You should pick the appropriate skills and invest talent points appropriately subjected to how you want to play the game. Once you have decided that, read this guide which will illustrate how you should proceed in a given fight.
The Witcher 2 Combat Guide
Use of Movement
Movement in combat is similar to what you are already used to. You can move with W, S, A, and D keys. Rotate the camera using the mouse, roll by pressing Space key.
Rolling towards or away from the enemy can be done by using the directional keys; double tapping any key would result in a roll in that direction.
There are two types of Swords generally used in combat in The Witcher 2. Steel sword is used against sentient races, while Silver sword is used against monsters. Given the situation, you may have to fight with fists.
Attack, Dodge and Counter Attack
You can attack any enemy by pressing either the left or the right mouse button. Left mouse button is used for swift blows while the right mouse button is used for strong blows. Use swift blows against agile opponents who use no armor or shields. If you face heavily armored opponents, use strong blows.
You can block/parry a strong enemy’s blow to find an opportunity and counter attack. Parrying would result in an enemy’s getting off balance providing you an opportunity to counter attack.
You can block the attacks by pressing the E button. You can counter attack by holding the block and pressing the attack button. Press and Hold E and counter attack with left/right mouse button after a successful block.
Vigor points are necessary to block. You will need to invest heavily in Reposte Skill if you want to be able to block effective. When an opponent tries to attack you, a sword icon will appear on his head signifying the best opportunity to counter attack. At this moment press left mouse button to make a dodge and a reposte.
You can use sign to your advantage. You can cast spells ‘Signs’ which wound your opponents and give you tactical superiority. To cast a Sign you select it using the quick menu and then press the Q
key or the middle mouse button. Casting a Sign costs one point of vigor.
You can use five basic Signs and a special one, which is only available after getting the Magical sense skill. (Read Skills and Talent Tree Guide)
The Aard Sign – a telekinetic wave that can throw back, knock down or stun an opponent. This Sign can also be used to destroy obstacles, for example crumbling walls.
The Yrden Sign – a magical trap placed on the ground, which will wound and immobilize opponents. The Sign’s basic level allows you to place a single Yrden Sign on the ground. After upgrading it, you’ll be able to place up to three Yrden Signs at a time. These will work in unison, creating an impassable barrier.
The Igni Sign – a gush of flames that wound opponents. When upgraded, the Sign has a chance of incinerating opponents and has a larger area of effect.
The Quen Sign – a protective shield that lasts for 30 seconds at the Sign’s basic level. It is a Sign that Geralt uses on himself – the Quen absorbs all damage directed at you, and the upgraded version reflects 50% of the damage at the enemy. While the Quen is in effect, Geralt cannot regenerate vigor.
The Axii Sign – a charm placed on an opponent. If the charm attempt is successful, the enemy will become your ally for a short while, fighting at your side.
Bombs, daggers and traps
You can attack from distance using Bombs, Daggers and Traps that can be placed on the ground. You will need to get Dagger throwing skill before you can use daggers in combat.
Daggers are a standard ranged weapons, and are effective against weaker opponents. Bombs, on the other hand, are useful against groups of enemies. Your bombs can have several effects – stunning, incineration or poisoning.
You can throwing daggers and bombs in two ways. The auto-aiming mode is used against the currently selected target. When you quickly press the R key, the dagger or bomb will hit that target. The manual aiming mode, allows you to use the mouse to aim.
In order to use the mouse, you should press and hold the R key until a crosshair appears. This will allow you to aim the mouse and throw your projectile by releasing the R key.
You also use the R key when setting traps. After you press it, Geralt will begin placing a trap at the spot he’s currently in. Keep in mind that setting a trap takes some time, so if there is an enemy nearby, it’s better to use other means of dealing with him.
You can read The Witcher 2 Alchemy Guide to get more insight on Bombs, Potions and Oils.
Potions and oils
Potions and oils temporarily raise your combat statistics, and must be used before entering combat. You can increase your damage, regeneration or chances of causing a critical effect using these potions and oils.
Note. You can read more about in The Witcher 2 Alchemy Guide.
Places of Power
A Place of Power is a focus point of arcane energies, which can be recognized by ripples in the air. When you spot a place like that, use your medallion and enter the ripples to activate it. Places of Power temporarily raise your statistics, such as vitality regeneration or Sign power. They provide additional support in combat.
Critical effects include poisoning, bleeding, incineration and stun. You can inflict them on your enemies but your enemies can also do the same on you. Chance of causing a critical effect can be seen in the character’s panel.
You can further enhance it by investing in appropriate skills, acquiring new mutations, drinking potions and using oils. You can resist these by investing in appropriate skill and wearing appropriate equipment.
Finisher moves and adrenaline
You can perform impressive finisher moves once you have stunned your enemies. To do so, you only need to strike the stunned enemy. You’ll be able to finish your opponents off that way if your chance of causing a critical effect, such as stunning, is high.
Adrenaline accumulates when you learn the Combat acumen, Mutant or Magical sense skill. The adrenaline bar will then appear beneath the vigor bar. When it is full, you will be able to use a special ability – a group finisher move, berserk or the Heliotrope Sign. The X key is used to activate the ability.
The group finisher move becomes available after you learn the Combat acumen skill. It is a series of impressive blows, which allow you to kill up to three enemies at once.
Berserk becomes available after you learn the Mutant skill. Once berserk is activated, you can inflict huge amounts of damage on your enemies for a short time.
The Heliotrope Sign becomes available after you learn the Magical sense skill. This Sign warps space and time. It is a barrier that makes your enemies move slower than usual, allowing you to gain incredible advantage, especially when facing multiple opponents.
Tip #1 – Large Group of Enemies
If you meet large groups of enemies, you should attack the enemy from the range because you would hardly stand a chance if stuck between them. Try to separate each member and finish him off with a separate attack while keeping a space between you and other enemies.
Tip #2 – Choice of the attacks
There are different types of enemies, they also react differently to your attacks. In order to know which attack and which weapon is especially good or bad for an opponent, look at the bottom right of the screen. There, you’ll get a feedback after each stroke. Learn about your opponent and devise your strategy appropriately.
Tip #3 – Character Leveling
You can train Geralt in four different disciplines: sword fighting, magic, alchemy and witchcraft. You can read our The Witcher 2 Leveling Guide for more emphasis on the subject.
Tip #4 – Stun
Stun your enemies and finish them off with a finisher. If you have to fight against a larger group, and one of the enemy is stunned, you should attack em quickly so that he can not wake up again. You can use The Magic Aard to stun your enemies.
Tip #5 – Dodge and Counter
With the “space bar” you can perform a dodge. This will often save you life if you’re surrounded by enemies. Dodge, wait for the moment to counter attack and just when your enemy goes off balance, counter attack.