Game Details
Developer Marvelous
Publisher Xseed Games
Available on Nintendo Switch · PC
Reviewed on PC
Release Date September 15, 2021

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town debuted on Nintendo Switch earlier this year and I enjoyed it quite a bit despite the technical issues and some design decisions. Since launch, it has been patched multiple times with some major updates that not only addressed most of the design-related complaints I had, but also improved on the performance aspects. 

On PC, Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town from Xseed Games arrives with all patches and DLC available (if you buy the expansion pass) and brings a much better experience for PC players right from the get go. Not only does it run a lot better even on an ancient laptop, but it also happens to be a more polished experience overall making it the best way to play the newest entry in Marvelous’ long-running franchise.

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town is the first entry in the series built for Nintendo Switch after the Friends of Mineral Town remake. I was most curious about the PC port because of the sheer amount of technical issues the game still has on Nintendo Switch during the late game or busier farms. My current longest save on Nintendo Switch after about 90 hours is a near slideshow on one part of my farm. Having now played it across both Nintendo Switch (docked and handheld) and PC on my laptop, it has been interesting to see how the game scales above and below thanks to the slew of PC settings available. Here’s what you need to know.

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town PC requirements

Considering Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town was built for Switch, I’m not surprised at how low the minimum requirements are. You will likely have no trouble playing this on even older laptops after tweaking the settings. 

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town PC minimum requirements

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 8.1 and 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-8265U
  • Memory: 8GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel UHD 620
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 2GB available space

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town PC recommended requirements

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 8.1 and 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-6600K @ 3.50GHz
  • Memory: 16GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
  • Storage: 2GB available space
Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town PC graphics options

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town PC settings

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town has a launcher you can use before booting up the game on Steam, and an in-game graphics menu with display options that you can adjust at any time and see the results in real-time.  The display options let you adjust the resolution, frame rate, window mode, and toggle V-sync. For frame rate, you can go from 30fps all the way to 144 and unlimited. I couldn’t check how the animations are at frame rates above 60fps on my laptop but at 60, everything was great. The window mode lets you use fullscreen, windowed, or borderless windowed mode.

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Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town has many options relating to graphics. These include shadows, shadow cascading, outlining, bloom, point source lighting, reflections, shadow map size, ambient occlusion, depth of field, anti-aliasing, and specular reflection. The shadow map size goes all the way from 512 to 4096 while shadow cascading lets you use 1,2, or 4. The other options mentioned above only have on and off states. There are low, normal, and high presets available here as well.

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town PC display settings

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town PC performance – frame rate and resolution

Given the performance issues in Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town on Nintendo Switch, I was surprised at how well it runs on my laptop. My laptop has an Intel i7-4750HQ at 2.00 GHz, 8GB RAM, and a GTX 950M with 4GB VRAM and I had it running at about 1080p 45fps with everything set to maximum including shadow maps and more. Tweaking a bit allowed for 1080p at 60fps which is a lot better than the Nintendo Switch version.

Other than the frame rate, the shadow quality is a lot better than the Nintendo Switch version as well. It just feels a lot more polished in general on PC compared to the Switch version. Even the draw distance or lack of pop-in is a welcome improvement.

The only issue I’ve found so far is the ? being blurry while the rest of the game looks great.

The biggest improvement barring the frame rate is the load times. Even without an SSD, Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town for PC loads much quicker than the Switch version. Overall, I’m very pleased with the performance in the PC version of Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town. 

I also didn’t notice any graphical issues barring some of the icons denoting character expressions like the “?” when someone is confused being lower resolution than they should be. This is likely a bug considering how much better everything else is compared to the Nintendo Switch version at higher resolutions.

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Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town keyboard controls

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town PC control options

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town supports full keyboard and mouse controls and various controllers. I played it with a PS5 DualSense, Xbox Series X|S controller, and Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. With Steam Input disabled, only the Xbox controller worked fine. Once I enabled Steam Input, the PS5 DualSense controller showed me the correct prompts while the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller had Xbox button prompts and colors. 

The controller and keyboard and mouse buttons are all remappable through the in-game settings. Hopefully future patches can enable support for the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller fully but as of now, it doesn’t have the correct button prompts.

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town controller options

Should you buy Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town on PC?

If you skipped Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town on Nintendo Switch after the initial reports and reviews that mentioned the various technical issues, the game itself on Nintendo Switch has improved a lot in most areas. It still doesn’t feel smooth at all though even with the latest patch. That’s where Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town on PC comes into the picture. It is a vastly improved experience over the Nintendo Switch version. 

Even on the laptop I used with dated hardware, Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town could run at 1080p and 60fps with some tweaking. While Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town on PC and Nintendo Switch was a much closer comparison, it is a night and day difference here.

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town PC maximum settings vs minimum settings for graphics on Steam

Not only are the annoying freezing and stuttering gone, but you also have much better load times (that will probably be instant on an SSD) and image quality overall. If you held off from the Nintendo Switch version of Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town for whatever reason, the PC version is the way to go. I only wish I could bring over my Nintendo Switch save to the PC version. 

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It has been a great experience starting out fresh with all the updates and quality of life improvements right from the get go though. While my issues with the DLC remain, Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town is a great experience on PC and I’d recommend it for anyone looking for a great life simulation game. This is definitely a game that feels perfect for the Steam Deck as well with all the technical improvements and the option to play on the go. 

A copy of this game was provided to us by the publisher for this review.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town
8.5
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