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Is Witcher 3 Next-Gen Update Free on Steam? The Ultimate Guide for You

Hey there gaming friend! I know you‘re as pumped as I am for the big next-gen update coming to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. As a fellow fan of the game, I‘m sure you‘re wondering – will this huge update be free if I already own the game on Steam?

Well, I‘ve dug into all the details and have the answers for you right here!

Yes, The Next-Gen Update is Completely Free on Steam

The most important thing to know upfront is that CD Projekt Red has confirmed the entire next-gen update will be 100% free for all existing owners on Steam.

You won‘t have to pay a single penny or re-purchase anything to experience the enhancements if you already own any edition of The Witcher 3 on Steam. It‘s completely free!

An Upgrade Worth Getting Excited About

This is far more than just a basic patch – the next-gen update represents a massive visual, technical and performance overhaul for the game. Here‘s a quick look at some of the key improvements:

  • Ray Tracing – Realistic real-time lighting and reflections through ray-traced global illumination and ambient occlusion. This takes the visuals to new heights.
  • Faster Loading – Loading times on PC reduced by over 70%! Get into the action faster.
  • 4K Textures – Higher resolution textures across the board for crisper details.
  • Enhanced Assets – Upgraded 3D models for characters, creatures, buildings, vegetation and more.
  • Increased Draw Distances – See farther into the distance for a more immersive world.
  • Better Weather Effects – Overhauled fog, clouds, storms and other weather for added realism.
  • New Quest – Exciting new quest titled "Where the Wolf and Cat Play” featuring Geralt and Ciri.
  • Quality of Life Upgrades – New camera options, alternative movement, cross-progression support, and various tweaks and improvements.

And much more! This will breathe new life into the game whether you‘re replaying it or experiencing it for the first time.

Will This Update Be Free Forever?

Yup, it sure will! CD Projekt Red has stated this next-gen update will be permanently free for existing owners. It‘s not some limited time offer.

The update will be freely available from the day it releases and stay that way in the future. So there‘s no need to stress about grabbing it within a certain window.

Official Confirmation From CD Projekt Red

In an official announcement, CD Projekt Red stated:

"Owners of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on next-gen consoles will receive the next-gen update completely free of charge once it’s released."

This applies to the Steam version too. The Steam store page also lists the next-gen update as an upcoming free DLC item.

So they‘ve made it crystal clear – all existing owners on Steam get it at no extra cost.

How Many People Will Get This Free Update?

With over 30 million copies sold to date across all platforms, this free next-gen update will be experienced by a huge number of gamers worldwide.

To break it down:

  • Over 20 million copies have been sold on PC (mostly Steam)
  • Roughly 7 million sales have been on PlayStation
  • Around 4 million copies on Xbox

So tens of millions of gamers like you and me will be eagerly downloading this highly anticipated update at no extra charge!

Will My Saved Games Still Work?

Don‘t worry, all your existing save files will carry over just fine. The developers have ensured full compatibility for PC saves when upgrading to the next-gen version.

However, cross-progression and transferring saves between the Steam, GOG, console and Switch versions is still in the works. But your PC saves are completely safe.

Is This a Remaster or a Simple Update?

CD Projekt Red prefers to call this a major free "update" for existing owners rather than a full-blown remaster.

But based on the sheer extent of visual, technical and performance improvements included, many fans and media outlets are calling this a remaster in everything but name.

Either way, it represents a dramatic upgrade over the original experience.

This Update Turns The Witcher 3 into a Benchmark Showcase

The addition of ray tracing support also makes The Witcher 3 an ideal technical showcase for the latest PC hardware.

It‘ll now be one of the best looking and most demanding ray tracing games out there. So expect tech sites like mine to use it as a benchmark for testing shiny new GPUs and other components!

The Witcher 3 Deserves This Renewed Spotlight

It warms my heart to see one of my personal favorite games of all time get this much love and attention nearly 8 years later.

The Witcher 3 absolutely deserves to shine and wow a whole new generation of gamers. And I‘m thrilled existing fans like us get to experience the adventure in a whole new light for free.

When Can We Download This Glorious Update?

Mark your calendars for December 14, 2022 – that‘s when the next-gen update will roll out on Steam, GOG, PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.

Consider it an early holiday gift from CD Projekt Red to millions of fans worldwide. I know I‘ll be mashing that download button on release day!

Should You Re-Purchase or Pre-Order?

Nope! As I mentioned earlier, you 100% do NOT need to re-buy or pre-order any version of the game to get the update.

It will automatically appear as a free download for existing owners on release day. Don‘t get tricked into buying anything extra.

The Verdict: An Absolute Must-Download

As both a tech geek and diehard fan of The Witcher 3, I can‘t recommend this next-gen update enough. The visual overhaul and performance improvements are stunning.

For the low, low price of totally FREE, it gives existing owners on Steam the best possible version of one of the greatest RPGs ever made.

It‘s a downright essential download that every Witcher fan owes it to themselves to experience!

So get ready to make Geralt‘s epic adventure look and feel better than ever when this finally drops on December 14th. And enjoy the free upgrade my friend – you deserve it!