You have two main options when it comes to the best weapons in Witcher 3.
On one hand, you’ve got the steel and silver swords that come with the Witcher School armor (Bear, Cat, Griffin, Wolf, Viper, Manticore) sets, which are especially suited for specific builds.
These weapons have great stats, damage, come with set bonuses, and can be upgraded up to 4 times so you can continue to use them as you level up.
Generally speaking, however, the Witcher School weapons are weaker than some non-set Witcher 3 weapons.
There are several swords you can get from the two expansion packs, Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine, which are considered the best by most players.
These include popular options such as the silver sword Aerondight, which can permanently gain damage over time, and the Hen Gaidth sword, which might not seem that great at first, but will match whatever level you pick it up at, so looting it later in the game can give better stats and damage than many other weapons.
Read on for our list of the best weapons in Witcher 3 and how to obtain them, as well runestone, glyph, and runeword suggestions.
Table of Contents
The Best Swords in Witcher 3
Aerondight is considered the best silver sword Witcher 3 and the best ‘Blood and Wine’ expansion weapon. It charges up with each successive blow, dealing 10% additional damage.
Also, once the sword is fully charged, every hit will be a critical one.
Better yet, if you kill an enemy with a full charge, Aerondight’s damage will be permanently increased. These special effects make Aerondight the most powerful silver sword in Witcher 3.
To obtain it, you’ll have to complete a long list of side quests in the Blood and Wine expansion that prove that you possess the five chivalric values. However, there is a faster way to prove these virtues by following these instructions.
After that, you can obtain the quest “There Can Be Only One”, complete it, and receive the sword.
Iris: Olgierd’s Sword (Steel)
Olgierd’s Iris saber is the best weapon of the Hearts of Stone expansion and one of the best steel swords in all of Witcher 3, especially for builds that use strong attacks.
This relic sword doesn’t have the most impressive stats, but what it’s really valued for is its special effects. First off, the sword hits twice with strong attacks.
Second, the sword will charge up after 3 hits (blocks count too) and start glowing red.
After this, using a strong attack will deliver a powerful strike that goes through blocks and armor and creates a knockdown effect similar to the Aard sign. However, it will also consume a part of your vitality.
(SPOILER ALERT) This legendary saber is given to Geralt by Olgierd himself for saving his soul during the “Whatsoever a Man Soweth…” quest.
Toussaint knight’s steel sword (Steel)
Stats and damage-wise, the Toussaint knight’s steel sword is considered the best steel sword of the Blood and Wine expansion and one of the best weapons in all of Witcher 3.
This powerful relic weapon provides excellent stats, including:
- +300 Armor piercing
- +30% Quen Sign intensity
- +100% Critical hit damage bonus
- +20% Critical hit chance
- +15% Chance to cause burning
It also has 3 upgrade slots. Note that this sword comes in a magic and relic version. You need to craft the relic version since its stats are much higher.
To get the blueprint for crafting the Toussaint knight’s steel sword, complete the “The Last Exploits of Selina’s Gang” sidequest in Toussaint.
Belhaven Blade (Steel)
The Belhaven Blade is another excellent crafted steel sword featured in the Blood and Wine expansion. Its stats are:
- +100% critical hit damage
- +30% Aard sign intensity
- +15% Critical hit chance
- +15% Chance to poison
- +5% Bonus experience from humans and nonhumans
Just like the Toussiant knight sword, Belhaven also comes with 3 upgrade slots.
The diagram for the Belhaven blade can be found in the Sansretour River in Eastern Toussaint, in the area where the river divides into two streams.
The easiest way to find is to go to the marker in the screenshot below and kill the bandits there.
You’ll find a journal on a stool; when you read it, it will give you a quest and a location in the nearby river where you’ll find the chest with the Belhaven blade diagram.
Hen Gaidth Steel Sword (Steel)
The Hen Gaidth Steel Sword is another contender for the best steel sword in Witcher 3. The best part about this weapon is the fact that it scales to your current level.
So the higher your current level, the more damage it will have.
You’ll get only one chance to get the Hen Gaidth steel sword. During the quest “What Lies Unseen” that takes place towards the end of Blood and Wine expansion, the sword can be found inside the Unseen Elder’s cave, along with other items in the set.
That means it’s best to leave this quest until the last possible moment so you can receive a higher level version.
