The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt Skill Trees Explained

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Skill Trees Explained

RPG skill trees can be confusing. This guide will outline everything players will need to know about the skill trees in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

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The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt Skill Trees Explained

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of the most popular role-playing games (RPG) in recent times, and with the release of the new TV series, there are a lot of players trying it out for the first time. As with most RPGs, the flexibility and complexity of the leveling and skill systems are key to draw people in. At a glance, the skill tree in Witcher 3 can be quite daunting. There are tons of skills that players can choose from which branch out even further for another level of customization.

With so many different skills to choose from, players should focus on certain trees. The three main trees are Combat Skills, Signs, and Alchemy Skills that players will level up. There is a secondary tree: General Skills. Combat Skills are fairly self-explanatory, it focuses on Geralt’s melee and physical attacks and defense. Signs are Geralt’s magical skills and leveling these up empowers his abilities and stamina. Alchemy Skills improve potion-making, oil applications, bombs, and Mutagens. While all of this information can be overwhelming for new players, this guide will show them which skills are the most important for certain builds.

Combat Skills in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt Skill Trees Explained

These abilities increase your offensive, defensive and crossbow Skills. These Skills will appear red when equipped.

Fast Attack

Preform fast melee attacks with either sword.

  • Muscle Memory: Fast attack damage increase by 5%. Adrenaline Point gain: +1%.
  • Precise Blows: Increases critical chance of fast attacks by 2% and their damage by 15%. Adrenaline Point gain: +1%.
  • Whirl: A spinning attack that strikes all foes in the surrounding area. Maintaining the attack consumes Stamina and Adrenaline. Adrenaline Point gain: +1%.
  • Crippling Strikes: Fast attacks now also apply a Bleeding effect. Affected enemies lose 25 Vitality or Essence points per second. Duration: 5 seconds. Adrenaline Point gain: +1%.
  • Sunder Armor: Reduces enemy damage resistance by 5%. Adrenaline Point gain: +1%.

Strong Attack

It allows you to perform strong melee attacks that ignore enemy armor.

  • Strength Training: Strong attack damage increase by 5%. Adrenaline Point gain: +1%.
  • Crushing Blows: Increases critical chance of strong attacks by 2% and their damage by 15%. Adrenaline Point gain: +1%.
  • Rend: Inflicts increased damage in proportion to used Endurance. Ignores enemy defense and increases critical chance by 10%. Adrenaline Point gain: +1%.
  • Sunder Armor: Reduces enemy damage resistance by 5%. Adrenaline Point gain: +1%.


Wolf School defense techniques

  • Arrow Deflection: Deflect arrows while parrying. Adrenaline Point gain: +1%.
  • Feet Footed: Damage from hits received while dodging is reduced by 20%. Adrenaline Point gain: +1%.
  • Counterattack: After a successful counterattack, the next attack deals a +30% per skill level. Adrenaline Point gain: +1%.
  • Deadly Precision: Every point of adrenaline increases your instant kill chance by 1%. Adrenaline Point gain: +1%.


Allows you to wield a light hand-held crossbow

  • Lightning Reflexes: Time slowed by an additional 15% while aiming the crossbow. Adrenaline Point gain: +1%.
  • Cold Blood: Each bolt that hits its target adds 0.04 Adrenaline Points. Adrenaline Point gain: +1%.
  • Anatomical Knowledge: Increases crossbow critical hit chance by +5%. Adrenaline Point gain: +1%.
  • Crippling Shot: Critical hits dealt with the crossbow disable monster special abilities for 5 seconds. Adrenaline Point gain: +1%.

Battle Trance

Blows landed during combat generate Adrenaline Points. Each Adrenaline Point increases weapon damage by 10%.

  • Resolve: Adrenaline Point loss upon taking damage is lowered by 20%. Adrenaline Point gain: +1%.
  • Undying: When Vitality reaches 0, Adrenaline Points (if available) will be consumed to restore Vitality. The amount restored is based on the number of Adrenaline Points used. Adrenaline Point gain: +1%.
  • Razor Focus: instantly gain 1 Adrenaline Point when entering combat. The Adrenaline Points generated by Sword blows are increased by 5%. Adrenaline Point gain: +1%.
  • Flood of Anger: When casting a Sign, 3 Adrenaline Points (if available) will be consumed to upgrade the Sign to the highest level (unlocking all bonuses) and increases Sign intensity by 25%. Adrenaline Point gain: +1%.
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Combat Skills boost Geralt’s physical prowess by strengthening his physical attacks and bolstering his defensive capabilities. When playing a melee-focused build, players should spec into Fast Attacks, Defense, and Battle Trance. Muscle Memory, Crushing Blows, and Whirl are essential for players to have powerful fast attacks and the ability to fight multiple enemies at once. Arrow Deflection and Resolve will allow players to close the gap on longer-ranged enemies while staying healthy, and Sunder Armor is strong for longer fights. Crossbows aren’t very good in this game and should generally be avoided by less-experienced players.

