The main aim of this study was to investigate the phenotypic correlation of yield component traits using several environmental stratifications methods. We also aimed to propose cause and effect of relationships for grain yield components in soybean genotypes under several environmental conditions. The tests were conducted in the agricultural year of 2013/2014 in four growing sites in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The experimental arrangement was randomized blocks in factorial scheme (11 × 4), consisting eleven soybean genotypes in four environments with four repetitions each. All the growing environments Tapera-RS, Derrubadas-RS and Frederico Westphalen-RS were classified as favorable for soybean cultivation. The traits such as total number of pods per plant, number of branches and number of pods with 2-3 grains showed significant linear correlations with grain yield in both methods of analysis. The path analysis was applied under favorable and unfavorable environments to accurately estimate the direct and indirect effect of traits on soybean grain yield. The mass of a thousand grains and plant height were highly associated with grain yield but mostly influenced by environmental effects. The total number of pods should be prioritized for selecting superior soybean genotypes due to its direct and indirect effects on grain yield. It has shown constant in all environmental conditions. The direct effects of number of branches and number of pods (with one grain) presented distinct effects on yield in favorable and unfavorable environments.