3: Accelerate The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Frame Rates By Up To 2.3X

NVIDIA Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) is a groundbreaking revolution in AI-powered graphics, increasing performance on GeForce RTX GPUs using dedicated Tensor Cores.

Powered by new hardware capabilities of the NVIDIA Ada Lovelace architecture, DLSS 3 generates entirely new high quality frames, rather than just pixels.

Through a process detailed in full in our NVIDIA DLSS 3 article, DLSS 3 combines DLSS Super Resolution technology and DLSS Frame Generation to reconstruct 7/8ths of the displayed pixels, accelerating performance to previously unimaginable degrees.


DLSS 3 games are backwards compatible with DLSS 2 technology; developers simply integrate DLSS 3, and DLSS 2, also known as DLSS Super Resolution, is supported by default.

In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, DLSS 3 increases performance by up to 2.3X.

NVIDIA Reflex: Reduce System Latency By Up To 43%

Responsive gameplay is as important as having a high frame rate, and to ensure The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s gameplay is super smooth, we’re also brought NVIDIA Reflex to the game.

Reflex feature reduces system latency, meaning your actions occur faster, making gameplay feel snappier and more enjoyable. When enabled, Reflex reduces system latency by up to 43%.

In-game, enter the video options and activate NVIDIA Reflex. For even lower latency, select “On + Boost”, and optimize other parts of your system to further reduce system latency.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Next-Gen Game Ready Driver Is Available Now

To experience The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s next-gen update at its best, ensure you download and install our new Game Ready Driver. Grab it from GeForce Experience or

GeForce Experience also provides one-click optimal settings for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s next-gen update, allowing you to instantly configure the game’s many options for your system’s hardware, immediately giving you optimized gameplay. And using ShadowPlay and the app’s other options, you can record and stream gameplay. Head here to learn more about GeForce Experience’s many capabilities.

Lack A GeForce RTX PC? Play With RTX On GeForce NOW

Even if you don’t have a GeForce RTX PC or laptop, gamers can still enjoy The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Complete Edition with support for NVIDIA RTX and DLSS by streaming it from the cloud with NVIDIA GeForce NOW. Members can play over 1,400 full PC versions of games they already own from Steam, Epic Games Store, Ubisoft Connect, and

Sign up for free at, or upgrade to a RTX 3080 membership for exclusive access to  a powerful GeForce RTX 3080-class PC in the cloud. RTX 3080 members can stream their games at up to up to 4K / 60 FPS or 1440p / 120 FPS on PC and Mac, up to 4K HDR on NVIDIA SHIELD TV, and up to 120 FPS on select Android devices.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s Next-Gen Update Is Out Now: Experience It At Its Best On GeForce RTX

If you’re returning to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to play it for another hundred hours or more, or are just discovering the game for the first time, ensure you receive the definitive experience by playing on a GeForce RTX PC, laptop or graphics card.

Ray Tracing Cores will give you the highest levels of performance with the next-gen update’s new effects, NVIDIA DLSS 3 will accelerate your performance by up to 2.3X, and NVIDIA Reflex will make gameplay even more responsive, further enhancing exploration and combat.

As you’re marveling at the sights of the newly upgraded game, jump into photo mode and share your best screenshots using #RTXON, so the world can see what an awesome, amazing experience you’re having in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s ray-traced, DLSS-enhanced world.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the latest in a long line of RTX-enhanced games, and each month sees adoption of these technologies increase, so be sure to head back to frequently to learn what’s next for NVIDIA DLSS and ray tracing.