Signs in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt Skill Trees Explained

These abilities improve the 5 Signs that you can use throughout the game. These Skills appear blue when equipped.


A directed blast of telekinetic energy that staggers opponents, leaving them open for a subsequent attack.

  • Far-Reaching Aard: Increases Aard range by 1 yard(s) Stamina regeneration in combat: +0.5/s.
  • Aard Sweep: Alternate Sign Mode: Aard works on every enemy around Geralt. When in this mode, the knockdown chance is reduced by 21%. Stamina regeneration in combat +0.5/s.
  • Aard Intensity: Increases Aard Sign intensity by 5%. Stamina regeneration in combat +0.5/s.
  • Shock Wave: Aard deals now 40 damage. Stamina regeneration in combat +0.5/s.


A directed fiery blast that damages enemies. Damage scales with Sign intensity.

  • Melt Armor: Dealing damage with Igni also permanently weakens enemy Armor. Effect scales with Sign intensity up to a maximum of 15%. Stamina regeneration in combat +0.5/s.
  • Firestream: Alternate sign mode: Emits a continuous stream of fire that damages enemies. Stamina regeneration in combat +0.5/s.
  • Igni Intensity: Increases Igni Sign intensity by 5%. Stamina regeneration in combat +0.5/s.
  • Pyromaniac: Increases the chance to apply Burning by 20%. Stamina regeneration in combat +0.5.


Magic trap that slows enemies who enter its area of effect.

  • Sustained Glyphs: Increases Sign duration by 5 seconds. The number of alternate mode charges: 2. The number of standard mode traps: 1. Stamina regeneration in combat +0.5/s.
  • Magic Trap: Alternate Sign Mode: Damages and slows all enemies within a 10-yard radius and slows them down. Destroys projectiles passing through this area. Stamina regeneration in combat +0.5/s.
  • Yrden Intensity: Increases Yrden Sign intensity by 5%. Stamina regeneration in combat +0.5/s.
  • Supercharged Glyphs: Enemies under the influence of Yrden lose 10 points of Vitality or Essence per second. Stamina regeneration in combat +0.5/s.


A protective shield that lasts until it has absorbed damage totaling 5% of maximum Vitality.

  • Exploding Shield: Quen shield pushes opponents back when it breaks. Stamina regeneration in combat +0.5/s.
  • Active Shield: Alternate Sign Mode: Creates an active shield. Maintaining it and blocking attacks drains Stamina. Damage absorbed by the shield restores player Vitality. Stamina regeneration in combat +0.5/s.
  • Quen Intensity: Increases Quen Sign intensity by 5%. Stamina regeneration in combat +0.5/s.
  • Quen Discharge: Reflects 5% of absorbed damage back to the attacker. Stamina regeneration in combat +0.5/s.


Charms an opponent’s mind, temporarily eliminating him from combat.

  • Delusion: Target does not move towards Geralt while he is casting Axii. Stamina regeneration in combat +0.5/s.
  • Puppet: Alternate Sign Mode: Targeted enemy briefly becomes an ally and deals 20/40/60% (depending on the level of development) more damage. Stamina regeneration in combat +0.5/s.
  • Axii Intensity: Increases Axii Sign intensity by 5%. Stamina regeneration in combat +0.5/s.
  • Domination: Two opponents can be influenced by Axii at the same time. The effect is 50% weaker. Stamina regeneration in combat +0.5/s.

Signs are the spells of the Witcher universe, and while players will still need to use their sword to complement their spells, focusing on Signs gives them quite a bit of versatility against many different types of enemies. Focusing on Signs gives up some defensive capabilities for power and versatility, so crowd control is essential. Far-Reaching Aard, Magic Trap, and Quen Intensity are the primary defensive options. For offense, players should focus on Igni. Melt Armor, Firestream, and Igni Intensity are the three most important Igni skills that players will want.

Alchemy Skills in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt Skill Trees Explained

These abilities improve Potions, Bombs, Mutagens, Decoctions, and Oils. These Skills appear Green when equipped.


Enables the brewing and drinking of Witcher Potions.

