In some role-playing games, a “good” ending and a “bad” ending is all a matter of opinion. Certain endings can be sad but hopeful, while others can be happy but ominous. The Witcher 3 is not one of those games. There is an unquestionably bad ending and an unquestionably good one and it’s impossible to blur the lines between the two. There is also a middle of the road ending, but if you’re gonna play, why no go for the best scenario possible?
After pouring in well over one-hundred hours of playtime, the bad ending can feel like a punch to the gut, especially because you can get it after having succeeded in everything that you set out to do. It’s just a few well-intentioned choices that lead Geralt to losing everything that matters most. So take a peek here and make sure that all that time questing will not be in vain!
Kill The Spirit In The Whispering Hillock
You’ll be given a tempting offer to let set the spirit free. Resist the urge. You can fight it outright just to be safe, but if combat isn’t your thing, you can also trick the spirit by pretending to do the ritual but then not performing your part in it.
Convince Keira Metz To Go To Kaer Morhen
Keira’s got some big ideas. It’s not enough just to stop her suicidal quest, but you’ll actually have to get her a new plan. She ends up saving another character with Geralt’s new plan, so you’ll want to make sure to change her mind.
Kill Cyprian Wiley
Those who want to exact revenge should let Cyprian “Whoreson Junior” Wiley live; Ciri will be happy that his life gets so messed up. But the world is better off with Wiley dead and the doppler Dudu taking up his identity, who uses his new status for the benefit of all.
Help The Mages Escape Novigrad
Sometimes the best path is the one of doing the least harm. You’ll still find out that the violence is high in the long run, but you lose an entire city and allow a genocide to occur if you don’t help the mages get out.
Romance Either Yennefer Or Triss
It doesn’t matter which one you love, but you do have to find love. If you don’t, Geralt loses his arc and his conclusion. Your life is similar with either one, so go ahead and choose your favorite, but do make a choice before time runs out.
Bring Ciri To Meet The Emperor
Select the conversational choice “Gotta visit the emperor first,” when laying out your plans. It’s hard to resist going to Velen because it’s a rare moment for Geralt to be amicable with Ciri, but this is for the best in the long run.
Win The War For Nilfgaard
Complete the following quests:
- An Eye for an Eye
- A Deadly Plot
- Redania’s Most Wanted
Nilfgaard is not perfect, far from it. But the power-seekers that would defeat it are not doing so for good reasons or out of a love for the people. Things get really bad in the world should Nilfgaard lose, so swallow the pill and do your part.
Be Nice To Dijkstra
Nilfgaard can still lose the war even with the previous quests done. Dijkstra doesn’t seem like the kind of person you want to be nice to, but you need him to give you a quest. Tell him what he wants to know about Ciri. Don’t worry, you can rub it back in his face later.
Save Roche, Ves, and Thaler Against Dijkstra
Turns out Geralt was only nice to him to get the Reason of State quest out of him. Now that Dijkstra intends to abuse his newfound power over Temeria, it’s time to cut dies. He might sound like an “ends justify the means” kind of guy, but it turns out his end is just as bad as the means.
Though Skellige can be dismissed and ignored entirely, what happens in that region will profoundly affect Nilfgaard. If you side with Hjalmar, they will openly raid Nilfgaard and if you ignore the situation entirely, they descend into civil war and eventually the chaos becomes a global problem. So make sure to get Cerys installed.
Cheer Up Ciri
During Blood on the Battlefield, Ciri will get discouraged. Tell her, “I know what might lift your spirits” to make her feel better. It’ll make her temporarily elated, but also give her a lot of confidence in the latter stages of the game after bonding with Geralt here.
Talk To The Emperor And Turn Down His Reward
Turning down payment is usually a big no-no for gamers, but this has implications that will help out. This is missable, you must go visit the emperor during the Blood on the Battlefield quest, otherwise you won’t get any money and you’ll forfeit some goodwill toward the best ending.
Tell Ciri To Speak To The Lodge Of Sorceresses Alone
This is the choice that most players mess up. After caring for Ciri for so long, it’s natural to want to protect her and be there for her. But the time has come for her to know that you believe in her judgment without Geralt there. Tell her, “You’ll do fine on your own.”
Help Ciri Lose Her Temper
The level-headed thing to do is to tell her to calm down, but those bottled up emotions get the best of her if you don’t help her wreck the place. During Child of the Blood tell her to “Go for it” when she gets mad.
Go With Ciri To Visit Skjall
Later on, in Child of the Blood, Ciri will ask you to accompany her to Skjall. Unlike the Lodge of Sorceresses, you should be physically supportive. This is, after all, Ciri’s choice to have you come with her, so it doesn’t take away from her feeling empowered enough further down the road.
Next: The Witcher 3: How To Get The Best Ending For Hearts Of Stone
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Hodey Johns is a writer for Game Rant based out of the Rocky Mountains in North Ogden, Utah. He’s had a passion for video games and literature since he was a child growing up along the beach in San Diego, California. As a graduate of Theology from Liberty University, he puts his experience with religion, philosophy, and debate into his work. His other interests include sports, bike riding, and good old-fashioned barbecue.
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