Though they are not warrior mages who employ powerful magic, witchers can cast simple magic spells that can prove effective when used properly. Witchers call these spells signs and usually use them against monsters, though they also have non-combat applications. Because of the signs, witchers prefer single-handed weaponry since it leaves their other hand free to cast. Some of the signs are casted by arranging the fingers in specific way, while the other have to be drawn on a solid surface.
For the full list of known signs, see Category:Signs.
Through the use of the Circle of Elements, five of the signs become available over the course of the original game:
The Heliotrop sign was not included in the original game.
Geralt's skill at using these signs is governed by the allocation of talents as he levels up. This can affect the following:
- Sign intensity — a multiplier for the severity of the sign cast.
- Sign duration — used with signs like Quen and Yrden where the length of time a spell lasts is useful.
- Whether or not a sign can be "powered up".
Cost of casting
The cost of casting a sign is measured in endurance. Casting signs uses up endurance and proficiency at casting signs reduces the amount of endurance required.
- Leo tells Geralt in the Prologue that he can not use signs since he broke his fingers on the gauntlet during training.
- The signs included in the game are based on Classical Elements, both in their nature and by their symbols.
- One sign which was considered, but not implemented, for the game was the Aagni sign, said to be a powerful combination of the Aard and Igni signs.
Unlike the original game, Geralt is not required to re-acquire his knowledge of signs in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. His knowledge of them is intact.
|Aard||a telekinetic wave that can throw back, knock down or stun an opponent. This sign can also be used to destroy obstacles, for example crumbling walls or stacks of barrels.|
|Yrden||a magical trap placed on the ground, which will wound and immobilize opponents. The sign's basic level allows you to place a single yrden sign on the ground. After upgrading it, you'll be able to place up to three yrden signs at a time. These will work in unison, creating an impassible barrier.|
|Igni||a gush of flames that wounds opponents. When upgraded, the sign has a chance of incinerating opponents and has a larger area of effect. It can also be used to detonate flammable gases emitted by some bombs.|
|Quen||a protective shield that lasts for 30 seconds at the sign's basic level. It is a sign that Geralt uses on himself – quen absorbs all damage directed at Geralt, and the upgraded version reflects 50% of the damage back toward to enemy. While quen is in effect, Geralt cannot regenerate vigor.|
|Axii||a charm placed on an opponent. If the charm attempt is successful, the enemy will become your ally for a short while, fighting at your side.|
|Heliotrop||not available immediately, requires development of the magic skill tree|
Press key to select one of five icons on the left of the circle menu. Then pressto cast it. The sign will strike the nearest opponent in front of Geralt. When you enhance a sign spending talent points in the relative magic skills, it will hit more enemies at once with an area effect.
Every time you cast a sign it consumes some vigor. The vigor bar is on the top left corner of the screen, under the wolf head medallion and the red bar of vitality. When the vigor bar is zero, Geralt is not able to cast any sign or parry an opponent's hit. However some potions, using dedicated Places of Power or enhancing some specific skills like Vigor Regeneration and Fortitude, can increase the vigor regeneration in and out of combat.
The intensity and duration of signs mostly depend on the level of the magic skills. Also there are some items, some dedicated Places of Power, and potions that can enhance signs damage or increase their intensity:
In Witcher 3 all signs from the previous game make a return, however, each sign can be upgraded and possess an alternative form for the player to employ.
- For an overview see: The Witcher 3 abilities
- For a detailed guide see: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Guide to Witcher Signs
- 3 – Aard
- 4 – Yrden
- 5 – Igni
- 6 – Quen
- 7 – Axii
|Aard||This sign allows players to force enemies back by manipulating kinetic energy. Its alternate form is an area of effect blast of energy that pushes everyone around the player away. Excellent when you need some breathing room.|
|Igni||This sign remains the same from its predecessor, however, upon upgrading its alternative form, the player can then shoot a continuous jet of flame from his hand. Ideal for handling giant monsters and groups of opponents.|
|Yrden||This sign was altered slightly. When employed it slows down all enemies that enter its range. Upon upgrading, the sign can cause damage.|
|Quen||This sign creates an active shield that disappears after a hit (or several when upgraded) its alternate form is a bubble shield that can be maintained as long as the player has vigor to spare.|
|Axii||Unlike in The Witcher 2, Axii doesn't turn an enemy into a temporary ally right away; you need to unlock this ability as you level up in The Witcher 3. Until then this sign only leaves enemies in a confused state while standing in place.|
- In Capcom's Monster Hunter: World, the Igni sign is usable as an item or a taunt-like gesture when playing as Geralt, which creates a short but wide conical burst of flame. The player's hunter also receives a "Hunter Runestone" item that allows him or her to utilize a less powerful version of Igni. Additionally, the "Witcher's Silver Sword" Sword and Shield-type weapon uses the Quen sign as its shield when blocking, and the Aard sign for shield bashes. Although the weapon is first usable only when playing as Geralt, Leshen materials can be used to forge it for the player's hunter. How the hunter is able to use Quen and Aard is unknown.