Combat is one of the core aspects of gameplay in The Witcher 3. Afterall, Geralt is a Witcher, a monster hunter and assassin. The game does a great job of giving depth and complexity to combat, but over time players become grossly overpowered and even the toughest fights become more manageable.
To combat this, players have created a variety of combat mods that tweak various aspects of gameplay. Everything from making potion toxicity a viable threat to improved the AI behind enemies. Here are some of the best combat mods for players who want more of a challenge on their next playthrough.
10 Better Combat Enhanced
The Better Combat Enhanced mod has made appearances in previous titles in the series and appears again in The Witcher 3. The main difference is that spamming signs is no longer a viable strategy. To survive in combat players will need to mix signs and sword play to synergize with each other.
Sword aren’t enough and signs don’t pack the punch they used to. But staggering an enemy before slicing has more impact. Players who tackle this mod on the Death March difficulty are in for a brutal game that requires skill, strategy, and cleverness not seen in the vanilla game.
9 Enhanced Edition
The Enhanced Edition mod was designed to make the game more realistic according to its own lore. Armor now has more meaning resulting in golem’s feeling like the impenetrable foes they were meant to be. Casting signs gets tiring and drinking too many potions results in toxicity that can cripple or kill the player.
On top of these kinds of changes is an overhaul of the combat controls. Moving the camera during attacks can actually change how swings perform and how the enemy is targeted. It results in a much more skill-based style of play that feels like the actual fight would in real-life.
8 Ghost Mode
Ghost Mode is a mod that looks to balance out combat more while resolving many of the issues with the vanilla game. Armor is broken into light, medium, and heavy categories that behave realistically. Attacks cost stamina and some signs have a cooldown.
Even wearing heavy armor comes with penalties to stamina forcing the player to be more judicial in how they use their limited stamina. The overall effect is to make combat a more strategic and complicated dance than just spamming the same action over and over again.
7 Skilled Humans
The Skilled Humans mod is meant to make human enemies a little more intelligent in combat. It introduces a few subtle tweaks to their behavior that can result in more interesting and engaging fights moving forward.
For instance enemies will attempt to counter-punch if they manage to block two consecutive hits from the player. They have also received increased attack speeds, are more likely to dodge, and approach more cautiously from a distance.
6 MEID – Mortal Enemies Increased Difficulty
The MEID mod was born from the idea that Death March vanilla was too easy. This mod gives enemies more realistic damage capabilities. A wolf can successfully maul the player within three strikes and bosses can obliterate the player in all but the best gear.
Even with full Grandmaster sets players aren’t impervious to damage and must be careful and tactical with each battle they enter into. The mod gives greater weight to being properly armored and using the right potions for each encounter.
5 Free Combat
Free Combat is a simple mod that makes a few tweaks to combat that can have interesting effects over the course of play. Enemies can now deal randomized damage multipliers that make sense to their level and gear.
It also allows enemies to be encountered and higher or lower levels to the player. The player will similarly find their own attacks governed by chance that can make the damage higher or lower. At times the player will feel very powerful and other times the player will be ill prepared for the fight they just got into.
4 ESR Overhaul
With the ESR Overhaul mod looks to add more immersion and realism to various parts of the game, including combat. It introduces a leveling/scaling system where enemies match both Geralt’s level and gear to provide an adequate challenge.
The mod also introduces a number of combat mechanical tweaks. Monsters feel more distinct with their own unique abilities, resistances, and attacks. This makes each battle a unique puzzle to solve requiring different potions, swords, signs, and gear to win.
3 Total Immersion
The Total Immersion mod does what it says on the tin. With this mod installed the game becomes much more difficult. Potions now have greater toxicity with negative consequences for becoming too intoxicated.
Enemies behave differently in combat, monsters are harder to detect when unseen and more likely to ambush the player, and combat becomes more skill based requiring better timing and attack synergy. It’s a complete overhaul of how enemies and Geralt behave in combat.
2 No Levels
No Levels is a simple concept that creates a tremendous challenge. Instead of having enemies scale up with Geralt’s level the enemies will see adjustments made to their stats instead. The same applies to Geralt as well.
Power comes through gear and abilities rather than an arbitrary level of power. End game bosses are no longer damage sponges, but they hit hard and Geralt can only take so many hits. Players will feel more powerful as they obtain better gear and become more skilled in combat.
1 Better Combat Evolved
The Better Combat Evolved is all about improving the game’s combat by adjusting it from the ground up. Toxicity of potions has more impact, armor is less effective, every action costs stamina, and blocking now delays stamina regeneration when used.
Enemies have seen similar changes with better stats and increased stamina. Foes will also behave differently depending on their numbers with groups acting more ferociously and flanking with lone individuals being more cautious. Heavy armored enemies block more while light armored enemies tend to dodge. Nearly every aspect related to fighting is more challenging, more skill-based, and according to many players much more rewarding.