The Witcher 3 Update 4.03 Adds XeSS Support, Better Ray Tracing And More

Witcher 3 Geralt Sword Hero
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was originally released in 2015, but developer CD Projekt is still updating the game. The title is up to patch version 4.03, and that version is available for PCs as well as PlayStation and Xbox game systems. That includes the last-gen consoles, so PS4 players and Xbox One gamers get to come along for the ride.

We're obviously a bit PC-focused here, so let's talk about the PC-specific patch notes. The new patch adds support for Intel's XeSS upscaling, which is the blue team's competitor for NVIDIA's DLSS and AMD's FSR. It's vendor-agnostic, but it definitely works best on Intel's own Arc GPUs. Good news for any Arc owners out there looking to play The Witcher 3.

The update also brings a bevy of bugfixes for the enhanced game's ray-traced visuals. Did you know The Witcher 3 got enhanced with improved texture and model quality alongside rich ray-traced lighting effects? Well, it did, but the performance impact was enormous when the original ray-traced update came out. This being the third update since ray-tracing was introduced, it continues to refine and improve performance for those effects.

Geralt Witcher 3

There are also some bug fixes for the ray-traced effects. RT shadows on vegetation should no longer pop into being as Geralt moves around. Testers and reviewers like us should stop running into black shadows after repeatedly toggling the ray-traced effects. Spiderwebs should stop rainbowing with camera movement, and a few other weird visual artifacts caused by ray-tracing have been resolved too.

Unsurprisingly, The Witcher 3 has a fairly-large modding community, and anytime such a game gets an update, it's likely that the developer will integrate popular user mods. That's happened here, where CDPR has bundled in a mod called "Next Gen Script Fixes" that is precisely what it sounds like: a batch of bugfixes for scripts and visual errors introduced in the 4.0 patch.

reddit comment rensin2
A comment from /u/Rensin2 on Reddit decrying the new QoL feature.

Arguably the biggest changes in this patch are to the gameplay, though. There's a new option—also inspired by a user mod—to auto-apply oils in combat. This change has been controversial even though it's opt-in, because some players feel it reduces the player knowledge required and shoves the needle away from "role-playing game" and more toward "hack & slash". Plus, in what is surely to be another controversial change, they've removed the ability for Geralt to eat food underwater—a very important decision to make eight years later.

We've covered the majority of it, but if you'd like to see the patch notes in the cool Witcher font, you can head over to the official site for the game and check them out there.