Guide: The best character builds for Geralt in The Witcher 3 on PS4

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Dustin Hansen
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The brilliance of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt's character progression system is in its intricacies. There are countless ways to forge Geralt, whether you like to run into battle flapping your blades like crazy, use your magic signs carefully, or prefer to prepare for each fight using your alchemical knowledge.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Guides PS4

  • Guide: Tips and tricks for beginners in The Witcher 3 on PS4
  • Guide: Which skills should you choose in The Witcher 3 on PS4?
  • Guide: Where to find all Places of Power in The Witcher 3 on PS4
  • Guide: Tips for surviving The Witcher 3's punishing combat on PS4
  • Guide: The best character builds for Geralt in The Witcher 3 on PS4
  • Guide: How to Beat Every Enemy Type in The Witcher 3 on PS4

Remark: With the release of Blood and Wine, the second expansion for The Witcher 3, we've written another character creation guide that focuses on the mutation system. You can find it in here.



It's safe to say we've spent a lot of time with the open-world adventure - perhaps too long - but our understanding of the title's skill system has allowed us to write this character-building guide. This guide is by no means meant to be the final word on effective builds for Geralt, but hopefully it will at least give you some ideas on how you want to play and what skills you should invest in through the process. following. get started, however, please note that you must be at least level 30 to fully utilize these builds, as that is when all 12 skill slots will become available.



The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Best Character Builds

pure fight

Focusing solely on combat skills, this build aims to be as effective as possible at hitting monsters and people with chunks of metal. Fast attacks, strong attacks, defensive techniques and adrenaline points combine to create a fighter who relies on weapons and reflexes rather than magic and alchemy. Pure Combat lacks versatility, but is highly specialized.

Skill Categories Used: Combat

skills:

  • Muscle memory (combat)
    An obvious choice because you're going to want to do as much damage as possible with your standard attacks.
  • Strength training (combat)
    Another obvious choice, purely for the damage bonus to your strong attacks.
  • Deflected Arrow (Combat) OU Resolve (Combat)
    Both skills can be useful to the Pure Combat version. Arrow deflection can be useful against ranged attackers, but Resolve can help save your adrenaline points.
  • Precise hits (combat)
    In order to make your fast attacks as deadly as possible, increasing the chance of critical hits and more critical hit damage can be a big help.
  • Crushing Blows (Combat)
    Again, the increased chance of getting a critical hit matters in making your swordplay as damaging as possible.
  • Foot Fleet (Combat)
    Since the Pure Combat build won't be too reliant on potions, Fleet Footed's damage resistance bonus is a good way to help conserve your health.
  • Undying (Combat)
    This skill can be very important for building Pure Combat. Spending adrenaline points to revive yourself when you're killed could easily come in handy if you're not relying on potions for healing.
  • Whirlwind (Combat)
    The whirlwind is a lethal technique in pure combat when used correctly. It turns Geralt into a spinning blade of death, great for knocking back multiple enemies and capable of massive damage when fighting a single enemy.
  • Rend (Combat)
    A powerful addition to your arsenal that should not be overlooked.
  • Razor Focus (Combat)
    A brilliant skill for building up adrenaline points, which counts for both Whirl and Rend. A must for this build, as you rely on your blades.
  • Crippling Strikes (Combat)
    Bleed damage is a great way to add more kick to your already powerful fast attacks.
  • Sunder Armor (Combat)
    Paralyzing your enemies while you fight is perfect for this specialized build. As always, the more damage you can do with your swords, the better.

pure signs

Focusing solely on Signs and their related skills, this build aims to make your Signs as effective as possible, making the most of enemy weaknesses in the process. You'll still have to rely on sword attacks, as Signs are primarily built to complement Geralt's swordplay, but mastering your full arsenal of Signs can make you surprisingly versatile against a range of enemies.



