[Top 15] Witcher 3 Best Mods For First Playthrough

Witcher, The Witcher, The Witcher 3, The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt, Geralt, First Playthrough, Mods, Enhanced
Six years later and the looks only get better…

Your first time should be remarkable, make sure that it is!

Silent Hill 2 is a fantastic game, arguably one of the best of all time.

It is also almost old enough to order a drink in the US. Probably so it can forget about all of the trauma inflicted on it by Silent Hill 2.

Here’s the thing though: games as a medium are prone to age like milk. Hardware improves at a breakneck speed and games made only a couple of years ago can become dated, to say nothing of games launched almost two decades ago.  

Thankfully, its devoted community modded the hell out of it to create the aptly named Silent Hill 2 Enhanced Edition. Keeping a twenty-year-old game playable and enjoyable to this day.

The Witcher 3 is nearing its sixth birthday, and even if it has aged with enviable grace, a touch-up here and there has never hurt anyone. Luckily, The Witcher’s fans are just as dedicated and invested as Silent Hill’s. 

Even if there isn’t a compiled, unified project like SH2 Enhanced Edition, there are a ton of mods that keep The Witcher 3 as good as new and better than ever. Ready for new players to jump straight into the game. 

Thanks to one of the best modding communities out there, starting the game for the first time can be just as exciting as it would’ve been six years ago. As for the compilation, here’s a list of the 15 best mods for your very first TW3 experience. 

15. The Witcher 3 Mod Manager.

Like a Witchery version of Microsoft Excel.

A manager! So exciting! And it looks like a spreadsheet too, fun!

All jokes aside. If you’re planning on installing any mods for TW3, the mod manager from the nexus community will save you a lot of distress later on. 

Think of this manager like having an EpiPen on an oyster bar. You might not pay much attention to it if you have it, but I can promise that you’ll feel its absence when crap hits the Aard.

Why The Witcher 3 Mod Manager Is Great For Your First Playthrough:

  • Mods are complicated, and it’s always nice to get a little assistance.
  • The manager allows you to toggle the mods on and off if you feel like experimenting.

Download Mod: https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/2678 

14. The Witcher 3 HD Reworked Project.

Enhanced textures for the enhanced player.

Has your graphics card been giving you trouble lately? Do you think it’s been a bad, bad graphics card? Do you feel like punishing it?

Do you feel like giving it something to really cry about? 

Wait! Don’t bonk me, I promise I’ll be good.

As I was saying, technology has improved a lot over the last five or so years, and you might have the privilege of owning some state-of-the-art hardware, so why not put it to use with the Witcher 3 HD Reworked Project?

The mod is a near-total graphics overhaul. Replacing a huge gallery of textures for better, HD-er ones, and it looks great.

The Witcher 3 might be an old game, but with this mod, it will look just as good as any current-gen game out there, if not better.  

Why The Witcher 3 HD Reworked Project Is Great For Your First Playthrough:

  • The game will look as good as it can look, great for first-timers.
  • Nothing breaks immersion like outdated graphics.

Download Mod: https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/2678 

13. Galloping In Cities.

Fast and Furious: Novigrad Drift.

This one might be hard to explain if you’ve never played the game before, but ask any veteran of the game and they’ll tell you that sometimes moving through cities can be an excruciating ordeal. 

Apparently, Roach, your noble steed, hasn’t heard that you’re in a hurry to save your family, and she will refuse to gallop when in polite company. She’s old school like that.

Thankfully, the modding community is here to save you from tedium-induced coma. 

Why Galloping In Cities Is Great For Your First Playthrough:

  • Don’t waste your time slow-walking in cities when you can make life easier on yourself. 

Download Mod: https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/385 

12. All Quest Objectives On Map.

So much to do, so little time!

As you start to play TW3, you’ll soon realize that there’s a lot more to the game than the main story. Each-and-every side-quest is lovingly crafted and beautifully written, and you’ll soon find yourself forgetting all about the main story and going on pan-seeking, monster-hunting, card-playing adventures.

