No Need to Wait for a Witcher 3 Port Anymore


This is a bold statement, but completely true. If you were, like me, still hoping for a Witcher 3 port for Linux and somewhat despaired to see absolutely no progress in that area, well I have good news for you. Witcher 3, The Wild Hunt works absolutely beautifully with DXVK (the tool I mentioned before), and it could not be more simple to set up than following the below instructions.

The first thing you need is to get Wine 3.5, since it will make it a lot easier to get all you need. If you are on Solus or other rolling distro it should already be available by default. If not, on Ubuntu and the like you should grab a ppa to provide it.

I am covering the case of the GOG version of the game (1.31 at the time of writing). Download all the classic installer versions provided by GOG (there should be 8 files or something) - I repeat, make sure you get the “classic” installers. Secure enough disk space by the way, since it’s about 24 Gb large.

Now the pre-requisites are mostly taken care of. It’s a three step process.

  1. Create a WINE prefix in the location where you’d like to install the game. I will call it .wine-witcher3 in my case but the name is up to you. Type the following in a terminal.
WINEPREFIX=~/.wine-witcher3/ winecfg
  1. Then, grab the latest build of DXVK on the github account (0.41 at the time of writing, but it will certainly be updated later on, so double-check for more recent versions just in case), and patch your WINE prefix with it:
cd ~/Downloads
tar -xzf dxvk-0.41.tar.gz
cd dxvk-v0.41/x64/
WINEPREFIX=~/.wine-witcher3/ bash

You should get a confirmation message confirming that the patch was taken care of.

  1. Now you can install the game. Please adapt the below folder and file names to the folder/files you are using for the install.
cd /path/where/you/have/saved/GOG/classic/installer/files/
WINEPREFIX=~/.wine-witcher3/ wine GOG-witcher3-installer-file-name.exe

It’s going to take a little while, but once it’s done, you can simply click on the launch button, and there you go.

This is how the game runs on my “old” GTX970, (driver 390.x), in Full HD, at high details (the video was captured with an external camera to ensure no frame drops).

It’s smooth like butter. I used to play that game on Windows too (one of the very rare games I kept dual-booting for) and I can’t see any significant difference in performance. There are some rare stutters here and there as shaders compile in the background, but less and less as you plan since they get cached. Honestly, this is a dream come true.

And the cherry on the cake is that WINE 3.5 recognizes your Xbox360 pad natively now. Launch the game, connect your controller (wirelessly in my case), and you are DONE. Everything works. I have spent a good 3-4 hours on the game using this setup, without experiencing any crash. If I were to nitpick, I would mention that VSync is apparently not working fully well yet, and you can’t change the gamma settings either… but these are minor complaints.

I know I won’t be too productive for the next few weeks.