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Æon's FAQ for

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

v2.8787 Q&As – 11/22/2013
for The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings – Enhanced Edition v3.4.4.1
Edited by Æon (C) 2013


This FAQ is intended for the fans who have enjoyed, played and finished The Witcher 2, at least once, better twice, and are now wondering what quests, and other goodies they may have missed. In short, the FAQ is written for those that want to get more out of the game!
Note: The Overview section of the FAQ is actually intended for those not new to RPGs, but new to The Witcher 2, wondering how the game basically works.
Note²: In the other sections I am assuming you more or less know how the game works, i.e. you learned the basics from playing The Witcher 2.
The FAQ makes extensive use of the Witcher Wiki, mainly highlighting things of note. Should you miss specific details, feel free to check with the wiki, it is quite content complete.

Overview – Gameplay Mechanics

Should you have played several other RPGs, here you will find a compact summary of how The Witcher 2 works:
Basically you talk to NPCs (quest givers), solve quests, gain experience (XP), level up (character build), loot, trade, read books about monsters and other topics for background information, explore the world, and progress in the storyline like in any other RPG. But there are quite a few differences...

Vitality, Vigor, and Adrenaline

  • The most important player stat is Vitality (zero health means death), together with Vigor (number of Signs that can be cast in a row; the equivalent of a Mana bar in most other RPGs), and both luckily automatically regenerate over time. So, in theory you would not have to consume anything to replenish either, like the normally typical health and mana potions.
  • Additionally sword combat, or use of signs can gain the witcher Adrenaline, a maxed-out bar allows for special devastating "attacks".

Meditation, Toxicity, and Crafting Crafting Potions Bombs Diagrams

  • Geralt no longer needs to meditate in specific places. When not in combat, he can meditate almost anywhere. Several hours of meditation replenish Vitality, Vigor, and also cure Toxicity (i.e. intake of several potions). Though non-combat regeneration is usually so fast you need not meditate.
  • During combat regeneration is usually too slow, so the witcher needs to drink potions.
  • To craft more complicated items like armour, the witcher needs to consult a craftsman, requires a Diagram of the object he wants created, and the corresponding components.

Looting, Trade Junk Loot

  • The Witcher 2 does not punish looting, i.e. the NPCs ignore your stealing exploits completely.
  • Geralt's medallion highlights items, herbs, monsters, doors, and Circles of Power. So it is the most important gadget to locate loot. And you will use it a lot in the game.
  • Most of the loot is not worth very much, especially anything under the Inventory tab Junk, can be sold off for a very few orens, without second thought.
  • Differing from the first game, Geralt can now directly harvest herbs, no book reading required.
  • Differing from other games the Merchants' buy/sell prices for loot are always the same! So you can sell "junk" to anyone who will pay for it.
    Note: Earning the Haggling ability can reduce the price of items in shops by 20%.
  • Now conform to other RPGs, every merchant will buy everything. There is a certain degree of specialisation concerning what wares they have and sell though: herbalists will sell herbs and ingredients, smiths sell armour and weapons, innkeepers and a few elves sell "food" (categorized as Junk by the game, that cannot be consumed), a mage may sell magic related items like runes, etc.
  • Merchants will temporally keep everything you sell them in their inventory, letting you buy back items (not recommended due to the huge loss), if need be. But only for about an in-game day or so at the most, then all your sold items are gone.
  • Sold out merchants get a refill of their most important stocks every 24 hours.
  • The game makes it very difficult to earn additional money by trading goods, since your sell price is only ~1/24th of what you need to pay to buy it. This ratio is slightly better when trading with the Mysterious merchant, at about ~1:17, making his wares 30% cheaper to buy than from any other merchant.
  • You should be aware that anything that falls to the floor (monster leftovers, things the player deleted from the inventory) will disappear after a while. The loot will definitely be gone if you quicksave and then quickload, so the saves do not preserve dropped items. IIRC, any cutscene (e.g. flashback) that requires loading of a new location will also remove dropped items from the world. Entering town, or houses does not remove dropped items. So as long as you do not exit the game, you actually could temporarily drop items on the floor for safekeeping, just do not die or load a savegame. Also see the Safe Item Storage Location? Q&A.

Item Respawn, Inventory, Storage Inventory

  • Again differing from other RPGs, a collected plant will grow back after a relatively short time (~24h). This means unlimited plant resources. But since there are no really valuable plants that permanently increase the stats, and there is usually at least one merchant selling herbs in town, collecting them is not really much of a priority.
  • Items in chests (loot), cupboards etc. stay there until you empty the chest. These items do not respawn, obviously.
  • Alas, it is not possible to stow away excess items from the Inventory in normal chests. But you can store them with e.g. an innkeeper. Magically, any person with such a storage option will let you access your goods, even beyond the chapter limits. See the Storage opportunities Q&A.

Levelling Up, Talents, & Mutagens Quests Learning Mutagens

  • Solving quests, or slaying monsters will gain the player experience points (XP). With enough XP you will automatically reach the next level and earn Talent points.
  • There is a level cap of 35, that a thorough player should be able to reach towards the end of the game in Chapter 3. It should be noted that the game aggressively tries to limit the amount of XP you can gain from killing foes. Very early on in the game the weaker monsters will not be worth any XP at all, meaning that the largest XP and thus level jumps occur by solving quests.
  • Your Abilities on level up can be upgraded, by investing Talent points in the skill tree. Thus making the witcher more competent / powerful.
  • New in The Witcher 2 are Mutagens of varying potency that can be applied to any Ability with a mutagen slot. Since the number of slots is limited to 13 it is recommended to avoid wasting them with basic or lesser mutagens.


  • The Witcher 2 has a 24 hour time cycle (accelerated compared to real time), so you will experience sunrise, noon, sunset, and midnight in rather quick secession.
    Note: At night you will be more likely to stumble into dangerous monsters e.g. in the forest and near the river near Flotsam. Also note that merchants retire for the night, so it will be easier to find them by day.
  • 24 hours in-game (one virtual day) are equivalent to 1 hour in the real world. For an hour to pass in-game you only need to wait 2.5 minutes. The time scale factor is 24 (in The Witcher it was 15).
  • Some quests require the witcher to be present at a certain location at a specific time, though "after the sun sets" (at 2300 hours) is rather popular. These limitations in the time of day do not pertain to the actual day though. So you can visit the location several in-game days or even weeks later.
  • Use Meditation to time skip to the time of day you require or prefer.
  • Even though most dialogues with NPCs are not time restricted, a very few do require a quick reaction from the player to choose the dialogue option they would prefer, having a time-out. Apparently done to keep the flow of an intense situation going.

Combat, Magic & Signs Swords Armour Enhancements

  • Only two weapons are actually important for the witcher, his Steel sword (against humans) and his Silver sword (against monsters).
  • The witcher cannot equip shields and there are none he could trade, only some guards carry them.
  • Armour used to be limited to very few leather jackets. Now there is a very large selection of them, and many of these can be upgraded via Armor enhancements.
  • From the very start the witcher knows five different forms of magic, called Signs.
  • These spells use up Vigor, thus the importance of regeneration.
  • The Signs are an important addition to sword fighting, providing: Flame attacks, stun, magical shields, traps, and mental manipulation.
  • If everything else fails you can usually outrun your foes, who will give up the chase after a while. Provided the "combat area" has not been closed off in some way.
  • Geralt can no longer consume potions during combat, these have to be consumed before combat. And potions can no longer be placed into quickslots, as a consequence. But up to three potions can be consumed.
  • To attract prey of a certain type, five different types of Lures have become available. Their use seems to be questionable, certainly none of the quests require you to use a lure. And only one quest (The Harpy Contract) uses something along these lines, a Harpy trap.

Non-Continuous World Location

  • The Witcher 2 is not a continues world, e.g. like Two Worlds, but a sectioned / partitioned world.
  • A set of locations becomes accessible with each Chapter of the game, letting the player freely explore them (excluding a few locked areas).
  • Entering caves or buildings or sectioned areas now only requires streaming and usually not a "complete" level load.
  • Every time a Chapter is finished that part of the game world will be permanently inaccessible from then on, so be sure you finish all quests first. See the Breaks in the Game? Q&A.
    Note: Some quests span more than one chapter.
  • Stored items (e.g. with innkeepers) transcend the chapters. You will first have to find the NPC providing storage access first though.
  • The world is pretty safe to navigate, i.e. you cannot fall off cliffs, you cannot jump, and if a jump (or climb, or descent) is required it does not require any form of "jump'n'run" skill.

Interaction, NPCs Characters

  • Alas, the way you interact with NPCs has not changed for the better, IMO. Almost all NPCs now have unique names, and there is no colour distinction for their names either. So you literally have to talk to everyone, just to be sure they are not potential quest givers.
  • The game seems to "try" to point out special NPCs, marking them with a blue dot on the mini-map. Though that does not always seem to work. Merchants, craftsmen, shops and inns are reliably marked on the mini-map though.
  • So talk to everyone you meet. And talk to them more than once.
  • After solving a quest for a quest giver, be sure to talk to all previously talkative NPCs again, they may have additional information or another quest.
  • Solving a main quest, can have repercussions on some of the other NPCs, thus it can be quite rewarding to talk to them again.
  • To make it easier for the player to detect new dialogue options when talking to NPCs, all new dialogues are highlighted in a whitish grey, old dialogues are marked in light grey (not the best colour choice), the main dialogue options are marked in orange.

Alchemy Alchemy

  • The Alchemy system has been significantly simplified. Per se you cannot create something new, for everything you want to create you first need a Formula. It is no longer possible to guess at a combination of base substances, and simply try them out.
  • All ingredients contain one of now nine (used to be six) possible basic substances:
Aether tw2 Caelum tw2 Fulgur tw2 Hydragenum tw2 Quebrith tw2 Rebis tw2 Sol tw2 Vermilion tw2 Vitriol tw2
  • Not the ingredients but the basic substances they contain are relevant for alchemy.
  • There no longer are any secondary substances in alchemy.
  • To create potions, oils, or bombs, simply follow the instructions of the Formula by selecting it. The required ingredients are then automatically selected. You have the choice of manually changing the origin of a base substance, e.g. from one plant to another ingredient with the same base substance. But that is pretty much a waste of time. In The Witcher micromanaging the ingredients to always use the cheapest, most abundant ones, is no longer relevant in The Witcher 2.
  • And you also no longer need specific skills to create oils or bombs, neither do you need to learn about plants. The witcher simply knows all these things from the start.
  • Ingredients sources are plants, monsters, and loot, though shops sell them too.
  • Reading books about monster lore or the like is no longer required, neither do you need to learn anything new to extract ingredients from monsters, because you learned all that already in The Witcher, or so one might imagine.