Gesheft is a relic weapon in the Blood and Wine expansion. It’s one of the only real contenders to Aerondight as the best silver sword in Witcher 3.
It has two variants, one of which can be looted and other has to be crafted. Both are good, although they have slightly different stats.
For the loot drop, you’ll need to complete a side quest called “Beyond Hill and Dale…” A Will O Wisp will lead you to a cave where you’ll encounter a nitty Dark Souls easter egg and the mighty Gesheft itself.
This variant of the sword adds a flat 20% increase across all signs, which is great for a sign-focused Witcher 3 build.
Meanwhile, the craftable version adds 30% to the Aard intensity but doesn’t support any other signs. However, it provides other stats so it’s still a great silver sword.
For the crafted version, go to north east Beauclair, past the Dun Tynne Crossroads by the river bank. You’ll find a cave here (see screenshot for exact location).
Explore the cave to the end until you come to a small campfire near a stalagmite. You’ll find a chest here which contains the diagram for the craftable version of Gesheft.
Witcher School Gear Weapons
So far, we’ve discussed the best overall weapons in Witcher 3 by stats, damage, and effects. However, you can also use the steel and silver swords that come with the Witcher school gear sets, which must be crafted and can be upgraded up to four times.
Generally speaking, these swords will not be as strong as the ones we discussed earlier.
However, they still have solid stats and damage.
More importantly, you may prefer to use them over the above weapons in some cases, such as:
- While you’re leveling, prior to the late portions of the game
- When you’re looking to maximize specific stats, such as sign intensity
- When you want to unlock the 6-set bonus of each Witcher school set
In that sense, these Witcher weapons can still be considered very good in certain situations.
Ursine swords (Steel & Silver)
The Ursine steel and silver swords compliment the rest of the Ursine ‘Bear’ school Witcher armor, which is ideal for a tanky build focused on strong attacks.
If you want to unlock the 6-piece Bear set bonus (damage dealt by Abilities involving the Quen sign is increased by 200%), you’ll have to use these swords.
Like all Witcher school gear sets, these weapons must be crafted by using a diagram and can be upgraded 4 times.
You need to be at least level 20 to equip the basic Ursine swords, and the level requirement will go up for each upgrade level (enhanced, superior, mastercrafted, and grandmaster).
To find the diagrams for each upgrade level of the Bear swords, head over to our guide for obtaining all of the Bear Witcher school gear.
Wolven swords (Steel & Silver)
The steel and silver swords from the Wolf Witcher set are also a solid option, particularly for a well-rounded build that includes a little bit of everything.
You can easily use them for the middle portions of the game, before you’re able to unlock the more powerful relic swords we discussed earlier, or continue using them for the whole game if you prefer.
The basic Wolven steel and silver swords require level 14 and go up with each upgrade level.
Want to know where to find the diagrams for each upgrade level? Head over to our guide for finding all of the Wolven Witcher set gear.
Feline swords (Steel & Silver)
The Feline silver and steel swords are great for fast attack builds. They can be considered the “best” weapons for a specific playstyle because they allow you to unlock the 6-piece Cat set bonus: 50% more damage on rear attacks and a stun.
You can equip the base Feline swords at level 17 and upgrade them four times up to Grandmaster.
To find the diagrams for each level of these weapons, check our guide to finding all of the Feline Witcher gear diagrams.
Griffin swords (Steel & Silver)
The Griffin steel and silver swords are best suited for a sign-oriented build. Again, you can choose to go with these swords if you like their stats or want to unlock the 6-set Griffin gear bonus.
The basic Griffin gear can be equipped at level 11, making it the first full Witcher 3 gear set you can find.
Manticore swords (Steel & Silver)
The Manticore silver and steel swords are a part of the level 40 Witcher School gear that was introduced in the Blood and Wine expansion.
They provide solid all-around stats and allow you to unlock the 6-set Manticore bonus: gaining an additional charge on all alchemy items.
This set comes in a single Grandmaster-level version, so you don’t need to craft 5 separate levels of the set.
The Manticore swords can be crafted exclusively by the Grandmaster Smith in Beauclair, the new area where Blood and Wine expansion takes place.
After you talk to the smith, he’ll give you a scavenger hunt quest that will take you across the map to collect all the diagrams and pieces of the set, including the silver and steel swords.
If you want to find the diagrams for these swords, check out our full guide to obtaining all of the Manticore Witcher gear diagrams.
