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The Witcher 3: Every Quest That Can Auto-Fail and When

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has many points of no return, and several of them put a deadline on important decisions Geralt needs to make to secure the best ending. To that end, we have compiled a list of every single quest that can auto-fail, when that cut-off is, and what you may be missing out on if Geralt doesn’t tie up loose ends on time.

Base Game

The base game is where you’ll run into the most pertinent cut-offs.

Imperial Audience

This Prologue quest is the first cut-off point of the game, and every side-quest in White-Orchard save one will auto-fail upon heading to Vizima. Several of these sub-quests act as training for the tough decision-making Geralt will have to contemplate later on.

  • A Frying Pan, Spick and Span – This is a Simple non-combative quest with some decent early-game rewards you might not want to miss.
  • Missing In Action – A quest of little consequence- for Geralt. It does include a life or death ultimatum for a very minor NPC, though.
  • On Death’s Bed – Another simple non-combative quest that offers some interesting tie-in lore for fans of Sapowski’s novels if you delve into the optional dialogue. It’s also another choice-based life or death situation regarding minor characters.
  • Precious Cargo – This quest has a small window of opportunity as it is only available during the Lilac and Gooseberries quest, which leads directly into Imperial Audience. It has a few possible outcomes that change the rewards Geralt will receive, but the payout differences aren’t that substantial.
  • Twisted Firestarter – A simple investigative quest that exercises Geralt’s witcher senses and tests his moral compass with another life or death decision on behalf of a minor NPC.

Really, you’ll be locked out of these quests by completing the preceding main quest, Lilac and Gooseberries, as the ending sequence of that quest takes you to Vizima via the cut-scene. So be sure you’ve done the ones you wanted to before reconvening with Vesemir at the inn after completing the Griffin Contract.

Ugly Baby

This Act 2 main quest only auto-fails two quests, but they both pertain to close relations of Geralt.

  • Following The Thread – In this side quest, Geralt can choose to help his witcher brethren, Lambert, avenge a fallen friend and learn some additional lore regarding the witcher school of the Cat. Moreover, helping Lambert with this quest is a cut-off of its own for the Skellige side quest, Flesh For Sale.
  • The Last Wish – Team Yennefer fans will need to be sure to complete this one prior to fetching Uma from Crow’s Perch as it will make or break Geralt’s successful romancing of the haughty sorceress.

RELATED: The Witcher 3: How To Complete The Ugly Baby Quest

The Isle of Mists

Sailing to the Isle of Mists is the next big cut-off, auto-failing a slew of quests throughout Velen and Novigrad. It is without question the most significant point of no-return within the game. So much so that the game gives you an unequivocal warning to turn back if there was anything else you wanted to do. You’ll want to tie up these loose ends before setting sail on the last leg of the journey to finding Ciri.

Kiera’s Questline

  • A Favor For A Friend – is coincidentally a cut-off point for another quest called Lynch Mob, which will fail upon starting this one.
  • A Towerful of Mice
  • Magic Lamp
  • An Invitation From Kiera Metz
  • For The Advancement of Learning

All five of these quests will need to be completed successfully in order to romance and or recruit Kiera for the Battle of Kaer Morhen soon after the events that take place in The Isle of Mists.

  • Ciri’s Room – Geralt can search the room Ciri stayed in during her stay at Crow’s Perch and gain a few rather inconsequential clues about what she was up to.
  • The Fall of The House of Reardon – This quest is dependant on whether Geralt spared a certain Viper school witcher in The Witcher 2. If he showed mercy, this quest will reunite the old acquaintances and lead directly into the next quest on this list.
  • Ghosts of The Past – Geralt must make a choice at the end of this quest, which will decide whether or not Letho will lend aid in the Battle of Kaer Morhen later on. This quest is another minor quest-lock itself. If the Hazardous Goods quest hasn’t been started yet, Geralt will need to wait until finishing Ghosts of The Past before he can undertake it.
  • Return to Crookback Bog – This is the concluding quest to the Baron’s story and ultimately decides his and his family’s fate.
  • A Dangerous Game – An important quest for Gwent players, given by Zoltan outside the Rosemary and Thyme after rescuing Dandelion.

