In addition to stamina, you also have to manage an adrenaline bar during combat in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. While you automatically lose stamina by attacking, parrying, and countering, you gain adrenaline points for remaining in combat.
Most players who are starting out in The Witcher 3 have little knowledge of why adrenaline is important in the game. You can consume all of your adrenaline points for special attacks and special buffs, which come in handy against some of the late-game monsters.
The following guide will tell you what adrenaline points are, how to use them, and how to build your adrenaline meter in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
How to gain adrenaline in The Witcher 3
The adrenaline bar in The Witcher 3 is located just below the stamina bar in the top left corner of your screen. It is the red circular meter that starts filling up every time you successfully land a hit on an enemy.
Keep in mind that you have to attack enemies to generate adrenaline points. Just staying idle in combat will not get you any adrenaline.
Furthermore, if you stop attacking, the adrenaline bar will start to deplete, so you need to be constantly attacking to get a full adrenaline meter.
There are several abilities in the combat branch that increase the number of adrenaline points you gain in combat. As you start leveling up, you can invest your skill points in these abilities so that you get a full adrenaline bar quickly in every fight.
Almost every skill inside the combat branch will increase the rate of your adrenaline points bar progress by 1%. The following skills, however, will have a greater effect on the gain rate.
There are also some abilities that give you adrenaline points for doing something else other than attacking. Attack is the Best Defense (found in the general branch) will fill your adrenaline bar for parrying enemy attacks.
How to use adrenaline points
It all depends on what abilities you have unlocked and are using. In The Witcher 3, many of your abilities are designed to use adrenaline points automatically in their own way. So, there is no definitive way for you to actually use them yourself during combat.
The best way to know how Geralt is using adrenaline or why you need to get adrenaline points during combat is by opening your character skill tree and looking at the abilities you have unlocked. Their descriptions will tell you if they need adrenaline points or not.
For example, Battle Trance gives you a stamina boost every time you kill an enemy. The duration of the boost depends on your available adrenaline points.
The Battle Trance has one more added effect, which triggers every time you deplete your Vitality to zero. If you have Adrenaline Points available, this ability will replenish your Vitality in exchange for them.
Your damage output also receives a massive buff when you fight with a full Adrenaline Point bar. Each Adrenaline Point grants you a 10% damage increase, so you can really take the fight to your opponents.
The are two more ways to use up your built-up Adrenaline Points.
You can also redeem your Adrenaline Points to use two very powerful special attacks Rend and Whirl. Both of which can be found in the Combat Skill tree.
Rend is a devasting attack that allows you to penetrate your foe’s defenses, ignoring them in the process. The Downward Chop attack will be extremely reliant on dispatching enemies but will also drain your stamina bar. The strength of the blow will also be dependent on the Adrenaline Points you have accumulated.
To use Rend, equip the attack skill from the Combat Skill tree, build up stamina and Adrenaline Points, and hold your heavy attack keys.
Whirl is an AoE attack, which, like Rend, is very taxing on your stamina bar, depending on its usage. It sees Geralt spin his sword in a circular motion multiple times, which is perfect for shredding down large hordes of enemies.
To deliver Whirl, equip the attack skill from the Combat Skill tree, build up stamina and Adrenaline Points, and hold your light attack keys.
As you continue to hold the light attack key Geralt will continue to spin, increasing the duration of the attack while draining your stamina. If your stamina runs out, you will use your Adrenaline Points in the process.
The Flood of Anger skill can be found in the Combat Skills tree which when used in combination with Adrenaline Burst can become a deadly strategy.
You can use Adrenaline Burst to cast signs and accumulate Adrenaline Points. You can then use these points using Flood of Anger (3 points) to enhance your signs to the max level. This allows you to gain the perks that the max level sign grants.
Your sign intensity will also receive a boost of 25% thanks to the Flood of Anger skill.
Another useful skill that uses Adrenaline Points can be found in the Alchemy skill branch. It will be called Hunter Instinct in TW3, and it will boost your Crit Chance by 20% once you completely fill out your Adrenaline Point bar.
Adrenaline is even used to decrease the toxicity of potions and increase sign intensity and weapon damage, using Metabolism and Focus skills. In short, there are two certain skills from the Ability section that require the use of your Adrenaline points and these will be Rage Management and Focus in The Witcher 3.
That being said, Rage Management is a highly useful skill, especially in those tough situations where you run out of stamina fighting your enemies. This particular skill gives you the incentive to activate your witcher signs if you are lacking in the stamina department, and instead, it makes use of your adrenaline points for that purpose in TW3.
Apart from that, the Focus ability skill is more crucial if you want to increase your attack damage on all kinds of enemies. Since this particular skill makes use of your adrenaline points by not only increasing the damage you deal but also increasing your sign intensity as well, which makes you more formidable in your fights in The Witcher 3.
If you look towards the skills from the Combat section that use Adrenaline points in The Witcher 3, you can find some useful ones, like the Undying and Deadly Precision skills. Both of these skills can play a pivotal role in keeping you alive and kicking during your fights, even if you end up losing all your health points. Furthermore, you can also eliminate the enemy instantly at the cost of your adrenaline points.