If you’re like many gamers, then you spent a good chunk of this past weekend devouring the Witcher 3. But the world of Temeria can be really dangerous, so here are some tips that will help get you through:

6) Steal Everything

One of my favorite strategies in any RPG is thieving my way to victory.

The Witcher 3 is no exception to that rule. Thieves can significantly improve their fate by stealing everything in their path.

Steal everything that isn’t nailed down. Steal everything you can without getting caught. The more you steal, the more money you’ll have, and money always makes it easier to get through the game.

5) Don’t Ignore Alchemy

On harder difficulties, potions are required to get through nearly every fight. On lower difficulties, they can take a lot of stress out of your life.

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It’s easy to ignore the alchemy system in the Witcher 3 because it’s kind of like the alchemy system in every other RPG: it’s boring unless you’re really interested in plants.

But there’s something to be said about spending a peaceful afternoon cruising around mountain meadows on your horse looking for rare herbs.

Get into the habit of checking out every rare herb as you strut around on your horse. The sooner you make it a habit, the sooner you’ll be able to recognize the herbs that let you make the most valuable potions and bombs.

4) Know that You Can Change the Difficulty Whenever You Want (But Only Use it as a Last Resort)

The Witcher 3, like many modern RPGs, lets you change the difficulty on the fly. If you’re struggling to get through a really tough upcoming battle, and you’ve spent like 8 hours trying to clear it, then you may want to turn down the difficulty.

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Obviously, you should only do this as a last resort. If you find yourself doing this before every big battle, then you’re just going to ruin the game for yourself.

3) Collect Places of Power

Geralt’s magical signs get boosted up after you visit Places of Power, which are scattered throughout the game world. You also earn an ability point the first time you visit each Place of Power. Exploring these locations early in the game can be a great experience boost. It also lets you complete all of the quests in the starting area of White Orchard.

2) Be a Good Witcher and Kill Monsters

Being a Witcher is just another job in the world of Temeria: your job is to hunt down monsters. Unfortunately, too many Witcher players forget that.

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The Witcher 3 makes it easy to feel like you’re an actual witcher. It puts monster killing quests in every town you visit. Witcher contracts are entertaining missions.

Unlike other RPGs, you don’t just run out, kill a monster, and come back with its head. You typically need to undergo a multi-stage mission. The end result is lots of experience and the satisfaction of freeing a town from the scourge of an evil monster.

If you’re just going to do one type of side quest in the game, make it the Witcher contract side quests.

1) Explore, Explore, Explore

All of the reviews for the Witcher 3 have said pretty much the same thing: the main quest is nice and all, but the true awesomeness comes from exploring the surrounding world.

The developers made Witcher 3 an open world RPG for a reason: they wanted to put so much cool stuff in there that you could explore it for hundreds of hours.

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Sure, the main quest can be completed in about 25 hours. But you can also complete it in 200 hours if you stop and smell the roses along the way.

At the same time, don’t just rush around and explore for the sake of rushing around to explore. You’ll just end up with a quest book filled with hundreds of items that will feel like work when you’re checking them off the list. Thoroughly explore a region and take time to enjoy yourself, and you’ll maximize your enjoyment of the Witcher 3.

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