Best Early Game Weapons
Most of the weapons we’ve discussed are the best overall or in the middle or later stages of the game. But what about when you’ve just started playing Witcher 3 and need a solid set of steel and silver swords?
Viper swords (Steel & Silver)
The viper steel and silver swords are the best early game weapon that you can find in Witcher 3 right in White Orchard itself, the first open area that game drops you in.
The Viper swords can be equipped as early as level one.
To craft the silver and steel Viper swords, you’ll need to find their respective diagrams. We’ve added screenshots for the diagram locations below, as well as a quick explanation of how to find them.
For the Silver sword’s blueprint, ride out to the Cemetery north of the Mill signpost in White Orchard. The blueprint will be located inside the building.
The steel swords blueprint can be found in the Castle Ruins to the west of the Ransacked village signpost.
Once you have blueprints and the required ingredients, head over to the Nilfgaardian Garrison where you can find an Amateur Blacksmith who can craft the Viper sword set for you.
Both the swords pack a small chance to poison your enemy and also increase XP received from both human and nonhuman enemies.
Note: A full, higher-level Viper School gear set was added in the Hearts of Stone expansion. This set is separate from this one. We have a dedicated guide for obtaining the Viper School gear set.
Best Ranged Weapons
The ranged weapon choices in Witcher 3 are extremely limited as the game’s primary focus is the swordplay. There are just two ranged weapons in the game; the Feline crossbow and the Ursine crossbow.
This is consistent with Witcher lore wherein only Witchers from the Cat and Bear school use crossbows.
The Ursine Crossbow diagram is located in a cave just south of the Old Watchtower, Spikeroog Isle, North West island in Ard Skellige. Inside the cave, kill the drowners that spawn and you’ll find the diagram next to a skeleton inside the cave.
The diagrams for the Feline crossbow can be found off the western coast of Redania (south-west of Novigrad) on the floating shipwreck. A chest on the lower deck contains the diagram.
Runestones are items that can be allotted to the empty slot of weapons and armor to provide specific bonuses.
Runestones can be purchased from merchants, blacksmiths, or simply looted from monster nests and chests. There are 10 types of runestones, with each having three possible levels: lesser, regular, and greater.
The question of which of these is the best in Witcher 3 depends largely on your playstyle and the specific enemy you’re facing. Having said that, here are some of the top choices for you to consider.
Note: Generally speaking, it’s best to stack the same rune multiple times since that will increase the chance or magnitude of the effect. However, some people prefer using multiple runestones simply for the fun of triggering multiple effects.
These runestones give you a chance to stun opponents on hit. Pair a bunch of these blue runestones with the fast attack Whirl, and you can often stunlock your enemies, making them one of the best runes in the game.
However, keep in mind that many powerful enemies in the game are immune to stuns.
The Zoria Runestone can slow down your enemies for a good amount of time, which is great when you want more control in a fight.
It can be especially helpful against monsters since they can often be quite fast, so you may prefer to use these runes on your silver sword.
A polar opposite of the Zoria Runestone, the Dazhbog Runestone can set your enemy on fire. Since many of the monsters in the game are weak to fire, including particularly powerful ones such as the Katakan, this rune can be an excellent option for your silver sword.
The Svarog Runestone is a great option for increasing your damage. It reduces the armor of enemies, giving you a consistent damage boost.
The Chernobog Runestones give you a flat attack power boost. This is arguably the best option if you’re after a pure damage boost.
These runestones increase sign intensity, making them the go-to option for players with a sign-focused build.
Devena and Morana Runestones
The Devana runestone gives a chance to cause bleeding, whereas Morana poisons your enemies, which are both types of damage-over-time (DoTs).
These two runes work best against tough monsters with high health pools because their damage is percentage-based. As such, it’s better to put them in your silver sword.
Besides, human enemies usually don’t survive long enough to make the best use of DoT damage.
Similar to runes, glyphs can be allotted to empty upgrade slots on weapons to permanently upgrade the sign intensity.
Glyphs can add up to 10% to its respective sign. Generally speaking, the Quen glyph is the best in Witcher 3. That’s because Quen is the most widely used and arguably the most effective sign in the game.
Igni and Yrden glyphs are also popular because they’re the best signs for dealing damage and crowd controlling enemies.
