The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III from NIS America and Nihon Falcom debuted on PS4 last year in the West. The massive JRPG arrived for English speaking audiences around two years after it debuted in Japan on PS4. Trails of Cold Steel III is a fantastic JRPG and one that is more than worth your time. We featured it in our best soundtracks of 2019, best PS4 games of 2019, and overall best games of 2019 features.

Fast forward to today and Trails of Cold Steel III is coming not only to Nintendo Switch thanks to Engine Software, but also PC via Steam and GOG thanks to PH3 Games and Engine Software. PH3 Games previously worked on Trails of Cold Steel I and II for PC. I’ve been playing Trails of Cold Steel III on PC via Steam for review and here’s what you need to know.

Trails of Cold Steel III PC requirements

Despite being a PS4 only game initially with great PS4 Pro support, Trails of Cold Steel III’s system requirements on PC are on the lower end of the spectrum with support not only for laptops with discrete GPUs, but also those with integrated graphics cards. Trails of Cold Steel III should be able to run great even on older systems as long as you spend some time in the detailed and well thought out graphics settings available before you boot the game up. It is worth noting that the download size is much smaller on PC than PS4 thanks the compression used by PH3 Games and Engine Software as detailed in an interview here.

Trails of Cold Steel III minimum requirements

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 10/8.1/7 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-2100 3.10 GHz
  • Memory: 8GB RAM
  • GPU: Nvidia Geforce GTX 650 Ti
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 25GB available space
  • Sound Card: Onboard

Trails of Cold Steel III recommended requirements

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 10/8.1/7 64-bit
  • Processor: AMD FX-8320 8-Core
  • Memory: 16GB RAM
  • GPU: AMD Radeon R7 370 or better
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 25GB available space
  • Sound Card: Onboard
Preset options for various configurations in Trails of Cold Steel III on PC

Trails of Cold Steel III PC settings

Trails of Cold Steel III on PC has a configuration tool you can launch before getting into the game. This is where you can tweak the various graphics and even gameplay settings for the game. There are multiple parts to consider here. The first is the presets. You can save yourself time and just use presets for Portable, Console, High, or Maximum depending on your setup. Refer to the image above for details on these settings.

In terms of display options, you can select your frame rate and field of view here with v-sync. The image quality section lets you choose your resolution and anti-aliasing. You can even enable anisotropic filtering or transparency supersampling here and get a comparison image on the right to see the difference for these settings.

The shading section lets you tweak the shadows here across resolution, distance, and filtering. The right portion of this configuration tool has a preview of what you can expect with information on how taxing a specific setting will be on the hardware.

The input section lets you select button prompts. Trails of Cold Steel III has button prompts for Xbox, DualShock, and keyboard and mouse. There is no option for Nintendo Pro Controller as of now. This section also lets you remap controller buttons or keyboard and mouse controls. I’d recommend changing the Turbo Mode from L3 to anything else because holding L3 while moving doesn’t feel great.

The General section is definitely a highlight of the PC port’s settings. You can choose to skip all the startup logos and intro video to save yourself time when you want to play Trails of Cold Steel III. This section also lets you change the autosave interval.

The final section of the PC settings for Trails of Cold Steel III lets you tweak the Turbo Mode. While PS4 and Nintendo Switch have their own high-speed mode, Trails of Cold Steel III on PC lets you change the turbo factor in battle and on the field with different multipliers.

Mouse over most graphics settings gives you an explanation or preview image

Trails of Cold Steel III PC performance — frame rate and resolution

Japanese game ports on PC are often hit or miss with some games offering the bare minimum like My Hero One’s Justice 2 and others like Code Vein giving you a wealth of options to tweak to ensure you get the best experience possible on your hardware. Trails of Cold Steel III on PC offers much more than you would want in a PC port with options catered to a plethora of settings. I played Trails of Cold Steel III on an ancient laptop that has an Intel i7-4750HQ at 2.00 GHz, 8GB RAM, and a GTX 950M with 4GB VRAM and could get a near locked 1080p 60fps at console settings. I had a few frame rate drops in some open areas though. The console settings here are higher than the PS4 version. With a bit of fine tuning, there was no problem fixing those drops in performance. I could even get a near stable 30fps with higher MSAA settings which is shocking considering how taxing that usually is on hardware.

In terms of resolution and frame rate, there’s no real limit here with multiple frame rate options including an unlimited option. There are no animations tied to frame rate where you’d run into issues at higher frame rates. Trails of Cold Steel III is definitely one of the best JRPG ports on PC with its optimisation for low-end hardware.

Should you play Trails of Cold Steel III on PC?

If you’ve been waiting on a PC port because you played the first two Trails of Cold Steel games on Steam, or want to play Trails of Cold Steel III on PC for the various control options and upgrades to performance available, the PC port is fantastic. My only complaint right now is that the Turbo Mode forces you to hold a button of your choice and it isn’t a toggle like on PS4 or Nintendo Switch (tested on the Japanese Nintendo Switch demo). Having to hold a button during movement is quite annoying.

If you’ve not played an entry in the franchise yet and play on PC, you have the option to play not just the complete English Trails of Cold Steel releases but also the Trails in the Sky games which are worth experiencing. Trails of Cold Steel III is likely going to be cheaper for you depending on where you live on PC compared to the PS4 version and this port ensures it is well worth your time. If you aren’t sure of how the game will run on your setup, you can try the free demo yourself.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III releases on March 23 for PC via Steam.