Skill Categories Used: Signs

skills:

  • Far Reaching Aard (Signs)
    Aard is all about crowd control, and that's why his range is important, especially for this build, where you'll want to have as much breathing space as possible.
  • Explosive shield (signs) OU Molten armor (signs)
    Explosive Shield is useful when being knocked back by smaller enemies – another skill good to have when you need to breathe. However, Melt Armor can come in handy when you need to do a bit more damage to your enemies. If you are more defensive, go for the former, while the latter will prove worthy if you are more offensive.
  • Delirium (signs) OU Supported glyphs (signs)
    The illusion can come in handy whether you're finishing off a final enemy or wanting to take an enemy out of the game for a while. It also opens unique dialog options. On the other hand, Sustained Glyphs is a decent upgrade if you use the yrden sign a lot, and it only requires two skill points to max out.
  • Nature Sweep (Signes)
    Perfect for crowd control if you're surrounded on all sides.
  • Firestream (Signes)
    Transforms igni into one of the most damaging signs. A useful tool for this build when it comes to doing raw damage.
  • Magic trap (signs)
    Very practical in multiple situations, thanks to its multiple effects. Use it correctly and you can control entire fights.
  • Shield active (signs)
    Too useful to pass up. Active Shield bubble protects from all directions and restores health by doing so. Perfect for healing as you won't improve the effectiveness of your potion.
  • Puppet (signs)
    Incredibly useful for fighting groups. Not only can Puppet give you breathing space, but it can also help level the playing field.
  • Igni intensity (signs)
    The Pure Signs build relies on igni as its primary damaging attack, so increasing its effectiveness and chances of setting enemies on fire is a must.
  • Quen intensity (signs)
    In other words, increasing the effectiveness of your shield will always be worth it.
  • Shock wave (signs)
    Adding damage to aard gives you more reason to use it, especially when a group of enemies are already low on health.
  • Arsonist (signs) OU Supercharged glyphs (signs)
    Increasing your chances of burning your enemies, the Pyromaniac can be useful when looking to deal lasting damage. Similarly, Supercharged Glyphs are also effective in reducing health. It depends on which sign you tend to use more between igni and yrden.



pure alchemy

Perhaps the most demanding build, Pure Alchemy focuses purely on alchemy skills and aims to make your potions, oils, bombs, and concoctions as potent as possible. This build requires patience and lots of food. Naturally, you'll still need to use swordplay and your signs, but your alchemy will empower all of your abilities and allow you to exploit as many enemy weaknesses as possible.

Skill categories used: Alchemy

skills:

  • Poisoned Blades (Alchemy)
    More damage from your oils can't hurt, especially when you're not focusing on combat skills.
  • Frenzy (Alchemy)
    Slowing time can be a lifesaver against tougher enemies, and with an alchemy skill-based build, it's likely that your toxicity level will generally be above zero more often than not.
  • Refreshment (Alchemy)
    Instant health restoration is a must with the number of potions you will be drinking. The primary means of healing in Pure Alchemy.
  • Protective Coating (Alchemy)
    Damage resistance against enemies will always come in handy, provided you're ready for a fight.
  • Endure Pain (Alchemy)
    Extra health will help you survive while still drinking potions. This skill can make the Pure Alchemy version look like a tank when used in conjunction with Refresh.
  • Delayed Recovery (Alchemy)
    Perfect for battles where you'll be using your potions to the max. Making their effects last as long as you are able to maintain your toxicity level can be a boon.
  • Fixer (alchemy)
    More oil charges will always come in handy, especially against specific groups of enemies.
  • Efficiency (alchemy)
    Carrying more bombs can't hurt, as they're rather limited to just two uses.
  • Synergy (alchemy)
    With this build, your 12 equipped skills are going to be alchemy-based, so with a green mutagen in each slot, you could potentially boost your vitality by a surprising amount with this skill.
  • Side effects (alchemy)
    A risky skill, but probably worth it for this build, where you'll be popping a lot of potions. The additional effects can hopefully turn the tide of a battle.
  • Hunter Instinct (Alchemy)
    With this build, you won't be using your adrenaline points for much else, so increased crit chance can really come in handy when you need some extra damage.
  • Killing Spree (Alchemy) OU Adaptation (alchemy)
    Killing Spree is a decent option for more attacking players, while Adapting is more versatile. The former is great against groups of enemies, while the latter can really help make your concoctions more effective overall.

Versatile

Utilizing all three main skill categories, the All-Round is a build focused on versatility, allowing you to tackle any situation. The downside is that you won't fully master the specific skills, but you should have a good chance of achieving victory against any type of opponent with the right tactics.