Chances are you’ll be doing more than one quest at the same time, too. 

Maybe you’re looking for some ingredients on your way to a monster contract when you happen upon a friendly game of fisticuffs. 

That’s why having all your active quests on the map at the same time is so great. 

This might be another one of those mods that you don’t really think about, but believe you me, it will make your experience a lot smoother. 

Why All Quest Objectives On Map Is Great For Your First Playthrough:

  • The game has over 400 quests in total, so you might need some help keeping track on all of them.
  • The mod offers a lot of extra assistance with the minimap, great for less direction-oriented players.  

Download Mod: https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/943 

11. Better Trophies.

Killing monsters and earning coin with style.

In The Witcher 3 you play as Geralt of Rivia, a professional monster hunter. So it stands to reason that you’ll be doing some monster-hunting as a profession.

The monster contracts are great small side-quests that fully immerse you in the role of a witcher, and they’re almost too fun to play. 

There is a small caveat with the monster contracts though. See, after killing a monster, it is customary to take a little souvenir from their bodies, as a form of proof.

The trophies also give you various bonuses depending on the type of beast you just killed.

That’s a fantastic dynamic in theory, but most of the bonuses kinda suck, and sometimes you get the same reward for completely different creatures. 

In a game in which each monster and boss encounter is so lovingly and meticulously crafted, it feels like a huge oversight that most of the trophy bonuses are so boring.

That is exactly why this mod is great. So you can properly feel the satisfaction of having defeated a tough-as-nails monster or a cunning predator (not the Chris Hansen type).  

Why Better Trophies Is Great For Your First Playthrough:

  • In a game where every encounter and contract feels unique, the rewards should feel unique as well.
  • The bonuses are great and they make getting rid of a trophy a difficult choice.
  • Each bonus fits in nicely with the lore of the enemy you just defeated. 

Download Mod: https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/1006 

10. Better Roach Control.

Anything to keep her out of rooftops.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever ridden a horse in a game and thought to yourself “man, this feels great”. 

The truth is that until Microsoft releases Horse Simulator 2022 with fully-fledged ass-spanking dynamics and procedurally generated hooves, riding a horse in a videogame will generally not be a great experience. 

Roach is no exception here. The game is great, but moving around on the world’s most asthmatic horse is something of an acquired taste.

That’s why this mod is so great. The experience of riding horseback is significantly improved in every way, and considering that TW3s map is HUGE you’ll be thanking your lucky stars to have a mod that improves the experience.       

Why Better Roach Control Is Great For Your First Playthrough:

  • You’ll spend a lot of time on horseback. Make sure that time is enjoyable.
  • There’s plenty of racing sections in the game. This mod can make them bearable.

Download Mod: https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/2000 

9. Friendly HUD.

Now, where did I put that potion?

CD Projekt Red put a lot of time and effort into this game, and you can tell.

The vistas are beautifully rendered, the environmental storytelling is on point, and each location feels original and bursting with possibilities.

Or at least you could tell; if you weren’t looking at the minimap 90% of the time. 

The HUD in The Witcher 3 is one of the most carefully designed and least intrusive I’ve seen in a while, but it’s not perfect, and everyone has different preferences when it comes to the amount of information thrown at your face. 

Maybe you want to lose yourself in the world, literally. Or maybe you need a little extra reminder of the number of potions and pieces of bread that you have.   

Whatever your preference might be, it never hurts to add a little customization to better suit your needs.

Why Friendly HUD Is Great For Your First Playthrough:

  • It can make the game a lot more immersive and a lot less confusing.
  • The mod is very customizable, which means that you can adjust the HUD to better fit the way you like to play.

Download Mod: https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/365 

8. Random Encounters.

Geralt needs to get himself a pair of earplugs!

The world of TW3 is one of monsters and as such, you should expect to run into a monster from time to time. 

Random Encounters does just that. It increases the possibility of running into an enemy at any given time. 

You are playing the role of a dangerous man in a dangerous world. This mod gives you that little extra edge to keep you on your toes at all times. 

