While arts have elements, the attacks are now buffed with 4 different affinities determined by weapons wielded in battle. There 4 different types of damage: Slash (斬), Pierce (突), Thrust (剛), and Strike (射). Each Cold Steel enemy have their own regular weaknesses to sepith elements, and their own disadvantageous affinity which cripples them from the unbalance. Having the right character deliver the correct attack of that affinity will eventually open the chance of an "unbalanced," opening for follow-up Link Attacks with a combat link partner.
|Slash (斬)||The most versatile attack method by cuting and slicing||Works on soft enemies, effective against plant-types|
|Pierce (突)||Gouging attacks by thrusting and penetrating||Works on larger enemies, effective against fish-types|
|Thrust (剛)||Hitting strikes with destructive impact.||Effective against hard-shelled insects and large beasts|
|Strike (射)||Shooting attacks to subdue quick enemies||Whether its avians, beast or bugs, any hard enemies with a blind spot|
In the Cold Steel trilogy, every party member and enemy alike has its individual unbalance efficacy. As the enemies' weaknesses are rated by the number of stars, each party member are rated by the order: S > A > B > C > D, where the ranges "S" and "D" are graded highest to lowest.
Trails of Cold Steel (1+2)
|Laura S. Arseid||A||A|
|Alfin Reise Arnor||D||C||D||C|
Trails of Cold Steel III
Like in the previous installments, every character has a fixed affinity defined by their equippable weapons. Their suitability for each affinity is rated in the upgraded stages: SS > S > A > B > C. However, some party members are suited to more than one attribute, but not multiple. Such examples are Juna Crawford, who can switch her tonfas between Gunner and Striker modes and each with a different affinity. 
- Only in the Cold Steel trilogy, the enemies' affinities are shown when analyzed with arts, crafts and items.