Witcher 3 game

The main thing to understand when installing the Witcher 3 mods PC is that modding support in this game is implemented at the simplest level, this is far from the level of Skyrim. Of course, there are very complex mods for the game, but their installation, as a rule, is done by far not only by pressing a button – additional steps are needed, without which the mod won’t work correctly if it starts at all. And if you decide to install more than one mod, you will most likely face compatibility issues – even if the mods at first glance don’t overlap at all.

Nexus Mod Manager (NMM) supports the installation of only the simplest mods: it can only download and copy the base files to the desired folder, but this isn’t always enough. Texture mods are usually installed correctly, however, if their number exceeds the allowed limit, NMM won’t be able to help you.

Relatively recently, a fan-made utility appeared on the Nexus: Mod Manager for TW3 – the Witcher 3 mods manager. The manager allows you to install even very complex mods in automatic mode: it copies the base files to the desired folder, auto-detects and installs menu files, hotkeys, and default settings, finds and installs the DLCs included in the mod. While the utility is in the beta stage, it can already be recommended as the main tool for installing mods in the game. Let’s figure it out and start by preparing the game for installing Witcher 3 top mods.

How To Prepare the Game for Mods and What Tools Are Needed?

Before installing Witcher 3 recommended mods, the game (and all utilities) must be removed from the system folders (such as Program Files)! All these Microsoft dances with a tambourine around the rights and monitoring the integrity of the system have a negative effect on the work of mods, because mods, according to Windows concepts, behave like viruses: they climb into the program files and change something there all the time. If you have a Steam version, read the instructions for moving the game library to another folder / to another drive.

Keep in mind that neither running as an admin nor disabling UAC will solve this problem. And even if now everything works for you, there is no guarantee that the next mod will also work correctly. Therefore, in order to avoid exotic bugs, it is better to transfer the game right away.

The Witcher 3 Mod Manager

The Witcher 3 Mod Manager

Manager mods for Witcher 3, a relatively new fan-made utility for automatic installation and removal of mods of any complexity. It is in the beta stage, but it is already quite stable, and it can be used as the main tool for installing mods. The utility itself finds and installs the main files, DLC, menus, and hotkeys, so manual editing of the game files isn’t required. However, due to the nature of modding, Script Merger and Mod Merger are still needed to resolve conflicts and bypass the limit on the number of mods.

Script Merger

Script Merger

A utility for finding and eliminating conflicts between script and XML mods. Most important utility! Without it, installing more than one script mod will most likely fail! In most cases, the utility is able to eliminate conflicts automatically, however, sometimes it is required to resolve the conflicts found manually – to do this, read the description and watch the video on the mod’s page. Conflicts in XML files (for example, in descriptions of items) are also detected by the utility, but quite often their automatic elimination doesn’t work. Other conflicts (for example, between textures) are detected but not eliminated. Attention! The latest version of Script Merger has support for unpacked XML – most often it turns out to be input.xml. However, this feature doesn’t work correctly, and it is better to disable it right away, and use the instructions from the README to set hotkeys!

Mod Merger

Mod Merger

It is necessary to bypass the limit on the number of mods – this problem most often arises for those who use a lot of modified textures. Symptoms of the problem are endless loading screen, missing textures, black screen and game crashes on startup. In such cases, many texture mods must be combined into one using this utility.

Nexus Mod Manager (NMM)

In principle, it can be used as a mod manager, but you need to remember about additional actions such as manually setting menus and keys. Plus, NMM users are constantly faced with problems in Script Merger’s work, because NMM uses virtual folders and files, and you need to find the correct paths to mods. In general, NMM is poorly suited for the game, and it is better to immediately switch to using The Witcher 3 Mod Manager.

Must-Have Mods for Witcher 3

As a rule, you won’t be able to use mods created for an earlier or later version of the game than your version, so always carefully check the version of the mod before installing. Texture mods are usually compatible with different versions of the game, but script and XML mods (i.e. mods that affect gameplay) are not. And even if the game starts and doesn’t crash, this doesn’t mean that the mod is working correctly: glitches and problems with the balance may come out.

The game version is displayed in the main menu. The latest version for today is 1.31 (1.31A for GOG is identical to 1.31). At the same time, the Nexus has a huge number of mods written for version 1.30 or even 1.22. The Game Of The Year (GOTY) edition, available from the GOG store (“GOTY” on Steam is actually just a bundle, not a special version), isn’t compatible with other versions, despite the fact that the main menu displays 1.31 ( or 1.31A)! If you have installed GOTY from GOG, then you need to look for a version of the mod specifically for GOTY from GOG.

To reduce versioning issues, it is recommended that you patch for the latest version of the game available on your platform and install the Unification patch, which combines GOTY and non-GOTY scripts in an attempt to create a single version. Read the installation instructions carefully!

Please note that among The Witcher 3 essential mods in the top of the Nexus, there is simply a huge number of outdated versions. Very often, the authors of these mods are no longer involved in support, and it is impossible to find them, however, if the mod is really very popular, there is a chance that in the comments section one of the users posted an update for the current patch. Good manners require you to download the original along with such an update and thank the author (“Endorse” button) if you like the mod.

Mods for different versions of the game are usually not compatible with each other, i.e. you cannot install mods from versions 1.22, 1.30, and 1.31GOTY at the same time and hope that everything will work. Textures – yes, usually you can. The gameplay is not.

Some mods require downgrade installation (example). This is allowed, but only if the mod is one or all other mods will be installed for the same version. You cannot use different downgrades, especially if they are made for different versions of the game. And, of course, you cannot use downgrades and upgrades together, for example, downgrade to 1.30 together with the Unification patch.

Installing Witcher 3 Mods

Installing Witcher 3 Mods

The first and most important rule: the best mods for The Witcher 3 must be placed one at a time! Even simple, even textures – put one at a time and check if the game starts. The second important rule: you cannot install mods and edit any game files if the game is running. The third important rule: before installing any mod, you must read the instructions.

An approximate set of installation steps:

  • Installing the main game files.
  • Menu setting (optional, depends on the mod).
  • Setting hotkeys (optional, depending on the mod).
  • Initialization of mod settings and hotkeys (optional, depending on the mod).
  • Conflict checking in scripts/XML using Script Merger.
  • Combining texture mods with Mod Merger.

Installing with The Witcher 3 Mod Manager:

  • Downloading the mod archive from the Nexus.
  • Installing the downloaded mod from the archive by clicking the “Install mod” button.
  • Conflict checking in scripts/XML using Script Merger.
  • Combining texture mods with Mod Merger.

During the installation of Witcher 3 Steam mods, you should pay attention to the following:

Mod version. Be sure to check the mod for compatibility with your version of the game. If you have the Unification patch installed, read the instructions for mod versions. If the version of the mod is incompatible with your version of the game, look for the updated version in the comments to the mod.

Required files. Check the mod’s requirements – on the Nexus, click on the ‘Required files’ icon under the mod’s name and version. A window with a list of requirements also appears when downloading a file – don’t ignore it. The required files will need to be installed before installing the mod.

Manual installation or manager. Choose one method and only use it – this way you are less likely to get confused and ruin something.

Run the game without mods at least once. If you haven’t started the game yet, do it, otherwise, you may not have some user files, because the game creates them at startup.

We are sure that now you can do everything yourself. We recommend installing mods with an open article so that you don’t get lost and do everything right. Install and start playing right now!

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