Importing previous Story

When starting a new game of The Witcher 2, you have the option to import a previous savegame (from the very end of The Witcher).
This way the story you played and the decisions you made in the previous game will be in part reflected in the current game. E.g. notably Siegfried will make an appearance, should you have helped him / let him live in the previous game.
As a slight bonus for fans of the series the imported savegame will provide Geralt with better swords, a better armour, and about 1% of the coin additionally, right from the start in The Witcher 2. Note though, even the legendary Aerondight silver sword will very quickly be surpassed by better swords in the game.
For a detailed list of goodies you can import, see Saved game import, also see The Witcher 2 starting equipment.

General Gameplay & Tips

The Witcher 2 gameplay Goals?

There are quite a few things you can/will want to achieve when playing the game:

How to Maximize your XP?

Due to the quite easily reachable level cap of 35, and the fact that the game reduces the monster XP gain to zero very quickly, making serious grinding for XP impossible, any attempt at trying to increase the level gain is pointless in The Witcher 2.

How to Run faster?

The normal running speed of the Geralt is — compared to the walking speed — already quite brisk for an RPG. But should you want to run even faster, draw any one of your swords (1-key or 2-key by default), and then while running forwards (you are in combat mode actually) hit the Dodge key (Space by default) in regular intervals, to keep on rolling forwards. Surprisingly this ups Geralt's speed by a factor of 1.5, and certainly helps traverse forests much more quickly.
Tip: In Chapter 2, this lets you easily outrun all the foes on the battlefield in the mist.
Note: In "peaceful areas", like towns (e.g. Flotsam or Vergen) it is possible to draw your swords, but you might get in trouble with the NPCs telling you to put away your sword.

How to See in the dark?

Geralt does some spelunking in caves, crypts, and sewers where the visibility in the dark can drop, but never to almost zero as in The Witcher. So in The Witcher 2 you really do not need any special means for improving sight in dark areas, none-the-less:
  • The traditional way to light caves in RPGs is the use of a torch. No longer available in the game though.
  • A much better method to see in the dark is to use the Cat potion. It works really well, even lets you see NPCs and monsters through walls. This does raise Geralt's Toxicity level though. Alas The Witcher 2 no longer really takes advantage of the absolute dark, and it does not seem to let you find any "hidden" secrets either.

Harvest / Loot more Quickly?

There is no way to loot more quickly any longer, in The Witcher it used to be possible via Ctrl + left-clicking.

Interacting with Objects?

To locate the items the witcher can interact with, activate the Medallion. These are then surrounded by an orange wavering mist, that glows for a short time.
Aside from NPCs, you can interact (open, climb, descend, jump, use) with Barrels, Chests, Wardrobes, Dressers, Plants, Ledges, and the Remains of slain enemies. Be sure to check all of these, since most of them yield loot:
  • All sorts of valuables, weapons, armour, runes, potions, plants, and junk can either be used or sold off.
  • Orens (gold coins), their amount per e.g. chest is quite ridiculously low though.
  • Books, diagrams, formulae, ...
  • Ingredients for alchemy
  • Crafting components to craft more complicated items like armour.
  • Not forgetting important Quest items, like keys.
  • ... and many more things

First-time Dialogue Options?

Usually dialogues with NPCs will let you re-ask questions, letting you listing to stories or valuable information a second time.
Note: In such dialogue trees, the dialogues you have already followed are greyed out, helping you remember old information and notice new dialogue options in whiteish-grey!
But in most cases your first interaction with a new NPC, can yield unique one-time-only dialogues. Apparently you can no longer insult NPCs in dialogues, i.e. so that they would refuse to talk to you from then on!
Alas The Witcher 2 has the mildly off-putting mechanism of presenting more dialogue choices than you can systematically go though, e.g. four dialogue options are presented, but after 2 or 3 the NPC moves on to another topic making you miss some of the possible information. This happens very often.
Tip: Always quicksave before you talk to a new NPC. Should the dialogue not go well, e.g. failed Persuasion, or if you missed some of the dialogue options, simply quickload again. This lets you experiment with and listen to the outcome of the other dialogue options.
Tip²: The dialogue options are normally sorted by priority, highest priority on top, lowest, often optional dialogue options at the bottom. So to ensure you are getting the most out of an NPC, start with the bottom ones, listening to the less important information first.

Is there a Crime System?

Differing from other RPGs, in The Witcher 2, the looting of objects (see the Interacting with Objects? Q&A) is not considered a crime. The NPCs completely ignore this.
Violent repercussions usually occur through either dialogues or by some "automatic" area trigger, spawning foes. Though running around with your sword drawn in "peaceful areas", like towns, can make guards attack you.
Note: During combat you cannot accidentally attack allies.

Fleeing from Foes in Combat?

Usually you should be able to outrun your foes when combat is initiated, thus letting you leave the area of combat, should the fight not go well. Or if you cannot leave the area, at least you can keep out of reach by running in circles. Note that now being able to run faster significantly helps, see the How to Run faster? Q&A.
Note: The foes only follow you for a certain distance and then give up.
In a few cases, this running away tactic will not work:
  • The fistfight (mini-game) now locks you into a quick time event. You can either win or lose it, no running away possible.
  • In other situations there may not be anywhere to run to. When cornered in castle halls or an arena, you cannot jump over foes by double-tapping the appropriate direction key when your sword is drawn any longer though.
Tip: When e.g. Swallow cannot regenerate your vitality quickly enough, running away will give you an extra moments' breather. Does not work well against foes that shoot projectiles, though. The Sign Quen (shield) is also a good choice when you are low on health trying to run away and/or trying to regenerate.
Also note that you cannot enter buildings or leave areas (e.g. climb ledges) when in combat mode.

Combat Tips?

After playing the game for a while it becomes quite clear how useful the Signs are, here a few tips:
  • When exploring caves, mines, or catacombs with many dangerous monsters, avoid moving around after killing the current flock of foes. This avoids triggering the next batch of monsters, giving you time to recover and quicksave.
  • During combat the game cannot be saved, so be sure to take advantage of a pause in combat to save the game, just in case.
  • If everything fails, remember you can usually outrun your foes (see Fleeing from Foes in Combat? Q&A). Also do not underestimate the use of geometry (a column, or sarcophagus), letting you keep the monster on the other side.
  • Start investing Talents in the Character development tree, especially the Magic one, since signs are very powerful against foes:
Aard sign
Igni sign
Yrden sign
Quen sign
Axii sign
  • Aard (blue) lets you stun (even freeze) monsters and humans, letting you strike them down with one single blow with the sword.
  • Igni (red) lets you torch everything around you. This is the most powerful remote combat "weapon" available to the witcher (if you ignore traps, bombs, and daggers). Keep flaming your opponent, run in circles until the Vigor has regenerated (drink Tawny owl), then torch again, repeat. This lets you beat the toughest opponents. Apparently in The Witcher 2 no foe is immune to Igni (i.e. fire), so this is the sign of choice in combat!
  • Quen (yellow) lets you create a temporary shield around Geralt. Note: When attacking or using another Sign the shield will no longer fail, but if Geralt takes damage it quickly will. Use the Sign when fighting in cramped surroundings, where it is difficult to avoid opponents by simply running in circles. Very useful!
  • With a strong sign-centred character build, creating traps via Yrden (purple) can be quite effective, especially against enemies with physical (soldiers) or energy (mages) shields. These traps not only get past their defence, with the appropriate skill they can even be locked in place.
  • Most boss fights cannot be won by directly attacking with Signs or the swords. There is usually a clever game mechanic that lets you kill them in another manner. So pay close attention to your surroundings, and make use of them.
  • Ranged weapons now help in combat to damage foes, while keeping a usually safe distance from them. Not only Daggers are available in combat, but also Bombs can actually now be thrown at opponents precisely (press and hold R-key to aim).
  • (***Test: throw flammable gas bomb, and igni to burn up all foes in the area)
  • (***more tips would be interesting)

Regeneration & Meditation?

A well prepared fighter, is a fighter that survives the next battle!
It is always a good idea to completely regenerate before you enter a new area, e.g. a cave or tavern etc. So waiting for your vital stats to regenerate is a good idea.
Since Geralt automatically heals (Vitality), regenerates Vigor, and also reduces Toxicity over time, you simply need to stand around and wait. Using Meditation in The Witcher 2 is neither required nor effective.
Note: Sleeping at an inn or some hut with a bed has been dropped from the game.
Especially when about to engage in combat, you may want to consume various goods to up your Vitality or Vigor values. Potions are most potent in this respect, so ensure you always have some at hand, especially Swallow and Tawny owl.
Whenever you encounter / find a Circle of Power (using the Medallion) be sure to traverse the energy field to reap one of several temporary stats bonuses: Armour +20, Vitality +2 regeneration (+1 in combat), Sign intensity +20%, Vigor regeneration +2 (+1 in combat), or Damage +20%.
Note: Provided the Circles of Power are in relative proximity, i.e. the timer of the first one has not run out yet, you can activate more than one such stats bonus at the same time (actually all five are possible).

Revisiting yields new Items?

