The Witcher 3 beings with Kaer Morhen, which is both a place and the opening quest.
The Witcher 3: Kaer Morhen
The story opens in a bedroom at Kaer Morhen, the witcher stronghold, shared by Geralt and Yennefer. Once you gain control, familiarise yourself with the controls for using your Witcher Senses – hold L2/LT to spot interactive objects, highlighted with a red glow. You can interact with them with X/A. To proceed, collect the key from the book on the desk, then approach the door. You can interact with several other objects around the room if you fancy, but it doesn’t achieve anything. Geralt will comment on the view if you visit the balcony.
Head downstairs for another cutscene and engage in a short dialogue. After another cutscene and dialogue, you can optionally engage in a tutorial demonstrating how to sprint (hold X/A), as well as climb ladders (X/A) and jump or clamber (Circle/B).
After yet another short cutscene and dialogue, you can opt into a short combat tutorial on swordplay, signs and alchemy – recommended for all players, because combat in The Witcher 3 is more challenging than that of your average third-person hack and slash.
Press left on the D-pad to draw your steel sword, and right to draw your silver sword. Press R3 to lock onto a target. Square/X performs a quick attack, while triangle/Y produces a strong attack. Tap Circle/B and move the analog stick in any direction to dodge incoming attacks. Tap X/A and move the analog stick in any direction to roll; this will get you further away than a dodge. To parry, hold L2/LT. You can tap this just before an enemy attack instead of holding it, and Geralt will perform a riposte.
Hold L1/LB to bring up the sign selection screen. Use the analog stick to select a sign, and press X/A to make it active. Cast the active sign with R2. Quen is a shield; Igni is a fire attack; Aard is a physical stun; Axxi disorients enemies; Yren lays an area of effect slow debuff.
Open the quick access menu to equip a bomb or, later in the game, other objects and devices; at present you only have access to training bombs. Equip them with X/A and then toss one at your locked-on target with R1/RB. You can hold R1/RB to manually aim tossed projectiles; move to the waypoint and do this once to end the tutorial and enter free training.
During free training you can practice all your available combat skills. Warning: Vesemir will absolutely tear you up if you let him! End free training at any time by sheathing your sword by holding either left or right on the D-pad.
After another cutscene, you’ll begin the game proper with the Lilac and Gooseberries quest.
Onwards to Lilac and Gooseberries, or back to The Witcher 3: Prologue (Kaer Morhen and White Orchard).
Back to The Witcher 3 guide and walkthrough.