Feature Article

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Magical Signs Guide

Comments

Plan of attack.

The way Geralt uses Signs in The Witcher series has changed significantly from one game to the next, as have the skill trees assigned to each Sign. To help guide you towards a combat style that works for you, I have compiled footage of each Sign at each upgrade tier, so you have an idea of how Geralt's magical abilities behave from one level to the next. Don't forget: to use these Signs beyond their default effects, you not only need to spend skill points on them, but you must also slot them into the ability grid on the right of your Character screen. Slotting a mutagen of the same color in the same quadrant will then make that mutagen, and the Signs slotted into that quadrant, more effective. Happy hunting!

Aard

A directed blast of telekenetic energy that staggers opponents, leaving them open again for a subsequent attack.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Aard is helpful in a number of situations, though most useful when surrounded by a pack of creatures like nekkers, drowners, or wolves. You can also blast a flying enemy like a harpy out of the air with a well-timed Aard burst.

Level 2: Far-Reaching Aard

Tier 1: Increases Aard's range by 1 yard. Stamina regeneration in combat: +0.5 per second.

Tier 2: Increases Aard's range by 2 yards. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1 per second.

Tier 3: Increases Aard's range by 3 yards. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1.5 per second.

Level 3: Aard Sweep

Tier 1: Alternate Sign mode: Aard strikes all opponents in a certain radius. Knock-down chance is 21% lower. Stamina regeneration in combat: +0.5 per second.

Tier 2: Alternate Sign mode: Aard strikes all opponents in a certain radius. Knock-down chance is 17% lower. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1 per second.

Tier 3: Alternate Sign mode: Aard strikes all opponents in a certain radius. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1.5 per second.

Level 4: Aard Intensity

Tier 1: Increases Aard Sign intensity by 5%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +0.5 per second.

Tier 2: Increases Aard Sign intensity by 10%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1 per second.

Tier 3: Increases Aard Sign intensity by 15%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1.5 per second.

Tier 4: Increases Aard Sign intensity by 20%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +2 per second.

Tier 5: Increases Aard Sign intensity by 25%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +2.5 per second.

Level 5: Shock Wave

Tier 1: Aard now deals 40 damage. Stamina regeneration in combat: +0.5 per second.

Tier 2: Increases the damage dealt by Aard to 80. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1 per second.

Tier 3: Increases the damage dealt by Aard to 120. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1.5 per second.

Tier 4: Increases the damage dealt by Aard to 160. Stamina regeneration in combat: +2 per second.

Tier 5: Increases the damage dealt by Aard to 200. Stamina regeneration in combat: +2.5 per second.

Yrden

Magic trap that slows enemies who enter its area of effect. Effect duration: 13 seconds.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Yrden is vital when facing certain ghostly foes, such as noonwraiths, because it turns them corporeal (and thus makes them prone to damage) when they enter the trap's area of influence. Its slowing capabilities also help when crowd control is a concern.

Level 2: Sustained Glyphs

Tier 1: Increases Sign duration by 5 seconds. Number of alternative mode charges: 2. Number of standard mode traps: 1. Stamina regeneration in combat: +0.5 per second.

Tier 2: Increases Sign duration by 10 seconds. Number of alternative mode charges: 4. Number of standard mode traps: 2. Stamina regeneration in combat: 1 per second.

Level 3: Magic Trap

Tier 1: Alternate Sign mode: Damages and slows all enemies within a 10 yard radius. Destroys projectiles passing through this area. Stamina regeneration in combat: +0.5 per second.

Tier 2: Alternate sign mode: Damages and slows all enemies within a 12 yard radius. Destroys projectiles passing through this area. Damage increased by 25%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1 per second.

Tier 3: Alternate sign mode: Damages and slows all enemies within a 14 yard radius. Destroys projectiles passing through this area. Damage increased by 50%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1.5 per second.

Level 4: Yrden Intensity

Tier 1: Increases Yrden Sign intensity by 5%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +0.5 per second.

Tier 2: Increases Yrden Sign intensity by 10%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1 per second.

Tier 3: Increases Yrden Sign intensity by 15%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1.5 per second.

Tier 4: Increases Yrden Sign intensity by 20%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +2 per second.

Tier 5: Increases Yrden Sign intensity by 25%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +2.5 per second.

Level 5: Supercharged Glyphs

Tier 1: Enemies under the influence of Yrden lose 10 points of vitality or essence per second. Stamina regeneration in combat: +0.5 per second.

