In the Witcher series, the study of alchemy can create powerful offensive and defensive concoctions that can bring an advantage into battles. Alchemy isn’t only used by witchers, but also by a sizable amount of the world’s populace. By synthesizing herbs, monster parts, and other ingredients, Geralt can bolster his combat effectiveness. Alchemy's major strength is giving the player an edge in a specific encounter by increasing a certain stat or ability to match which fighting style is needed. Players can craft potions, oils, and bombs.
Discover all of the strengths of Alchemy, along with powerful recipes, in our Guide to Alchemy.
In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, potions, bombs, and weapon oils are all crafted from materials players will find in their travels. Lesser, more common mutagens can also be combined to increase their strength.
Once he crafts an alchemical substance or compound, Geralt holds a limited supply of each on-hand which can be replenished during meditation provided strong alcohol (or another requisite material) is present in his inventory. The default alcohol used for the replenishment of potions in meditation is alcohest; if this is unavailable, another type of alcohol would be used. The limit of on-hand supply can be increased by finding higher-level formulae (e.g. enhanced or superior versions), or by selecting the relevant character upgrades in the alchemy branch.
All alchemical creations are based on formulas that are discovered via scrolls, word of mouth, and a myriad other means. Recipes can often be found in treasure chests, bought from alchemists, or obtained from certain books. Note that merchants will only sell recipes that you don't yet possess, and are therefore a good way to fill in the blanks in your alchemical knowledge. To successfully execute these recipes, Geralt must utilize items and compounds foraged, bought or otherwise crafted and be of the requisite level.
Note, unlike crafting equipment (and related materials), alchemy can be done by Geralt himself at any time without having to be at a corresponding craftsman.
Practical Uses Edit
Potions are the most common use for alchemy and serve as buffs (temporary stats or ability bonuses).
Crafting potions requires a recipe, a base substance (usually strong alcohol), and some other item(s) which may be acquired along the journey. When ingested, potions raise Geralt's toxicity, therefore he can only ingest a certain amount based on his current stats and buffers.
Once Geralt has brewed a particular concoction, he'll only need an alcoholic beverage on-hand to replenish his stock (alcohest is used by default for replenishment). Potions are refilled each time Geralt meditates provided he has alcohol; every potion in the inventory will be fully stocked upon doing so.
Decoctions are a special ultra-powerful subtype of potion. They are crafted the same way, i.e. needing a Recipe and various other resources and they replenish when Geralt meditates. However, there are a few key differences. First, the recipes are much rarer. Second, one of the key ingredients for a Decoction is the Relic-class Mutagen of a rare monster, which can be extremely difficult to get. Third, these are by far the strongest Potion-type items. Their effects by default last for a full 30 minutes instead of a few seconds, they give a much bigger increase to Toxicity when used and their effects are extremely powerful. Fourth, unlike normal Potions that on average have a base stockpile of 3 uses between meditations, Decoctions only store 1.
Weapon Oils Edit
Of the three alchemical tools Geralt can craft or purchase, weapon oils can be the most effective but likewise require the most planning and wherewithal. Knowledge of the local bestiary is key to maximizing weapon oils' advantages.
Practical Uses Edit
Oils are used to coat swords thereby increasing Geralt's damage rating for the particular foe the oil targets. Effects are only seen after a successful hit.
Once applied, weapon oils last for a limited number of hits to the opponent. 20 hits is for basic oil type, 40 hits is for enhanced type, 60 hits for superior oil type. Different oils may be applied as the situation dictates. Applying a different oil eliminates the former oil's effect on the weapon.
The damage boost that the oils give is also identical in scale between them, the only difference being the monster types affected. Basic oil give a 10% boost, enhanced oils give a 25% boost, and superior oils give a 50% boost.
Crafting oils requires a recipe, a base substance (usually an oil or tallow), and some other item(s) which may be acquired along the journey. Oils will never run out or need replenishment, unlike bombs or potions.
Bombs are area-effecting, thrown projectiles which can damage, stun or cause other effects on clustered groups of enemies. Three types of them are also the only things that can destroy a Monster Nest.
Practical Uses Edit
Bombs can be used to deal direct damage, damage-over-time, stun, or other temporary effects which serve as combat force multipliers, and as mentioned before, destroying Monster Nests.
Crafting bombs requires a recipe, a base substance (usually a powder), and some other item(s) which may be acquired along the journey.
Like potions, bombs may be replenished via meditation provided Geralt has alchemical powder on hand.
Similarities and Differences from Earlier Versions of Witcher Edit
The earlier alchemic substances (aether, hydragenum, quebrith, rebis, vermilion and vitriol) and secondary substances (albedo, nigredo, and rubedo) all return and are crafted from plant and animal components found throughout the world, and themselves used in more advanced recipes.
