Original author(s) Tomek Wójcik
Bartek Wroński
Balázs Török
Developer(s) CD Projekt RED
Development status Active
Platform Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Type Game engine

REDengine is a game engine developed independently by CD Projekt RED.[1] It was designed exclusively for use in CD Projekt RED's nonlinear, role-playing video games.


REDengine is portable across 32- and 64-bit software platforms and currently runs under Microsoft Windows, although the most recent update — referred to as "REDengine 3" — was designed exclusively for a 64-bit software platform.[1] REDengine was first used in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings for Microsoft Windows.[2] REDengine 2, an updated version of REDengine used in The Witcher 2,[1] also runs under Xbox 360[3] and both OS X[4] and Linux, however these ports were made using a compatibility layer similar to Wine called eON. REDengine 3, the 64-bit updated version (see REDengine 3 discussed below), also runs under PlayStation 4[5] and Xbox One.

REDengine allows video game developers to create a complex, nonlinear story line that previous game engines could not create except by constraining the game world.[1] Prior to the creation of REDengine, RPG developers relied upon game engines which force trade-offs during development.[1] With older game engines, developers could have created, on one hand, a vast open world at the expense of telling a simplified linear story or, on the other hand, a complex nonlinear story at the expense of creating a limited virtual world.[1]


Screenshots comparing a "more lifelike"[1] REDengine 3 (The Witcher 3) production above with that of the Creation Engine (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim) below.

REDengine 2

For REDengine 2, middleware like Havok was used for physics, Scaleform GFx for UI or FMOD for audio.[6] The engine was used for the Xbox 360 port of The Witcher 2.[7]

REDengine 3

Recently CD Projekt RED improved upon the original version of REDengine, appropriately named "REDengine 3". Designed to run exclusively on a 64-bit software platform, CD Projekt RED created REDengine 3 for the purpose of developing open world[1] video game environments, such as those of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt[1] and Cyberpunk 2077.[1]

REDengine 3 utilizes the 64-bit precision of modern personal computing, allowing for better quality computer graphics via high dynamic range rendering.[1] Furthermore, it introduces improvements to facial as well as other animation.[1] Lighting effects no longer suffer from reduced contrast ratio.[1] REDengine 3 also supports volumetric effects enabling advanced rendering of clouds, mist, fog, smoke and other such particle effects. Also enabled are high resolution textures and mapping, as well as dynamic physics and advanced dialogue lip movement mimic system. However, due to limitations on the texture streaming, use of high resolution textures may not always be the case.

REDengine 3 has a flexible renderer prepared for deferred or forward+ rendering pipelines.[1] The result is a wide array of cinematic effects, including bokeh depth-of-view, color grading and flares associated with multiple lighting.[1]

The terrain system in REDengine 3 uses tessellation and layers varying material, which can then be easily blended.[1]

Games using REDengine

Title Year Platform(s)
REDengine 1
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings 2011 Microsoft Windows, OS X
REDengine 2
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition 2012 Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, OS X, Linux
REDengine 3
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 2015 Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Cyberpunk 2077 TBA Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 "CDPRED: "RED Engine 3 is a revolution in RPGs"". IGN Entertainment, Inc. 1 February 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  2. O'Connor, Alice (10 November 2010). "The Witcher 2 Dev Diary Introduces New Engine". Shacknews. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
  3. Peckham, Matt (25 March 2010). "The Witcher 2 Announced, 'Non-Linear' with 'Smoother' Combat". PCWorld. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
  4. "The Witcher 2 Is Coming To Mac". Forbes. 30 May 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  5. Yin-Poole, Wesley (21 February 2013). "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt confirmed for PlayStation 4 in 2014". Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  6. Leadbetter, Richard (24 January 2016). "The Making of The Witcher 2". Eurogamer. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  7. Hinkle, David (1 February 2013). "CD Projekt Red introduces REDengine 3, latest iteration of in-house tech". Engadget. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
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