Tier 2: Enemies under the influence of Yrden lose 20 points of vitality or essence per second. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1 per second.

Tier 3: Enemies under the influence of Yrden lose 30 points of vitality or essence per second. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1.5 per second.

Tier 4: Enemies under the influence of Yrden lose 40 points of vitality or essence per second. Stamina regeneration in combat: +2 per second.

Tier 5: Enemies under the influence of Yrden lose 50 points of vitality or essence per second. Stamina regeneration in combat: +2.5 per second.

Quen

Protective shield that lasts until it has absorbed damage totaling 5% of maximum vitality.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Quen should be your first line of defense when facing bosses and other grand beasts, many of which can slash away a good portion of your vitality with a single blow.

Level 2: Exploding Shield

Tier 1: Quen shield pushes opponents back when it breaks. Stamina regeneration in combat: +0.5 per second.

Tier 2: Quen shield pushes opponents back and deals damage when it breaks. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1 per seconds.

Tier 3: Quen shield pushes opponents back and deals damage when it breaks, with a chance for knock-down. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1.5 per second.

Level 3: Active Shield

Tier 1: Alternate Sign mode: Creates an active shield. Maintaining it and blocking attacks drains stamina. Damage absorbed by the shield restores player vitality. Stamina regeneration in combat: +0.5 per second.

Tier 2: Alternate Sign mode: Maintaining an active shield now drains 50% less stamina. Stamina drain for blocked attacks unchanged. Damage absorbed by the shield restores player vitality. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1 per second.

Tier 3: Alternate Sign mode: Maintaining an active shield no longer drains stamina. Stamina drain for blocked attacks unchanged. Damage absorbed by the shield restores player vitality. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1.5 per second.

Level 4: Quen Intensity

Tier 1: Increases Quen Sign intensity by 5%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +0.5 per second.

Tier 2: Increases Quen Sign intensity by 10%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1 per second.

Tier 3: Increases Quen Sign intensity by 15%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1.5 per second.

Tier 4: Increases Quen Sign intensity by 20%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +2 per second.

Tier 5: Increases Quen Sign intensity by 25%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +2.5 per second.

Level 5: Quen Discharge

Tier 1: Reflects 5% of absorbed damage back to the attacker. Stamina regeneration in combat: +0.5 per second.

Tier 2: Reflects 10% of absorbed damage back to the attacker. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1 per second.

Tier 3: Reflects 15% of absorbed damage back to the attacker. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1.5 per second.

Tier 4: Reflects 20% of absorbed damage back to the attacker. Stamina regeneration in combat: +2 per second.

Tier 5: Reflects 25% of absorbed damage back to the attacker. Stamina regeneration in combat: +2.5 per second.

Axii

Charms an opponent's mind, temporarily eliminating him from combat. Effect duration: 7 seconds.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Axii's uses transcend combat. Not only does it allow you to stun bandits and turn them against each other, but it makes available certain conversation options when Geralt engages with other characters.

Level 2: Delusion

Tier 1: Target does not move towards Geralt while he is casting Axii. Also increases the effectiveness of Axii in dialogues. Stamina regeneration in combat:+0.5 per second.

Tier 2: Target does not move towards Geralt while he is casting Axii. Also increases the effectiveness of Axii in dialogues. Reduces Axii casting time. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1 per second.

Tier 3: Target does not move towards Geralt while he is casting Axii. Also increases the effectiveness of Axii in dialogues. Reduces Axii casting time. Failed Axii attempts stagger the target. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1.5 per second.

Level 3: Puppet

Tier 1: Alternate Sign mode: Targeted enemy briefly becomes an ally and deals 20% more damage. Stamina regeneration in combat: +0.5 per second.

Tier 2: Alternate Sign mode: Targeted enemy briefly becomes an ally and deals 40% more damage. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1 per second.

Tier 3: Alternate Sign mode: Targeted enemy briefly becomes an ally and deals 60% more damage. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1.5 per second.

Level 4: Axii Intensity

Tier 1: Increases Axii Sign intensity by 5%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +0.5 per second.

Tier 2: Increases Axii Sign intensity by 10%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1 per second.

Tier 3: Increases Axii Sign intensity by 15%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1.5 per second.

Tier 4: Increases Axii Sign intensity by 20%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +2 per second.

Tier 5: Increases Axii Sign intensity by 25%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +2.5 per second.

