Oils in The Witcher 3 are applied to your swords to give you bonus damage against different monster types. For example, if you are about to encounter a drowner, apply a necrophage oil to give you bonus damage against them. To know what type of oil you need to apply against a monster, check the Beastiary menu as it lists all monsters you’ve encountered and what category they belong to.
Oils have three 3 tiers – basic, enhanced and superior.
- Basic oils give +10% bonus to attack power.
- Enhanced oils give +25% bonus to attack power.
- Superior oils give +50% bonud to attack power.
Oils also have “charges”. Basically each strike to the enemy consume 1 charge.
- Basic oils has 20 charges.
- Ehanced oils has 40 charges.
- Superior oils have 60 charges.
When all charges are consumed, you need to apply the oil again. You can’t apply oil during combat so best to do it before engaging an enemy.
There is a skill in the alchemy tree called “Fixative” which will increase the number of charges the oils will have.
Below is a list of oils, the recipe and the “possible location” on where you can get the oil manuscript/recipe. You can get them on chests or buy them on merchants. Unfortunately they can be random. But I list some of the locations where the oil recipe dropped for me.