The Witcher 3 Next-Gen New Mod Brings Back HBAO+ For DirectX 11 Version


The Witcher 3 next-gen update released last month introduced a lot of new features and quality of life improvements, but it also sadly removed some options, such as HBAO+, which is generally considered as of the best ambient occlusion options, not counting ray-traced ambient occlusion. Developer CD Projekt Red did not comment on the removal of the option, but a dedicated modder brought it back for the DirectX 11 version of the game.

According to modder Nukem, who released the HBAO Plus mod on Nexus Mods, the ambient occlusion option is still implemented in the game, and its unavailability seems to be an oversight from the developer, so its removal was likely not intended. The modder also revealed they might add XeGTAO (Ground Truth Ambient Occlusion) to The Witcher 3 in the future.

Q. How does this patch work?
A. HBAO+ is still implemented in the game code. I patched a jump to forcefully enable it. There’s no user-facing option to enable HBAO+ and it’s likely an oversight on CDPR’s part, rather than something out of malice.

Q. Do you plan to implement anything else in the future?
A. If time permits I’ll try to add XeGTAO (Intel’s Ground Truth Ambient Occlusion) support. Supposedly this is the state-of-the-art non-RT AO algorithm. I don’t have a timeframe.

The creator of The Witcher 3 HBAO Plus mod also confirmed they will not be porting the mod to the DirectX 12 version of the game as it would require quite a bit of work due to the changes made by CDPR to their renderer.

No, I won’t be porting this to the DX12 version of the game. CDPR refactored their renderer and I’d have to manually reverse engineer & reimplement allHBAO+ related code. It’s not worth the non-trivial amount of work. DX11 is simple because you can easily toggle the on/off variable.

Plenty of The Witcher 3 mods were shared online following the release of the next-gen update. Among them is one that unlocks Photo Mod for cutscenes, ray tracing optimizations and improvements, new camera options, and others.

The Witcher 3 is now available on PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch worldwide. The new content introduced in the next-gen update will release in the future on previous-generation consoles and Nintendo Switch in the future.

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