Mighty Desktop

Determining the path
of a saved game state





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As a gamer of PC games, one would like to have more control over the saved game states (SaveGame folder). This offers some advantages:

  • Transferring the savegame to another machine, so that you can continue playing
  • Protection against bugs in the game: I got more than once the savegame destroyed during a game update, or at least reset to an earlier time. Frustrating.
  • Protection against drive problems and viruses: In between, and anyway before uninstalling a game, it makes sense to save the game state to a backup drive. This way, you won't lose the many days of "work" you invested before. Unfortunately, there are many reasons for this, for example drive problems or virus attacks (think of the WannyCry virus, which encrypts all data). Furthermore, it can happen that you get withdrawal symptoms from the game after a longer time and you want to play the game or special scenes again. If you have a backup, you can simply reinstall the game, copy the savegame into it and all scenes are selectable. One more tip: If you haven't saved any savegames yet, there are still savegames from other people on the net.
  • If a game doesn't offer any save options, or only those with a too long intermediate part: Then you have to repeat scenes all the time, which you would consider as "completed". This can be really annoying. You can help by saving your progress by backing up the savegame folder and copying it back after a game over.
  • If you decimate your hard-earned game currency by a too difficult passage. Just restore the backup and try again. Yes, of course, it's a cheat, but hey, the game is supposed to be fun, not punish the player with excessive money withdrawal. All games connected with real money prevent this anyway. So for the others it's ok.

But where is the game state actually stored? This is specific to each game and user and therefore can't be easily looked up on the internet. Usually it is a single folder, which in turn contains a few files and subfolders. But how to find out the path? Without a plan it is not that easy. It can be anywhere, in the whole hierarchy of thousands of folders, and practically all games have different systematics.

Mighty Desktop has several ways to locate the game state folder:

  • The easiest is to use File Monitor:

    You activate it, start the game and go to the point where the action would continue. Then you switch back to Mighty Desktop and look at the file list. There should now be a file like "XxxxSettings" or "XXXConfig".

  • As another possibility you can use the fact that every save of the game state must lead to newer access stamps of the files. So you go into the game and make a little progress. Then you save and leave it. Next, you switch to Mighty Desktop and the Folder Analyzer tab, and run it over the whole drive. To increase efficiency, you could also run only the user directory %USERPROFILE% first. Starting with Mighty Desktop version 1.3, this is already predefined as an entry in the left pop-up menu of 'Folder'.

    Then click on the head of the column 'Modification time of the newest file' so that the arrow points downwards. Now you have the most recently changed files at the top of the list. For some games, the SaveGame folder is not located there (contrary to the Windows standard) and it can't be found. Then you have to resort to scanning the whole drive.

In the end, you will find the folder with these two methods in any case (if there is one).



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