Level 5: Domination

Tier 1: Two opponents can be influenced by Axii at the same time. The effect is 50% weaker. Stamina regeneration in combat: +0.5 per second.

Tier 2: Two opponents can be influenced by Axii at the same time. The effect is 25% weaker. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1 per second.

Tier 3: Two opponents can be influenced by Axii at the same time. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1.5 per second.

Igni

A directed fiery blast that damages enemies. Damage scales with Sign intensity. Current damage: 128.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

It's fire. (Igni needs little explanation.) Its secondary mode is great fun, admittedly: rather than producing a single flash of fire, it maintains a stream of flames.

Level 2: Melt Armor

Tier 1: Damage dealt by Igni also permanently weakens enemy armor. Effect scales with Sign intensity up to maximum of 15%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +0.5 per second.

Tier 2: Damage dealt by Igni also permanently weakens enemy armor. Effect scales with Sign intensity up to maximum of 30%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1 per second.

Tier 3: Damage dealt by Igni also permanently weakens enemy armor. Effect scales with Sign intensity up to maximum of 45%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1.5 per second.

Tier 4: Damage dealt by Igni also permanently weakens enemy armor. Effect scales with Sign intensity up to maximum of 60%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +2 per second.

Tier 5: Damage dealt by Igni also permanently weakens enemy armor. Effect scales with Sign intensity up to maximum of 75%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +2.5 per second.

Level 3: Firestream

Tier 1: Alternate Sign mode: Emits a continuous stream of fire that damages enemies. Stamina regeneration in combat: +0.5 per second.

Tier 2: Alternate Sign mode: Emits a continuous stream of fire that damages enemies. Stamina cost is reduced by 25%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1 per second.

Tier 3: Alternate Sign mode: Emits a continuous stream of fire that damages enemies. Stamina cost is reduced by 50%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1.5 per second.

Level 4: Igni Intensity

Tier 1: Increases Igni Sign intensity by 5%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +0.5 per second.

Tier 2: Increases Igni Sign intensity by 10%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1 per second.

Tier 3: Increases Igni Sign intensity by 15%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1.5 per second.

Tier 4: Increases Igni Sign intensity by 20%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +2 per second.

Tier 5: Increases Igni Sign intensity by 25%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +2.5 per second.

Level 5: Pyromaniac

Tier 1: Increases the chance to apply burning by 20%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +0.5 per second.

Tier 2: Increases the chance to apply burning by 40%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1 per second.

Tier 3: Increases the chance to apply burning by 60%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +1.5 per second.

Tier 4: Increases the chance to apply burning by 80%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +2 per second.

Tier 5: Increases the chance to apply burning by 100%. Stamina regeneration in combat: +2.5 per second.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com
  • View Comments (0)

    Kevin-V

    Kevin VanOrd

    Kevin VanOrd has a cat named Ollie who refuses to play bass in Rock Band.
    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

    Follow
    Back To Top
    65 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
    • 65 results
    • 1
    • 2
    GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

    Avatar image for tmerlino
    tmerlino

    Love the game so far and the signs still familiar to the previous Witcher games while adding some pretty unique customization.


    Tangent:


    The text in this game is so small I can barely read it (minus subtitles). My TV is 55" and I sit about 8/9' away.


    Otherwise, I'm enjoying this game immensely. I'm glad the secondary quests feel like they weren't blatantly fluffed into the game (i.e. Ubisoft games).


    Avatar image for spikepigeo
    spikepigeo

    It doesn't appear that you used level 3 Quen correctly, Kevin.

    Did you hold the cast button down? That's the alternate "mode" of the Quen sign. It's an active, sustained shield that you cast by holding the cast button instead of just tapping it.

    Think of it like the wards in Skyrim. You have to continuously cast them.

    It drains stamina, but gives you health if it is hit while you are actively casting it.

    Avatar image for Crossel777
    Crossel777

    I'm thinking of turning my Garelt into a pyromaniac. Igni seems quite effective when it burns.

    Avatar image for Mogan
    Mogan

    @Crossel777: It's super effective against stuff like drowners and water hags, most anything you'll find in bogs and rivers don't react too well to fire. Ghouls and their gross kin don't seem too perturbed by igni though.