  • Heightened Tolerance: Increases Potion overdose threshold by 5%. Potion duration time: +5%.
  • Refreshment: Each Potion Geralt imbibes heals 5% of maximum Vitality. Potion duration time: +5%.
  • Delayed Recovery: Potion effects don’t wear off until potion Toxicity falls to 90% of the maximum level. Potion duration time: +5%.
  • Side Effects: Imbibing a Potion gives a 20% chance of activating the effects of another randomly-selected Potion, without additional toxicity cost. Potion duration time: +5%.
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Oil Preparation

Enables the creation of Oils that can be applied to swords.

  • Poisoned Blades: Oil applied to the blades gives a 3% chance of poisoning the target on each hit. The chance is greater the higher the level of Oil used. Potion duration time: +5%.
  • Protective Coating: Adds +5% protection against attacks from the monster type the Oil targets. Potion duration time: +5%.
  • Fixative: Blade Oils now have 33% more charges Potion duration time: +5%.
  • Hunter Instinct: When Adrenaline Points are at their maximum, critical hit damage against the targeted enemy type is increased by 20%. Potion duration time: +5%.

Bomb Creation

Enables the creation of handheld Bombs that can be thrown at enemies.

  • Steady Aim: Time is slowed a further 15% while aiming Bombs. Potion duration lasts +5% longer.
  • Pyrotechnics: Bombs that do not usually inflict damage now deal 30 damage in addition to their normal effects. Potion duration time: +5%.
  • Efficiency: Increases the maximum number of Bombs in each slot by 1. Potion duration time: +5%.
  • Cluster Bombs: Upon detonation Bombs separate into explosive fragments. Number of fragments: 2. Potion duration time: +5%.


Enables the extraction of Mutagens from the corpses of powerful Monsters. Witchers use these to grant their bodies new abilities.

  • Acquired Tolerance: Every known level 1 alchemical recipe, increases maximum Toxicity by 1. Potion duration time: +5%.
  • Tissue Transmutation: When consumed, Mutagen Decoction increases maximum Vitality by 200 for Decoction’s effective duration. Potion duration time: +5%.
  • Synergy: Increases bonus for Mutagen in Mutagen slots by 10%. Potion duration time: +5%.
  • Adaption: Extends the effective duration of all mutagen Decoctions by 10%. Potion duration time: +5%.

Trial of the Grasses

Mutation that lets Witchers withstand the Toxicity of Potions that would kill normal people.

  • Frenzy: If Potion Toxicity is above 0, time automatically slows when an enemy is about to perform a counterattack. Potion duration time: +5%.
  • Endure Pain: Increases maximum Vitality by 10% if toxicity exceeds the safe threshold. Potion duration time: +5%.
  • Fast Metabolism: Toxicity drops 1 point(s) per second faster. Potion duration time: +5%.
  • Killing Spree: If potion Toxicity is above 0, each opponent killed increases the chance for a critical hit by 10%. Potion duration time: +5%.

Focusing strictly on Alchemy Skills is not recommended for newer players. This build requires a lot of patience and extra foraging to go along with swordplay and Sign usage. Alchemy modifies Geralt’s weapons and imbues them with different effects. Refreshment, Poisoned Blades, and Frenzy are all important to create an all-around character focused on Alchemy Skills.

Note, for higher difficulties Alchemy Skills are pretty much required. Extra strength potions, stronger Mutations, and Oils are necessary to survive.

General Skills in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

These abilities improve general aspects of your play style, such as Armor proficiency, Potions tolerance and amount of health. These Skills appear yellow when equipped.

  • Sun and Stars: During the day, Vitality regenerates by an additional 10 points per second when not in combat. At night, Stamina regenerates by an additional 1 point per second during combat.
  • Survival Instinct: Increases maximum Vitality by 500.
  • Cat School Techniques: Each piece of light armor increases critical hit damage by 25% and fast attack damage by 5%.
  • Griffin School Techniques: Each piece of medium armor increases your Sign intensity by 5% and Endurance regeneration by 5%.
  • Bear School Techniques: Each piece of heavy armor increases your strong attack by 5% and maximum health by 5%.
  • Steady Shot: Crossbow deals 25% more damage.
  • Rage Management: If your current Stamina level is too low, Signs can be cast using Adrenaline Points.
  • Focus: Adrenaline Points also increase your Sign damage.
  • Adrenaline Burst: Increases Adrenaline generation by 5%. Using Signs now generates Adrenaline Points.
  • Metabolism Control: Increases maximum Toxicity by 30.

General Skills are secondary skills that can change depending on the build. Everyone should use the Techniques, depending on their kind of armor, Rage Management and Adrenaline Burst are great for Sign usage, and Focus is very useful for Combat builds.

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