'The Witcher: Monster Slayer': Tips for Hunting the Strongest Enemies

The Witcher: Monster Slayer is available now on iOS and Android devices, where it can be downloaded for free.

What Is 'The Witcher: Monster Slayer'

Revealed at this year's Witchercon, the new title makes use of Augmented Reality (AR) technology to fully immerse you in the world of CD Projekt Red's popular fantasy series. This means that you can wander around your own neighborhood looking for creatures to battle, herbs to gather, treasures to loot and quests to complete.

Similar to Pokemon Go, the game integrates with your phone's GPS and camera so that it can display real-life locations with virtual assets overlaid. For example, you could be walking down the street and stumble across a mutilated animal carcass, with nearby footprints leading to its killer.

Adding an extra layer to the familiar AR premise, The Witcher: Monster Slayer also responds to your local time of day and changing weather, with certain enemies being nocturnal or more active during periods of rainfall.

To help you get started with your career as a budding wyvern exterminator, Newsweek has compiled a list of tips and effective strategies for hunting the game's most formidable beasties.

Always Check Your Bestiary

Before you engage any monster in combat, it is always worth checking the bestiary to identify their respective weakness.

You can access this in-game encyclopaedia by tapping on the upwards arrow icon found at the bottom of your phone screen. At first, the compendium will be totally empty, but you will gradually populate it with entries as you defeat more and more creatures.

An enemy's bestiary page will give you pointers on how to defeat them, explain which class of monster it belongs to (and therefore which oil you should apply to your sword), and tell you under what circumstances you are most likely to find them. For instance, if you look up the alghoul you will discover that it is a necrophage, that it dislikes silver and that it is most active at dusk.

Whenever you tap on a creature to initiate a fight, you will also get to view an abridged version of its bio. This won't contain quite as much information as the dedicated bestiary page, but it will tell you what types of attack the monster is vulnerable to and which signs are most effective against it.

Stock up on Potions and Oils

The game doesn't explicitly signpost you to this in the earlier quests, but there is a dedicated menu for crafting in The Witcher: Monster Slayer.

To access this, you must once again tap on the upwards facing arrow at the bottom of your screen. A number of options will then pop up, from which you will then need to select the "Inventory" button.

Using this new screen, you will be able to craft bombs, potions and oils to help you out in combat. It is worth noting that there is a waiting time associated with brewing each of these (for example, it takes 30 minutes to produce the Swallow formula) so, if you are hunting a specific monster, it would behove you to do all your crafting before you arrive at its nest.

In terms of the different items you can craft, bombs are good for quickly chipping away at an enemy's health bar and for interrupting their attacks. Meanwhile, drinking potions before a fight grants useful buffs – like an increase to your maximum vitality or a boost to sign intensity – and coating your blade with oils enables you to deal extra damage to specific creatures.

Another thing that the game doesn't tell you is that your concoctions aren't automatically added to your inventory. Instead, you will need to remember to go back into the crafting menu - after the requisite brewing time has elapsed - so that you can manually "claim" them. If you do not do this, then you might be left wondering why you don't have that all-important item when you need it most.

Finally, if you are short on any crafting components, then you can purchase them using the in-game currency, which itself can be topped up through microtransaction payments.

The Witcher: Monster Slayer Crafting Menu
From the crafting menu, you will be able to brew potions, bombs and oils for your blade. CD Projekt Spokko

Grind and Level Up Your Character

No matter how much preparing you do with the bestiary and item crafting, some monsters will still utterly wipe the floor with you. A clear indicator that you are about to be outmatched by a foe is that they will have a skull icon floating above their head.

To stand a better chance against these tougher opponents, the best course of action is to pick on some lower-level enemies until you have worked your way up the skill tree. In other words, just go for a walk around your backyard or a local area (provided you can do so safely of course) and slay as much cannon fodder as you possibly can. Eventually, you will level up and be rewarded with a slew of items and ability points that can be used to upgrade your character.

There is another way you can farm ability points in The Witcher: Monster Slayer. If you check the bestiary, you will notice that it is keeping a tally of how many enemies you have killed. Underneath each creature's picture there is a bar that you can gradually fill by repeatedly slaying the monster in question.

After you have defeated 3 members of the same species, you will be rewarded with an ability point to upgrade your avatar with. As with the crafting, this prize doesn't go straight into your inventory and you will have to remember to manually claim it.

The Witcher: Monster Slayer Bestiary Rewards
If you kill several members of the same monster species, you will be eligible to claim a reward. CD Projekt Spokko

Spend Your Ability Points Wisely

Once you have accumulated a few ability points, you will need to navigate to the "Skills" menu in order to upgrade yourself.

There are three separate upgrade paths at launch, those being combat, alchemy and signs. While it is tempting to sink all your points into the latter category (so that you can learn fancy new spells) it is more advisable to spread them out evenly between the categories.

Different monsters have different weaknesses in this game, so having a really powerful Igni sign is only going to be useful in the right situations and you will often need to rely on your trust sword. There is also a handy potion formula, entitled Tawny Owl, that you can learn by going down the alchemy path, so you do not want to neglect that area of your repertoire just because it is less exciting.

The Witcher: Monster Slayer Skills Tree
Once you have earned sufficient ability points, you will be able to upgrade your swordsmanship, your magic spells or your alchemy proficency. CD Projekt Spokko

Don't Forget to Parry

At first glance, combat itself in The Witcher: Monster Slayer can seem quite shallow.

You would be forgiven for thinking that all you need to do here is mindlessly swipe your finger over enemies until they die. Yet, while there is an element of truth to that, there are also a few nuances that are easy to overlook.

The trick to winning harder fights is that you need to fill your opponent's stagger bar (much like you would in Ghost of Tsushima or Sekiro) so that you land a critical hit. You do this by exploiting the monster's specific weaknesses. Some are vulnerable to quick blows while others are more susceptible to heavy attacks, and it is up to you to pace your sword strokes accordingly.

You also need to be mindful that you don't get carried away with your swiping and overlook the importance of blocking. If a creature manages to land an unguarded hit on you, then its stagger bar will completely reset, so it is vital that you do not forget to parry (by holding down your finger on the screen).

As we mentioned before, bombs are also useful for temporarily interrupting a monster's attack.

The Witcher: Monster Slayer Combat
You will need to gradually build up an enemy's stagger bar if you want to land a critical hit. CD Projekt Spokko