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The Witcher Monster Slayer: 10 essential tips and tricks for the best Witcher experience

It’s time to leave the comfort of your gaming chair and venture out into the real world of The Witcher: Monster Slayer. Fans of Pokémon Go know how fun adventuring around your neighborhood in search of AR Pokémon can be. Now, that same concept has been adopted by The Witcher. Available for Android and iPhone, The Witcher: Monster Slayer takes real-life video games to a whole new level.

We’re here to help you get the best Witching experience possible with the following tips, tricks, and strategies for The Witcher: Monster Slayer.

What is The Witcher: Monster Slayer?

A Witcher Monster Slayer player holds a silver sword and smartphone.

The Witcher: Monster Slayer is an augmented reality mobile game developed by Spokko, a subsidiary of CD Projekt. You play as a Witcher (unfortunately not Geralt) and fight monsters scattered around your neighborhood, city, or surrounding area. As you venture around, you’ll encounter several quests with multiple steps and various rewards. However, you’ll have to complete the initial quest when you first load up the game to progress any further.

Thorstein, a traveling Merchant, appears at your feet and is in grave need of a talented Witcher. A monster has stolen his supplies, and it’s up to you to track it down and get them back. This initial quest will teach you everything you need to know about completing quests in The Witcher: Monster Slayer.

Once you’ve completed this initial quest, several others will appear on your map. You’re now free to begin as many quests as you please. As we all know from The Witcher console RPGs, having too many quests active at a time can be overbearing. That same concept applies to Monster Slayer, so don’t bite off more than you can chew.

You’ll gather resources and crafting materials along the way to make powerful bombs, oils, and potions. These craftables will boost your damage output, overall HP, and Witcher abilities. Crafting can be confusing in any RPG, but The Witcher: Monster Slayer simplifies the system, making it easy to understand and master.

Other than crafting materials, you’ll earn gold and XP through combat and quest completion. Spend gold on new weapons and armor to boost your passive abilities like XP gain and critical hit damage. As you earn XP, you’ll level up and earn a bundle of skill points to allocate. The skill trees break down into Combat, Alchemy, and Signs.

Best ways to play The Witcher: Monster Slayer

Geralt from The Witcher 3 and his horse Roach.
Image from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher is a real-world augmented reality game. It uses Google Maps to spawn monsters in your vicinity while tracking your movement. This is not a game you can play from the comfort of home, as you’ll have to set out into the real world to play The Witcher to its full potential. So what is the best way to play The Witcher: Monster Slayer?

Getting around

A Witcher needs their mount. While players won’t be setting out on horseback, a bicycle serves as the best means of transportation. Monsters are too far apart to play on foot. Furthermore, you won’t be able to kill every monster you encounter as they range between Easy, Medium, and Hard. Players will find it frustrating to walk a cumulative mile only to fight a handful of enemies. Add the hot summer weather to that, and you’re looking at a pretty miserable Witching experience.

However, riding a bike, assuming you can, makes The Witcher: Monster Slayer one of the most entertaining mobile games you’ll ever play. Alternatively, a skateboard, rollerblades, or your old Razor scooter will do the trick. Not only do these modes of transportation make the Witcher more fun, but you’re also getting decent exercise! So what does a Witcher need, other than their swords and potions, before embarking on a quest?

Phone mount

Bicycle phone mounts are inexpensive and easy to install. You can pick one up from your local bike shop for under $30. If you’re someone who enjoys riding their bike as much as they can, it’s an essential accessory to have and one that will get far more use beyond playing The Witcher. Riding with your phone in hand is dangerous, and the experience isn’t the same if the app is running in your pocket or backpack.

While using a phone mount, you can still keep your eyes on the sidewalk or bike path without missing anything in The Witcher. Keep your volume up to hear audio cues when monsters enter your radius.

Safety equipment

Even the most skilled Witcher should be wearing a helmet. Be sure to observe all traffic rules, signs, and restrictions when riding your bike near busy streets and sidewalks. Bring enough water to keep yourself hydrated, some snacks to keep your energy up, and sunscreen to protect yourself on a bright day of Witching.

Portable charger

Any mobile game, but especially real-time AR games, will drain your battery. Make sure your phone is fully charged before heading out, and bring a portable charger with you if one is available.

The Witcher: Monster Slayer does have a battery saver mode available. To turn on Battery Saver:

  • Click the middle upward-pointing arrow at the bottom of your screen
  • Click Settings
  • Toggle Battery Saver on

From the Settings screen, you can also lower the quality and turn music and vibrations off to conserve battery power. Leave sound effects on as they’re integral for audio cues.

