The starting armor and swords of Geralt are only going to take him so far on his journey to find Ciri in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. You will eventually have to find new and better Witcher gear to not only stand against the Wild Hunt but also survive the many monsters from your bestiary.
There are a total of seven different Witcher sets for you to obtain in The Witcher 3 and its two expansion packs. Each set hails from a different Witcher school and features the traits of that particular school type.
All Witcher School gear pieces can be dyed once you have found the appropriate color dye. Either purchase dyes from dye merchants or find them as loot. Afterward, just apply the Dye to your Witcher School armor from your inventory.
Every Witcher School Gear is tied to a Scavenger Hunt, a secondary quest in the game that requires you to find armor and sword diagrams before being able to craft a complete set. It starts with crafting the basic School Gear before going on to find more diagrams to upgrade your gear.
Keep in mind that there are certain armor sets like Tesham Mutna, Undvik, Temerian, and Nilfgaardian that cannot be crafted. They do not belong to any Witcher School and most of them can be either looted or purchased directly in the game. However, the craftable Witcher School Gear is easily the best armor and best swords to get and upgrade.
All Witcher gear can be upgraded at the appropriate blacksmith level. For Grandmaster upgrades, you will need Blood and Wine DLC. Manticore and Viper gear are exceptions to this as they are already at Grandmaster level.
Bear School Gear / Ursine Armor Set
The Bear or Ursine School Gear is one of the best heavy armor sets you can craft in The Witcher 3. Its high armor and defense ratings are going to make you feel like a tank. However, that comes at the cost of mobility.
Your movements are going to feel sluggish. Your stamina is going to run out quickly if you keep rolling or parrying and countering enemies. In return, though, all incoming enemy damage is greatly reduced.
There are other heavy armor sets in the game as well, but the Ursine armor set is the only which also grants you more Adrenaline Points during combat.
The Ursine set includes armor, boots, gauntlets, trousers, a silver sword, a steel sword, and a crossbow. Wearing three pieces gives you a bonus chance to cast another Quen shield at no stamina cost after the first one shatters. Wearing all six pieces will increase your ability damage by 200 percent.
Your quest to find the basic Bear School Gear diagrams will start after you reach Skellige. You need to be at least level 20 for the Ursine armor set.
Cat School Gear / Feline Armor Set
That Cat School Gear, otherwise known as the Feline School Gear, is inspired by Witchers of the School of the Cat. The looks of this gear tilt a bit towards the elven style, and it is as light as it looks.
Granted, it won’t provide the same impeccable defense as the Ursine set, given its light armor, but it covers for that with better and faster mobility. Although it cannot directly absorb normal hits, it’s perfect against monsters because this set provides increased resistance against elemental attacks.
Being quick on your toes allows you to avoid incoming attacks fairly easily. As opposed to the Ursine set, this one is more focused on avoiding attacks rather than absorbing them.
Your stamina regeneration will, in turn, be faster than ever, allowing you to constantly keep on the move and minimizing the need for managing stamina.
The Cat school gear comes with seven pieces, which include Feline Armor, Gauntlets, Boots, Trousers, a Silver Sword, a Steel Sword, and a Crossbow. Wearing three pieces increases the damage dealt by fast attacks for 5 seconds every time you land a strong attack. Wearing six pieces of the Feline Witcher gear gives a bonus of +50% damage from rear attacks to stun the enemy but also takes away an ability point.
To craft the Cat School gear set, you will need to find all of the Cat School Gear diagrams scattered throughout Novigrad, either in the Scavenger Hunt: Cat School Gear or without it. You must be level at least 17 to craft the Feline Set.
Griffin School Gear
The first set that you can get for Geralt in The Witcher 3 is the Griffin School Gear, which hails from the School of Griffin. Legend says that this gear was worn by a Witcher called George of Kagen, slayer of the Green Dragon.
Just because this is the first one you get doesn’t mean it’s inferior to others. This is an awesome medium armor set that, despite offering relatively lower offensive and defensive stats, still allows you to play through most of the game with relative ease.
Moreover, it allows for increased resistance to elemental attacks, which is perfect for fights in Velen and Novigrad through the middle stages of the game.
It also offers a great boost to sign intensity for every piece you wear. So if you’re one to enjoy using signs in battle, this set can make a huge difference.
There are a total of six pieces to the Griffin School Gear: Armor, Gauntlets, Trousers, Boots, Silver Sword, and Steel Sword. Wearing three pieces of this set together allows you to cast a follow-up sign cost-free within three seconds. Wearing six pieces greatly buffs up sign intensity and stamina regeneration. It also increases the area of effect of Geralt’s Yrden trap by 40% and makes him receive 20% less damage in it.