Skill categories used: Combat, Signs, Alchemy, General

skills:

  • Muscle memory (combat)
    A simple boot from this version, improving your fast attacks is always welcome.
  • Strength training (combat)
    No harm in strengthening your strong attacks either.
  • Molten armor (signs)
    A decent way to add damage to your standard attacks, considering this build doesn't specialize in any particular skill category.
  • Far Reaching Aard (Signs) OU Delirium (signs)
    Both skills are mostly about crowd control, with Delusion having the talk option bonus. Choosing between the two largely comes down to personal preference.
  • Increased tolerance (alchemy)
    The All-Rounder may need to back off on using potions when the going gets tough, so having a higher overdose threshold could help.
  • Frenzy (Alchemy)
    Linked to increased tolerance, this skill can help you survive when the going gets tough.
  • Foot Fleet (Combat)
    Reducing the damage you receive while dodging will definitely come in handy for a build that needs to adapt to changing situations.
  • Undying (Combat)
    A second chance at life may be just what you need as insurance in tougher battles.
  • Firestream (Signes)
    A good alternate attack dealing damage when your swords don't quite cut it.
  • Shield active (signs)
    A great way to recover any lost health, and perfect for finding the balance between attack and defense when playing the versatile build.
  • Refreshment (Alchemy) OU Sun and Stars (General)
    Both skills are aimed at keeping your health at a reasonable level. Refresh is obviously the best choice in battle, while Sun and Stars can come in handy when you need to store food or potions.
  • Rabies management (general)
    A great skill that will definitely come in handy – especially since this build doesn't use adrenaline points for anything other than Undying.

Offensive Warrior

Focusing primarily on the combat skill category, the Offensive Warrior build is all about supporting your swordplay with damaging signs and buff-based alchemy. This build is for players who want to push the offense, ideally killing their enemies before there is much need for defense.

Skill categories used: Combat, Signs, Alchemy, General

skills:

  • Muscle memory (combat)
    As always, the perfect place to start.
  • Strength training (combat)
    More damage is always good when it comes to this build.
  • Reaching Aard (Signs)
    Greater range on an aard means you can catch more enemies off guard, setting them up for a deadly one-hit finisher.
  • Molten armor (signs)
    Tearing through your enemy's armor is a good strategy for an offensive-minded build.
  • Poisoned Blades (Alchemy)
    Even more damage to your swords, if you have the right oils for the job.
  • Precise hits (combat)
    An offensive build is not going to dodge critical hits in order to do maximum damage.
  • Crushing Blows (Combat)
    Again, the more critical hits the better.
  • Nature Sweep (Signes)
    More crowd control and potentially more knockdowns. Perfect for opening up enemies to your powerful blows.
  • Firestream (Signes)
    Simply one of the most damaging signs. For the Warrior Offensive, it's just another way to rip your opponent apart.
  • Rend (Combat) OU Whirlwind (Combat)
    Either of these techniques can be the main damage dealer, so it's a matter of choosing the one that best suits your style. Rend is great for singular enemies but it's slow and needs to be timed properly. The whirlwind is more useful in general, but it can be fast and unruly.
  • Razor Focus (Combat)
    The more adrenaline points you have, the more skills you can use like Rend or Whirl.
  • Rabies management (general) OU Focus (General)
    Rage management is great when you want to use your damage signs as much as possible, but focus further boosts the damage of your attacks. Either is a worthy investment for this build.

defensive warrior

Focusing primarily on the combat skill category, defensive warrior building is all about supporting your swordplay with defense-oriented signs and buff-based alchemy. This build is largely about survivability: effectively defending against your opponent's attacks while waiting for the perfect chance to strike back.

Skill categories used: Combat, Signs, Alchemy, General

skills:

  • Strength training (combat)
    Strong attacks are the main damage method of this build. You launch powerful attacks whenever you get the chance.
  • Deflected Arrow (Combat)
    Going down the defensive route, Deviate Projectiles can really come in handy when surviving against humanoid groups.
  • Reaching Aard (Signs) OU Delirium (signs)
    These two skills give you more control over battles. Personal preference will determine which one best suits your style of play.
  • Explosive shield (signs)
    Quen is obviously going to be useful for a survival-based build. Exploding Shield gives you time to fight back if the enemy manages to break through your defense.
  • Increased tolerance (alchemy)
    Swallowing potions like the Swallow helps keep your vitality, further improving your survivability. The more you can drink without collapsing, the better.
  • Frenzy (Alchemy)
    Being able to react correctly to your opponent's attacks through slow motion is a good fit for a defensive build.
  • Foot Fleet (Combat)
    Reducing damage by dodging is an obvious choice for the defensive warrior.
  • Undying (Combat)
    Another obvious choice. If the enemy manages to break through your defenses and take you down, you will rise again.
  • Shield active (signs)
    A must for this version. Protection from all angles will always come in handy, and restoring health is just the icing on the cake, making you even harder to kill.
  • Magic trap (signs) OU Puppet (signs)
    Magic Trap has its uses in slowing down your enemies, while Puppet can turn the tide in group fights.
  • Refreshment (Alchemy)
    Healing your vitality every time you take a sip of a potion is a solid addition to this build.
  • Survival Instinct (General) OU Bear School Techniques (General)
    Survival Instinct provides a simple vitality boost – an obvious choice you might think, but Bear School Techniques is perfect for this build if you have a full set of heavy armor.