The mod is highly customizable, down to the type of enemy that you want to encounter and the chance of running into them. So if it ever feels like you are getting tired of being too awesome, you can just dial it down a little.  

Why Random Encounters Is Great For Your First Playthrough:

  • Improves the difficulty curve for a more balanced experience.
  • Makes the world feel so much more alive.
  • Keep the moment-to-moment gameplay from becoming stale.

Download Mod: https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/785 

7. Atmospheric Nights/Super Turbo Lighting Mod.

It was a dark and stormy night...

Atmosphere is the name of the game for a huge chunk of TW3. A contract for the same type of monster might feel like a nightmare-inducing horror flick, or like a walk in the park. It all depends on the context.

That’s why these two mods are an absolute must-have for first-time players. The improved light quality throughout the day-night cycle takes the game’s atmosphere to a fantastic new level. 

This is another one of those mods that might not seem like much, but they’ll improve your overall experience dramatically.  

Why Atmospheric Nights & Super Turbo Lighting Mod Are Great For Your First Playthrough:

  • The game is story-driven and cinematic, so anything that raises immersion is a welcome addition.
  • Super Turbo Lighting makes the days look beautiful. You’ll want to play just for the views.
  • Darker nights mean spookier nights, and spooky monsters are the best kind of monsters.

Download Atmospheric Nights Mod: https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/1305 

Download Super Turbo Lighting Mod: https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/657 

6. HD Monsters Reworked mod.

Now that I see it up-close, that thing is pretty scary!

A game about a monster hunter is only as good as its monsters, and the debs over at CD Projekt Red were clearly aware of this. 

The bestiary in TW3 is vast and awe-inspiring. There’s a huge variety of fiends and foes, and for each of them, there’s an entry filled with lore, fighting techniques, and interesting information. 

But when it comes to monsters, the visual design takes the cake.

The monsters in this game are unlike anything I had ever seen before, the amount of creativity, thought, and care that was put into every one of these creatures is spectacular.

If the monsters are going to be so great, you deserve to have them looking their best in the game. 

This mod brings new and updated textures to every monster in the game, so they can be as scary and amazing as they were when the game was first released.   

Why HD Monsters Reworked Mod Is Great For Your First Playthrough:

  • The improved textures bring the monsters to life in a way never seen before.
  • The mod serves as an amazing compliment to any other graphics modification, so the enemies never feel out of place.

Download Mod: https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/3580 

5. Realistic Weather.

Neither snow nor rain… Was that Witchers or the postal office?

Continuing the list of graphics improvements, this realistic weather system makes the world so much more exciting and immersive.

You will spend a lot of your time roaming the continent, so anything that gives it a little bit of extra personality will be a welcome addition. 

Why Realistic Weather Is Great For Your First Playthrough:

  • Makes the world feel much more alive.
  • The different climates are a thing to behold, eye-candy all around.
  • The weather system is vast and varied, no need to worry about it becoming repetitive.

Download Mod: https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/2084 

4. Natural Complexions.

Whatever her skin-care routine is, I absolutely must know.

It’s no surprise that fans are so enthralled with the characters of TW3  even years after launch. 

The people that you will meet in your journey are complex and flawed individuals, each of them with their own story, motivations, and beliefs. 

I’m even willing to bet that you’ll soon stop thinking of these people as fictional characters, and start seeing them as your friends, your enemies, and your family.

Sure, the game’s writing and voice-acting could make you care for a hastily drawn stickman. But it never hurts when people actually look like… well, people.

The game’s original character design is great, but it can be even better, with the natural complexions mod.

This mod gives the main NPCs a new and more realistic look. Great for bringing the game to the modern era, and it’s always nice when you get to look at a pretty face.   

Why Natural Complexions Is Great For Your First Playthrough:

  • Makes full use of modern technology to make the characters feel more realistic.
  • The improved complexions make it easier to form an emotional attachment.
  • The new face models are just so pleasant to look at.

Download Mod: https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/5652 

3. Lore-friendly mods.

Hey! I just found out what color is "chestnut”.