You will need to find all of the 6 Griffin School Gear diagrams scattered across Velen to craft and use them. You need to be at least level 11 to craft the Griffin Set.
Manticore School Gear
The Manticore School Gear is newly introduced to The Witcher 3 with the Blood and Wine expansion. This set hails from the School of the Manticore and looks like the one Geralt wore in the second Witcher game.
This is a medium armor that aims to balance both offense and defense rather than excelling at any one particular quality – much like the Wolven set. However, the stat it gives, even in the balanced form, is very high, considering it only starts at the Grandmaster tier.
Moreover, this set can be a top pick for players interested in building around alchemy since it specializes in that aspect, offering boosts to toxicity and alchemy charges.
There are a total of six pieces to this gear set: Armor, Gauntlets, trousers, Boots, Silver Sword, and Steel Sword. Wearing three pieces allows bombs to gain Critical Hit Damage and Critical Hit Chance. Wearing six pieces increases the maximum number of alchemy items by 1.
The important point to note is that, unlike the other sets, the base version of the Manticore Gear diagrams is the grandmaster version. Because of that, the Manticore Gear Set can’t be upgraded by any blacksmith.
All the pieces of Manticore Witcher gear are scattered across different areas of Toussaint. Hence, you need to be at least level 40 before you can acquire this set.
Wolf School Gear / Wolven Armor Set
The Wolf School Gear is inspired by the Witchers of the Wolf School. This armor set looks pretty much like the one Eskel wears, with a base of leather protected by metal studs.
With a medium armor set, the Wolven Witcher gear allows for a lot of versatility in terms of combat style and is hence known for its jack-of-all-trades qualities.
This is because instead of focusing on a single quality, it aims to balance the overall stats, offering decent defense as well as offense. You can adapt pretty much any playstyle with this gear set.
The set also offers passive boosts to adrenaline point build-up, attack power, and sign intensity. This allows you to create a build around many passive qualities.
Once again, there are a total of six pieces to this gear set: Armor, Gauntlets, trousers, Boots, Silver Sword, and Steel Sword. Wearing three pieces of the Wolven gear set gives a +1% bonus to the sword’s attack damage for every instance of bleed that is inflicted upon enemies. Wearing six pieces increases the number of Bleed(s) that can be inflicted with an increase in ability points.
You will have to find all of the Wolf School Gear diagrams scattered around Kaer Morhen to craft this set. You must be at least level 14 to craft the Wolven Set.
Viper School Gear
The Viper School Gear is a unique one. It is typical to the Witchers of the School of the Viper, also called the Serpentine School Gear. At first, only two swords of this gear set were available (Viper Silver Sword and Viper Steel Sword), but with the all-new Hearts of Stone expansion, we can now also get an armor set and two brand new swords (Venomous Viper Steel Sword and Venomous Viper Silver Sword).
This is a medium armor set with a sick all-black look to it. The base swords don’t have any buffs to them, but the Venomous Viper Steel and Silver swords perform extraordinarily well compared to the former.
The Serpentine set contains a total of 6 pieces: Armor, Gauntlets, trousers, boots, silver sword, steel sword, venomous viper silver sword, and venomous viper steel sword.
Just like the Manticore gear set, the Viper Witcher gear can’t be upgraded by any blacksmith.
Although this set does not offer any bonuses for a combination of different pieces worn, it offers a lot of passive buffs to poison and elemental damage resistance. These buffs can be highly effective, but only in a few specific instances.
You can find some of the Viper School Gear diagrams scattered throughout White Orchard, but the rest can only be found through quests.
Forgotten Wolf School Gear
The Forgotten Wolf School Gear is a new gear set introduced to the Witcher 3 with the next-gen update, Patch 4.0. This particular gear set is special because it doesn’t belong to any school. In fact, it represents Geralt’s armor from The Witcher’s Netflix adaptation.
This particular armor is pretty hyped up these days, and not just because of it being a representation of the Netflix series. It works pretty much like the normal Wolven Gear.
It’s a medium armor set that is balanced in overall defensive and offensive stats, allowing you to take it forward with any build. It has the potential to be one of the best armor sets as well because it can be upgraded to the Grandmaster Legendary Tier.
Yet again, there are six pieces to this gear set: Forgotten Wolf Armor, Gauntlets, trousers, Boots, Silver Sword, and Steel Sword. Wearing three pieces of this set together will give you a bonus for the time duration of your potions. Wearing six pieces of the Forgotten Wolven gear greatly increases the sign intensity of the Yrden and Aard signs.
You will have to find all of the Forgotten Wolf School Gear diagrams scattered across Velen to craft this set. You must be at least level 20 to craft this set.