Alchemical Warrior

Splitting focus between combat skills and alchemy skills, the Alchemy Warrior is a build that aims to support your swordplay with plenty of alchemy knowledge. Potions, oils, bombs, and concoctions will give you an edge with the right preparation, then you'll use your combat prowess to finish the job.

Skill Categories Used: Combat, Alchemy

skills:

  • Muscle memory (combat)
    A solid fit, of course.
  • Strength training (combat)
    More raw sword damage is never a bad thing for this build.
  • Poisoned Blades (Alchemy)
    Further increases your sword damage when the correct oils are used.
  • Increased tolerance (alchemy) OU Frenzy (Alchemy)
    Increased tolerance is a safe bet if you use a lot of potions, while Frenzy is obviously based on surviving during combat.
  • Precise hits (combat) OU Crushing Blows (Combat) OU Foot Fleet (Combat) OU Undying (Combat)
    None of these skills are crucial to building the Alchemy Warrior as a whole. If you prefer a more offensive approach, opt for precision strikes or crushing blows, while Fleet Footed and Undying are geared towards a more defensive mindset. Or, you can mix and match.
  • Precise hits (combat) OU Crushing Blows (Combat) OU Foot Fleet (Combat) OU Undying (Combat)
    As above. None of these skills are crucial to building the Alchemy Warrior as a whole. If you prefer a more offensive approach, opt for precision strikes or crushing blows, while Fleet Footed and Undying are geared towards a more defensive mindset. Or, you can mix and match.
  • Protective Coating (Alchemy)
    For better use of your oils, the protective coating works well with poison blades.
  • Refreshment (Alchemy) OU Endure Pain (Alchemy)
    Both skills rely on your potion intake, so the choice largely comes down to whether you want to restore your health or rely on your extra max vitality.
  • Whirlwind (Combat)
    A versatile move to have in your arsenal.
  • Rend (Combat)
    Another reliable technique, which is a solid addition to this build, as you won't be using too many adrenaline points.
  • Fixer (alchemy)
    Further enhancing the effectiveness of your oils, Fixative grants a nice bonus to their longevity.
  • Efficiency (alchemy) OU Fast metabolism (alchemy)
    This choice largely depends on how many potions you use. If you drink a lot of it, Fast Metabolism can help keep you safe, while efficiency can make bombs more reliable and versatile.

Spellsword

Dividing focus between combat skills and signs, the Spellsword is a versatile build that combines sword and spell powers. Signs are used to take advantage of your enemy's weaknesses, while your combat prowess will allow you to kill them.

Skill Categories Used: Combat, Signs, General

skills:

  • Muscle memory (combat)
    You know why it's here now.
  • Strength training (combat)
    And this one.
  • Molten armor (signs)
    Melt Armor is a perfect fit for this build, as it allows you to weaken enemies for your incoming sword attacks.
  • Reaching Aard (Signs) OU Delirium (signs)
    Again, this is your preferred method of crowd control. Aard is great for forcing openings against multiple opponents, while Delusion can render a single enemy powerless.
  • Precise hits (combat) OU Crushing Blows (Combat)
    This one boils down to what type of sword attack you prefer. Precise blows tend to be the best choice when taking advantage of slight openings, while crushing blows are perhaps best for strikes after a successful sign attack.
  • Foot Fleet (Combat)
    Building Spellsword relies on your ability to stay alive while your stamina regenerates so you can cast another Sign. Fleet Footed helps ensure that you don't take too much damage from a mistaken dodge.
  • Nature Sweep (Signes) OU Firestream (Signes) OU Magic trap (signs)
    It all depends on what type of swordsman you want to be. Aard Sweep is good for keeping enemies at bay, Firestream is great for raw damage, while Magic Trap is versatile and can help you control battles when used correctly.
  • Shield active (signs)
    Active Shield is the Spellsword's main defensive option. Recovering hit points with every blocked attack is just too useful to pass up when you're not getting the most out of potions.
  • Rend (Combat) OU Whirlwind (Combat)
    Either technique is perfect for bringing down the pain of an enemy you just left wide open with your signs.
  • Razor Focus (Combat)
    Great for racking up adrenaline points, which will come in handy for this build, especially with the Flood of Anger skill.
  • Storm of Wrath (combat)
    By spending your Adrenaline Points to maximize the effectiveness of your Spell Sign, Flood of Anger can make the Spellsword a force to be reckoned with.
  • Rabies management (general) OU Griffin School Techniques (General)
    Another use of your adrenaline points, rage management can be very useful in helping to ensure you have the wherewithal to cast your signs no matter what. However, Griffin School Techniques can bring out the full potential of this build if you have good medium armor.