Triss Romance

Both of these quests need to be completed successfully in order to romance Triss. They also hold some sway with the assassin questline following them as well.

  • A Matter of Life and Death – Geralt will need to kiss Triss during this quest in order to romance her at the end of the next successfully.
  • Now or Never – Aptly named, this quest seals the deal (or breaks things off) between Geralt and Triss. Regardless, the ending conversation with Dijkstra will automatically trigger the Assassin questline, which will also auto-fail if not completed before setting sail for the Isle of Mists.

The Assassin Questline

This questline explores the subplot of assassinating Radovid, which any non-human and mage supporters will want to accomplish.

  • A Deadly Plot –  If you’ve been following the games’ lore from the first installment, there’s extra incentive to complete this quest in particular as Geralt will be reconnected with Thaler, subsequently unlocking Thaler’s exclusive Gwent match. You’ll want to make the time for this particular round of Gwent as you’ll be locked out upon the completion of this questline’s concluding side quest, Reasons of State.
  • An Eye For An Eye – On top of being a mandatory quest for the successful assassination of the mad king, Geralt will need to ensure Ves lives through this encounter to secure her and Roche’s help at the Battle of Kaer Morhen.
  • Redania’s Most Wanted – No make or break decisions in this quest, but it will lead you to the witcher gear, Feline Silver Sword, if you take the time to break down a crumbling wall with Aard.

You’ll need to fully complete this questline before sailing to the Isle of Mists if you wish to avoid Radovid’s genocide of mages and non-humans in Novigrad.

  • Cabaret – Aside from helping Geralt’s old pal Dandelion refurbish his newly acquired cabaret, this quest has no real consequence. However, it does lead into the next quest, which has a more grievous impact.
  • Carnal Sins – Though it doesn’t change anything, abandoning Dandelion and his lady bard, Pricilla, in their time of great need is a shoddy way to repay Dandelion’s loyalty throughout the years.
  • Fencing Lessons – No consequences here, but it is a fun jaunt.
  • Berengar’s Blade – This Kaer Morhen quest is tied to an old witcher colleague of Geralt’s referenced in the first game. This quest technically locks when setting out for the Isle of Mists due to the fact Geralt won’t have another opportunity to strike a casual conversation with Vesemir. There is a loophole, however. If Geralt seeks out the quest location manually after returning from the Isle of Mists before the council at Kaer Morhen, he can complete the quest without talking to Vesemir.

On Thin Ice

is a late-game cut-off point towards the end of Act 3. It only locks a mere two quests, but those include a pertinent deciding factor to the end-game and the only witcher contract in the game that’s subject to auto-fail.

  • Contract: Devil By The Well – You likely completed this Velen contract well before now, but if you hadn’t, here’s your warning.
  • Reasons of State – This is the concluding chapter of the Assassin’s questline, ensuring Radovid’s death, and includes the additional decision that decides whether Dijkstra or Roche will lead Temeria. However, it is only unlocked under the additional stipulation that Geralt chose diplomacy over force when convincing the spy to let him and Philipa go.

King’s Gambit

This Skellige side quest holds some weighty decisions as to crowning the next ruler of Skellige and will subsequently auto-fail a couple of quests for Mad Man Lugos and his son, Blue Boy.

  • Stranger In A Strange Land – This quest obligates Geralt to take on the next quest.
  • The Cave of Dreams – This quest can be activated with or without subjecting Geralt to the previous quest. This quest has no real pertinence, but it is a fun hallucinogenic side trip to experience.

Battle Preparations

This is the final cut-off point of the main story, auto-failing several Skellige side quests, including the quests that determine the sub-ending for Skellige.

The Skelliger Crown Sub-Ending

Both of the following quests launch in consecutive order and ultimately decide who will be the next ruler of Skellige.