Never Witch and drive!

Don’t even think about getting in your car and playing The Witcher. It’s dangerous and irresponsible. The game knows when you’re moving too fast and will warn against it. If you are the passenger in a car, you can press “I’m not driving.” Even if you’re riding in someone’s car, you’ll be moving too fast to fight or complete any quests. Riding downhill on your bike can trigger the warning also.

Don’t bother with AR

Monster from The Witcher Monster Slayer in augmented reality.

It was cute to see Pokémon appearing on the kitchen table when Pokémon Go first came out. But players quickly learned that AR is the ultimate battery killer. Furthermore, the AR can look silly and take the charm out of the game. Silly-looking Pokémon are fine, but with a game like The Witcher: Monster Slayer, silliness tends to ruin it.

Don’t bother with the AR features in Monster Slayer. The only benefit to playing in AR is the chance to take some fun screenshots, and that’s only if the monster or quest item isn’t floating above traffic.

You can toggle AR on and off during combat by pressing the slider in the top right corner of the screen. Toggle AR when preparing for combat or in the middle of a fight.

Combat tips and tricks

Enemy in The Witcher Monster Slayer attacking through phone.

The Witcher: Monster Slayer is all about doing one thing, slaying monsters. Combat is straightforward and explained during the optional tutorial. We suggest playing through the tutorial to learn the timing differences between fast attacks and strong attacks and how parrying works.

You’ll use your finger to swipe the screen to swing your sword. The best way to describe it is Fruit Ninja. However, accuracy isn’t essential, as long as you’re swiping across the monster you’re fighting. To defend yourself, you’ll press your finger against your screen to block with your sword. Timing a block right when the enemy strikes will result in a perfect parry. Once you’ve landed enough attacks, you can unleash a critical attack for massive damage. However, taking damage before the meter fills up will cost you your progress. Finally, you can throw bombs by pressing the button in the bottom left corner of your screen or cast magical signs with the button in the bottom right. Let’s dive deeper into The Witcher: Monster Slayer’s combat mechanics.

Fast attacks

You can dish out two kinds of attacks in The Witcher, fast or strong. As you encounter monsters, you’ll be told what kind of attacks they’re weak to via the pre-battle screen. Fast attacks require you to swipe your finger rapidly back and forth across the screen. Remember, you do have to take your finger on and off the screen between each attack, or they won’t register.

You’ll see the word “fast”pop up when your attack lands on a monster. Your Witcher can only swing their sword so fast, so swiping like a madman isn’t going to deal any more damage. Once you learn the game’s pace, you’ll be able to dish out damage and block in time.

Strong attacks

Strong attacks require you to leave more time between swipes. If you need to practice your timing, you can always head to the practice area from the main screen. (Pressing the upward-pointing arrow). It’s safe to assume that large enemies are weak to strong attacks, and small enemies are weak to fast ones. This isn’t true 100% of the time, but it’s a good baseline.

Critical hits

As you land attacks that the monster is weak to, fast or strong, you’ll build your critical hit meter. The critical hit meter is a yellow bar that fills up over the monster’s head. Once full, it will automatically trigger a critical hit chance. Critical hit chances happen when a yellow circle appears from the top corner of the screen. It moves across and passes through an open circle in the middle. When the two circles line up, tap the screen to land a perfect critical hit. These hits are all about timing and do take some getting used to. It’s imperative to master critical hits, especially when facing medium and hard enemies.

Defense and perfect parries

What good is a Witcher who can’t defend themself? To defend in The Witcher: Monster Slayer, press and hold the screen. You’ll see your Witcher hold their sword up to block an incoming attack. You will still stake damage from the attack, but it won’t be nearly as much as an unblocked attack. You can’t defend your way through a hard fight and plan to chip away at the enemy’s health. Medium and hard enemies will eviscerate you even if you block all their attacks.

However, Perfect Parries will give you a fighting chance, especially against medium enemies in the early game. To Perfect Parry in The Witcher: Monster Slayer, watch out for the red attack cues popping up over the enemy’s head. You’ll also hear an audio cue when an enemy prepares to attack. When you see or hear the cue, get ready to defend.

Some enemies attack quickly, others wind up, and some will actually swing twice! To Perfect Parry, defend yourself right before the attack lands. This will greatly reduce the amount of damage you take and reward you with 15 bonus XP points at the end of the fight.

If you’re in the middle of an attack, especially in a flurry of fast attacks, tap and hold the screen as soon as you see or hear the cue. You might have one or two more fast attacks already queued up, but you’ll still have a chance to defend yourself in time.

