With the next-gen update, we will explain what the difference is between standard and alternative movement controls in The Witcher 3.

Difference Between Standard & Alternative Movement in Witcher 3

If you’ve only recently discovered The Witcher 3, you might not have noticed that there are two control schemes — standard and alternative. To complicate matters, “alternative” is the default. So, I’ll explain the difference is between standard and alternative movement controls in The Witcher 3.

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What Is the Difference Between Alternative and Standard Movement in The Witcher 3?

The difference between alternative and standard movement in The Witcher 3 is that alternative makes Geralt control more responsively.

That’s not to say that standard movement is awful, but he has a fraction more inertia in that mode, lending a more weighty and realistic feel to Geralt. For example, with alternative mode you can run in tighter circles, he turns around faster.

Another example is running. Some people have said that the alternative (default) scheme means you can’t run slowly as Geralt. You can, but it requires less of a nudge to put him into full-on run mode. In standard mode, you’re less likely to accidentally push him into a gallop.

That doesn’t make a huge difference in combat, but it’s noticeable when you’re roaming the world. With the alternative scheme, Geralt turns almost immediately, compared to a tiny delay when using standard controls.

It’s worth switching to standard movement just to experience the difference, but the fact that The Witcher 3 defaults to alternative controls suggests that developer CD Projekt Red views that movement scheme as superior.

Should You Choose Alternative or Standard?

Ultimately, it comes down to player preference whether you select standard or alternative movement. Do you want a more realistic heft to Geralt? Or do you prefer snappy and responsive controls?

For me, it’s standard all the way. I appreciate that alternative makes Geralt ‘snappier’ in his movement, but standard mode gives you the impression you’re controlling an actual human being. Having him spend that fraction of a second turning is more natural than him just flipping on a dime.

How to Switch Movement Settings in The Witcher 3

However, if you want to change movement schemes, you have to go into The Witcher 3’s gameplay menu, not the control menu. Here’s what to do.

  1. Go to Options from the main menu or, in-game press the menu button (the View Button on Xbox) and then pick Options.
  2. Go down and select Gameplay
  3. Go to Movement Response
  4. Press Left to switch to Standard and Right to switch to Alternative (or click if you’re using a mouse)
  5. Go back, and the game will automatically save your choice.

That’s everything you need to know about the difference between standard and alternative movement controls in The Witcher 3.

Update: This article was updated on 5/4/24 by its original author to provide more details on alternative versus standard movement in the game.


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Chris McMullen
Chris McMullen is a freelance contributor at The Escapist and has been with the site since 2020. He returned to writing about games following several career changes, with his most recent stint lasting five-plus years. He hopes that, through his writing work, he settles the karmic debt he incurred by persuading his parents to buy a Mega CD. Outside of The Escapist, Chris covers news and more for GameSpew. He's also been published at such sites as VG247, Space, and more. His tastes run to horror, the post-apocalyptic, and beyond, though he'll tackle most things that aren't exclusively sports-based. At Escapist, he's covered such games as Infinite Craft, Lies of P, Starfield, and numerous other major titles.