Witcher Wiki
"Though they are not warrior mages who employ powerful magic, witchers can cast simple magic spells that can prove effective when used properly. Witchers call these spells Signs and usually use them against monsters, though they also have non-combat applications."

Witchers prefer single-handed weaponry because it leaves their other hand free to cast signs. Known signs are Aard, Igni, Yrden, Quen, Axii, Heliotrop and Somne.

...The witchers adapted the spell, making use of the fact that it does not require knowledge of a magical formula — concentration and the hand gesture are enough. That's why they call it a Sign.
— pg(s). 309, Blood of Elves (UK edition)

It's worth to be noted that Sapkowski has written about signs not only in the Witcher Series - in the Warriors of God, the main character draw a sign called "Supirre" on the table, it is said to be used for eavesdropping.

In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt[]

In The Witcher 3, mastery of sign abilities enables Geralt to cast an alternate mode for each of the five sign types available in the game series. Signs are cast by pressing the Q key but casting them drains Stamina, so Geralt must wait for his Stamina to regenerate before he can recast a sign.

Keyboard shortcuts[]

Select Aard 3 key
Select Yrden 4 key
Select Igni 5 key
Select Quen 6 key
Select Axii 7 key

Sign intensity Sign intensity[]

Sign intensity modifies different effects depending on the sign:

Sign: Aard Igni Quen Yrden Axii
  • Stagger
  • Telekinetic damage
  • Fire damage
  • Burning
  • Physical damage reduction
  • Slowdown
  • Shock damage
  • Duration
  • Duration

Sign intensity boosters[]

In The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings[]

Unlike the original game, Geralt is not required to re-acquire his knowledge of signs in The Witcher 2. His knowledge of them is intact.

Tw2 sign aard.png Tw2 sign igni.png Tw2 sign yrden.png Tw2 sign quen.png Tw2 sign axii.png
Aard Igni Yrden Quen Axii
Aard – a telekinetic wave that can throw back, knock down or stun an opponent. This sign can also be used to destroy obstacles, for example crumbling walls or stacks of barrels.
Igni – a gush of flames that wound opponents. When upgraded, the sign has a chance of incinerating opponents and has a larger area of effect. It can also be used to detonate flammable gases emitted by some bombs.
Yrden – a magical trap placed on the ground, which will wound and immobilize opponents. The sign's basic level allows you to place a single yrden sign on the ground. After upgrading it, you'll be able to place up to three yrden signs at a time. These will work in unison, creating an impassible barrier.
Quen – a protective shield that lasts for 30 seconds at the sign's basic level. It is a sign that Geralt uses on himself – quen absorbs all damage directed at Geralt, and the upgraded version reflects 50% of the damage back toward to enemy. While quen is in effect, Geralt cannot regenerate vigor.
Axii – a charm placed on an opponent. If the charm attempt is successful, the enemy will become your ally for a short while, fighting at your side.
Heliotrop – not available immediately, requires development of the magic skill tree


Press CTRL key to select one of five icons on the left of the circle menù. Then press Q to cast it. The sign will strike the nearest opponent in front of Geralt. When you enhance a sign spending talent points in the relative Magic skills, it will hit more enemies at once with an area effect.

Vigor Casting cost[]

Every time you cast a sign it consumes some vigor. The vigor bar is on the top left corner of the screen, under the wolf head medallion and the red bar of vitality. When the vigor bar is zero, Geralt is not able to cast any sign or parry an opponent's hit. However some potions, using dedicated Places of Power or enhancing some specific skills like Vigor Regeneration and Fortitude, can increase the vigor regeneration in and out of combat.

  Magic tree Sign modifiers[]

The intensity and duration of signs mostly depend on the level of the magic skills. Also there are some items, some dedicated Places of Power and potions that can enhanced signs damage or increase their intensity:

Armors Silver swords Enhancements Potions Skills

In The Witcher computer game[]

Through the use of Circles of Elements, five of the signs become available over the course of the original game:

Aard Igni Yrden Quen Axii
Aard Igni Yrden Quen Axii
Heliotrope The Heliotrop sign was not included in the original game, but the FCR mod by the Ifrit Creative Group replaces the Axii sign with it.

Sign modifiers[]

Geralt's skill at using these signs is governed by the allocation of talents as he levels up. This allocation can affect the following:

  • Sign intensity — basically a multiplier for the severity of the sign cast.
  • Sign duration — used with signs like Quen and Yrden where the length of time a spell lasts is useful.
  • Whether or not a sign can be "powered up".

Cost of casting[]

The cost of casting a sign is typically measured in endurance. Casting signs uses up endurance and proficiency at casting those signs reduces the amount of endurance required to cast.


  • Leo, a witcher trainee, tells the witcher in the Prologue that he can not use signs since breaking his fingers on the gauntlet during training.
  • The signs included in the game are based on Classical Elements, both in their nature and by their symbols.
  • One sign which was considered, but not implemented, for the game was the Aagni sign, said to be a powerful combination of the Aard and Igni signs.