Learned

The Scholar build combines signs and alchemy to fully exploit enemy weaknesses. It's a versatile build that can take some getting used to, and you'll need to stay on top of your alchemy supplies, but your vast knowledge of magic and potions will keep you one step ahead of your foes. .

Skill categories used: Signs, Alchemy, General

skills:

  • Molten armor (signs)
    Since you won't be taking any combat skills, Melt Armor can help you increase damage with your blades.
  • Delirium (signs)
    Illusion can be great for saving you time while you wait for a potion's effects to fully kick in.
  • Increased tolerance (alchemy)
    Useful for this build, as you'll be drinking quite a few potions.
  • Learned Tolerance (Alchemy)
    This build is entirely knowledge-based, so this particular skill makes too much sense to ignore, but it won't reach its full potential until later in the game when you've discovered plenty of formulas.
  • Firestream (Signes)
    One of the primary ways for the fellow to repair raw damage.
  • Shield active (signs)
    As with any build that uses this skill, survivability increases by one notch. Coupled with the scholar's alchemical abilities, Active Shield can make the build quite tough.
  • Refreshment (Alchemy)
    Restore a part of vitality for each potion will drink for sure. Another skill that increases your resilience.
  • Endure Pain (Alchemy)
    The max vitality boost may be just what the doctor ordered when all you need is to throw one more sign to turn the tide of battle.
  • Igni intensity (signs)
    Bolstering the likes of Firestream makes a lot of sense for this build.
  • Quen intensity (signs)
    Increasing the effectiveness of your magic shield can pay off when you're waiting for your stamina to recharge.
  • Arsonist (signs)
    Along with the other igni skills this build uses, Pyromaniac can help you deal lasting damage to your enemies.
  • Rabies management (general)
    Since you won't be using adrenaline points for much else while using this build, you can also keep them in reserve for when you really need to cast a sign.

Naughty

A specialized build that aims to maximize the damage of your fast attacks, while staying alive while dodging. Quick and deadly strikes are the bread and butter of this build, while evasion techniques, various signs and adrenaline points also play a role. A build for those who prefer to use agility to get the most out of their enemies.

Skill categories used: Combat, Signs, Alchemy, General

skills:

  • Muscle memory (combat)
    Quick attacks are the basis of this build, so they should do as much damage as possible.
  • Resolve (Combat)
    It's worth taking it so you can retain as many adrenaline points as possible, regardless of the cost.
  • Molten armor (signs)
    Ideal for getting the most out of your fast attacks; Melt Armor ensures you can still do decent damage.
  • Delirium (signs)
    Ideal when you need a little breathing space. Additionally, the tricky dialogue options seem to suit this build particularly well.
  • Poisoned Blades (Alchemy)
    Useful only for extra damage.
  • Precise hits (combat)
    Your fast attacks are set to become incredibly deadly with this skill.
  • Foot Fleet (Combat)
    The Rogue's lack of magic and alchemical defenses means it's up to your evasive prowess when it comes to dodging damage, so Fleet Footed is an ideal skill.
  • Whirlwind (Combat)
    Ideal if you manage to surround yourself or if you want to inflict serious damage on a single enemy.
  • Razor Focus (Combat)
    I have to keep building those adrenaline points.
  • Crippling Strikes (Combat)
    Maximizing the damage of your fast attacks, Crippling Strikes ensure that you'll almost always chip away at your enemy's health bar, whittling them down for the final hit.
  • Deadly Precision (combat)
    Instant kills are the icing on the cake of this already deadly build.
  • Adrenaline Rush (general) OU Focus (General) OU Cat school techniques (general)
    A tricky choice because each skill has its uses. Adrenaline Burst can help with Deadly Precision, while Focus is a good choice for bolstering your strikes in general. Meanwhile, Cat School Techniques is great if you have good light armor.
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