When fighting an enemy weak to fast attacks, it’s good practice to land five or six hits and then back off. Wait for the attack cue to pop up and then defend yourself. You won’t lose progress toward your critical heat meter for taking your foot off the gas.

Casting signs

Witchers have magical abilities called Signs that cast elemental damage. To start, you’ll have a fire sign familiar to fans of the Witcher series, Igni. To cast your fire sign, press the button on the bottom right of your screen during combat. Then, use your finger to trace the sign (the letter V) on the screen. This mechanic is very forgiving, so you’ll really have to mess up for it not to work. If successful, you’ll cast the sign, and it’ll enter into a short cooldown.

Casting signs and prompting critical hits will occasionally overlap with an enemy attack. When casting a sign, the game will enter into a brief slow-motion period, allowing you time to draw the symbol. Casting a sign before the enemy swings will interrupt the attack. However, they’ll still attack immediately after, so be ready to defend. The same is true for critical hits. If both happen at the same time, you can still take unblocked damage mid-sign or mid-critical hit.

The best advice we can give is to be patient when your critical hit meter is almost full. Block the next attack and then fill it up. The same goes for signs and bombs.

Don’t be afraid to lose

There is no loss penalty if you are killed in battle. Don’t be afraid to take a few warm-up fights against a medium-level enemy to learn their attack patterns and parry windows. You will lose any resources you take into a fight upon death, so don’t waste anything rare on the first attempt. There’s no shame in trying again.

Know your enemies

The Bestiary from The Witcher Monster Slayer flanked by two enemies.

As of now, there are 128 different enemies in The Witcher: Monster Slayer. There are 61 Common enemies, 41 Rares, and 26 Legendaries. You’ll encounter Common enemies as you venture around, and your first Rare enemy will be the Devourer, discovered in the game’s early quests. Afterward, you’ll encounter Rare enemies as mini-bosses at the end of various quest lines. You’ll also find them out in the word denoted by two skulls over their heads. Legendary enemies have three skulls and are the most difficult in the game. Avoid them until you’ve leveled yourself up and acquired better gear.

Pre-battle screen

Before each fight, you’ll be able to select a few items from your inventory to take with you. You’ll also learn what the enemy you’re facing is weak to. Heading into the battle with the right combination of gear will swing the advantage to your side, especially when fighting medium and hard Commons, Rares, and Legendaries.

First, you’ll have to choose between a silver sword or steel sword, obviously deciding on whichever one the monster is weak to. Then, you’ll want to equip bombs, oils, and potions. Here’s how each of those works.

Bombs

Bombs deal base damage along with special damage to monsters. Use them wisely to deal upward of 800 damage to an enemy. You can craft bombs via the crafting station, but we’ll touch on that later on. For now, it’s important to know which bombs do which type of damage.

  • Basic Bomb – Kinetic Energy Damage
  • Grapeshot – Steel and Kinetic Damage
  • Moon Dust – Silver and Kinetic Damage
  • Dancing Star – Fire and Kinetic Damage
  • Dimeritium – Releases Dimeritium Slivers, which make the Monster vulnerable to all types of attacks. It also deals Kinetic Damage.

Oils

Oils will boost your damage output against the various classes of enemies. An enemy’s class is labeled below its name. For example, a Cyclops belongs to the Ogroid class. Going into battle, having applied Ogroid Oil will grant you a 100% damage boost against the Cyclops.

Crafting materials for these 100% damage-boosting oils are few and far between, so use them wisely, making sure to always have one of each in case you need it to complete a quest.

Alternatively, Basic Oil is easy to craft and will grant you a 33% damage boost against all enemy classes. The easiest way to understand oils is that they’re named after the class they’re strong against, i.e., Necrophage Oil, Ogroid Oil, and Hybrid Oil.

Potions

Potions have varying effects and can be used in and out of combat. However, most potions are used during the pre-battle screen. You can only use one potion at a time, but it will unlock more slots as you level up your Alchemy skill tree — but more on that later.

You can drink a Falcon potion while in Witcher Sense’s view. To activate Witcher Sense, tap the Witcher medallion in the screen’s bottom-left corner while exploring. This opens a larger map of the area and shows the location of monsters, quests, and POIs. Drinking the Falcon potion will reveal which enemies are where and how much longer they’ll be there. Enemies spawn in for 20 minutes before moving or changing. If you need specific crafting materials, Falcon helps narrow your search.

