The launch of The Witcher 3’s next-gen update was something of a disaster, especially on PC, and CD Projekt Red has released an update to that platform that claims to address some of the issues. While the update problems weren’t even close to the level of Cyberpunk 2077, many users noted stuttering, crashes, and general performance problems. This was especially true for Ray Tracing on higher-end graphics cards, where that feature and DLSS were either not working or degrading performance even further.
The update comes with almost no patch notes, saying only that the hotfix “should improve the overall stability and performance, and fix GOG & Steam overlays. The game version won’t change.” The team goes on to say they continue to work on improvements and fixes across all platforms.
We jumped into the Witcher 3 before and after the update went live and can say that our stuttering has significantly improved. Running on a 3080 ultrawide setup, we got smooth frames on Ultra+ with ray tracing off. Turning ray tracing on, however, reveals there’s still much more to be done to improve that feature. The visuals became grainy, and the framerate tanked without noticeable improvement.
We also experienced a crash shortly after loading into the game, seemingly out of nowhere. At least several players in the update announcement’s Twitter thread mention crashes on startup with no joy in sight. There are also reports of low GPU utilization, which we can confirm from our testing.
Ultimately, the latest hotfix to The Witcher 3’s next-gen update is a good step in the right direction, but it has a ways to go before it’s up to the standard of well-optimized PC titles. For a seven-year-old game, that shouldn’t seem like too much to ask, but if The Witcher 3’s aging engine is having trouble handling newer tech, that may be part of the problem.