In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, potions, bombs, and weapon oils have been revamped from the previous games. Instead of constantly having to hunt for components and crafting these items, you only need make each type of item once. Instead, you now carry a limited supply of each potion type, and as long as you have alcohest, your potion supply will be automatically replenished by meditating. Weapon oils are never used up, and instead now apply 20 or more "uses" to the weapon (depending on the oil's level) rather than a duration. Like potions, bombs are equally limited in supply. These limited qualities/uses can be increased by alchemy-focused abilities.
Unlike previous games, preparing for combat by drinking the right potions and applying the appropriate coating is no longer necessary. Most potions have a short effect duration of less than a minute, which makes them combat-use items. Additionally, only two types of potions and bombs can be kept at the ready at any given time. You can drink potions or apply blade coatings straight from your inventory, even while fighting. The developers have explained this departure from the overall Witcher theme as a design choice due to the open-world nature of the game, where combat can happen unexpectedly.
Potion/Decoction List Edit
Given that the number of potions and decoctions in the game is very massive and that the recipe pages shown in shop screens only show the name of the recipe, not the effects, and even the in-game Alchemy menu doesn't show the actual numbers of the effects so you need to actually make one to truly see what it does, a listing of the various recipes and brief effect descriptions will be given below broken into sub-groups of Restorative, Offensive Buff, Defensive Buff and Utility. Only the base level versions will be linked, see those links for references to enhanced versions, and for items that have effects in multiple categories they will only be listed once in the category that they have the strongest effects.
The following are potions and decoctions that repair damage to Geralt in some way, either by restoring Health or by removing negative effects such as poison.
- White Raffard's decoction: 35% Vitality restored instantly
- Swallow (Witcher 3): Improved Vitality regeneration both in and out of combat. Can be in effect simultaneously with food
- White Honey: Clears all Toxicity and potion effects
- Ekhidna decoction: Performing actions that consume Stamina restore Vitality
- Troll decoction: Regenerates Vitality
- Ekimmara decoction: 10% enemy damage done restores Vitality
- Grave hag decoction: +5 Vitality regen/second per enemy killed for duration of the battle
OFFENSIVE BUFF Edit
The following are potions and decoctions (not oils) that increase the damage Geralt can inflict to enemies in some way
- Thunderbolt: +30% Attack Power
- Petri's philter: +15% Sign intensity
- Black blood: 15% damage returned against necrophages and vampires when they wound you
- Tawny owl: +5% Stamina regeneration in combat
- Maribor forest: +0.15 Adrenaline Point gain during combat
- Leshen decoction: 10 points plus 2% inflicted damage is returned to the attacker
- Nekker warrior decoction: Mounts never panic, +50% mounted combat damage
- Katakan decoction: +5% critical hit chance
- Ancient leshen decoction
- Alghoul decoction
- Basilisk decoction: At dawn and dusk a random Sign gets an intensity buff
- Chort decoction
- Doppler decoction: Increase critical hit damage when attacking from behind
- Foglet decoction: +25% Sign intensity during cloudy weather
- Forktail decoction: Constantly changing attacks or Signs increases the strength of both during the fight
- Succubus decoction
- Water hag decoction
- Wyvern decoction: +1% damage per hit landed on enemy until fight ends or you take combat damage
DEFENSIVE BUFF Edit
The following are potions and decoctions that protect Geralt either from damage or negative status effects
- Full moon: Increases max Vitality
- Golden oriole: Clears all current poison effects and grants immunity to poison
- Blizzard: +50% slowdown for reflexes and reaction time
- Griffin decoction: Gain 1% all damage resistance per received hit up to upper limit for the remainder of the fight
- Reliever's decoction: +15% damage resistance all types, +10% attack power against Spectres
- Earth elemental decoction: Increases resistance to Vitality-draining effects applied during combat
- Arachas decoction: Reduces damage received based on inventory weight and armor weight (armor type)
- Nightwraith decoction: +50 max Vitality per enemy killed until you meditate or fast travel
- Noonwraith decoction: Significantly limits the duration of Knockdown, Hypnosis, Stun and Blindness
The following are potions and decoctions that have an effect on Geralt that is not related to direct combat
- Cat (potion): +25 range of vision in total darkness
- Fiend decoction: +20 maximum carrying weight
- Cockatrice decoction: All alchemy creations can be used one additional time
- Werewolf decoction: Running, sprinting or jumping outside of combat does not use Stamina
- Killer whale: +50% max Breath while underwater, increased vision while underwater