The Witcher series has gained accolades and cult status for its immersive game world, charismatic protagonist, emotional core, and fantastic storytelling, but what rarely gets a mentioned is how challenging it can be, especially when it comes to the game’s many bosses. Geralt has many tricks up his sleeve to defeat his opponents, but they’re no slouches—the game’s most powerful enemies will throw everything they have at the Witcher, meaning players will have to be clever and persistent to get the upper hand. Here are the 10 toughest boss battles in the Witcher series.
10 The Beast of White Orchard
This griffin is one of the first major bosses in The Witcher 3, and inexperienced players will likely find it a very challenging introduction. It requires the player to brew potions and use oils on their blade for likely the first time, and it also recommends players use the crossbow, which can be difficult to handle. We recommend the combat-alchemy build for players just starting out. Even seasoned players will likely have a hard time with the beast as Geralt will likely be at a very low level without many abilities. The Thunderbolt potion, which the game prompts players into brewing, is crucial here, as it will increase Geralt's attack power and plow through the griffin’s health quickly.
The contract to defeat the Grottore can be found in Beauclair, where a young woman will task Geralt with finding her fiancé who has gone missing while trying to find the beast. Once he tracks Grottore down, Geralt faced with one of the most challenging—and annoying—battles in The Witcher 3. Depending on the difficulty, the player will have to beat the Grottore as well as the archespores it summons, which can be pesky and distracting as Geralt tries to take out Grottore, who is quick and has powerful long-range attacks. Bombs can be especially useful against this enemy, as well as Igni.
8 The Operator
Found after completing two puzzles from the From a Bygone Era quest, the Operator can be one of the most challenging battles in the series for those who are unprepared. He can teleport at will, making landing hits next to impossible. His most common attack is a fireball, which will inflict heavy damage depending on Geralt's resistance to magic as well as depleting his Quen sign. Pretty much the only way to defeat him is to use the small pillars around the room as cover and spam attacks in between his fireballs. Oh, and did we mention he also summons gargoyles that can kill Geralt in a couple of hits?
A giant crab-spider thing found in the catacombs in The Witcher, the Koshchey is mostly difficult because it resists almost all of Geralt’s attacks. Killing it can be a marathon of dodging and spamming Igni. It’s also susceptible to silver weapons, and using the Willow potion will grant Geralt immunity from the beast’s stun attacks—just be careful not to rely too much on potions, as the toxicity level could end up being fatal. Be on the lookout for its bleeding attacks and try to stay out of its range. With luck, players will be able to defeat the monster for good.
6 The Caretaker
Geralt encounters the Caretaker during the quest Scenes From a Marriage in the Hearts of Stone expansion. While his pattern can be learned and exploited—digging his shovel into the ground leaves him briefly immobile, giving Geralt a chance to get some hits in—his ability to heal himself can make this a war of attrition. Not only will hits against the player replenish his health, but he also summons spirits about halfway through the fight that will give him a boost if not properly dealt with. Quen is an absolute must here, as it will protect from many of the Caretaker’s attacks.
The bane of all Witcher 3 players, the Djinn is a powerful and wily elemental apparition that can chew the player up and spit them out for those who aren't careful. It’s highly recommended that players keep their distance, as the Djinn has many powerful magical attacks that have the ability to kill Geralt in one hit. Demetrius bombs are very helpful as they don’t require him to be close to the Djinn, as well as Quen, though Djinn can chew through shields pretty easily. The trick to beating the Djinn is to turn level upscaling off—a Djinn that matches a high level can be pretty much impossible to take down.
This ugly character can be a hair-pulling experience. Its many tentacles can get surprise hits on the player and make it difficult to land an Igni attack. Geralt also has to destroy its tentacles before he has a chance to attack its torso and defeat it. This can take a long time, which is why healing potions are strongly recommended. Patience is key here, as most of his attacks probably won’t land against the Zeugl at first. Those who have been playing their cards right should have the best silver sword available in the game at this point—use it.
3 Iris’s Nightmare
Another challenging Hearts of Stone boss, Iris Von Emerec’s Greatest Fear begins with not one but six phantoms, all of which have the power to take Geralt out. We recommend taking them on one at a time and dodging relentlessly. The battle doesn’t get really tough until the player gets to the last few phantoms, whose abilities gradually gain power until they’re able to tear through Geralt's health bar instantly. The last of the six phantoms requires the player to parry correctly to get a hit in—just be careful, as one incorrect parry could be the difference between life and death. It doesn’t help that this boss battle is one of the spookiest in the game. Try not to get distracted by the creepy imagery.
Imlerith is lighter on his feet than he appears, and his teleporting abilities are what makes him one of the most formidable opponents in the Witcher series. As the battle progresses, he becomes increasingly impervious to attacks, and one well-timed combo can spell the end for Geralt. This is one of those battles where potions are not only recommended but necessary, and Tawny Owl, in particular, will help Geralt maintain his stamina and chip away at his health. Use Igni to melt his ice shield in the first phase of the battle and make sure to dodge his mace attacks, as it’s far too powerful to parry.
1 Toad Prince
Ouch. If the Toad Prince isn’t the hardest fight in the Witcher series, then it’s certainly the most annoying. The first boss in the game’s challenging Hearts of Stone DLC—notice how many bosses on this list are from this expansion—the Toad Prince wastes no time throwing players into the deep end. His poison attacks can end Geralt instantly, and his huge tongue can get him at both close and long range. No matter what the player does, this battle will take a long time. Slowly chipping away at his health with Igni and bombs while blocking his approach with Yrden is the best strategy. Gamers will need to trust their instincts and take it slow to emerge victorious from the hardest boss the Witcher series has to offer.