During the game you will revisit areas, the second time under slightly different circumstances.
Well since the game is firmly confined to single Chapters and thus location at one time, you cannot actually revisit any of them in one run. But events in a Chapter may change the locations slightly.
  • In Chapter 2, on Roche's path: Henselt's camp, the Kaedweni camp, will significantly change after Geralt's visit to Vergen, returning from his then third trip through the mist. I.e. the camp will have been pretty much deserted, tents gone, many of Roche's men hanged. Now the items in the camp may not be new, but some of them may now no longer be blocked by NPCs or tents, letting you collect them. Nothing significant though.
  • Another such significant change happens in Flotsam in Chapter 1: Just before deciding on what path to take, there is a showdown between Iorveth and Letho at the elven ruins. Geralt can choose to give Iorveth a sword when Roche's soldiers attack the Scoia'tael or not. In the former case, returning to Flotsam will be a nightmare, the town is in chaos, non-humans are getting slaughtered. Should Geralt choose to do the latter, festivities will ensue, celebrating the capture of Iorveth. The town is very much changed in terms of decoration, but no new items seem to become available.
Even though revisiting areas may not yield much, it can be worthwhile to revisit NPCs after significant advancements in the main story of the game in that particular Chapter.
  • In Chapter 1, the Mysterious merchant after killing the Kayran (***need to check this in detail): the merchant then features a few more powerful swords and at least one better armour.
  • In Chapter 2, again the Mysterious merchant updates his stock, after Geralt returns from traversing the mist (***check?).
  • In Chapter 3, (***anything?)

Dialogue breaks & exploration?

When you get to a certain point in a quest, you may get locked into a dialogue, not letting you continue your incomplete exploration of the surroundings. E.g. the game lets you leave the caves directly to reach the surface or lets you continue exploring and not directly join a faction at a new location. Even though it may be slightly more tedious to get to the "exit point", it is recommended to stay where you are and explore the area for possible extra goodies.
  • After Zoltan leads Geralt to a secret hiding place of the Scoia'tael in Chapter 1, a Arachas arena actually, after defeating the beast, the player can choose to follow Iorveth to another location directly. But if you stay in the arena, look for a cave in the south-west corner, to find Iorveth's hideout (contains a few items).
  • In the caves under Vergen in Chapter 2, after some exploration, Geralt can exit the caves directly, but again looking around instead will yield a very few extra items.
  • On Iorveth's path in Chapter 2, when Geralt finally makes it to the northern Nilfgaardian camp, defeating the soldiers there, you can directly leave with Roche, or look around. Stay and check out the tents instead, though.

Safe Item Storage Location?

Normally anything you drop on the floor, will be removed by the game after you leave the area. A bit less radically in The Witcher 2. And the chests and other loot containers cannot be used to store your items either!
For details see the Storage opportunities Q&A.

Cannot identify plants?

Balisse Bryonia Celandine Green mold Mandrake root Verbena White myrtle petals Wolf's aloe leaves Wolfsbane Cortinarius Dwarven immortelle Scleroderm
Luckily by default Geralt can now directly recognize and collect plants, and no longer requires something like the Herbalism skill from The Witcher.

Looking for Spoilers?

If you are looking for various tips and help on how to get the most out of the game then look into the spoiler-related pages see the Spoilers category.
see The Witcher 2 ending
see also The Witcher 2 decision checklist (a must read!)
see also² Gameplay Quick Guide

View mode Tips?

In The Witcher 2 there no longer is an option to change the view mode, you have only one fixed over the shoulder view, and there is no way to change the field of view (FOV) either.

Character Building

Character Interaction

Be sure to look into the Character interaction related to gameplay icons. These are quite significant during dialogues.
see also Character development

On how to spend Talents?

TW2 skill tree

The Witcher 2 Character Abilities tree

It is advisable to carefully read the ability tooltips before spending your limited number of Talent points on them. After some reflection you may find that certain skills conductive to your playing style. This time round, with four ability trees to choose from, you will probably only be able to maximize Training and another one. So more than 50% of the other abilities will not become available in one game run.
Available Character Abilities trees:
  • Generally if you prefer a Mage or Battle Mage character build, it is very advisable to invest in the Magic tree.
  • Since Igni (red) so very much dominates the game, investing talents here really helps fend off all those foe masses.
  • And since Aard (blue) is also very useful to stun powerful foes, to then finish them off with one sword attack, invest in it as well.
  • The Alchemy tree is a lot less useful in The Witcher 2 since potions are so much less relevant. So upping their strength or duration is barely worth it.
  • Should you prefer to not want to use Signs a lot, focusing more on swordplay, invest heavily in the Swordsmanship tree. If you do go the Sign path, it does help to invest a very few Talent points here as well.
see also Character development

Storage opportunities

Alas, Geralt cannot clean up his inventory by storing items he presently does not need by either simply dropping them on the floor somewhere in the game or by placing them in some random chest or other container.
The proper gameplay mechanism to store items is to make use of special NPCs in the game — usually innkeepers found at inns and taverns. Anything you give them for safekeeping can be retrieved for free from any other NPC in the game that also provides storage. And that across the whole game!
Storage opportunities:
see The Witcher 2 storage
also see The Witcher 2 Shopping List (***might exist some day)

Advanced Looting?

Tips on how to get more orens (oren(s)) out of the game:
  • Obviously search every barrel, chest, wardrobe, dresser, tomb, etc. for loot, to then sell it to the appropriate merchant. But, alas, many items can never be looted, since Geralt cannot reach them, an irritation left by the devs apparently.
  • A few items may be initially out of reach, e.g. in the lower Kaedweni camp are not accessible from the inside of the tent, but may be accessible from the outside. Or when on Roche's path the camp is abandoned, suddenly the items are no longer blocked by NPCs or other items. Note this is not often the case, and the loot yield is negligible.
  • The game makes it very difficult to earn additional money by trading goods, since your sell price is only ~1/24th of what you need to pay to buy it (e.g. ingredients, weapons, runes). This ratio is slightly better when trading with the Mysterious merchant at ~1:17, making his wares 30% cheaper to buy than from any other merchant. By learning the Haggling skill, you can drop the buy prices with merchants another 20% though.
  • Also play as many quests, in particular contracts, as possible. You will not only earn orens, but at times also quite valuable items.
  • Differing from other games the Merchants' buy/sell prices for loot are always the same! So you can sell "junk" to anyone who will pay for it.
  • There is one exception, the Mysterious merchant will have -30% lower prices on his wares than other merchants. Though that will not help you sell your loot for more. Note that his stock gets updated with new wares, after significant quest progress in each chapter.
  • Over all it is *really* difficult to earn a lot of orens in the game, because even when crafting items from collected and thus free components, the selling price for e.g. crafted armour is too ridiculously low.
  • (*** More tips on what to brew or craft from ingredients you find for free but that yield as much profit as possible would be interesting.)
  • The potion Cat (see through walls) had huge potential to uncover stashes of hidden loot, but apparently there is no such loot hidden anywhere. Using the Medallion shows any "hidden" location much more consistently, so go with that.

What items should I keep?

Most of the items in the game can be sold away for that extra bit of coin. Interestingly, this time round in The Witcher 2 there are actually very few items you will need to get for NPCs as part of a quest. None-the-less it can be quite time saving to know about these items, and to collect them early on in the game, to set them aside for later use.
  • In A Sackful of Fluff (Chapter 2) you will need to collect a total of 80 Harpy feathers. Be sure to barter with Elthon for the best price. Since these feathers are abundant at the Old quarry, selling off any excess ones can earn serious additional coin.
  • In a very few quests having herbs on hand to brew a specific potion can be convenient. Since there are so many plants to collect, and they weigh nothing, keep about 10 of each variety and sell off the rest.
  • Basically, Geralt can only use one steel sword and one silver one, and one set of armour. So getting or crafting the best of these would let you sell off everything else you find that is less powerful.
  • (*** other examples?)
See the extensive chapter-based The Witcher 2 Shopping List (***might exist some day) for details.

Boost the Sword stats?

Boosting the stats of your favourite swords has become a lot simpler in The Witcher 2.
  • Basically you either craft, find, or buy runes and place them in your swords, provided they have (1 to 3) enhancement slots.
Earth rune Fire rune Moon rune Sun rune Ysgith rune
  • Again oils can be used to temporarily up the swords stats. Note: Oils only work on steel swords!
Arachnid oil Brown oil Falka's Blood Hanged man's venom Insectoid oil Necrophage oil Specter oil Whirl
  • Much in the same way, a Whetstone will up a swords damage values for a while.
Geralt has become quite apt at all this, so creating the oils, or placing runes in swords can be done by him at any time without external help (thus there are no additional costs involved).
For more details see Blade enhancements.

Use of Meteorite Ore?

Blue meteorite ore
Red meteorite ore
Yellow meteorite ore
Even though at the beginning of the game the meteorite ore seems to have much potential (valuable and rare, and you destroy runes to craft it!) its use has a lot less potential than one might hope. The crafted swords are a bit of a let-down, especially since you will find or receive better swords if you play the game systematically.
Tip: The interesting swords crafted from ore are only available when playing in Dark Mode, though.

Runes as enhancements?

Earth rune
Fire rune
Moon rune
Sun rune
Ysgith rune
Differing from The Witcher, the five different Runes in The Witcher 2, though expensive, are actually quite common, since several merchants carry them in their default inventory, and this inventory even if sold out is restocked after only 24 hours. So in theory there is a limitless supply of runes in the Chapters 1–3.
Runes are much easier to use now, since Geralt himself can place them in the swords' rune slots to enhance the weapon's base statistics.
Note: Again differing from The Witcher, only using runes of one type in either a steel or a silver sword (runes now work for both), do not yield any "hidden" additional stats bonuses. The stats are simply added up, so using three runes of the same kind, just yields three times the stats values of one rune.
What Runes to use? That depends on your priority:
  • To maximize your Vitality (+25 per rune), add Earth runes.
  • To increase sword Damage (+5 per rune), add Fire runes, for swordsmen.
  • To increase Sign Damage (+4 per rune), add Moon runes, recommended for mage-type players.
  • To increase sword Damage (+5% per rune), add Sun runes, again for swordsmen.
  • To increase sword Damage (+7% per rune), add Ysgith runes, for swordsmen that also like to poison.

Items to definitely pick up?

Apart from powerful and rare swords, usually received by solving quests, there are a few items you will want to get:
  • Alas, even though extensive exploration will yield a few items of interest here and there, you can often either buy or craft better ones.
  • (*** where?)
  • When following Cedric's blood path into the forest around Flotsam in Chapter 1, after finally finding him and seeing him die, Zoltan and Dandelion will suggest to either take Iorveth's path or Roche's path. But before you leave, be sure to find Cedric leaning against an old tree nearby and search his body for his Elven armor (Geralt's maximum load +15).
  • In Chapter 2, to the north-east of the Kaedweni camp there is an almost enclosed area with an Arachas, the Visionary (on Roche's path) also sends you there to test his "potion". There a skeleton can barely be made out in the flat water, on it find the Arbitrator steel sword.

