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The Witness

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games

This page is for the 2016 puzzle game. For the unrelated 1983 text adventure game, see The Witness (1983).

The Witness
The Witness cover
Release dates
Windows January 26, 2016
macOS (OS X) March 8, 2017
Metacritic 87
OpenCritic 86
Monetization One-time game purchase
Modes Singleplayer
Pacing Relaxed
Perspectives First-person
Controls Direct control, Point and select
Genres Puzzle
Art styles Stylized
Themes Fantasy
The Witness on HowLongToBeat
The Witness on IGDB
The Witness guide on StrategyWiki
The Witness on MobyGames
The Witness on Wikipedia

Key points

Colorblind and hearing-impaired players may have trouble playing the game in full.[1]

General information Community Discussions Support Page
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Epic Games Store
DRM-free after installation through Epic Games Launcher (notes may include more details)
Can be played without Epic Store Launcher being open.
macOS (OS X)
macOS (OS X)
Humble Store
Icon overlay.png
macOS (OS X)
Mac App Store
Icon overlay.png
macOS (OS X)
DRM-free after installation through Steam client (notes may include more details)
Can be played without Steam being open.
macOS (OS X)
Origin (unavailable)

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\data\Local.variables[Note 1]
%APPDATA%\The Witness\Launcher.variables
macOS (OS X) <path-to-game>/The
~/Library/Application Support/The Witness/Launcher.variables
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/210970/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game data location

System Location
Windows %APPDATA%\The Witness\
macOS (OS X) $HOME/Library/Application Support/The Witness/
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/210970/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
Epic Games Launcher
GOG Galaxy
Steam Cloud
Syncs up to 100 MB of game saves. Launcher preferences are also synced.


Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Resolution setting is for rendering resolution, game always uses desktop resolution in fullscreen mode. Resolutions above 1920x1080 require changing the internal resolution to fix blurriness; see the WSGF entry.
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
Adjustable in Settings menu. Can set from 80° to 120°.
Toggle with Alt+ Enter or set in launcher.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Use the -no_window_border parameter.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Labelled as "Texture Filter Quality". Unknown samples.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
MSAA up to 8x. Downsampling possible with custom rendering resolution. FXAA forced by default, see Configuration file options.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
High dynamic range display (HDR)
PlayStation 4 version only.[2]


Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Separate for camera and cursor.
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
Full controller support
Mouse/keyboard required to navigate the launcher.
Bypass the launcher by using -skip_config_dialog launch parameter or by adding show_config_dialog false under the :/display section in the configuration file.
Controller remapping
Controller sensitivity
Controller Y-axis inversion
Controller types
XInput-compatible controllers
Xbox button prompts
Impulse Trigger vibration
PlayStation controllers
PlayStation button prompts
Light bar support
Static blue, lightbar keeps being light up after terminating the game, resets controllers Bluetooth pairing.
Adaptive trigger support
DualSense haptic feedback support
Connection modes
, Wired
V2, Wireless adapter and Bluetooth untested.
Tracked motion controllers
Generic/other controllers
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Additional information
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
Digital movement supported
Simultaneous controller+KB/M
Steam Input
Steam Input API support
Hook input (legacy mode)
Official controller preset(s)
Steam Controller button prompts
Cursor detection


Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Closed captions
Statement on Steam store page is incorrect.[3]
Mute on focus lost
Royalty free audio


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese
Brazilian Portuguese
To use a different language, change the language in the properties window in Steam for the game. Alternatively, use the command line argument -language with the correct language code.

VR support

3D modes State Notes
Native 3D
Nvidia 3D Vision
See Helix Mod: The Witness.
Might require launching the game outside Steam with Oculus compatibility layer.
Oculus VR (LibOVR)
Buggy and incomplete implementation, puzzles almost impossible to play and most likely require taking headset off and completing puzzles on monitor.
Turn on with the command line argument -vr.
You will also be required to run the game in Windows 7 Compatibility Mode, otherwise VR will not launch properly.
Windows Mixed Reality
This game might be playable with the Revive Compatibility Layer.
Tracked motion controllers
Traditional controller
See Input for details.
Play area
Incorrectly detected and forced. Allows moving in the enviroment while the main body stays in the center, breaking the game even more.

