So you’ve mastered the basics of The Witcher 3 and you’re finally ready to slay your first monster and progress with the story? Nice. You’ve come to the right place. As the first mandatory monster fight in the game, the Royal Griffin isn’t too tough to handle as long as you’re careful and know when to back away. Before attempting this fight, I’d recommend leveling Geralt up to level 2 at least. This can be done by doing the sidequests you come across during the prologue and will give you a much easier time against the Griffin.
Right before heading to the Griffin’s trapping location, the game will automatically prompt you to craft a few Thunderbolt Potions. These will help to increase Geralt’s strength, and should prove to be very useful in the upcoming fight. Do note that the Potions last for 30 seconds, so you’ll have to consume another one when the effect runs out. Equip them in one of your item slots and you’ll be ready to go.
The Royal Griffin has two main attacks in its first phase that you’ll need to watch out for. When you first encounter it, it’ll most likely circle around you in the air, getting ready for a dangerous dive attack. Prepare to roll out of the way by listening for the Griffin’s shriek. Once you hear it, roll out of harm’s way, lock on to your target, and start attacking from the rear. Every now and then, the Griffin will take to the skies to charge up for its diving attack. If your aim is good enough, you can also shoot it out of the sky with the crossbow Vesemir gives you. This causes the Griffin to fall onto the ground, allowing you to get a few extra hits in.
If you’re quick enough, shooting a crossbow bolt at the Griffin right when it tries to take off again will keep the monster grounded, allowing you to resume your sword attacks.
If you choose not to use the crossbow, there’s one more ground attack that you’ll have to watch out for. When on the ground, the Griffin will attempt to swipe at you with its claws. Thankfully, the Griffin doesn’t have much range and swiftly dodging to the side and attacking from behind will easily avoid these melee attacks.
Once you’ve gotten the Griffin down to about a third of its health, the monster will fly off once more. This time, it’s flying to escape. Call for your horse and quickly pursue the Griffin. Don’t worry if you lose sight of it; Geralt can use his witcher sense to track the beast down. When you’ve caught up to it, this will mark the start of the final phase of the boss fight. During this phase, the Griffin can emit a sonic wave that will damage anyone standing in front and to the side of it. This attack has a fairly wide range, so you’ll want to stay behind the monster at all times.
Apart from that, though, the Griffin’s attack patterns remain the same. As long as you make use of your Thunderbolt Potions and keep behind it during the fight, the Griffin should go down pretty quickly. Once the fight has ended, remember to loot its body and take the trophy before continuing with the story.
Another thing to keep in mind is to make sure Geralt uses his silver sword for this fight. As a general rule of thumb, monsters and beasts are more vulnerable to the silver sword while Geralt’s steel sword should be reserved for human enemies. With that, you’ll have successfully defeated the first major boss in The Witcher 3.