Persona 3 Reload Vs Portable 8 Biggest Differences And Changes
Image: Atlus

Persona 3 Reload vs Portable: 8 Biggest differences and changes

What's new?

With Persona 3 Reload being not just a remake, but an overhaul of the previous entry in many aspects, let’s dive into the eight biggest differences and changes between Persona 3 Reload vs Portable.

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Portable already came with plenty of changes from the original and FES versions, but there’s even more arriving with Persona 3 Reload.

8 Biggest changes and differences between Persona 3 Reload vs Portable

P3r Battle Shift
Image: Atlus

New battle mechanics

There are two brand new mechanics in Persona 3 Reload’s combat compared to Portable and the others. The first one is Theurgy, which each character in combat will have a meter for. Once the Theurgy meter fills, they can perform a powerful dual-attack with their Persona.

Since the main protagonist can wield multiple personas, this means that he will have multiple Theurgy attacks. Then you have the Shift mechanic, which works similarly to Baton Pass in Persona 5. This will allow you to pass on an attack to the next party member upon successfully hitting a “One-More.”

Persona 3 Reload Vs Portable 8 Biggest Differences And Changes Link Episodes
Image: Atlus

Link Episodes are a new completely new addition to Persona 3. These are limited-time episodes you can miss that correlate to a specific party member. Atlus introduced Link Episodes as a way to compensate for the fact that the male party members don’t have social links with the male protagonist.

Fortunately, you can experience Link Episodes with a variety of characters, not just party members. Just make sure to start them before you run out of time to experience them.

P3r Dorm Activities
Image: Atlus

New dorm activities

Persona 3 Reload will allow you to engage in a fresh batch of dorm activities with your party members. These include watching a movie, studying, reading, and even cooking. You’ll receive stat boosts if you decide to partake in these activities.

You can also now tend to your own garden with your dormmates. This will grant you passive buffs that are useful during combat.

Persona 3 Reload Vs Portable 8 Biggest Differences And Changes Female Protag
Image: Atlus

No female main protagonist

With Persona 3 Portable came a new way to play P3, which was with a female protagonist named Kotone Shiomi. Unfortunately, Kotone doesn’t make a return in Persona 3 Reload. My guess is this is due to time constraints, as this introduced all new male romances, social links, and dialogue.

Although fans miss her dearly, perhaps in a future DLC or update we’ll receive the Kotone storyline we all desire and deserve. For now, we’re stuck with Makoto Yuki, who’s still a beloved main protagonist.

Is Persona 3 Reload On Xbox Game Pass
Image: Atlus

New voice actors

It’s been over a decade since Persona 3 Portable was released, even longer since the previous versions. So it should be no surprise that we have a new cast of voice actors taking on the mantle of the Persona 3 characters.

Although the Persona 3 Reload voice actors are entirely new, there’s one returning voice actor. Tara Platt, who originally played Mitsuru and Elizabeth, is keeping the role of Elizabeth in Reload.

Tartarus P3r
Image: Atlus

Changes to Tartarus

There are not only new battle mechanics, but tons of changes introduced to Tartarus such as quality-of-life updates. One change fans will be pleased to see is the fatigue system being removed. After exploring Tartarus for some time, party members could become fatigued, affecting their performance. This is completely gone now.

Another change is the introduction of Twilight Fragments, which you can find across Tartarus and use to heal the party at Entrance Clocks, or open chests. Also, “Shuffle Time” works differently. You can now manually choose which card you’d like out of a randomized selection.

Persona 3 Reload Vs Portable 8 Biggest Differences And Changes Epilogue Aigis
Image: Atlus

No epilogue chapter

One of the more interesting aspects of Persona 3 FES was the epilogue after the ending of Persona 3. Named “The Answer,” players got the chance to play as Aigis and it included around 30 more hours of gameplay.

While “The Answer” was divisive amongst fans, it provided a compelling look at the aftermath of the game’s events. Unfortunately, Persona 3 Reload doesn’t include this epilogue, but perhaps we’ll see it in a future update or DLC.

P3r New Location
Image: Atlus

New location

Finally, another big change with Persona 3 Reload is the addition of a new location. The Mangastar Net Café introduces a different way you can spend your time, like purchasing software for your dorm computer that can help raise your stats. One of the software is a quiz game to buff your intelligence.

You can also come to the Mangastar Net Café simply to spend the day online on a computer. It’s a cool addition that might leave you indecisive about what you want to do with your day.

Now that you know about the differences between Persona 3 Reload and Portable, you should check out all the difficulties in Persona 3 Reload.


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Anyka Pettigrew
Anyka Pettigrew has been a Staff Writer for PC Invasion since November 2023 and a Contributing Writer since February 2023. She is a Canadian graduate of a Bachelor of Arts degree who has been writing in games journalism for four years. Anyka is an avid guides writer but also enjoys writing anything from news pieces, to reviews, and even opinion pieces. Having a never-ending passion for video games for as long as she can remember got her into a plethora of genres like action adventure, RPGs, horror, survival etc. Some of her favorite franchises are God of War, Persona, The Last of Us, Zelda, and Resident Evil. She also enjoys reading fantasy and sci-fi books, as well as drawing digital art. Anyka also regularly listens to podcasts on gaming news from 'Kinda Funny Games', and 'Play, Watch, Listen'.