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 11
Metal support
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes
macOS (OS X)
Metal supported Mac is required.


Middleware Notes
Cutscenes Bink Video

Configuration file structure and options

This lists all the possible variables that can be used with the games configuration file,[4] however developer does point out that some of these settings can break the game in non-obvious ways.[5]
low_res_reflections Force reflections to be low resolution. Can be true or false.
sun_shadow_resolution Resolutions of shadows cast by the sun. Can be 256, 512, or 1024.
antialias_panel_rendering Enables additional anti-aliasing for the puzzle panels. Can be true or false.
skip_mipmaps Changes texture resolution. Lower is better. Can be 0, 1, or 2.
aa_mode 2 for FXAA, 0 for no FXAA. Other values are the same as 0.
msaa_sample_count Sets number of MSAA samples. Can be 1 for 2x, 2 for 4x and 3 for 8x.
panel_render_width Value must be a power of two. Values below 512 are not recommended.
render_width Changes rendering width. Can also be set with command line argument -width.
render_height Changes rendering height. Can also be set with command line argument -height.
dynamic_resolution Dynamically changes the resolution to maintain framerate. Can be true or false.
show_config_dialog Show configuration dialog before starting the game. Can be true or false.
See here for the location of the file on each system.
These need to be added to a graphical quality category called :/render/low (or medium, high).[6]

Command line parameters

See command line arguments on how to use the following options.
Parameter Description
-width Force a specific width.
-height Force a specific height.
-language Force a specific language: ar/ko/ja/ru/zh_CN/zh_TW
-vr Enables Oculus Rift support.
-fullscreen Enables fullscreen mode.
-windowed Enables windowed mode.
-no_window_border Hides window border.
-no_hud Disables the HUD.
-profile Set render quality: low/medium/high/ultra
-skip_config_dialog Suppress the launcher when you start the game

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 7
Processor (CPU) 1.8 GHz
System memory (RAM) 4 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 5 GB
Video card (GPU) Intel HD Graphics 4000
DirectX 10 compatible
macOS (OS X)
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 10.11.6
Processor (CPU) Intel Core i5 1.8 GHz
System memory (RAM) 4 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 5 GB
Video card (GPU) Intel HD Graphics 4000
AMD Radeon R9 M290
Nvidia GeForce 640M
1 GB of VRAM
Other Metal support is required.[7]
A 64-bit operating system is required.


  1. When running this game without elevated privileges (Run as administrator option), write operations against a location below %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMDATA%, or %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore on Windows Vista and later (more details).
  2. 2.0 2.1 File/folder structure within this directory reflects the path(s) listed for Windows and/or Steam game data (use Wine regedit to access Windows registry paths). Games with Steam Cloud support may store data in ~/.steam/steam/userdata/<user-id>/210970/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (210970) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.


  1. Colorblind And Hearing-Impaired Players Won't Be Able To Do All The Puzzles In The Witness - Kotaku - last accessed on 2016-01-28
  2. HDR output coming to PC? :: The Witness General Discussions - last accessed on May 2023
  3. Verified by User:Anonymous on 2016-01-31
  4. Command line arguments and config file variables :: The Witness Technical Support - last accessed on 2020-01-28
  5. FAQ: Launcher, Tweaking graphics settings :: The Witness Technical Support - last accessed on 2020-01-28
    "Also, there are various forum posts out there in which people have figured out how to edit even more settings. Be aware that doing so can break certain puzzles and game functionality in subtle non-obvious ways, which is why they're not included here."
  6. Tweaking graphics settings :: Steam Community Discussions - last accessed on 2016-01-28
  7. - last accessed on May 2023