Enlarge/ CD Projekt Red’s official update image is a bad choice for showing off the huge updates. Why not a massive GOG logo instead?
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In bringing The Witcher 3 to Nintendo Switch late last year, the porting team at Saber Interactive already pulled off an impressive feat. This week, the developer went one step further with the port’s biggest patch yet, and the included quality-of-life changes just elevated its valueespecially for the game’s fans on PC.
The Thursday patch was hinted at by Saber in late January in a tweet that has since been deleted, and after launching exclusively in Korea in the wee hours of the morning, it began rolling out across the globe through Thursday. While developer CD Projekt Red has yet to release a comprehensive list of patch notes about smaller bug fixes and tweaks, two of its biggest changes are front and center in the opening menus: cross-save support, and an overhauled “post-processing” list of toggles.

  • A new “cloud saves” menu in The Witcher 3’s Switch version. Pick your preferred PC platform of choice.
  • Then pick whether you’re syncing with the game’s “standard” or “game of the year” edition.
  • After signing in, choose to either load a cloud save or to pick one of your own existing save files on Switch to send back to your PC.

The former only works with the game’s PC version, but you’re in luck whether you’ve purchased the game via GOG or Steam. Choose either storefront, then enter your username and password in a Web interface to confirm that you want to connect your Switch copy with your PC version. Doing this allows you to either upload or download a single save file with either service, since both support cloud saves by default. CDPR’s official update includes two warnings for longtime PC players: the Switch version will only recognize save files whose names haven’t been manually edited, and any saves that contain metadata from modded versions of the game could affect Switch performance.
CDPR and Saber aren’t the first to deliver cloud-save support on a Switch port; the massive RPG Divinity: Original Sin 2 plays nicely with Steam’s cloud-save feature, while a few “live service” games such as Fortnite include global login support. But we’ve yet to see GOG integration on a Switch game, and as fans of its DRM-free sales model, we are delighted to see the inclusion. (As the official handlers of GOG, CDPR has a vested interest in getting it working, obviously.)

  • All images in this gallery, showing off new visual toggles, were captured by Ars Technica in “undocked” mode, meaning maximum 720p resolution. The new post-processing menu is so long…
  • …that it requires scrolling down for arguably the biggest toggle. The removal of anti-aliasing makes a serious impact on how the game looks on a portable screen.
  • The Switch port’s default settings: blur on, anti-aliasing on, sharpening off.
  • Blur and anti-aliasing have been turned off. Sharpening has been left off.
  • Blur and anti-aliasing are disabled. Sharpening is now set to “high.”
  • Blur and anti-aliasing are disabled. Sharpening is now set to “low.”
  • The default settings: blur on, anti-aliasing on, sharpening off.
  • Blur and anti-aliasing have been turned off. Sharpening has been left off.
  • Blur and anti-aliasing are disabled. Sharpening is now set to “high.”
  • Blur and anti-aliasing are disabled. Sharpening is now set to “low.”
  • The default settings: blur on, anti-aliasing on, sharpening off.
  • Blur and anti-aliasing have been turned off. Sharpening has been left off.
  • Blur and anti-aliasing are disabled. Sharpening is now set to “high.”
  • Blur and anti-aliasing are disabled. Sharpening is now set to “low.”

Meanwhile, the newly expanded post-processing menu does less to improve the game’s performance and more to give players options for how the resulting “mostly 30 frames-per-second” gameplay looks. The original October version emphasized blur, not sharpness, and the results made some of the game’s areas, particularly its nighttime romps and foliage-filled forests, hard to see clearly. Now, players can disable both the “blur” and “anti-aliasing” options and turn on a new “sharpness” filter; the latter comes in “low” and “high” varieties. The result is a decidedly “jaggier” game, with much more visible pixel stair-stepping, and it’s not necessarily recommended for docked play on an HDTV. But it’s a revelation in action on the portable screen, offering much more legibility in the game’s active battle scenes. Heck, the original game’s pristine art direction looks better in the form of pure, lower-resolution pixels than through an N64-era glaze of blur.
Should those options not be enough for your picky eyeballs, you can now also disable motion blur, bloom, light shafts, and depth-of-field blur. Those options are decidedly more about taste than general visual quality, and their toggles, at first glance, don’t have a noticeable effect on the game’s ability to (nearly) hold a steady 30fps refresh. The patch notes offer a vague promise of “multiple performance optimizations,” but it remains to be seen how effective those truly areor whether changing this menu’s “foliage visibility range” improves performance at all.For a more comprehensive look at how these options affect the scenery in various Witcher 3 regions, we’ve embedded a video comparison as captured by YouTube channel Direct-Feed Games.
Witcher 3, patch 3.6 comparison.