The Witcher 3 next-gen update patch notes - everything new in the PS5 and Xbox Series X upgrade

The Witcher 3 next-gen update
(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

The Witcher 3's next-gen update is bringing a host of upgrades to PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC, and we're breaking down each and every one right here with the upgrade's full patch notes.

If you're keen on playing the new-gen version of CDPR's acclaimed RPG, the Witcher 3's PS5 and Xbox Series X upgrade launches this week on Wednesday, December 14. The new version boasts ray tracing and various other visual improvements, new content inspired by The Witcher Netflix series, mods and "mod-inspired content," quality of life changes, Witcher 3 PS5 save transfer and Xbox Series X save transfer, plus loads more.

While the free Witcher 3 4.0 update is specifically geared toward new-gen consoles and PC users, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch players will also have a patch to download, but CD Projekt Red has yet to reveal the details for that version. Also keep in mind that some of these changes are specific to either consoles or PC, and we'll be clear about labeling those.

You can peep the full patch notes on CDPR's website, but here are the highlights:

The Witcher 3 next-gen update patch notes

For PC and "next-gen" consoles, The Witcher 3's 4.0 patch will add ray traced global illumination and ambient occlusion, while PC players with compatible hardware will be able to toggle ray traced reflections and shadows. There are also shiny new upscaled 4K textures being applied to "various characters" including Geralt, Yennefer, Triss, Ciri, and Eredin. Additionally, the main characters will have high-resolution self-shadowing in and out of cutscenes, and hair will no longer clip through armor.

Further visual upgrades include a new "Gray Sky" weather type, updated sky textures, vegetation and water improvements, various mesh improvements, various VFX improvements, and improved global environmental lighting.

PS5 and Xbox Series X players will be able to switch between Performance mode, which targets 60 FPS with dynamic resolution scaling, and Ray Tracing mode, which targets 30 FPS. The Xbox Series S version of the update won't support ray tracing, but it will have Quality Mode and Performance Mode prioritizing improved visuals and a targeted 60 FPS, respectively.

Meanwhile, PC players will see a new graphics option for 'Ultra +', which will increase the number of background characters, texture quality, water quality, shadow quality, grass density, and more.

The update will let you capture your favorite scenes to store in your collection with a new photo mode, although CDPR hasn't released the specific features yet. You'll also be able to pause the game during cutscenes and there's a new camera option "that's closer to the player's character and that reacts more dynamically to combat and movement."

In addition to all of that, there's also cross-progression feature between platforms, Chinese and Korean voice-over, and a laundry list of quality of life updates and gameplay fixes.

Check out our hands-on impressions of The Witcher 3 next-gen update to see what we think of the upgrades so far.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.