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In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, diagrams and manuscripts appear at random in chests throughout the world, therefore making it hard to sometimes locate a particular one if it's not sold by a merchant. This is a list detailing locations of chests known to hold a random diagram (or 2).

Finding Recipes

The mechanics behind recipes locations is quirky, however, it is also in favor of the player. Meaning that it is possible to find all the recipes, however, it is not possible to find all of them at once, as there are hidden walls which prevent finding new ones. The exact rules for the mechanics are unknown, however, there are a few patterns that have been found through gameplay:

  1. The recipes are mostly random, but the mechanics prevent finding duplicates. In other words once a recipe is obtained it is removed from the circulation ensuring that the next recipe that is found will be a different one. There are rare occasions when duplicate recipes are found, this happens when you have more than one container in which you find recipes in the same location when hitting the wall. As then there are no other new recipes the containers can have and thus they end up containing the same one.
  2. The hidden walls preventing the player from finding new recipes appear to be linked to the main quests. In other words while recipes can be found in random containers scattered around the world map they will only contain them up to a certain cap. Once the cap is reached no more recipes will be found until the main story is progressed further, at which point the cap will be extended and new recipes will appear again. The final cap appears to be removed after doing The Isle of Mists (quest) after which all recipes should be possible to find.
  3. Completing main quests will also cause some of the containers which contain recipes to reset. This will ensure that more new recipes can be found even if all of the containers have previously been looted
  4. While the recipes are random the mechanics prevent finding higher grade recipes prior to the lower grade. For example the recipe for an Enhanced White Raffard's Decoction cannot be found before finding the recipe for the regular White Raffard's Decoction. This is to prevent annoyance as enhanced versions cannot be brewed prior to the regular ones as they are always one of the required ingredients, same goes for superior versions which require the enhanced versions.

White Orchard

Location # of Diagrams Description
battlefield north of the witchers' campsite 1 Found in a chest near the road, just outside a tent.
guarded treasure south of the Ransacked Village 4 Guarded over by several drowners. There are several chests here with several diagrams between them.
bandit camp southwest of the Ford signpost (in the woods) 2 Guarded over by several bandits. Loot the chest for the diagrams.
guarded treasure northeast of Abandoned Village, along the riverbank 4 Guarded over by several drowners. Take them out to loot all the chests here.
Abandoned Village 2 Found during Contract: Devil by the Well. After you jump into the well and get the item, you'll have to swim to get out. In the small area connecting the tunnels is a chest with 2 diagrams.
bandit camp southwest of Broken Bridge 2 This camp has several bandits and lootable crates. Kill them off, then loot the chests.
Mislav's hut (northeast of Broken Bridge) 1 This one can NOT be retrieved as his hut remains locked. The only way to get it is by using mods.
Hut during A Frying Pan, Spick and Span 2 In the room with the corpse
just northwest of White Orchard village, in the river 2 Along the riverbank, look for a couple washing tubs and you'll see a fisherman's boat out in the river. The chest is just beneath his boat.
Bandit camp south of Nilfgaardian Garrison 2 After killing the bandits, loot the chest for the diagrams.
unmarked Nilfgaardian camp, northwest of White Orchard cemetery 2 If having trouble finding it, follow the road north of the cemetery to the west. As you near the river, you should see the camp on a hill. The chest is behind the tents.
in the house near the mill at Mill 2 Found during Temerian Valuables. In the hut's basement are several chests.
hidden treasure east of the Mill 2 Kill off any enemies here, then loot the place for the diagrams.