Armour to increase max. load?

Quite early in the game it will become clear that one of the primary limits to looting items is their combined weight. It is in theory not the amount of items. Exceed this weight limit and running is no longer possible, and combat becomes problematic, making any further exploration very tedious indeed.
Alas, there are no potions with permanent effect that could up your strength to allow you to carry more weight. But there are certain special armour-related items that let you increase Geralt's maximum load:
Name Info  Effect(s) Enhancement
Source Buy Sell Weight
Tw2 armor vicovaro
Armor of Vicovaro Armor
Armor +24
Load +45
2 Renuald aep Matsen 2739 – 3423 oren(s) 138 oren(s) weight 20
Tw2 armor elven
Elven armor Armor
Armor +8
Load +15
1 Cedric 1003 oren(s) 41 oren(s) weight 12
Tw2 armor longrobustgauntlets
Long robust gauntlets Robust gauntlets
Armor +1
Load +5
Craftable 684 oren(s) 28 oren(s) weight 1
Tw2 armor elderbloodgauntlets
Elder Blood gauntlets Gauntlets
Armor +2
Load +15
Craftable 902 – 1127 oren(s) 46 oren(s) weight 2
Tw2 armor heavyelvenarmor
Heavy elven armor Armor
Armor +8
Load +20
2 Craftable 1123 oren(s) 46 oren(s) weight 20
Tw2 armor elvengauntlets
Elven gauntlets Gauntlets
Armor +2
Load +5
Philippa Eilhart 1162 oren(s) 47 oren(s) weight 0.5
Tw2 armor kaedwenifalconersgauntlets
Kaedweni falconer's gauntlets Superb gloves
Armor +2
Load +5
Craftable / Falas 577 oren(s) 24 oren(s) weight 2
Tw2 armor longstuddedleathergauntlets
Long studded leather gauntlets Gauntlets
Armor +1
Load +5
Craftable / Loot 660 oren(s) 27 oren(s) weight 1
Tw2 armor Darkdifficultyglovesa1
Blasphemer's gauntlets Cursed gauntlets
Armor +2
Load +15
Craftable 1457 oren(s) 59 oren(s) weight 1
Tw2 armor Darkdifficultyarmora2
Oathbreaker's armor Cursed armor
Armor +30
Load +50
3 Craftable 6282 oren(s) 315 oren(s) weight 22
Tw2 armor Darkdifficultyglovesa2
Oathbreaker's armor Cursed gauntlets
Armor +3
Load +20
Craftable 1549 oren(s) 78 oren(s) weight 1
Tw2 armor Darkdifficultyglovesa3
Kinslayer's gauntlets Cursed gauntlets
Armor +4
Load +25
Craftable oren(s) 98 oren(s) weight 1
Tw2 armor elderbloodgauntlets
Wild Hunt gauntlets Gauntlets
Armor +3
Load +10
1 Craftable ? oren(s) 133 oren(s) weight 2
Tw2 armor vranarmor
Wild Hunt armor Armor
Armor +30
Load +30
2 Craftable 6912 oren(s) 277 oren(s) weight 25
Tw2 armor elderbloodtrousers
Wild Hunt trousers Trousers
Armor +3
Load +15
Craftable ? oren(s) ? oren(s) weight 3
Tw2 armor elderbloodboots
Wild Hunt riding boots Boots
Armor +2
Load +10
Craftable ? oren(s) ? oren(s) weight 3
Tw2 armor dragonbreathsabatons
Basilisk boots Boots
Armor +3
Load +10
Craftable ? oren(s) ? oren(s) weight 3
Tw2 armor gnomishpatternbreeches
Gnomish pattern breeches Trousers
Armor +3
Load +20
1 Craftable ? oren(s) ? oren(s) weight 6
Tw2 armor mongoosegauntlets
Mongoose gauntlets Gauntlets
Armor +3
Load +15
1 Craftable ? oren(s) ? oren(s) weight 2
Tw2 armor tirtochair
Tir Tochair armor Armor
Armor +25
Load +55
3 Craftable / Loot ? oren(s) ? oren(s) weight 22
Note:As you will note some of the items probably need to be crafted, others are rare.
Note²: The very rare items, only available when playing in Dark Mode are not listed here.

Geralt losing equipped items?

This may seem a bit strange, but I actually lost Geralt's "pretty good boots" at the start of Chapter 1, and was running around barefooted for most of the chapter because I could not find new ones. Had to craft some.
As it turns out the Inventory interface can be a bit flaky when trying to control it predominantly by keys. When looting e.g. in the mines of Vergen you will quickly over-weigh Geralt by picking up too much iron ore. So to continue looting and normal running speed, you will have to quickly drop items. But if you are not careful, quickly pressing the Del-key will not delete the item your mouse may be hovering over in the inventory list, but actually delete the items selected by default, and these are the items Geralt is currently wearing.
So be mindful of this when playing. (Happened to me at lest 4–5 times.)


What Quests are there?

The Witcher 2 is a complex game. This list will help you track down those few quests you may have missed or not completed for some reason. For an overview look into the List of Quests sorted by Chapter (97 quests total) on the wiki, where you can distinguish between primary (11), and secondary (79) quests, and contracts (7).
Alignment-related Quests: There are quite a few quests related and exclusive to the path you choose. The main path choices are: Roche's path and Iorveth's path that pretty much define how Chapter 2 plays out. But later in Chapter 3 there are more choices to be made with a very few exclusive quests related to whom you decide to save. For an in-depth overview of what paths and choices are to be made in the game see The Witcher 2 endings.
Multi-chapter Quests: Many of the primary quests actually span most of the game, i.e. Geralt trying to retrieve his memory, and trying to find the kingslayer.
Also read the How to Look up Missed Quests? Q&A.

How to Look up Missed Quests?

The simplest way to find out what quests you missed playing through The Witcher 2 would be load the final savegame of that run into a savegame editor, to then look into the Quests tab under Not Started. Alas a Save Editor for The Witcher 2 does not exit, presently.
Since that is not possible, the only way to check / compare the list of quests you played against the complete list of The Witcher 2 quests, is to load a savegame, towards the very end of the game, just before the final talk with Letho in Chapter 3, to then open the quest log or journal via J-key, and then take screenshots of all the quest names to compare them against the wiki page. A bit tedious, but there you are.
Note: Should you be wondering how so many quest names are completely new to you (especially in Chapter 2), then this probably has to do with the path you chose in the game. E.g. you only played Iorveth's path, and did not play Roche's path. Both paths have a significant amount of mutually exclusive quests (one towards the end of Chapter 1, 17 in Chapter 2, and 5 to 6 in Chapter 3). So you will need to play the game at least twice to be able to properly check what you may still have missed.

Quest alternatives easily missed?

Most quests have slight variations that may be difficult to catch:
  • Up the stairs, to the left there is a cell with a prisoner that will call for the guards if you sneak past. When he starts to holler, hide behind a column, the distracted guard will talk to the prisoner (but differing from the Gameplay Movie 1 - Prison Break Trailer.avi from the GOG.com bonus material, the guard does not enter the cell to beat up the prisoner). Alternately Geralt can "calm" the prisoner.
  • Continuing the previous path will lead to a room with a door leading to the torture chamber. Either Aryan La Valette (Aryan was not killed) or the Baroness La Valette (Aryan is dead) will appear in that room. But this direct path is only one possible path.
  • Exiting Geralt's cell, instead go up the stairs, then turn right, there is a locked door up here, continue right, take out both guards and get the key. Open the looked door, go down the trap door. This leads to a crack in the wall of the torture chamber, if Aryan is dead, you will be able to free the half-unclothed Baroness La Valette. Interesting dialogues follow, giving the witcher an early insight into what is about to happen to the royal bastards and what the nobility is up to. Should Aryan be alive, he will be tortured, and the witcher can free him instead, the fate of his mother, the Baroness, is unclear.
  • See The Dungeons of the La Valettes for detailed walkthroughs on how to actually sneak out of prison. Other than Roche commenting on your escape, there does not seem to be any benefit in sneaking out though.
  • Not something to easily miss on Iorveth's path but interesting non-the-less:
  • When playing With Flickering Heart in Chapter 2, be sure to actually lure out the Succubus with the right lines of song, to then choose to confront the succubus either as Geralt, but also as Dandelion.
  • When playing For a Higher Cause! on Iorveth's path in Chapter 3 you have two paths to get to Philippa Eilhart, who has been locked up in the sewer dungeon. The more exploratory path (more loot, dangerous, slower) is to take the sewer entrance from the main square in Loc Muinne. The alternate path, to get arrested, as suggested by Iorveth, and actually preferred by Geralt (quicker), could be overlooked though. On the main square of Loc Muinne, just to the south-east of the notice board in front of the tavern, there are some dice players. If you win they will accuse you of cheating, if they win Geralt will accuse them. The ensuing row will bring in the guards, and get Geralt into a cell next to Philippa Eilhart (the dialogues here play out differently).
  • When entering the tower, to meet up with Cynthia in the quest The Secrets of Loc Muinne (only on Iorveth's path) in Chapter 3, be sure to open the other doors leading away from the stairwell. One room contains Resonating crystals, where you need to use Igni (on two crystals) and Aard (on the other two) to unlock the door to some interesting loot like the Forgotten vran sword.

Quests easily missed?

Interestingly the quests most easily missed are not those you actually did miss in your game run, but those you could not play due to your choice of path. So if you played Iorveth's path (1+17+5 unique quests) in one run, you missed all the quests specific to Roche's path (1+17+6 unique quests). So do replay the game on the other path as well.
Other quests you might have missed:
see The Witcher 2 quests
also see the Alignment dependant Quests? Q&A

Alignment dependant Quests?

There are a total of 23 quests unique to Iorveth's path, and 24 quests unique to Roche's path.
See The Witcher 2 quests to quickly look up which those are. Provided you actually do play both paths in two runs, you should have no trouble finding all quests.

What different Endings are there?

