Combat in the Witcher is pretty simple. You left click on an enemy to attack, and when you get the flaming sword icon, you click again to advance to the next attack sequence in the attack chain. Where combat gets its depth is through the various styles, useful in different situations against different foes… and of course potions and signs that can be used to shake things up. You also have various weapons with which to employ your syles.
Tools of the Trade
Your Witcher Steel and your Normal weapons are good against humans. For a great portion of the game, your Witcher Steel will do more damage than any Normal weapons you find. Miscellaneous weapons are usually one-handed weapons, such as daggers, hand axes, flails, and so forth. Your Witcher Silver weapon is your go-to weapon for any and all monsters you come across.
This style is best against slower, stronger opponents. Yes, you fight fire with fire. Fast opponents will only dodge Strong attacks. Once you level up a great deal, your attack rating will be high enough to hit faster enemies with the Strong Style… most of the time. It might be worth discarding the Fast Style just for the stupendous damage output of the Strong Style, once you can pull it off.
The Fast style is for… well… Fast opponents. You can really use this style against any foe, but your damage output will be sorely impared compared to using the Strong style. Against fast opponents, this style is a must… at least until you boost your attack.
Any time you’re up against three or more foes this style is ideal, especially against multiple weaker enemies. The damage output really ramps up when you’ve got a crowd to deal with. Keep in mind, against several powerful enemies, discretion is a better tactic than relying on the Group Style.
While in Isometric camera mode, you can dodge by double-clicking on an area of ground where the monster isn’t attacking, ideally away from or behind the monster. This will make Geralt dodge out of the way. Only enemies with slow, powerful, obvious attacks make this ability useful, like wyverns. In most cases, it’s a better idea to just keep the pressure up. In Third-Person camera mode you double click a direction button to dodge in that direction.
Other Useful Buttons
Select Strong Style.
Select Fast Style.
Select Group Style.
Select first weapon (typically reserved for the Steel Sword). If you already have the selected weapon out and ready, pressing "Q" again cycles through combat styles.
Select second weapon (typically reserved for the Silver Sword). If you already have the selected weapon out and ready, pressing "E" again cycles through combat styles.
Select third weapon (substitute full-sized weapon). If you already have the selected weapon out and ready, pressing "R" again cycles through combat styles, if applicable.
Select fourth weapon (side arm).
Directional movement buttons. Double-clicking one of these buttons while in combat will cause Geralt to dodge in that direction.
Quick 180-degree turn.
In OTS camera mode, causes the camera to shift between shoulder-views.
Switch Sign (down).
Switch Sign (up).
Select Aard Sign.
Select Quen Sign.
Select Yrden Sign.
Select Igni Sign.
Select Axii Sign.