The Witcher 3: How To Run Hairworks On AMD And Nvidia GPUs Without Crippling Performance


The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is out now on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. It is one of the few games which utilizes Nvidia Gameworks on PC to add some PC exclusive features. One of these features is Nvidia Hairworks and it seems like there is a trick to run it on AMD GPUs without major performance drops.

This trick was discovered by reddit user FriedBongWater and here is how he described this method.

So thanks to a wonderful user over at Guru3D, it’s been discovered that hairworks can in fact run relatively smoothly on AMD cards. I’m talking 60fps smooth guys, and the trade-off is barely noticeable.

All you need to do is create a profile for witcher3.exe in your Catalyst Control Center, then set Tessellation Mode to “Override application settings”, and finally set the Maximum Tessellation Level to either 2x, 4x, 8x or 16x.

The picture below reveals how to set it up on AMD Catalyst. You can also see the difference between the various Tessellation options in a comparison image.

w3-amd-gpu w3-amd-gpu2

For the best possible experience, it is recommended to set the Tessellation quality to 4x or 8x depending on your GPU.

If you want to boost the performance even further on Nvidia or AMD GPUs, you can try reducing the anti-aliasing for the Hairworks by using the method listed below.

  • Go to Witcher 3 Install directory on PC.
  • Navigate to The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt\bin\config\base → rendering.ini
  • Search for “HairWorksAALevel” and change it to 2 or 4 for a significant boost.

Hopefully both of these changes can result in better performance for users on AMD and Nvidia GPUs.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is out now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

Let us know what you think about this article in the comments below.

  • John Pombrio

    Exactly when did AMD realize that their graphics cards had an issue running Witcher 3 on its default settings? It certainly sounds like AMD only figured it out AFTER the game had SHIPPED and folks started to benchmark it. You would think that someone in AMD would, y’know, TRY running the game BEFORE it shipped to see if the drivers or settings needed to be tweaked to make the game run smoothly. As this workaround shows, it would have been a LOT better for AMD to simply tweak the game’s settings and sent out the updated driver before the game shipped. Instead, AMD execs go and blame the developers and NVidia for not bothering to do what AMD should have done in the first place. AMD simply no longer has any money left to help developers except for some AMD backed high profiled ones. That is a pretty rotten business strategy and makes AMD execs look like fools.

    • Zero AMD

      You do know that this is a nvidia gameworks game right? Nvidia wouldnt let cdpr send code to amd for testing. It’s not amd’s fault that they couldn’t look at the code is because the gpu manufacturers (nvidia) don’t want other manufacturers (amd) to have the same advantage as they do. They want their product to run games smoothly and make their competitors look bad in the process. The only one to blame is nvidia for not allowing the code. Plus once amd releases their drivers I’d bet that their cards with perform similar to nvidias at a lower price.

      • Nyqua Xyla

        This tweak had nothing to do with getting access to source code. Further, AMD’s Richard Huddy in an interview last year, specifically mentioned that ‘NVIDIA does an unreasonably high level of tesselation’; meaning that folks at AMD are aware of exactly what needs to be tweaked, to fix the performance. It’s just that they didn’t actually do anything about it.