There are sixteen endings to the game, and these are determined by Geralt's choices at critical points in the game. Thanks to flashbacks (a series of animated still images, reminding the player of his past choices) the player is retroactively made aware of the forks in the story.
Play Twice
Differing from most RPGs there are two main paths, i.e. there is one central choice Geralt has to make in the game that significantly changes the story development, and more importantly leads to unique quests that can only be played on that specific path. So you actually should play the game at least twice or you will miss "almost half" the game!
Fundamental Choice
The fundamental choice Geralt has to make is that of his main ally: either Iorveth or Vernon Rochesee the Following Iorveth's path? and Following Roche's path? Q&As.
Geralt has to choose an ally towards the end of Chapter 1, and this massively changes the way Chapter 2 plays out (i.e. on Iorveth's path you play many unique quests and get to completely explore Vergen and surroundings, whereas on Roche's path a different set of quests lets you explore Foltest's camp and surroundings).
Other Choices
The other choices have to do with whom you kill or let live (i.e. in the Prologue it is Aryan, and in Chapter 2 Henselt (Roche's path) / Stennis (Iorveth's path)) — or whom you save in Chapter 3 this can be Triss, Anaïs or Saskia... whom you save in the latter chapter again opens up significantly different story content, so be sure to try out these forks in the game.
No matter what Geralt chooses to do the final outcome (not spoiling this) will be the same, only Geralt's path to this end varies. It also makes a difference on how the Northern Kingdoms will be set up to face this impending future, i.e. how the land is "carved up". For a detailed overview of Geralt's choices and their consequences read up on the The Witcher 2 endings.
Tip: To explore the alternative story outcomes in the game it really helps to keep a written log of your manual save points noting time, date, and short info about the save point, ideally placing them just before you choose to take a fork in the path (not easy, but regular saving will usually get you there). To then, in another run, choose a different path, without having to replay parts of the game you already know.

Following Roche's path?

Roche's path
Geralt has to choose an ally towards the end of Chapter 1, and this massively changes the way Chapter 2 plays out.
On Roche's path the story is more centred on getting revenge for the death of King Foltest and hunting the latter's kingslayer, pursuing a morally slightly less witcher neutral path. On this path in Chapter 2, a different set of quests lets you explore the Kaedweni camp and surroundings.
see The Witcher 2 ending

Following Iorveth's path?

Iorveth's path
Geralt has to choose an ally towards the end of Chapter 1, and this massively changes the way Chapter 2 plays out.
On Iorveth's path Geralt supports the elven rebels of the Scoia'tael and Saskia, who want a free state of upper Aedirn. On this path you play many unique quests and get to completely explore the dwarven town of Vergen and surroundings.
see The Witcher 2 ending

Gameplay Alternatives?

The many gameplay alternatives in The Witcher 2 are among the more fascinating and interesting features of this RPG. Meaning, quite often there are several ways to complete a quest. Read: Replay Value! Below a list of situations with alternatives you might like to try out:
  • Read the Decision Checklist detailing Geralt's important decisions and their consequences.
  • Sixteen Endings
See the What different Endings are there? Q&A for details.
  • Most quests (too numerous to mention) have slight variations you can try out.

The Mini-games?

There are several Mini-games in The Witcher 2. These are activated as part of the dialogue tree when talking to the appropriate NPCs. Activate the mini-game by clicking the available gameplay icon to the left of the dialogue options:
Tip: Remember to quicksave before you start playing the mini-games. This lets you "undo" painful defeats.

Breaks in the Game?

The obvious "breaks" in the game happen between Chapters. In The Witcher 2 there is no way to get back to the areas of a previous Chapter though. And since it may not always be clear when the Chapter change will happen, some hints:
  • Prologue – Chapter 1
    After Geralt breaks out of prison, and meats up with Triss at the ship that will take them to Flotsam.
  • Chapter 3 – Epilogue
    After entering the amphitheatre and fighting against the dragon.

Quest specific?

A collection of small quest specific hints:
  • When trying to collapse the mines in the Hey, Work's on in the Mines! quest in Chapter 2, there will be talk of Beehive Bombs to do the job, this is actually referring to Grapeshot bombs though.
Chapter 1
  • On Iorveth's path, when taking on The Harpy Contract in Chapter 2, you will need to use a total of seven Harpy traps to destroy their nests. You may think you need to place these traps near each harpy nest in turn for this to work, and that is actually possible, but not required. Place a trap on the ground in the Old quarry were harpies might see it, then step away a good distance for them to pick up the trap (instead of attacking) and deposit it in their nest to explode. You can repeat this here four times. Then you need to do so another three times, in another location only unlocked by playing Hunting Magic.
  • Should you have played the quest Hung Over, Geralt will sport a tattoo on the right side of his neck. Should the player want to get rid of it again talk to Triss about a potion, when scouting out the Kayran remains together with her in Chapter 1.

Use of a specific Quest Item?

You may have collected quite a few quest items while playing the game, but forgot what they are for? If so, simply look them up in this complete list, sorted by Chapter: see Quest Items


Characters easily missed?

Some characters will only appear at certain times in the day/night, so chances are good to completely overlook them:
  • (*** any?)

Dialogues easily missed?

Persistence with NPC dialogues may at times yield quite unexpected rewards. Such opportunities are difficult to spot, because you may need to have advanced far enough in the quest, or have a certain item on you.
  • (*** any?)

Come back later?

When a NPC tells Geralt to "come back later" e.g. requiring time to create something, then the "later" means come back in a day, i.e. meditate for 24 hours.
  • Rose of remembrance Triss needs time (a few days supposedly) in Flotsam (Chapter 1) to turn the Rose of remembrance into a potion that is supposed to return Geralt's memory. But all this turns out differently, so there is no way to come back later and get the potion.

Romance options?

Differing from The Witcher that almost made a mini-game out of collecting Romance cards, the focus in The Witcher has shifted to more meaningless explicit encounters. The only real romance is with Triss. For an overview see the The Witcher 2 romance page.

Activate Merchants/Dice Players? Merchants Dice Poker

Most merchants or poker dice players will show gameplay dialogue icons making it clear that you can interact with them. Note you will need to talk to a few NPCs for a while to unlock these icons.

Unexpected encounters?

These encounters may relate to importing a The Witcher savegame, but can also be the result of decisions previously made. So these could easily be missed.
  • A randomly named messenger from Thaler near the market square in Flotsam comes bearing a message and a gift in Chapter 1. (This would be something that could be related to your decisions made in The Witcher, but apparently this is just default behaviour of the game.)
  • In Vergen (Iorveth's path, Chapter 2) you will stumble into an enthusiastic Igor Vivaldi, of the Vivaldi bank of Vizima, who surprisingly is prepared to give Geralt unlimited credit, if only! (Again, I still feel this has to do with Geralt's decisions in The Witcher, i.e. helping out with the bank robbery, but it appears to simply be default behaviour.)
  • Should you have given Iorveth back his sword when fighting at the elven ruins in Flotsam, the town will be in total chaos, if you save the dwarves on the street near the inn from the humans, Felix Favela (beyond the main gate in Vergen in Chapter 2) will be grateful for that, and reward you.
  • Should you have imported a savegame from The Witcher where you did not kill Siegfried (i.e. did not support the Scoia'tael), then Siegfried will make a reappearance at the gates of Loc Muinne (in the Camp of the Order of the Flaming Rose) at the very beginning of Chapter 3. He will recognize Geralt, and let him pass into the city without hassle.
  • (*** In the Prologue you could save some peasants, and they would give you a reward in Flotsam, cannot find the details though.)

Where is Odrin?

When playing on Roche's path, visiting the lower Kaedweni camp, you will not miss the three drunkards calling for their drinking pal Odrin. But where is Odrin?
Chapter 2
Tip: After King Henselt trusts you, letting you explore all of the camp, the western door of the Kaedweni camp, the one leading to the beach will automatically unlock. Down a winding path, you will find the drunkard sleeping near the mouth of a cave. Note: Should you not have started In Cervisia Veritas, you will not be able to wake up Odrin.

Freshly dead in Dwarven Catacombs?

Exploring the surroundings of Vergen in Chapter 2, you will come across the Dwarven catacombs. When playing on Roche's path you will find one freshly dead person after removing the linen. What is up with him?
Tip: He was supposedly killed by a "monster", and is part of the detective quest With Flickering Heart that is only available when playing on Iorveth's path.

Looting the dead Kayran?

After defeating the Kayran be sure to run around it, because the dead beast leaves behind not one, but actually two loot stashes.



Maps to all Locations?

The Witcher 2 extensively provides maps to all the locations (press m-key) in the game, e.g. yielding valuable additional information on where to find merchants, or important quest related NPCs. Especially in the forest near Flotsam these maps significantly help orientation.
See Maps for a complete list sorted by Chapter.

Why all the locked doors?

In some respect they seem to be teasers, trying to make the player find a way past those locks. There are several types of locked doors:
  • Most locked doors to various houses e.g. in the Prologue near the Ballista only seem to be present as decoration, possibly an oversight by the developers that may have planned to use them in some way, but did not. So in general a locked door actually will stay looked.
  • Then there are doors that say "key required", these require Geralt to find a key first, usually as part of a quest and/or by talking/looting NPCs. What makes this tricky is the fact that some of these doors can only be unlocked if the player is on a specific path, e.g. the key to the Old quarry mine door only becomes available when playing Roche's path, another door nearby opening a more direct passage to the main Vergen gates is reserved to Iorveth's path.
See the Where is the key for ...? Q&A.

Where is the key for ...?