In the early stages, Thunderbolt and Swift will be your two best positions for fighting harder enemies. Thunderbolt will increase melee damage by 33%. Used in tandem with Basic Oil, you can dish out 66% more melee damage. It’s not nearly as effective as the 100% boost from using the class-specific oils, but it’s better than nothing.

Swift increases your health by 50% and should be used in tandem with class-specific oils. The 1.5x health is better than 133% extra damage. Other potions like Petri’s Philter, which increases sign intensity by 100%, are only useful against monsters weak to fire since you’ll be casting Igni for a while.

Example pre-battle set-up

The pre-battle screen from The Witcher Monster Slayer.

In the image above, this Witcher is about to fight a medium-difficulty Alghoul. We see it is weak to Strong Attacks and Silver. Therefore, we’ve equipped our silver sword, a Swift potion for 50% more health, Moon Dust Bombs for added Silver Damage, and Necrophage Oil for 100% melee damage boost against this class.

How to craft in The Witcher: Monster Slayer

Crafting is an essential part of The Witcher. It’s how you’ll create more bombs, potions, and oils to aid you in battle. To craft in The Witcher: Monster Slayer:

  • Press the Inventory button from the main screen.
  • Under Crafting, press on the infinite use crafting station.
  • Select the item you’d like to craft.

Once selected, the item will take real-world time to craft. For example, it takes 10 minutes to craft a Thunderbolt potion. You can buy more crafting stations with gold coins. However, these only allow for 20 items before they break.

Finding crafting materials

There are two ways to obtain crafting materials in The Witcher: Monster Slayer. First, you can fight monsters to find class-specific items like Necrophage Remains. Monsters will also drop Powdered Monster Tissue when defeated.

While venturing, you’ll come across bushes to click on when they enter your radius. These grant you bundles of herbs and roots, imperative to crafting anything in the game. Bombs and Potions are the easiest to craft as they only require Monster Tissue, herbs, and roots. Oils, on the other hand, are trickier.

You’d think Necrophage Remains are used to craft Necrophage oils, but you’d be wrong. Instead, you use Necrophage Remains, herbs, and roots to craft Draconid Oil, which is effective against Draconid Monsters. It’s confusing at first, but you’ll soon get the hang of it. The safest thing to do is kill every monster you come across. However, make sure to keep track of your inventory. You can only carry 200 items.

Your carry capacity is indicated in the top right corner of your inventory. You’ll see xxx/200. You will be unable to pick up new items like herbs and roots if your inventory is full. Quest and level-up rewards will always be added to your inventory, even if you’re at max capacity. There is no penalty for carrying too much weight like Fallout or Skyrim. You can upgrade your available space by purchasing bags from the shop.

To discard items, press the trashcan icon next to the item or ingredient and select how many you want to throw away. We recommend holding on to herbs and roots, keeping 10-15 Monster Tissues on you at once, and making room for class-specific items and ingredients. There’s no need to be carrying around 15 Falcon potions.

Quests and blacksmiths

The Blacksmith from The Witcher Monster Slayer and a quest item.

Quests and Monster Killing are the cornerstones of The Witcher; Monster Slayer. Once you help Thorstein and complete his initial questline, the real game begins. To locate more quests, open your Witcher sense to reveal the full map. New quests are denoted by yellow exclamation marks, and quests steps (for your currently active quest) are denoted by yellow question marks.

To begin a quest, approach the NPC or POI to interact with it. Exhaust any dialogue options and inspect anything with a pulsing gray circle. Don’t skip dialogue as NPCs will give clues, highlighted in yellow text, that are important to their quest.

Once started, quests in The Witcher: Monster Slayer feels like a real-life video game. You’ll be venturing around the area (ideally on your bike) as you find items and progress the stages of the quest. As you approach each step, you’ll see another NPC to speak with or a large yellow circle. Inside that yellow circle is a monster or item you have to find. As you get closer, the circle will shrink until the monster or item reveals itself.

Ultimately, you’ll circle back to the quest giver to complete the quest and claim your reward and possibly a new quest. They’ll always be located where the quest initially began unless you relocate.

Relocating quests

Since you can’t fast-travel in real life, relocation is the next best thing. Let’s say your Witching adventure brings you far from home, and you begin a new quest. You may not want to venture any farther, and you decide to head home for the day. Instead of going back the next day, you can relocate your active quest once it’s out of range. The game will prompt you when relocation is available. This will move the quest closer to your current position. It won’t be around the corner, but it’ll be within 1,000 meters.

Completing quests will reward you with gold, XP, and trinkets, which are trophies that you can show off to your Witcher friends. They don’t offer any other value and are purely cosmetic.

