Drowners belong to the necrophage category in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt bestiary. These corpse-eating monsters are believed to have once been human before they drowned and somehow returned from the dead.
They are fish-like creatures with fins and gills, making them excellent swimmers. No human can expect to out-swim the Drowners in the waters. It is why you should always remain quiet near water bodies. You never want to attract their attention. Apart from that, Drowners usually attack in pairs and can be a pain to deal with in The Witcher 3.
The Witcher 3 Drowner locations
Drowners are found near bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, and swamps, and mostly during the night since these creatures do not like the sun very much. That being said, you can possibly find a few Drowners in the evening as well.
Take note that if you are hunting for Guarded Treasures and Smugglers’ Caches near the water, they are probably being guarded by a pack of Drowners. Spoils of War, which are often underwater, will also have Drowners swimming toward you as soon as you come near.
The swamps just south of the Nilfgaard Garrison in White Orchard are a great spot to farm some Drowners if you are looking for their brains. Drowners have a pretty high spawn rate in the area, so be careful.
Drowner Brain is an essential ingredient to make the Swallow potion in The Witcher 3, so if you are looking to farm those brains, the swamps near Nilfgaard Garrison are the perfect spot.
The town of Ursten, south of Novigrad, also has plenty of drowners in its vicinity. Given how commonly you can find drowners in any area in The Witcher 3, you should have no issue finding and killing them for parts.
How to kill Drowners
The first thing that you should know before taking on a group of Drowners is that they are always going to be at least three or more. Secondly, they move and attack fast, which can catch you off guard. If you are not keeping an eye on all of them, one of them is likely going to quickly come behind you.
Drowners love to do a leaping attack that staggers you momentarily, allowing other Drowners to use the window of opportunity to land their attacks. You cannot counter or parry these leaping attacks. You can only dodge or roll out of the way.
Brewing and using Drowner pheromones is pointless to avoid drowners as that decoction is only meant to be used for a quest.
Being water-based creatures, Drowners have a natural weakness towards fire in The Witcher 3. That means you should cast Igni, especially if you can catch all of them in a single cast. This will make it much easier for you to kill the drowners.
Furthermore, there are several strategies that you can use to kill Drowners in The Witcher 3 at all kinds of difficulty (including Death March). To start off, you should always use the Quen sign while facing Drowners as it will help in absorbing some amount of damage from their attacks. Dodge the Drowner’s lunging attacks are a must since it packs quite a punch from these undead foes and uses Igni to set the Drowners on fire.
If there are too many of them to take on, throw a Dragon’s Dream before casting Igni for a massive explosion. You can also use a Dancing Star that will leave them burning for a few seconds.
Drowners are also susceptible to Necrophage Oil. While it is not much of a challenge to kill the drowners, you can apply Necrophage Oil on your silver sword to do bonus damage. Remember to use your light, fast attacks instead of your heavy attacks to make quick work of them. You can deal with Drowners even without casting signs and throwing alchemical bombs.
However, fighting Drowners in Death March difficulty can be quite a pain in The Witcher 3. Moreover, some of these creatures are at Level 10, and in the NG+ version, you will find the Drowners at Level 54, which are somewhat immune to your one-shot crossbow attack, especially at the underwater point of interest in White Orchard, etc.
However, you can still one-shot these undead monsters in NG+ at Death March difficulty in TW3 as long as they are in the 5-level range from you. Apart from that, it would also be better to craft Enhanced or Superior Versions of Necrophage Oil to coat your silver with, as this will prove highly effective in dealing with large numbers of Drowners in The Witcher 3.
You can find the crafting recipe for all versions of the Necrophage Oil to use against the Drowners in the table below:
|+10% attack power against Water Hags
|1x Dog Tallow, 4x Blowball
|Enhanced Necrophage Oil
|+25% attack power against Water Hags
|1x Necrophage Oil, 4x Bear Fat, 1x Rotfiend Blood, 1x Blowball, 1x Arenaria, 1x Pringrape, 1x Cortinarius
|Superior Necrophage Oil
|+50% attack power against Water Hags
|1x Enhanced Necrophage Oil, 5x Alchemy Paste, 1x Devourer’s Blood, 1x Beggartick Blossoms, 1x Arenaria, 1x Pringrape, 1x Hydragenum
In terms of loot, Drowners in The Witcher 3 end up dropping some useful items that can be useful for crafting purposes. These will include some of the following drops:
- Drowner Brain
- Drowner tongue
- Monster Blood
- Monster bone
- Monster heart
- Monster claw
- Monster ear
- Monster eye
- Monster hair
- Monster heart
- Monster liver
- Monster saliva
- Monster tooth
Keep in mind that any drowner you kill underwater won’t be lootable. It is just how the game is designed. So, if you want to farm Drowner parts in The Witcher 3, you will have to kill the ones already on land. That being said, you will still encounter plenty of drowners underwater, especially during treasure hunts so you need a way to defeat those as well.
How to fight Drowners underwater in The Witcher 3
Drowners are one of the few enemies that you will have to fight in the water. Unfortunately, you cannot use your swords underwater, and neither can you cast any signs.
You can’t lure drowners out of the water to kill them with your swords, as they will reset back to their spot if you take them too far away.
If you see Drowners swimming towards you, quickly use your crossbow to shoot bolts at them. One bolt is enough for each Drowner underwater. That is the only way you can fight them in the water. Sometimes, at Death March difficulty, it will take 2-3 shots to kill the drowners, but it will get the job done given that you are not facing a large pack underwater in The Witcher 3.
Moreover, dealing with drowners underwater may seem challenging, but compared to the ones on the land, you can easily one-shot them using your crossbow underwater in The Witcher 3.
It is better to use auto aim underwater as this will allow Geralt to aim a bit more precisely and automatically on the drowners swimming towards you in TW3.
Drowner types and variations
Drowned Dead is another type of Drowners. They look mostly the same except that they are larger in size. They also appear more in number. One group can have five or more Drowned Deads. Drowned Dead also have some unique loot compared to typical Drowners and can give you lesser mutagens.
Mucknixer looks different from Drowners and Drowned Dead. They have pale, grey skin compared to the blue tone. You will find Mucknixers in swamps or areas near swamps.
Both the Drowned Dead and Mucknixer types have the same combat tactics as Drowners. The way to kill them all is the same as well. They are all susceptible to fire.