There are quite a few doors (and a few chests) in the game that show "key required". But where does one find the keys?
Vernon Roche
As mentioned in the Why all the locked doors? Q&A some of these keys are part of path-specific quests.
Tip: A very convenient and direct way to find a key you are missing is to go though the list of Quest Items sorted by chapter, and then look for the key in question. Or even more conveniently, look through the list of keys on the The Witcher 2 keys page.
Where to get the keys from? Here a list of the more difficult to find/get keys and what these unlock:
East Flotsam forest, Bandit hideout door
Roche's office chest
  • A bit to the west of the tavern in Flotsam, right next to a wooden gate leading to the harbour, you will find Roche's office. In a back room there is a locked large chest. Ironically the chest is actually empty, but will contain all of Geralt's belongings, only if Geralt talks to Roche's men in the house, and starts to drink with them, see the Hung Over quest.
Ruined elven baths
Aard'able wall near Elven Ruins cannot be entered
  • Exploring the southern forest around Flotsam may lead you to the elven ruins and Ruined elven baths. A wall there can be collapsed (using Aard) letting you see the baths, but for some reason the path is still blocked. How to get into the area? As part of the quest The Rose of Remembrance you will be able to enter the area, not before though.
Loredo's residence, back of mansion outside, trap door
  • Should you have played the quest Malena, exploring the cave to the west of the harbour, to the very end of the cave labyrinth, you will have noted a locked drap door in the ceiling. This is the very same drap door you may have found in the back yard of Loredo's residence (also locked). Only if you play Roche's path in Chapter 1, sneaking into the back yard to save Ves will this trap door be open. Climbing down the ladder, only leads to a small area in the cave, with a rock slide blocking the path. No loot here.
Loredo's residence, 2nd floor, chest
  • When on Roche's path (and only then) you will get access to the second floor of Loredo's residence. One chest at the foot-end of a bed (there are some 'glowing' gauntlets on the side of the bed) in the guard room is locked though. Presently (11/16/2013) there seems to be no way to unlock the chest.
Royal Mail chests
  • There are two small chests in Flotsam, one with Louis Merse another at Loredo's residence on the first floor, that require a key. In the former case you get an option to unlock the chest, while looking for the Royal Mail, as part of the Mystic River quest. The latter key you will find on Loredo's body after killing him on Roche's path.
Chest at the very bottom of the Old Quarry
  • When you take the spiral path down into the Old quarry, to the very bottom, take the path just left of the tall runic stone door (also locked), and walk up a small hill path, you will encounter a chest that requires a key.
    Tip: The key becomes available as part of the Baltimore's Nightmare quest unlocking some "treasure" (Iorveth's path only).
Runic stone door at bottom of Old Quarry
Runic stone door behind vines near ship wreck
Runic stone door near ship wreck, on other side of mist
  • Following the canyon with the Wreck of the Eyla Tarn will lead to the mist on Iorveth's path, on the other side when exploring from Henselt's camp going south, you will find another runic stone door requiring a key. The door leads to the hideout of the witcher assassins, and only becomes available playing on Roche's path. (***name of key? name of quest?)
Old Tower door key?
  • Near Henselt's camp in Chapter 2, there is an Old tower with a locked door. The Conspirators' hideout key will open that door, but only if you are playing on Roche's path. You actually get into the old tower via brothel trap door, so the key does not actually unlock anything new, it only lets you get out of the room under the tower (on Roche's path).
Old Tower cellar other doors?
  • Once you made it to the Old tower cellar via brothel trap door, you will be able to get out with the Conspirators' hideout key when on Roche's path. But what of the other doors in the cellar? As it turns out these lead to a system of underground caves and will only be accessible if you play on Iorveth's path.

Circles of Power Location?

Tw2 journal places of power1

Activated Circle of Power

There are quite a few Circles of Power that yield a temporary power-up. Should you have trouble finding them all, look into this complete list of Circles of Power locations.

Old quarry magic rocks?

Playing on Iorveth's path in Chapter 2, you may have noticed the strange magic rocks in the Old quarry that feature signs on them, but there seems to be no way to interact with them.
Tip: These are part of the Baltimore's Nightmare quest, and are used as path markers to the "treasure".

Visionary's hut?

Playing on Iorveth's path in Chapter 2, you also may wonder what is up with the Visionary and the Visionary's hut. They seem to have some meaning.
Tip: As it turns out there are several quests only available on Roche's path, e.g. The Blood Curse and The Path to Vision that shed some light on the Visionary's life.

Site of Sabrina Glevissig's execution?

Again playing Iorveth's path in Chapter 2, you will come across the Site of Sabrina Glevissig's execution, with several weird things littered on the ground. You can examine them, but nothing really conclusive comes of it. There also seems to be a letter there, but it cannot be picked up. What is up with that?
Tip: Again the player is on the wrong path. There are several quests to the location but only available on Roche's path when playing The Blood Curse and Lost Lambs.

The Scent of Incense — Location?

When playing the quest The Scent of Incense, helping the slightly dubious Vencel Pugg to get a very particular formula, you can be trusting and the quest is over quickly. But if you are suspicious, you can visit their secret lab in the forest, blindfolded that is. If you refuse to be blindfolded you actually get to know the location in the forest, just south of the cemetery.

Philippa Eilhart's house?

Chapter 3
Playing on Roche's path later in Chapter 3, you may have noticed that one of the doors, off the main square now is actually unlocked and leads into Philippa Eilhart's house, where a few goodies can be found. A note on her table, a magical arrangement of candles on the roof terrace, and a magically sealed quite intriguing chest is up there as well. What is up with all that? As it turns out, only when on Iorveth's path will you be able to save Saskia, and for that you will have to save Philippa from the dungeon (leaving Triss yet again to her own devices). If you save Philippa, she will lead you to her house, and the note on her desk and the chest on the roof will all make sense.

Curiosities & Speculations

Favourite character Quotations?

During the long hours playing The Witcher 2 you may have witnessed many comments from your side-kicks, here is a collection of some favourites:
GirlLobinden, Chapter 1
Girl following Geralt commenting on his swords:
"Why does he need two swords? Does he tend to lose them?"
Another comment by a girl is slightly surreal and tragic, because there actually was a female witcher, Ciri:
"Can girls become witchers, too?"
Geralt — Talking to alchemists in Loc Muinne (Chapter 3, Iorveth's path), who gave him his first mutagen in Flotsam
About the side effect of the mutagen:
"Yeah, every time I mix it with vodka, my tongue gets hairy."

Read the Encrypted manuscript?

Ancient manuscript

Ever wondered what the Ancient manuscript you found as part of An Encrypted Manuscript quest in Chapter 3 actually said?

see the decrypted manuscript

Geralt's Darker Moments?

Geralt — The Dark Side
There are a few situations when playing a more darkly inclined Geralt is possible:
  • Simply killing Aryan La Valette because it is easier than convincing him to surrender.
  • In the quest Melitele's Heart even with the witcher instincts advising against it, lie to Newboy about the talisman, telling him it will protect in battle, thus sending him to certain death.
Chapter 1:
  • The village elder of Lobinden asks Geralt to spare the Troll, who has a good soul, but has taken to drinking. Ignoring this request, killing the Troll (just to get an achievement) is pretty low.
  • Depending on how one wants to manipulate "justice" in the Malena quest, simply letting the guards kill the elven woman without any form of investigation may be seen as cruel (even though she is guilty). Or after all the things she did, plus leading everyone into a Scoia'tael ambush, then running away, but letting her still live (undermining 'justice')... may both be seen as ambiguous and slightly dark.
  • In Flotsam, not having chosen a path yet, Geralt seeks to encounter Letho, Iorveth helps by pretending to be a prisoner. When the fighting begins, and Roche's men show up, Geralt has the choice to give Iorveth a sword. Doing the seemingly good thing, of helping Iorveth with a sword, leads to very dark consequences though: Flotsam is thrown into chaos, many non-humans are slaughtered.
  • On Iorveth's path, about to leave Flotsam, Geralt jumps over board to save three female elves from a burning building near the river, set aflame by Loredo. Even though the game might suggest a possible darker choice here, i.e. to not save the elves, the game actually forces the player to save them.
Chapter 2:
  • Ignore the facts that speak against the bruxas on the beach actually being Mavrick's sisters (in the quest Little Sisters), and let the monsters kill Mavrick.
  • After finding the Lost Lambs, do not help them to get back to camp, pretty much leaving them to die.
  • On Roche's path letting Roche kill King Henselt for the slaughter of Roche's men at the camp and Ves's rape, is ambiguous since there is no clearly "good" choice. Choose revenge, or possibly strengthen the north to not be so easily run over in an invasion.
  • On Iorveth's path do not properly investigate Saskia's poisoning in any detail, and just let the rabble kill Prince Stennis (again there is a bitter irony behind this, since Stennis actually is guilty).
Chapter 3:
  • After following the dragon from the amphitheatre to the stone tower, with Sile de Tancarville about to teleport out, do not remove the defective crystal, and let her explode instead.
  • On Iorveth's path, knowing who the dragon actually is, and going against Iorveth plea to spare it, still killing it would be pretty low indeed.

Speculations and Musings?

Here a few game-related speculations:
  • What is the actual fate of Yennefer?
For a long time it was assumed that Yennefer died trying to save Geralt. But if Geralt barely saves Sile de Tancarville trying to teleport out of Loc Muinne, she mentions that Yennefer is in Nilfgaard and alive. Letho of the Serpent Witcher School mentions how they (the other witchers left behind after Geralt's supposed death) looked out for Yennefer, and that she was still alive when Letho left Nilfgaard.
So where exactly is Yennefer? And will she finally make an appearance in The Witcher 3?
Is Saskia the same little dragon who was 'adopted' by Borch Three Jackdaws in the short story? (Game widow)
  • Will Ciri, the only know female witcher, return?
When a girl on the streets of Flotsam asks Geralt: "Can girls become witchers, too?", this may seem very absurd for those who only played the games, but for those that actually read the Saga of books it may be a possible hint at a return of Ciri in The Witcher 3.


Mildly strange things to note:
  • Since Geralt is presented with quite a few opportunities to let himself be distracted by the female gender in the game (see The Witcher 2 romance), it seems strange that Triss does not seem to "sense" any of this, and throw a tantrum or so. In The Witcher there was quite a bit more of female rivalry going on, i.e. between Triss and Shani (and this was reflected in at least one quest). The devs did want to make relations more meaningful in The Witcher 2, than by just adding something like Romance cards again, but IMO that did not really play out that way at all. This may have to do with Triss' limited game time: barely present in Chapter 1, gone in 2, and can even be ignored to the end of Chapter 3... not much time for any Romance there.
  • In one dice poker game the opponent actually rolled a dice off the table, which should have removed the dice from his game, but after the next round of bets, the dice was back. Apparently I actually witnessed the AI cheat. The scoundrels!
see also The Witcher 2 Easter eggs

Curious Characters?