Velen and Novigrad

Region Location # of Diagrams Description
Velen Mulbrydale 2 Look for two huts that you can use Aard on to get inside. Each one has a basement that contains a chest with a diagram.
Velen Merchant tent between Mulbrydale and Devil's Pit 1 Look for the merchant's tent around the intersection area between the two settlements. It'll be in a chest beside the tent.
Velen Devil's Pit 1 At the very bottom of the pit is a chest with a diagram.
Velen Monster den northwest of Hanged Man's Tree 6 3 are outside the cave: 2 in a chest on the scaffolding and 1 in a chest just outside the cave entrance. The other 3 are inside, with 2 being in one chest above the 3rd's chest.
Velen Bandit camp north-northwest of Inn at the Crossroads 1 Take out any enemies if needed, then loot the chests to find the diagram.
Velen Boris' camp, far northwest of Inn at the Crossroads 2 Near Boris' soup are several crates. 2 of them have a diagram.
Velen Bandit camp northeast of Blackbough 1 Take care of the bandits, then loot the chest for a diagram.
Velen Person in Distress west (and slightly south) of Hangman's Alley 1 Take out the bandits and loot the chest beside a tent for the diagram.
Velen Guarded Treasure south of Hangman's Alley 2 Take out the bandits here and loot the chests.
Velen Bandit camp north-northeast of Coast of Wrecks 2 Take out the bandits here, then loot one of the chests for the diagrams.
Velen unmarked wrecked ship north-northwest of Coast of Wrecks 2 Between the guarded treasure and bandit camp north of Coast of Wrecks is a small peninsula on which a lone wrecked ship sits. On one side it has 2 chests, one of which has 2 diagrams.
Velen Guarded Treasure northwest of Coast of Wrecks 2 Note that a noonwraith guards over this chest. Swim out to the island this is on and take out the noonwraith. The chest is on the island, near the split boat.
Velen unmarked half-wrecked ship west of the above Guarded Treasure and north of the other Guarded Treasure 2 There are 2 chests in this area, with 1 diagram each. One is on the bow of the ship (have to climb up to get to it) and the other is in the stern, in the submerged area on the top part of the ship (near some buckthorn).
Velen unmarked location between the above ship and the Guarded Treasure to the east 1 Between the top part of the wreck and the island to the east is a submerged chest with a random diagram (in a shallow part of the water). Witcher Senses will make it easy to find here.
Velen west of the Hidden Treasure that's north of Coast of Wrecks 1 Along the coast to the west of the Hidden Treasure marker are a number of crates and barrels. There's a half-submerged chest here with a random diagram.
Velen Guarded Treasure to the west of Coast of Wrecks 1 A couple drowners are here along with a chest with a random diagram.
Velen Bandit camp east and slightly south of Refugees' Camp 2 Take out the bandits here then loot the chest for the diagrams.
Velen Monster nest southwest of Crow's Perch 2 This monster nest is gathered around an abandoned cart. Take out the ghouls then loot the cart's chests.
Velen Crow's Perch well 3 If you weren't allowed in to see the Baron, you will have to go this way. If you were allowed in, simply enter the well at a later time. In the cavern area are 2 chests on the surface, each with a diagram. Now look for the small pool of water just off this area. 2 more chests are submerged here, 1 with a diagram, the other with a wolf gear diagram.
Velen Crow's Perch barn area 2 1 is in a chest in the barn's loft. Another is in the building to the left of the barn. Go up the stairs, then all the way over and down to the grass floor. A chest is here with a diagram.
Velen Crow's Perch smith area 1 This diagram is in the room above the quartermaster. To the left of him is a small alley with a ladder. Climb up and follow the path all the way to the end. The building here will have a half wall section you can climb over to find a room with several chests, one of which has a diagram.
Velen ruins south of Wastrel Manor, during A Greedy God 2 You need The Eye of Nehaleni for this. Start the quest and uncover a hidden cellar. The diagrams are in a chest.
Velen unmarked area west of Lindenvale and north of the guarded treasure. 2 There is an unmarked area north of where a Forktail guards over a treasure, most likely with nekkers nearby. It'll be a chest among some rocks, halfway down a hill (just on the border of the forest).
