Updated on 10-15-2015 by Will Fulton: To the best of our knowledge, both of these exploits have been patched out of the game by now. In an amusing twist, CD Projekt Red has added a reference to them with a new encounter in the first major expansion, Hearts of Stone. You can learn all about it here.
Original Story: The Witcher 3‘s main setting of Velen is a vast and interesting place, worthy of exploration. True to roleplaying game conventions, you are encouraged to ruthlessly steal any and everything that isn’t nailed down. However, Velen is mostly populated by dirty, destitute peasants, and so there aren’t huge sums of money lying around in bags and barrels for you to find, like there so often are in games (there’s a whole other post to write about the bizarre economies of RPGs).
Witching can be expensive business, with the need to upgrade your weapons and armor and keep a steady supply of booze for refreshing your potions. Even if you’re thoroughly looting everyone’s houses to sell their stuff, most of the items you’ll find only sell for a scant handful of coins, which makes robbery a slow path to profit. This is exacerbated by the fact that most merchants have a fixed quantity of money with which they can buy things from you, and not everyone buys every type of good, meaning you have to go to a variety of merchants and wait for their cash supplies to refresh, rather than just unloading all of your loot at the nearest town.
Fortunately, with such a large and complex world, there are bound to be a few loopholes for you to rake in piles of cash. Streamer WhatsMyGame has found and shared a couple ways that you can predictably and repeatably get that paper. Neither method is cheating or taking advantage of a glitch, but rather they take advantage of exploits within the game’s economy. Nevertheless, this is the sort of thing that tends to get corrected in patches, so if you want to take advantage, you should probably do so quickly — it might have already been fixed for PC.
Study these methods well, and with a little patience this weekend you’ll be flush with cash in no time!
The first method involves killing a lot of cows, so vegetarians beware. It’s also available in the first area of the game, White Orchard, before you head over to the open expanses of Velen, so it’s easy to load up on cash right out of the gate. Once you’re free to start walking around, you can head over to a farm near Woesong Bridge, where you will find two cows grazing.
Murder them. They will drop a number of things, like meat and milk, but what you really want is their hide, which sells for a tidy 27 crowns each. Meditate for at least two hours and the cows will respawn, so you can rinse and repeat. You don’t have to loot the corpses each time before meditating, since they will remain there after the new ones appear, letting you build up a grotesque and suspicious pile of dead cows as neighbors walk by. Merchants will run out of money to buy them off of you, so you will have to rotate around to multiple shopkeepers if you’re unloading a large batch.
She sells seashells
The second — and much more lucrative — method requires you to have arrived in the game’s main area of Velen. Head up to the free city of Novigrad where you will find a merchant near some hanging sausages in Heirarch Square (conveniently right by the fast travel point, marked on the map on the left). Buy up all of the seashells he has. Exit the shop, talk to him again, and you’ll find that he has refreshed his supply, so buy up as many as you can afford and carry. Head to a nearby armorer and dismantle all of the shells to get pearls. Head east to a loan shark (on the map on the right), whom you’ll find in a building with a creepy, masked man out front.
Sell all of your pearls to the loan shark, while also buying up his supply of florins, which is another currency in the game. Because florins are treated as an object, though, rather than money, his supply restocks every time you talk to him. Once you’ve turned all of your pearls into florins, head back to Heirarch Square and talk to the banker, where you can convert those florins into crowns at a heft profit. According to the video, WhatsMyGame managed to make over 100,000 crowns in about 45 minutes, which is a fantastic return for your time. While the first method feels very video-gamey, relying on an infinitely respawning creature for you to kill, this is just working the commodities and currency market of Novigrad like the White Wolf of Wall Street you are
As mentioned, these methods might not last for too much longer, so get in there quick and load up on money before it’s too late!
If any of you know of better ways to make cash, let me know and I’ll add it to the guide.