Witcher 3 provides numerous abilities to help you cut through the monsters of Temeria and Skellige, but one of the more confusing are adrenaline points and special attacks. We'll show you how they work and how you can use them to your advantage next time you're fighting monsters.
What Are Adrenaline Points in Witcher 3?
Put simply, Adrenaline Points are a resource you build up in combat, which you can then spend or use to fuel certain abilities. That's the reason why they seem so useless at first - all the abilities that they're used for have to be unlocked as Geralt levels up, meaning that for a while at least your adrenaline points won't serve any use to you.
How to Get Adrenaline Points
Adrenaline Points are built every time you strike an enemy and slowly losing them again when you're not attacking anything. They're marked on your screen by the little red bar beneath your stamina, and as you fight enemies you should see it build.
Certain abilities - mainly those in the combat tree - can boost the speed at which you gain Adrenaline Points, meaning that as you get stronger, you should be able to start filling that bar more rapidly.
How to Use Adrenaline Points
There's no definitive way to use Adrenaline Points, as a lot of the abilities use them in different ways. Depending on what abilities you've unlocked, they can stop you from dying, charge up your spells, unlock new moves or increase the chance of instantly killing an enemy. They're more of a battle currency than anything, gained through killing and spendable on all matter of advantages in combat. Look through the character skill trees to see what abilities you have that are already linked to them, and if you don't have any yet, look around to see what'll be available to you, and what you'll want.
What Are Special Attacks?
There are two special attacks in Witcher 3, though both of these have to bought as abilities in order to use them.
Whirl is a rapid area attack in which Geralt spins his sword around him, hitting any close enemies multiple times in quick succession. You can trigger this by holding down the light attack button once you've unlocked and equipped it in the character menu. While it doesn't cost stamina or adrenaline to use this ability at first, continuing to hold down the button and spin in circles will start to tax both of these before long, meaning you can't keep it going forever.
Rend is a downwards two-handed chop that takes some time to charge, using up stamina as it does, but ignores the target's defences, and with damage increased by how much adrenaline Geralt has stored up at the time. You can activate it by holding down the heavy attack buttons.
If this made things clearer for you, why not check out our guide on how to respec Geralt, just in case you missed the chance to get those special attacks? Or you could always see how to use a crossbow like a pro at our guide here.