The Witcher 3 Gets a Polish in July 2023: Update 4.04 Deep Dive


The Witcher 3, Even eight years after its release, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt continues to be a beloved RPG title. CD Projekt Red’s commitment to the game was solidified in December 2022 with the launch of a next-gen update for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. This update brought the world of The Witcher to life with stunning visuals, improved performance, and even some new features. But the love didn’t stop there. In July 2023, players received another update, Patch 4.04, that further refined the experience.

This article dives deep into the July 2023 update for The Witcher 4, addressing the most common questions gamers have been asking online.

The Witcher 3

What’s New in Patch 4.04?

Patch 4.04 primarily focused on addressing bugs and glitches introduced with the next-gen update, particularly for the PlayStation 5 version. It also tackled some lingering issues from the original game and offered a few quality-of-life improvements. Here’s a breakdown of the key changes:

Improved Stability with Ray Tracing: The next-gen update brought ray tracing, a lighting technique that creates more realistic shadows and reflections. However, some players experienced crashes, especially when using ray tracing for extended periods. Patch 4.04 improved the stability of the game with ray tracing enabled.

Fixed Side Quests: A handful of side quests, including “A Towerful of Mice,” “Cabaret,” “The Last Wish and Wandering in the Dark,” and “Get Junior,” had bugs or crashes associated with them. Patch 4.04 addressed these issues, ensuring a smoother gameplay experience for these quests.

General Bug Fixes: The update also tackled various minor bugs across the game, including graphical glitches, flickering textures, and collision issues with grass.

Console-Specific Fixes: Patch 4.04 included some console-specific fixes. For PlayStation 5, it ensured proper HDR calibration functionality. For both PlayStation and Xbox, the update addressed clipping issues with certain hairstyles from the “Beard and Hairstyle Set” DLC when worn with Nilfgaardian helmets.

PC-Specific Fixes: The PC version received a fix for frame rate inconsistencies when using the DLSS Frame Generation feature. Additionally, the update addressed instances where characters’ hair appeared overly bright with ray tracing enabled.

Beyond Bug Squashing: Quality-of-Life Improvements

While Patch 4.04 primarily focused on bug fixes, it also included a couple of quality-of-life improvements:

HDR Calibration: The PlayStation 5 version received an HDR calibration option, allowing players to fine-tune the game’s visuals for their specific displays.

Improved Map Filtering: The default map filter was tweaked to reduce clutter. It now hides some icons like “?” and boat markers, offering a cleaner map view. Players can still toggle back to the “All” map mode to see all icons if desired.

Addressing Common Questions from The Witcher 3 Community

Here are some of the most common questions players have been asking about the July 2023 update:

Is the update mandatory? Yes, Patch 4.04 is a mandatory update for all players on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S who wish to continue playing The Witcher 3.

Does the update improve performance? While the update doesn’t offer a major performance boost, it addresses some stability issues that could have impacted performance in certain situations.

Are there any new content additions? Patch 4.04 focused on bug fixes and quality-of-life improvements. No new story content or quests were added.

Will the update come to PC? The issues addressed in Patch 4.04 primarily affected the next-gen versions of the game. While some minor fixes might be applicable to PC, CD Projekt Red hasn’t announced any specific PC-focused update based on Patch 4.04.

The Continued Evolution of The Witcher 3

The July 2023 update demonstrates CD Projekt Red’s ongoing commitment to The Witcher 3. Even after eight years, the developer is dedicated to ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience for players, both new and old. Patch 4.04 might not be a massive overhaul, but the focus on bug fixes and quality-of-life improvements shows a dedication to refining the experience.

This continued support is a testament to the enduring popularity of The Witcher 3. With the recent success of the Netflix series and the upcoming next-gen update for PC expected in 2024, The Witcher 3 seems poised to continue captivating players for years to come.


What was included in the July 2023 update for The Witcher 3?

This update, Patch 4.04, focused on bug fixes and improvements, particularly for the next-gen versions. It addressed issues with ray tracing mode, specific quests, and general stability. Additionally, the update offered some quality-of-life changes, like improved HDR calibration and ensuring proper collision with grass (no more getting stuck!).

Did the update add any new content to the game?

No, Patch 4.04 didn’t introduce any new story quests or areas to explore. However, the developers did mention adding “a few secrets to be discovered by players,” so keep your eyes peeled!

I’m playing on PC. Did the update affect me?

Yes! The update included fixes for various PC-specific issues, including how the game counts frames per second with DLSS Frame Generation enabled and graphical glitches with hair in ray tracing mode.

I’m having trouble with the update. Where can I find help?

Several resources can help you. You can check out the official patch notes on CD Projekt Red’s website or search online forums and communities dedicated to The Witcher 3. Additionally, websites like IGN and GameRant often compile patch note information in an easy-to-read format.

Was this the last update for The Witcher 3?

CD Projekt Red hasn’t announced any future updates for The Witcher 3. However, considering the surprise nature of the July 2023 patch, it’s always possible there could be more in the future, especially if critical bugs are discovered.

Did the update change the graphics on PS4/Xbox One?

The update didn’t introduce major graphical changes for the previous generation consoles (PS4/Xbox One). However, it did fix some visual glitches related to specific quests.

I heard there’s a new option to scale the font size. Is that true?

Yes! Patch 4.04 added a much-requested feature: the ability to scale the size of subtitles, NPC chatter, and dialogue choices. This can be a big help for players who find the default font size too small.

Can I now auto-apply oils during combat?

The update introduced an option to auto-apply oils from the radial menu, making combat a bit smoother. You can also choose to switch between potions and oils directly from the radial menu for quicker access.

Is the map any different after the update?

The update introduced a new default map filter that hides some icons like “?” and boat markers to reduce clutter. Don’t worry, you can still access these icons by switching to the “All” map mode toggle.

I’m a huge Witcher fan. Should I replay the game because of this update?

Whether you replay the game depends on your preference. The update offers some quality-of-life improvements and bug fixes, but it doesn’t add any major new content. If you’ve been itching to revisit the world of The Witcher 3, the July 2023 update might be a good excuse to jump back in!

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