Meet Roach: Geralt’s trusty steed. Note that Roach is not one horse, it is a name that Geralt gives to any horse he uses as a companion. This guide will give you all the information you need on horses in The Witcher 3.
Horse colorYour trusty steed is not restricted to a single color – you can ride brown, black or white horses. You are, however, only allowed to have one horse companion. It is possible to commandeer (steal is the better term) horses from other people, but you will not be able to take possession of them as long as your current Roach is alive. If your equine companion gets killed, you will be able to choose another one. You can also tame wild horses using the Axii sign, but it is not essential as there will be plenty of other horses to pick from.
In the final part of the “Blood on the Battlefield” main quest, Ciri’s father will reward you with a black Nilfgaardian horse if you refuse to take money from him.
Horse Stamina & Fear LevelsRoach’s primary use is for transportation. Even when cantering, your horse moves much faster than Geralt, making it useful when you need to cover vast distances. You can send your horse into a gallop, but make sure you do not deplete its Horse Stamina Level. If does run out of stamina, he will have to trot for a while until it fills up again.Another important thing is your horse’s Fear Level. Whenever you are in combat, the Fear Level will start filling up; if it fills up completely your horse will panic and throw you off. One way to prevent that from happening is to jump off your horse before combat, but you can also use Horse blinders to increase his resistance to fear.
Mounted CombatYou can also use your horse to engage in mounted combat. Horses move much faster than people, so bear that in mind when choosing whom you want to engage while on horseback. If you’re engaging other mounted combatants, the combat can turn hectic because of the horses’ rapid movement. When you approach enemies for the first time, you will get a brief window of opportunity to line up for an opening attack and disable an opponent as the game goes into slow motion.
Horse RacesThe game also lets you engage in horse races, if you want a brief respite from slaying monsters and exorcising ghosts. There are opportunities for horse races all over the map, and they are a great way to earn an extra Oren or two.
Horse races are all about stamina management – you have to spend it wisely in order to always have some of it, while also being in front of your opponents. It is a fine balancing act, but one that can be mastered with practice.
Horse Inventory SlotsYour horse has four inventory slots: Trophy, Saddlebags, Saddle, and Horse Blinders. The Trophy lets you hang the head of a slain monster, which will give you a bonus that varies from trophy to trophy. Saddlebags are used as extra storage that Geralt can only access when close to the horse. Saddles give your horse a bonus, the exact nature of which depends on the type of saddle. Saddles and saddlebags can also be upgraded, giving you greater bonuses and allowing you to carry more weight. Horse Blinders are the final slot in the horse’s inventory. They primarily improve your horse’s resistance to fear, though they may also have other effects.
- Saddle – Gives the horse +20 Stamina
- Enhanced Saddle – Gives the horse +25 Stamina
- Saddlebags – +30 maximum inventory weight
- Rugged Saddlebags – +70 maximum inventory weight.
- Zerrikanian Saddlebags – +100 maximum inventory weight.
- Horse Blinders – Grants the horse +20 Fear Level
Xbox One Horse Controls
- Call horse – Press left stick twice
- Mount – Press A
- Dismount – Hold B
- Canter – Hold A
- Gallop – Press A twice