There are few NPCs who are not quest related, but do tell a story by their very existence:
  • When playing on Roche's path there is a strange man in green clothing running back and forth in front of the main gate of the Kaedweni camp, he seems to be looking for something he lost. But one cannot talk to him.


Bugs & Workarounds?

Presently (11/12/2013) with the Enhanced Edition released for the PC version of The Witcher 2, the number of bugs are quite few. But heed to the following tips anyway to avoid possible frustration:
  • Take full advantage of quicksave (F5) / quickload (F9), e.g. save before you enter a new area, or talk to a new NPC, or begin a game of dice, or start a fistfight. If you loose a fight or a game of dice, you can simply reload the state before the mini-game, and try again.
Crashes / Freezes:
  • The game can sporadically crash, after playing for several hours. In my 133 hour approximately four runs it crashed about 22 times (running the Steam version of The Witcher 2 Enhanced Edition under Windows 7 (64bit)). Luckily I only lost a few minutes gameplay thanks to the abundant recently saved games. With most crashes the game simply "cleanly" exits to the desktop, in a very few cases the game "freezes". In the latter case to continue playing, kill the game's task via Ctrl+Alt+Del, then restart the game, and load the last saved game state.
    • There does not seem to be much consistency behind the crashes, but it seems to have have to do with the game trying to stream-in scenery and then failing to do so.
    • Or after playing a few hours, dying then quickloading the game might hang. Could be a form of memory fragmentation happening (I have 6GB of RAM, about 2.5 GB is used by the system).
    • Or the game will freeze after playing longer cutscenes, especially traversing the mist north of Vergen in Chapter 2 , i.e. battle scenes seem to cause problems when trying to exit the mist again.
Bugs / Issues:
  • There are still a few quest related issues in the game, these are mentioned on the appropriate quest pages.
  • There is a quite significant discrepancy between the amount of things the Medallion will highlight, and what you can actually collect. There must be a total of at least 50 sacks of ore, chests, furniture and other containers that simply cannot be looted. Deliberate teasing of loot collectors by the devs? This should have been fixed in the Enhanced Edition. A prominent example: The small table next to the bed at Philippa Eilhart's quarters in Vergen cannot be looted.
  • Also killed foes at times leave behind residue glow highlighted by use of the medallion, even though nothing is there or can be picked up at that location.
  • When performing finishing moves e.g. at the cemetery outside of monastery in the Prologue, suddenly the witcher and the opponent end up elsewhere for that final blow (i.e. inside the walls of the building). There are a few more cases where the finishing move is displaced in location. Very strange.
  • The cutscenes using 2D art have a much quieter sound level than all other scenes and the in-game content. Making it difficult to hear the voice over (thankfully they are subbed). Apparently some sound volume setting is off.
  • Whereas the picking up of items is nicely logged in the HUD, the logging of item rewards from NPCs is not. On-screen these are very often shown only very briefly, not letting the player check what was actually received. Thus deluding the joy of getting special things. Presently you have to enter the Inventory, under the All tab (time sorted) to double-check.
  • Another issue related to item exchange happens in the shop interface, when selling more than one item to the merchant, these items are listed in a layer under the list of items in the player's inventory, making it very difficult to read the player's inventory. Item tracking in the shop selling mode should be turned off to avoid this issue.
  • There seem to be some quite elusive mini-map quest / NPC marker issues going on:
  • When you really would need to know where an NPC is (e.g. in Vergen) nothing is shown.
  • Killed foes sometimes leave red dots behind, that stay on the mini-map (IIRC until you leave the area).
  • Some NPCs have blue dots, but they do not interact with the player, some are valid and can be talked to after "finding" certain quests, but other blue dots seem to make no sense. (E.g. a soldier in the Kaedweni lower camp in Chapter 2 near the southern gate.)
  • When tracking certain NPCs, especially in Vergen, the location icon on the mini-map might have marked the lower floor of the tavern, the upper tavern floor or an area above the tavern. This was very confusing, since the game does not hint at the targets elevation. In Far Cry 3 a small arrow up/down hints at a target elevation above/below you. (No biggie, but something to look into should The Witcher 3 layer location above location more extensively).
  • There are more bugs in the game, but with the save tips above, you should be able to avoid most of them and complete the game.

Feature enhancement Wish List?

This late in the game, any such wishes for changes are very unlikely, but if no one actually words them, the devs certainly cannot read our minds, to be made aware of them. After recently finishing Far Cry 3 and Risen 2, here is a list of things I found strangely implemented, mildly annoying, or just plain felt missing in the game.
  • Putting the "Arena" entry at the top of the menu and then "New Game" under that was at times when you just want to quickly continue the game impractical. I hit the "New Game" entry several times by accident. IMO, the menu's top entry should be "Continue", then "Load Game", then "New Game", and only somewhere further down "Arena", since most folks will be wanting to play the single player game and not the Arena mode.
Game Mechanics:
  • From the very start I was shocked to find almost every NPC having a unique name. This made me think, there is a huge amount of talking going to happen. But as it turns out, almost none of them have anything relevant to say. IMO this very much confuses the player and makes tracking relevant NPCs needlessly obscure. The default RPG mechanism rule is "no unique name = NPC is irrelevant".
  • I found it a bit disappointing that the items sold to merchants are not kept in their inventory for the duration of the Chapter. More than once I had collected all the e.g. Timber or Iron ore, sold it off, then needed it (in sufficient quantities) for crafting, but could no longer access enough of it. Risen 2 features a special "buy back" feature that lets you buy back accidentally sold items, for the same price you sold it for. (Yes that is pretty much what storage does, but you tend to be excessively low on orens in the game, so have to sell all you can.)
  • Why is there no entry under the Options menu (or Input Settings of the launcher) that lets you control the mouse speed/acceleration for mouse pointer on the inventory / map / character screens? Especially in the inventory the mouse speed was a bit too high and imprecise. Luckily the in-game rotation speed of Geralt was fine. But mouse speed is a fundamental in making the player feel comfortable with an interface.
  • Letting the user not change the keybinding via in-game Options menu is slightly inconvenient, especially in the beginning of the game where the player will want to optimize the key binding while learning what keys are used more often. Using the Launcher's Configuration Tool is OK, but less elegant for the player. (No biggie, but other games have the keybinding all in-game.)
  • The in-game floating names above the heads of NPCs, are a bit too small and too nimble at following the NPCs every movement to be easily read. Standing still NPCs are fine, but moving ones or worse moving monsters make it almost impossible to read their names. This is playing at 1680x1050 resolution. A larger text size would help here.
  • I would really love to have a way to track the last 10-20 dialogue lines, to at times be able to read up on them at my leisure. Dialogue logging would be a nice feature.
  • At times, in Flotsam and even more so on the Vergen maps, when visiting the outskirts, i.e. the edges of the map, I felt it would have been nice if the game actually remembered not only the zoom state but also the scroll offset.
  • On the Map screen it would have been nice to let the user mark custom locations (more than one would be ideal), and let the user name those markers, as reminders of what still could be done here. Or e.g. where you found a special item (for us wiki writers).
  • I would have liked to zoom out on Geralt at times to see more of the scenery or to get a better overview of the situation, e.g. in combat. This change in FOV is possible in most games, but not for The Witcher 2? (Admittedly, the game's FOV is OK, it's just a matter of providing choice.)
  • The Abilities button on the Character screen is too well hidden and not obvious enough, IMO. Even though this is *the* player stats screen. Admittedly, pretty much most stats are not very relevant, you can easily play without knowing them in detail, as I did in 2.5 game runs.
  • Why is there no function key like F6 that lets you perform not a quicksave, but an actual manual save? Would have used that key at least 700 times. (You have to go to the menu, and choose save there instead.)
  • Most keys can be bound to any key or mouse button you like using the Configuration Tool, but why where the keys J, M, C, I excluded and locked down? Especially the Map and Inventory keys I would have wanted to have bound more closely to the movements keys W,S,A,D or on mouse buttons.
  • I really like how the game lets you skip dialogues and scenes via right-click, I would only wish that in many cases where the Esc-key needs to be pressed, you can alternately also use the right-click, i.e. to close the dialogues with NPCs, or close some of the requesters.
  • Over all the way saving of the game state was implemented is fine. There is one thing that would have been nice to have though, especially for folks that want to replay specific part of the game differently (e.g. us wiki contributors): Letting the player not only manually save files, but actually let them name these files. Such naming very much helps track down specific events in the game. (Presently I make manual note on paper of each manual save with time code, letting me backtrack such events.)
  • For security reasons, i.e. should the saving of the quicksave somehow fail, a 2nd quicksave file would be a good thing. These get alternately overwritten as you quicksave again and again.
  • The biggest issue with the Steam version of the game is the way the savegame files are handled. Even with Steam cloud turned off, these save files are still tracked in Steam\userdata\<number>\20920\remotecache.vdf. This file notes name, hash code etc... so it is not possible to simply drop a savegame from someone else into the Steam\userdata\<number>\20920\remote\ folder and load it. It will not show up. Note: The GOG.com version of the game uses the C:\Users\<user>\Documents\Witcher 2\gamesaves\ folder, dropping or removing files here is no problem at all.
Inventory vs. Shops:
  • The biggest issue I have with the inventory/shop interface is when buying swords and armour. And undoubtedly these are the most important purchases of all. But the player cannot compare the stats of the present weapons/armour you are wearing with the shops inventory, to quickly see if the featured shop items are actually an improvement. Two Worlds II has done a much better job when it comes to inventory comparison while shopping. Presently, you have to exit the shop, open the inventory, look up the weapon/armour stats, try to remember them to then recheck with the shop entries.
  • Alas when buying things from a merchant, you have no quick way to check how much of the appropriate item you already have in your inventory. Yes, you can navigate to the corresponding tab and look it up in the shop, but that is annoyingly slow and inconvenient. All the more so, since the books, formulas and diagrams are checkmarked in the shop if you already own them (and thankfully so).
  • An "ingredient" wish list would have been a really nifty addition to the inventory/shop interface. Letting you previously select e.g. diagrams, to create a wish list of items you are still missing. Then when you go shopping these are highlighted or can be auto-bought. I found it tedious, even having to write down on paper how much of what I need to create e.g. hardened leather to be used in powerful armour crafting.
Navigating the World:
  • I am aware that it can be a fundamental thing how you choose to let a player navigate the world. Things like plausibility and immersion come into play. But after playing Risen 2, I found some of the running around in the world (well in Chapters actually) a bit tedious. You always had to run the full path. IMO, adding navigation points on the map for quick travel would have been nice. (Since the areas you explore per Chapter are not large, admittedly, this is a slight but not a significant issue.) The devs hopefully will have added a fast navigation system for the open world in The Witcher 3 though.
  • The "locked doors" game mechanic, I found it problematic in The Witcher, and do so as well in The Witcher 2. Why? Because it suggest you might be able to unlock the door, whereas in actual fact almost 90% of such doors cannot be opened, ever. A needless player confusion and slight frustration. I know from several game runs, that some doors can only be opened under specific quest circumstances, i.e. the path you choose. And that is fine. But IMO dead doors should not let you interact with them at all. BTW, using the "key required" doors is fine, this makes it clear you have to work to get a key to enter here.