Velen watch tower above Lindenvale's inn 2 Climb up the ladder just outside the inn's door. They'll be the only chest in the tower.
Velen Bandit camp just northeast of Lindenvale 2 Take out the bandits, then climb up the tower and loot the chest for the diagrams.
Velen Bandit camp northeast of Lurtch 1 Take out the bandits, then loot the chest.
Velen Guarded treasure east of Ruined Tower 1 Chest is guarded over by a water hag.
Velen in the water tunnels beneath the Ancient Oak 3 Starting at the bend in the water tunnel, there are 3 submerged chests, each with 1 diagram.
Velen First monster nest west of Benek 1 Near the wagon is a chest with 1 diagram.
Velen Wandering in the Dark cave, outside first room 1 After going down the first flight of stairs (and before the first cutscene) there is a chest beside the archway.
Velen Wandering in the Dark cave, after failed portal 1 If you went through the failed portal, you'll have to go through a flooded tunnel to get back. There's a submerged chest here.
Velen Wandering in the Dark cave, first main chamber (first cutscene area) 1 On the ground floor, below the archway and stairs you passed through to enter the first chamber, is a chest with a diagram (near a torch).
Velen Wandering in the Dark cave, sea port cavern 5 The tunnel to the left has a submerged chest with 2 diagrams. After you get to the other side are more chests for 2 more diagrams (wraiths will attack after you loot them). Head back to Keira, then take the tunnel across from where you originally entered the sea port cavern. It's a dead end with 1 chest.
Velen Wandering in the Dark cave, golem room 3 Look for the chest on the same floor as the golem for 2 diagrams. Then head up the scaffolding to find another chest with 1 diagram.
Velen Wandering in the Dark cave, gargoyle area 2 Just before the optional room where a gargoyle will attack is a chest with 2 diagrams.
Velen Wandering in the Dark cave, after closing the 3 portals 1 Before the fight with Nithral, you go through a small tunnel. There is a blocked off area here where you can use Aard to access a chest with 1 diagram (note it's guarded over by a foglet).
Velen Wandering in the Dark cave, Nithral fight area 3 After defeating Nithral, he'll have a particular diagram on him. There is also a chest near where you entered the fight with 1 diagram. For the 3rd one, after you get The Eye of Nehaleni, run back across the room and use on the illusion behind the destroyable wall to reveal a submerged area with 1 diagram in a chest.
Velen Wandering in the Dark cave, finding an exit 1 Near the illusion exit is a chest with 1 diagram.
Velen Magic Lamp cave area 2 Agree to help Keira in finding the lamp and follow to another area. Near the shrine are climbable ledges to a Place of Power and a golem. Take out the golem to loot the chests here, 2 of which each have a diagram.
Velen Fyke Isle tower 3 A chest on the third floor, in one of the bedrooms, contains 2 diagrams. The 3rd diagram is in a chest in Alexander's lab.
Velen island south of Fyke Isle 2 This is the only non-submerged chest in this area and lies on the south side of the small island.
Velen island south of Fyke Isle 2 Just to the east of the campfire is a small pool of water. There's a submerged chest here.
Velen island south of Fyke Isle 2 Further east of the last one, past the last above water wall structure, is another submerged chest.
Velen island south of Fyke Isle 2 Near the chest for the Sunken Chest quest is another chest.
Velen island south of Fyke Isle 2 To the south of the previous chests is another pit area. There are 2 chests (one on the south side, one on the west) on scaffolding, each with 1 diagram.
Velen island south of Fyke Isle 2 At the northeast part of the submerged ruins are 2 chests just before the last submerged wall to the north. One chest is on scaffolding, the other just to the west, each containing 1 diagram.
Velen Crookback Bog north 1 Dilapidated house directly north of the The Orphans of Crookback Bog and just east of a small shrine. There's a chest on the south east side.
Velen Ancient Oak 3 In the cave entrance under the Ancient Oak, go into the water and there are 3 chests underwater in the area you can resurface.
Novigrad Widows' Grotto 4 Inside the grotto you'll find 2 chests in the back, with up to 2 diagrams in each.
Novigrad islands south of Widows' Grotto (must do Coast of Wrecks) 8 Start the quest Coast of Wrecks, where you'll have to loot 4 chests. Each one can have 2 diagrams.



Kaer Morhen


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