Blacksmiths

Soon after helping Thorstein, you’ll see Blacksmiths appearing on your map. They pop up every so often as you venture farther out but can always be found in the same place. For example, if you find a Blacksmith at the coffee shop up the street, they’ll always be there every time you load the game.

Interact with the Blacksmith to sharpen your sword. This grants an hourlong damage boost. It’s a good habit to stop at the Blacksmith before you embark on the rest of your Witching journey. The first time you stop at the Blacksmith, he’ll offer you a quest. He’s got a treasure map he’s willing to part with for 500 gold pieces. Buy it to begin the quest.

Timed quests

Some quests require you to venture out at night, return at dusk or dawn, or come back the next day. One early quest called The Great Mushrooming gives you 24 hours to collect as many mushrooms as possible. Return after 24 hours with your collection of mushrooms to progress the quest. We won’t spoil this one, but we will say it’s important to collect a few mushrooms before a secret side quest opens up.

How to earn gold in The Witcher: Monster Slayer

Gold is a Witcher’s best friend. You’ll use gold to buy new armor and weapons. You can also spend gold on alchemy items, boosters, crafting stations, and general upgrades. For example, you upgrade your carry capacity by purchasing bags and pouches. For 4,000 gold, you can increase your inventory by 400 slots.

Other than completing quests, you can earn gold by completing daily contracts. You’ll find your contracts right above the Shop button. They are usually easy to complete and might be something like “Drink three potions.” Complete seven contracts to earn a reward. If you play every day, you can think of it as a weekly reward. Sometimes you can sneak out two contracts in a day; it depends on the timer between them.

How to earn XP in The Witcher: Monster Slayer

Other than completing quests and killing monsters, you can earn bonus XP by performing well in fights. Landing one Perfect Parry or Perfect Critical Hit will grant you 15 bonus points. Applying the right oils and exploiting a monster’s weakness will also grant you a bonus. However, these bonuses only happen once per fight. That’s to say, you won’t get 15 bonus points for every Perfect Parry.

Earn XP to level up. Leveling up grants you 5 skill points and several helpful items like crafting materials and items. Once you reach level 10, you’ll gain access to Nemetons, which are the trees you see on your map. They’ll spawn monsters for you to slay and grind materials.

You can also earn skill points by defeating specific monsters a certain number of times. The first three times you kill a common monster, you’ll earn a skill point. You’ll then have to grind 50 kills of that same monster to earn another.

The Witcher: Monster Slayer skill trees explained

There are three skill trees to level up in The Witcher: Monster Slayer, Combat, Alchemy, and Signs.

The Combat skill tree governs your offense and defense. Allocate skill points to increase your damage output and how much damage is blocked upon parrying. New players should focus on upgrading their Fast and Strong attack damage first as it’ll allow them to fight more monsters and better enjoy the early game.

The Alchemy skill tree governs your crafting abilities. Each skill boosts the effectiveness of your oils, potions, and bombs. Some skills even unlock new potions for you to use. You’ll throw bombs faster, and your oils will do more damage against the classes they’re meant for.

The Signs skill tree boosts the effectiveness of your Witcher Signs. Leveling up this tree will unlock two additional signs for you to cast. Aard inflicts Kinetic Damage and delays your opponent’s next attack by 1 second. Quen absorbs 70% of damage taken.

Do I have to spend money on The Witcher: Monster Slayer?

The Shop in The Witcher Monster Slayer to buy equipment.

The Short answer is no; everything the game has to offer, gameplay-wise, can be accessed. You’ll have to grind for gold to buy new weapons and armor, but it can be done if you stick to quests and daily challenges.

However, like any other freemium mobile game, you can spend real money in the shop to buy gold. You’ll then spend that gold on all the weapons and inventory upgrades you desire. The only purchase we’d recommend making is the $4.99 Witcher Starter pack that includes the Witcher’s silver sword and a bundle of crafting stations, potions, oils, and bombs.

You do not start with a silver sword and must buy one from the store. The cheapest one is 1800 gold coins, which will take several days, perhaps weeks, of questing to earn. If you are enjoying the game, $5 isn’t that much to ask. The starter pack will propel you into the meta-game much faster than grinding for a silver sword.

Bonus tip!

To further enhance your Witching adventure, join the Witcher: Monster Slayer subreddit! Here you can post your friend code and send friend requests to Witcher players all over the world. In your inventory, you’ll see Alchemy Packs and Witcher Packs. These contain items for crafting and combat, but they cannot be used on yourself. Instead, they must be sent to fellow Witchers. Building up your friends lists is a great way to unload those inventory-clogging packages and receive more crafting items from other players.

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