Best Weapon Enchantments (Runewords)
Runewords are a new type of weapon upgrades introduced in the Hearts of Stone expansion. When you apply runewords to a weapon, it will destroy all rune slots and prevent new ones from being added.
Having said that, enchantments are generally more effective than runes, so it’s a good trade-off. That’s why you can start by using runes earlier in the game and switch to runewords later on.
Runewords can only be added to weapons with 3 rune slots, and you can also pay a runewright to add 3 of these slots. Here are the best runeword options in Witcher 3:
Preservation: This runeword makes it so the 20% armor bonus you get from workbenches and 20% damage bonus you get from grindstones are permanent. This one of the best options for a straight-up damage and survivability boost.
Invigoration: The Invigoration runeword turns any Vitality regeneration stats into added damage (up to 50%) on your next attack if your vitality is full. This runeword is best suited for builds that focus on completely avoiding damage and stacking vitality regeneration.
Replenishment: After you cast a Sign, an Adrenaline Point is consumed and your next sword attack is charged with the power of that Sign. This runeword is good for any build that makes heavy use of signs.
Witcher 3 Weapon FAQs
How do you upgrade the Witcher school weapon level?
To upgrade the level of Witcher school gear steel and silver swords, you need to craft the higher level variant of that weapon.
After you craft the basic weapons, there are four possible upgrade levels: Enhanced, Superior, Mastercrafted, and Grandmaster (requires Blood and Wine expansion).
The process of upgrading from basic weapons to enhanced weapons and so on is the same. You’ll first need to find the diagrams for the weapons you want to craft, then gather all the ingredients and finally craft it with the help of a blacksmith.
How do you unlock enchantments?
Enchantments were introduced in the Hearts of Stone expansion pack, and include runewords (for weapons) and glyphwords (for armor). To unlock the enhancements, you need to complete a secondary quest called ‘Enchanting: Start-Up Costs’.
You’ll need to part with 5,000 crowns which are used by the Runewright at Upper Mill, far north of Oxenfurt.
What’s more important for Witcher 3 weapons: stats or damage?
Generally speaking, stats are considered more important. This is especially true when you have a build that focuses on a specific stat, such as sign intensity or critical hit chance.
So unless you have two weapons with a significant difference in damage, the stats should take priority.
Can weapons break in Witcher 3? What happens if they do?
No, weapons in Witcher 3 can’t break, even if they’re at 0% durability. However, if a weapon drops to 0% durability, it will inflict less damage.
What are the best Witcher 3 weapons for new game plus (NG+)?
The new game plus (NG+) mode allows you to play through the whole game again, but with the ability to carry over your level and weapons from the previous playthrough.
This means that you can start with a beefed-up weapon right from the get-go.
NG+ provides leveled-up versions of all the same weapons as the standard game, which means you can essentially use all of the same steel and silver swords we suggested above. The only difference is that their level/stats will be higher.
What are the differences between the Witcher School gear weapons?
There are six Witcher schools in Witcher 3: Wolf, Cat, Griffin, Bear, Viper, and Manticore. Each school’s weapon is meant to complement the fighting style of the respective school.
- Wolf School: The Wolf school prefers a well-balanced array of skills. Geralt of Rivia inherently belongs to this school. This style is best suited for players who want a holistic Witcher experience and medium armor.
- Cat School: The Cat school’s fighting style prioritizes speed and agility. This style is well suited for players who prefer to use light armor, fast attacks, and completely avoid damage.
- Griffin School: The Griffin School has a greater focus on signs. This style is best suited for sign-oriented builds.
- Bear School: The bear school prefers slow attacks and heavy armor. As such, it’s best suited for tanky builds that use strong attacks.
- Viper School: This school is focused on dealing poison damage.
- Manticore School: This is your go-to option for an alchemy-focused build.
The Best Weapon Suits Your Playstyle
So there we have it: the best weapons in Witcher 3, broken down into steel and silver swords, runes, glyphs, and runewords, and even ranged weapons.
As we can see, the “best” weapon is not always clear and obvious and can depend heavily on your playstyle and point in the game.
The bottom line is that you have many great weapon options in Witcher 3 and can always switch around and try different things.
We hope you found this guide useful. Be sure to check our guide to the best armor sets in Witcher 3 if you want to combine the weapons we discussed with an equally powerful set of armor.
We also have some suggestions for great Witcher 3 skill builds if you’re looking to optimize your character to the fullest.