The Witness

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

The Witness
The Witness cover
Developers
Thekla, Inc.
Release dates
Windows January 26, 2016
macOS (OS X) March 8, 2017
Reception
Metacritic 87
OpenCritic 86
IGDB 88
Taxonomy
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 on MobyGames
The Witness on Wikipedia

Key points

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

General information

GOG.com Community Discussions
GOG.com Support Page
Steam Community Discussions

Availability[edit]

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Epic Games Store
DRM-free after installation through Epic Games Launcher (see notes)
Can be played without Epic Store Launcher being open.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
GOG.com
DRM-free
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Humble Store
Icon overlay.png
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Mac App Store
Icon overlay.png
macOS (OS X)
Origin
Icon overlay.png
Windows
Steam
DRM-free after installation through Steam client (see notes)
Can be played without Steam being open.
Windows
macOS (OS X)

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

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

Save game data location[edit]

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

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

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

Video[edit]

Launcher settings.
Launcher settings.
Advanced launcher settings.
Advanced launcher settings.
In-game general settings.
In-game general settings.

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.
Multi-monitor
Ultra-widescreen
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
Adjustable in Settings menu. Can set from 80° to 120°.
Windowed
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]

Input[edit]

In-game input menu.
In-game input menu.
In-game key customization menu.
In-game key customization menu.

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Remapping
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Separate for camera and cursor.
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller
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
DualShock 4 controllers
DualShock button prompts
Light bar support
Static blue, lightbar keeps being light up after terminating the game, resets controllers bluetooth pairing.
Connection modes V1, Wired.
V2, Wireless adaptor and bluetooth untested.
Tracked motion controllers
Generic/other controllers
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Additional information
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
Simultaneous controller+KB/M
Steam Input
Steam Input API support
Hook input (legacy mode)
Official controller preset(s)
Steam Controller button prompts

Audio[edit]

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

Localizations

Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English
Arabic
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese
French
German
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Polish
Portuguese
Brazilian Portuguese
Russian
Spanish
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[edit]

3D modes Native Notes
Native 3D
Nvidia 3D Vision
See Helix Mod: The Witness.
Headsets Native Notes
HTC Vive
Might require launching the game outside Steam with Oculus compatibility layer.
Oculus Rift
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.
OSVR
Windows Mixed Reality
This game might be playable with the Revive Compatibility Layer (compatibility list).
Devices Native Notes
Tracked motion controllers
Traditional controller
See Input settings for details.
Keyboard/Mouse
Play area Native Notes
Seated
Standing
Room-scale
Incorrectly detected and forced. Allows moving in the enviroment while the main body stays in the center, breaking the game even more.

Other information[edit]

API[edit]

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

Middleware[edit]

Middleware Notes
Cutscenes Bink Video

Configuration file structure and options[edit]

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]
Description
low_res_reflections Force reflections to be low resolution. Can be true or false.
shadow_quality
sun_shadow_resolution Resolutions of shadows cast by the sun. Can be 256, 512, or 1024.
point_shadow_resolution
allow_non_essential_spot_lights
antialias_panel_rendering Enables additional anti-aliasing for the puzzle panels. Can be true or false.
fxaa_panel_rendering
panel_mipmaps
grass_detail
grass_fade_begin
grass_fade_end
mipmap_filter_quality
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.
msaa_coverage
msaa_coverage_sample_count
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[edit]

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
-no_log
-no_sound
-no_entities
-new_game
-demo
-non_interactive
-no_svn
-map
-centered
-profiling
-skip_config_dialog Suppress the launcher when you start the game

System requirements[edit]

Windows
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.

Notes

  1. When running this game without Administrator elevation, activity in %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMFILES(X86)%, and %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore\ (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.

References

  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
  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. http://the-witness.net/news/2017/06/macos-system-requirements/