  • The Lord of Undvik – This quest is a prerequisite to activating the King’s Gambit quest and is necessary for recruiting Hjalmar for the Battle of Kaer Morhen.
  • Possession – This quest is also a precursor to King’s Gambit but requires Geralt to help Crach An Craite’s daughter, Cerys, rather than his son, Hjalmar.
  • King’s Gambit – The culmination of this quest will lead to Geralt needing to decide whether to again help Cerys or Hjalmar or remain neutral and help neither.
  • Coronation – The actions or inactions Geralt took following events in the King’s Gambit will directly impact who becomes ruler of Skellige. If he refrained from helping Cerys and Hjalmar both, Svanrige an Tuirseach will be crowned, which isn’t the preferred ending for most players and will consequently forfeit the possibility of recruiting Hjalmar to the Battle of Kaer Morhen.

Hearts of Stone

There are only two cut-off points in the Heart of Stone expansion. Though that’s a rather substantial amount considering there are only six main quests excluding subquests within the same questline. There aren’t a ton of side quests either, which makes this list short and sweet.

Open Sesame!

This main questline acts as the expansion’s mid-game, comprised of three subquests. It is also the first point at which the Heart of Stone side quests will begin auto-failing.

  • Avid Collector – This is a mini-quest within Open Sesame! that is activated by talking to Yaromir Ivanovitz Zaytsev that can cut you a deal on winning the “Starry Night Over The Pontar” painting at auction. You’ll need to neglect to tell Vimme Vivaldi what you’ve learned about the painting to get the deal.
  • A Dark Legacy – This is an exclusive quest only able to be activated and completed during Open Sesame! Additionally, Geralt will need to win Count Romilly’s Figurine at the auction to unlock it. Then be sure to see the quest to completion before wrapping up the Open Sesame! questline.

Scenes From A Marriage

This main quest following Open Sesame! will auto-fail only one quest, but many fans won’t want to miss out.

  • A Midnight Clear – This quest is Geralt’s chance at one last fling with his old flame, Shani. He can enjoy this romp without endangering his successful romance with Triss or Yennefer.

Blood and Wine

Though it’s a much more substantial expansion, the list of quests that can auto-fail is also fairly simple for Blood and Wine.

Where Children Toil, Toys Waste Away

Both of these quests have a small window for completion, only accessible after La Cage au Fou, which comes directly before this one.

  • The Hunger Game – If you lifted Marlene’s curse in La Cage au Fou and brought her safely to Corvo Bianco Geralt can invite her to stay. She’ll reward his generosity with a rather substantial payout and a memento.
  • Amidst The Mill’s Grist – This is an extremely standard side-quest with absolutely no repercussions or difficult choices.

Capture The Castle

  • The Warble of a Smitten Knight – This quest helps Geralt towards achieving the five Chivalric virtues needed for completing There Can Only Be One and obtaining the best sword in the game, Aerondight. It will auto-fail if not completed before meeting Captain de La Tour during Capture The Castle.

Beyond Hill and Dale

  • Duck, Duck Goosed – While this quest’s technical cut-off is the Tesham Mutna quest, it can only be accomplished while Geralt and Syanna are traversing the Land of A Thousand Fables. Thus you need to complete it before leaving the fairytale land at the end of Beyond Hill and Dale.

Burlap Is The New Stripe

  • The Perks of Being A Jailbird – This mini-quest will technically auto-fail upon starting the quest Be It Ever So Humble. However, it is only available while Geralt is imprisoned in Toussaint, which only happens if Syanna dies. So if Geralt successfully saved Syanna and convinced her to make peace with Anna Henrietta, this quest won’t be an option at all.

Wine Wars: Belgaard

Lastly, the second phase of Wine Wars: Belgaard will cause Wine Wars: The Deus In The Machina to auto-fail. The Deus In The Machina can only be activated after completing Wine Wars: Belgaard’s part one, and then only by discovering a certain location in the other two subsequent Wine Wars quests, Vermentino and Coronata. It can be rather tricky to navigate and secure the best ending to make this questline worthwhile.

Next: The Witcher 3: How To Make The Most Of Post-Game

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Kim is a freelance writer for TheGamer. She recently began writing online articles in the summer of 2019 when she was approached on Discord to contribute some articles and guides for Wizards Unite World. Kim is a fan of fantastical genres, some of her favorite titles including Harry Potter, The Lord of The Rings, and The Witcher. She’s a bookish Ravenclaw eccentric, with an inquisitive sense for adventure. Kim seeks to use her writing as a means to travel and explore, hoping to share her findings and spread curiosity.

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