Neat game features?

After all the Bugs & Workarounds? and Feature enhancement Wish List? Q&As, I just want to point out a few wonderful features in the game, just to be sure that the devs know these are appreciated.
  • I absolutely love that you can bind a key to "Show / Hide HUD" via Configuration tool. Used it to take more than 4000 screenshots. Plus it lets you turn on subtitles, to better follow the names in the game, and this feature lets you turn off the subs at any time. Thank you! I wish all games had this feature (a very few actually do).

Load Menu is Slow Listing Saves?

On how The Witcher 2 handles save games:
  • Now the so-called quicksaves in The Witcher 2 are actually quick saves, meaning every time you quicksave (F5-key) the very same file is created or overwritten.
  • Then there are strategically automatically created autosave files, that backup the game state just before a usually dangerous situation, letting the game fall back to them, should Geralt not have survived the situation.
  • Finally there are manualsaves that the player can create via main menu Save option.
  • Additionally every type of save is accompanied by a .bmp image file, effectively doubling the number of files in the folder.
At the end of the 3.5 runs I had 1077+ files (size: 2.24 GB) in the save game folder. Note: Depending on the version of your game, the location where games are saved will differ:
(Steam version of the game, in custom location)
C:\Users\<Username>\Documents\Witcher 2\gamesaves\
(GOG.com version of the game, Windows 7, 64 bit)
But too many save game files become an issue and will lead to painfully long load times when selecting Load from the game's main menu.
Solution: Create a new folder on another drive or partition, e.g.
D:\TheWitcher2EE saves archive\,
then use the Explorer (or some other file browser) to move out all the files with lower numbers, keeping the last 10 or so, highest numbered saved game states (for autosave and manualsave files). Also keep the quicksave.sav file! This significantly speeds up the Load menu. Should you need older save states, simply move back the older files.
Issue: All this works well enough, but the Steam version of the game tracks all the files via remotecache.vdf, not letting you share save game files from e.g. friends. Simply dropping files into the remote\ folder will not let you access them via Load menu (very annoying)! The GOG.com version has no such problems, though.

Cheats? In-game Console?

What options might one have to manipulate the game, to make it easier to try out things or simply to beat the game?
Command Console?
Alas there is no in-game command console, so on-the-fly "cheating" or settings changes are not possible.
Save Game Editor?
Since there is no save game editor, direct manipulation of player stats via saved game files is not possible either.
The most obvious way to manipulate in-game stats to help you better get through the game are Trainers (you can Google for those). These external tools "hack" into the game, for endless health, more money, etc.
Tip: When playing the Steam version of the game, trainers normally do not impede Steam Achievements, i.e. the achievements are normally tracked.
Warning: Be very sure you can trust the download source of the trainer you use though. Personally I can recommend the trainers at CheatHappens (most are not for free though, I have a lifetime subscription; these presently do not work with the GOG.com version of the game, though).
Use the Wiki
Should you want to "cheat" in a more conservative way, i.e. using special knowledge available in the game, then see the updated Gameplay Quick Guide that now also mentions The Witcher 2 details.

Clean HUD-free Screenshots?

Thankfully the devs added the option to completely turn off/on the HUD (Heads Up Display) via bindable key to take clean screenshots in the unmodified game. Well, you will still have Geralt in view though.
How to: Launch the game, the game's launch window will appear on the desktop, select Options to open the Witcher 2 Configuration Tool window, then click on the Input Settings... button, there under the Keyboard tab, change the key binding for Show/Hide HUD to a key / mouse button convenient to you. The default key is T, though using the M- mouse button on a multi-button mouse is very much more convenient. Press the OK button twice, and then Launch game.
In-game then simply press the key you assigned above to turn on or off the HUD to take nice clean screenshots, e.g. with the Fraps screen-grabber tool.
Note: This also conveniently lets you hide subtitles (in cut scenes, and also the talk bubbles above the heads of NPCs) on the fly.

How to play in-game .usm Movies?

Now that all in-game movies are in the USM format, it is slightly less trivial to play them outside of the game.
(***How does one play them? Use REDkit?)
Tip: The in-game movies can be found in the <The Witcher 2>\CookedPC\movies\Data\Movies\ folder.

How to take Screenshots?

For optimum quality, bitmap (.bmp) images are the way to go. Though this comes with a file size price of about 5 MB per image for screens running at a 1680x1050 pixel resolution.
To take screenshots plus get a framerate counter as a bonus use the Fraps screen-grabber tool (Google for it, free version available). It takes screenshots instantly (no noticeable lag) in .bmp format. Note the tool lets you bind any key to grab screens. I use the <-key to the right of the left Shift-key on a German keyboard, very convenient.

How to read up on Dialogues?

Alas it is not possible to look up dialogues, information about recent quest updates, orens or XP earned. The Journal (J-key by default) only updates all the pertinent information, marking new entries with a "!".
On that note, even though the game automatically logs information on the HUD, e.g. when picking up items from chests, or when you receive rewards. In the latter case the time the info is shown is way too short, making it very difficult to track rewards received.

Turn off Blur or Depth of Field?

If you are more old-school, you will probably not like your screenshots to be muddled by any form of blur effects. To ensure best crisp image quality playing the game (plus probably increase the number of frames per second) take these setting changes to heart.
How to: Launch the game, the game's launch window will appear on the desktop, select Options to open the Witcher 2 Configuration Tool window, then be sure to click on the Show advanced options check box, to let you manually change the advanced graphics settings:
  • Disable: Bloom, Blur Effects, Depth of Field - Gameplay, Motion Blur, Cinematic Depth of Field, and Depth of Field - Cutscenes
Note that all this depends a bit on what hardware you have, i.e. on what settings the game will recommend to turn on or off, using the Auto-detect Best Settings button. E.g. I manually set the LOD Distance to Far... etc.

Play Steam or GOG version?

In short: both!
When looking to download a legal version of The Witcher 2 there is the choice between the Steam version and the GOG.com version to be considdered. Here a list of differences that might help decide:
The Steam Version
  • The Enhanced Edition on Steam lets folks that already have Steam games, very easily download and install the game, plus Steam Sales (in Summer, on Halloween, and Christmas) usually provide best value for money.
  • This version has Steam Achievements, that are kind of fun to try to accomplish. The GOG version has no such achievements.
  • The trainers I tried worked with the Steam version, not at all with the GOG version (a quite personal point, but important to me, since I do a lot of testing).
  • All the bonus content like the soundtrack, comic, guide, and artbook (and much more) are the same as with the GOG version.
  • Once you have a valid Steam key, you can go to GOG.com, create an account there and by reusing the Steam key (this is legal and encouraged by the devs, mind you!), download a free GOG version of the game and install it in parallel.
  • The REDkit tools for the game do not properly work with the Steam version.
  • The savegame management, even with Steam Cloud turned off is very dodgy, not letting you simply drop savegame files into the appropriate folder, e.g. those of a friend, or files from a previous install of the game. The game menu's Load option simply ignores these added files. (A huge minus in my book!)
  • The way Steam works, patch updates are automatic, no manual downloads are required. This late (11/19/2013) in time new patches are unlikely though.
The GOG.com Version
  • GOG.com is the developer's official game distribution shop, so in theory the very best source for the game. Plus you are directly supporting the developer.
  • This version seems to have no copy protection (DRM).
  • The version can be installed in parallel to your Steam version.
  • It works with the official development toolkit: REDkit.
  • The savegame management, works as you would expect, letting you backup and restore saved games, even those of friends (or from the Steam version), and simply loads them into the game. A huge advantage when trying to play / test game alternatives.
  • Trainers (at least those from CheatHappens) do not work. Not the devs fault, but annoying for those wanting to test without difficulty hassles.
  • Contains a huge amount of bonus content, but nothing the Steam version does not also include. Advantage here: You can chose what of the bonus content you actually prefer to download.
Personally I would recommend you get the Steam version, and then also install the GOG.com version for free. That way you get the best out of the two versions.


The Witcher 2 uses quite a few new terms, and the FAQ needs to refer to them at times. To make the Q&A easier to read, here are all the commonly used abbreviations explained:
  • 50 oren(s) – 50 orens (the official gold currency)
  • NPC – Non-Player Character (anyone else you can talk to in the game)
  • XP – Experience Points (controls levelling)
  • Q&A – Question & Answer (the meat of any FAQ)
  • *** – Denotes missing content (feedback on that would help)


  • Feedback welcome!
  • Feel free to point out corrections or suggestions on the discussion page, if you will.


The FAQ is based on my (Æon) playing The Witcher 2 twice in detail, with a few quick runs additionally.
Special thanks go to User:Game widow on the
The Witcher 2 Wiki
Igni Stone — Timeless
for letting me post this FAQ in Wiki format there, for the invaluable extremely detailed work done on the site, plus the patient and very insightful help with all my questions. This FAQ massively references the content on the wiki.


  • v2.87 – public version, 87 Q&As total, 13 new Q&As, 182 changes. (11/22/2013)
  • v2.74 – 1st complete edit, 74 Q&As total, FAQ still needs more information though. (11/16/2013)
  • v1.5 – Putting together the basic Q&As and tips, linking them to the wiki, the FAQ uses British English.
  • v0.1 – Using the original The Witcher FAQ layout and content structure for this FAQ as well. (11/10/2013)