    And bears? Bears do not give a **** about any of your stupid little signs. : p

    Avatar image for zzblackwolfzz
    ZzBlackWolfzZ

    How did you so effortlessly misunderstand and propagate such erroneous information for Quen. It clearly states that you lose stamina for maintaining a shield that exchanges damage for vitality. Here you have the correct spell description and in the video you use level one of the spell and claim it gives you a longer lasting shield?! You didnt even get any health when the shield was damaged so that alone should have been an indicator! Please fix it. Otherwise this was an amazing and ever so slightly flawed showcase, thanks!!

    Avatar image for Alecmrhand
    Alecmrhand

    Thanks Kevin!

    Avatar image for TimberWolf_CLT
    TimberWolf_CLT

    Very useful article! Thank you Kevin.

    Avatar image for bbq_R0ADK1LL
    bbq_R0ADK1LL

    Sooo many upgrades!

    I've just got out of the opening area & everything's been pretty great so far. The signs feel nerfed compared to previous games but I guess that's what the skill progression is all about.

    Avatar image for kingjugganott
    KingJuggaNott

    This game is SO Dope.

    Avatar image for McGuirex3
    McGuirex3

    @kingjugganott:

    Dope? And how so?

    Avatar image for Llama345
    Llama345

    @McGuirex3@kingjugganott: Good/cool. Because it is.

    Avatar image for smokeless_0225
    smokeless_0225

    Quen and Axii....that is all

    Avatar image for phili878
    phili878

    still posting news of this game? man, time to head over to IGN again for a few weeks.

    Avatar image for zerohournow
    Zerohournow

    @phili878: it came out today you dolt...

    Avatar image for streamline
    streamline

    Good bye!

    Avatar image for peekaboo0
    peekaboo0

    I'm happy you guys used The Witcher 1 soundtrack here. Nostalgia... Oh god, I love ,,River of Life''.

    Avatar image for McGuirex3
    McGuirex3

    @peekaboo0:

    Me too! It kind of reminds me of TES V Skyrim i.e. they used the sound tho updated that was used in TES 3 Morrowind if I'm not mistaken! You just can't get that song out of your head!

    Avatar image for delora
    Delora

    It's been quite some time since the last Witcher news... Maybe 30 minutes?
    << LINK REMOVED >>

    Avatar image for i5204
    I5204

    All you need is Quen
    All you need is Quen

    All you need is Quen, Quen

    Quen is all you need

    Avatar image for dstv
    dstv

    @i5204: I literally only upgrade Quen, that's also how the witcher 2 played out for me as well

    Avatar image for tommynj
    tommynj

    Been watching this game on Twitch and as I was afraid of they filled the open world with mindless go fetch and go kill quests. Graphically the game looks great but I am not so sure it really deserved a 10 as a review.

    Avatar image for cleevergreen
    CleeverGreen

    Thanks Kevin! You keep this up you might have to write an old school "hint guide". :)


    Avatar image for uninspiredcup
    uninspiredcup

    Should put up an article telling us how to rebind the WASD keys, that would be really useful.


    Avatar image for StHapns247
    StHapns247

    "Tier 1: Increases Aard's range by 1 yard."

    How hard was it to not write "aard" instead of "yard"?

    Avatar image for jeffreybernabe
    jeffreybernabe

    they've change how Yrden Sign works from TW2

    Avatar image for uninspiredcup
    uninspiredcup

    Witcher article overkill. Might as well just be screaming "buy the witcher" at this point.

    Avatar image for zerohournow
    Zerohournow

    @uninspiredcup: another whiner that's mad The Order stunk.

    Avatar image for rmokeefe76
    Rmokeefe76

    They've been saying "buy the witcher" this whole time, ever since gamespot rated it a 10 and called it an "essential" game to own.

    Avatar image for itchyflop
    itchyflop

    @uninspiredcup: i did buy it!! i see your point however, isn't gaming your hobby? this is, information on a subject that interests you. No disrespect intended to you, everyone has different tastes in a game, i try to keep my eye on everything within the gaming genre whether i like it or not :)

    Avatar image for kalarro
    kalarro

    @uninspiredcup: Explain how this is an overkill? I love to minmax my characters. So this article was perfect to be able to chose what signs I want to focus on. I read, watched and enjoied it. You are just hating without reasonable arguments

    Avatar image for sleepyinmorning
    sleepyinmorning

    What was the surprise they were going to show on may 14?

    Avatar image for jlwood830
    jlwood830

    Is the game already out... or coming out after midnight?

    Avatar image for pezzott1
    pezzott1

    @jlwood830: It's out.

    • 65 results
    • 1
    • 2