This might be your first time playing the Witcher 3, but it doesn’t mean that it’s your first encounter with the world of The Witcher.

Maybe you’ve just finished reading the excellent collection of books and you can’t get enough of Geralt, Ciri, and friends. 

If that’s the case, you might enjoy the myriad lore-friendly mods that make the characters look more like the source material. So you can really see the books come to life.  

Hey, if the developers can take artistic liberties, it’s only fair that you can choose to opt out of them.  

Why Lore-friendly Mods Are Great For Your First Playthrough:

  • If you’re a fan of the books, these mods might make the game closer to what you think it should look like.
  • Little details can make a huge difference when it comes to characters you know and love.  

Download Lore-Friendly Dilated Pupils for Modular Eyes Mod: https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/5576 

Download Lore friendly face and eyes for Yennefer Mod: https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/4820 

Download Ciri Lore-Friendly Swallow Tattoo Mod: https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/4743 

2. Witcher 3 - Enhanced Edition.

All the fun of a brutal, difficult, uncompromising world!

A word of warning before you install this mod: this is a bit of a curveball.

See, this mod is a complete redo of every one of the game’s mechanics, and I do mean every single one.

The mod aims for immersion as its absolute goal, making the game harder, more complex, and more engaging. Overall, it is not a mod created for a first-time run of the game.

So why is it on the list?

Well, just like the previous mods, your entry point into the saga matters.

If you are a fan of the first two games and their more obscure mechanics, the simplified version of TW3 might not be to your liking. That’s where the enhanced edition comes in.

This mod turns the game into a more faithful adaptation of the first game. Making sure that it doesn’t lose complexity for the sake of broader appeal.

Just be advised: this mod is famously incompatible with other mods, so if you choose this one, it might be the only one you get to install.   

Why Witcher 3 - Enhanced Edition Is Great For Your First Playthrough:

  • Increases the game’s complexity and difficulty. Great for players that love that hardcore lifestyle.
  • It preserves the magic of the first game. So you can experience the amazing story without the dumbed-down mechanics.
  • This is a mod that will have you losing yourself in the game, for better and worst.  

Download Mod: https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/3522 

1. Better Combat Enhanced.

Hack and slash like a pro!

The Witcher 3’s combat is probably the most complex, critically-acclaimed combat system out of any RPG currently in the market. If you know one thing about this game, it’s probably that the combat system is the best thing about it.  

I’m just kidding! If TW3 has one prominent Achilles heel, it’s the combat system. 

The game’s meticulous and detail-oriented design in every other aspect makes the lackluster combat all the more frustrating. For many fans, combat is the one thing they’d change if given the chance.

So, here’s the chance. 

Better Combat Enhanced provides a fantastic alternative to the game’s vanilla combat system, making it more challenging, immersive, and rewarding. 

With this mod, you can correct the fanbase’s biggest grippe with the game before you even notice it’s there. 

Why Better Combat Enhanced Is Great For Your First Playthrough:

  • The improvements to the combat system make each encounter memorable.
  • The added complexity changes the experience of playing the game drastically, and it forces you to engage with the world.
  • Harder, better-designed combat adds extra weight when choosing for or against the pacific option in story beats.   

Download Mod: https://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/212 

So, before you begin your first playthrough through one of the best RPGs in recent memory, why not make use of its amazing and dedicated community? 

Thanks to these mods, now is as good a time to enter the game as it has ever been. 

A fantastic, exciting experience awaits you. And who knows? Someday it might be you creating fantastic mods that keep the game fresh and preserve the magic for future generations of Witchers.

Or Geralt-as-a-furry mods. I haven’t actually found one of those, but it’s honestly just a matter of time.   

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The rumor goes that Andrew sprung fully formed from a glitch in the Gamecube version of Enter the Matrix. Which is probably why no one bought that game. He enjoys games, Dnd, and getting gremlins wet.
Gamer Since: 2005
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Red Dead Redemption 2
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Dead Space 2

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