When (If Ever) Did You Learn to Manually Save?

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Raven10

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So a bit ago I saw a meme on Facebook about not trusting auto saves and always manually saving. It got me thinking how in a lot of games this isn't even an option anymore. If the autosave craps out on you then you are screwed. I was also thinking about the issues with save transfers on PS5 and not having the saves you want as easily as on PS4. So I was wondering, especially for older gamers prior to this always online, cloud backup, era of gaming, was there a negative experience with an auto save or with a single manual save that caused you to make backup saves? I know a lot of people do a lot of backup saves in games where they might save scum like XCom or a heavily choice based RPG like Mass Effect. I personally always try to have three saves that I alternate between if given the option in any game. I started doing this after an experience in the original God of War on PS2. I had only one save file which was corrupted right at the final boss fight with Ares. The save would load and let me fight and beat Ares, but would crash on the quick time event after the fight. So I didn't get to see the end of the game until the remasters on PS3. Also, some older PC games from the 90's I recall being able to quick save in a near impossible situation which would require me to start a level over because I quick saved with 2 health right before a boss fight in Doom 2 or something like that.

So do a lot of younger gamers on here who maybe started gaming in the HD era (like 360 onwards) feel the same compulsion to manually save and to use multiple save slots if given the option? Or do cloud backups and far more secure and regular autosaves make that something you only worry about in a game where you might want to return to a specific decision point?

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terminallychill

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#2  Edited By terminallychill

I doubt this would have had autosave at the time, but playing the first Desperados game as a kid had me compulsively juggling saves.

Also, I think I'm still stuck in a hallway in Deadly Premonition because I can't leave until I kill some monster but have no ammo.

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Humanity

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I grew up with PC games so I always saved manually. When I transitioned to consoles around 2009 or so I started trusting autosaves a lot. I think Skyrim or Oblivion fixed that and I started manually saving again when possible.

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bybeach

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Beat to the punch on pc games.

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SleazyWizard

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I'm not the younger gamer but have a relatable issue. I still will manually save multiple times in paranoia and my younger friends are like "what are you doing?" lol.

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Ulfhedinn

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Playing in golden era of crpgs (Baldurs Gate, Icewind Dale, etc) taught me that.

Nothing worse than losing hours of progression.

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Humanity

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@ulfhedinn: Not even progression but sometimes you just want to make a possible branching path for yourself that you can re-visit later. Granted I never ever went back to this saves but they were always a safety net in the back of my mind that hey at least I won't have to start from scratch.

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bigsocrates

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This thread makes me feel old. Which I am.

I grew up with computer games and the NES/SNES. Those systems not only made you manually save but sometimes even write down passwords. If you wanted to "save" in Megaman you didn't need to click some little icon, you needed to write down a bunch of alphanumeric codes, and god help you if you got far into the game and your 1 looked like an l. God help you, because Capcom sure wasn't going to! In RPGs you had to find a save point to save.

And in all those systems if you saved in the wrong place without a backup you could screw yourself over. Save in Civilization in a position where your enemies had an overwhelming advantage? Too bad, so sad, prepare to be conquered no matter how many times you reloaded. Save in XCOM in a bad situation? Nobody is coming to save you. And that's not even talking about corrupted saves or the rest of that nonsense.

So when autosaves came along I didn't trust that black magic. I kept saving in multiple slots when permitted to prevent myself from getting into an unwinnable situation or doing something I couldn't take back. I maintain that to this day, when all but the most hardcore games will prevent you from getting into an unwinnable situation.

When did you learn to manually save? I didn't! I just never learned to fully trust autosaves.

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Justin258

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If save points count, way back in Super Metroid. But I don't know exactly what the first game I played with hard saves would have been. The first one I recall is the 360 version of The Orange Box, where I saved every few feet. Now I'm that PC guy who remaps quicksave to G or V or some other nearby button. Sometimes I get annoyed at myself for getting the urge to save so often.

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stantongrouse

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#10  Edited By stantongrouse

This is a really interesting question - I'd not really thought about it that much. I grew up playing games where there was very little in the way of save states, a password system if you were lucky, so it was a much later point that I was educated in the ways of not relying on the auto save. I think it was probably my first playthroughs of Fallout 3 and New Vegas that gave me the biggest wake up call to using manual saves. I tried to steal something from the gun shop on the Strip in New Vegas, got trapped in the door and lost so much in the terrible auto save and realised that it had been hours since my last save and was broken. I seem to remember a similar thing around a super mutant base in 3 that gave me a lapsed saving huge undoing of playtime. Since then, much better at keeping tab on it. Until Teardown recently, that game has given me quite a few I forgot to save nightmares.

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Ravelle

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#11  Edited By Ravelle

I didn't learn to manually save, it got drilled in to my as an instinct after games kept crashing and having bad checkpoints, I use manually saving in the same way I use manually reloading in shooters.

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colourful_hippie

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Pokemon on mobile, Oblivion on console

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DaveSavedTheDay

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My mom somehow deleted my only Mysteries of the Sith save when I was young.

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development

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When I messed up the ME2 ending setup due to bad game design and the auto save put you past the relevant decision, and the whole community here told me it was my fault for not manually saving. Wish I was kidding but it was unanimous. Crazy how much the community has matured.

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TheRealTurk

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I think I always have? I grew up in an era where there was no such thing as autosaves. If you played Baldur's Gate for 4 hours and didn't save before you died, you got to go all the way back to the beginning of the game. Then autosaves came along and I had too many bad experiences with them saving in bad/weird/inappropriate/bugged places, so I still only manually save. I get three or four going and then just roll through them as needed.

I honestly think people who rely on auto or cloud saves are kind of asking for it, just because games are (seemingly) so much buggier these days, and reloading an old save an often clear a lot of weird issues. Case in point - AC: Valhalla, where I swear at least 30% of the side content is broken in some way and the only way to fix it is to reload a different save file than the being autosaved on.

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TheFlamingo352

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I think I've manually saved as long as I've played games, but I remember Thief really teaching me how to save *scum*. Probably the first time I ever learned the hotkeys for quicksave and quickload.

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fetchfox

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After burning myself a thousand times on Skyrim and save bugs/corruption (modding), I now always hard save and do backups.

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ajamafalous

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NES games that required passwords instead of letting you 'save,' I guess.

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cstrang

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If we're talking strictly manual save slots, I think I was a bit of a late bloomer because I've been primarily a console gamer for the vast majority of my life. I think I did it periodically before this, but I remember thinking "I will never let this happen again" when I inexplicably lost my near end-game save of New Vegas to a save-killing bug. Ever since, I cycle through at least 5 save slots if able to, and if the game is longer than a dozen hours or so.

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Raven10

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#20  Edited By Raven10

Funny how at least half of the responses here, if not more, are from some Bethesda game or another. Might be something Bethesda should look into dramatically improving with their next game. I definitely also lost an hour or more of progress in Morrowind and Oblivion due to bad quick save habits.

EDIT: Also a ton of people who like me didn't save nearly enough when playing Infinity Engine cRPGs.

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Efesell

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I'm also in the there were no autosaves at the time crowd but for some reason the deep (and often earned) paranoia never really stuck with me. I'm real bad about hard saves and still occasionally get bitten by it. Or get burned by cloud saves fucking up in some weird manner.

I am a pretty obsessive quick saver though, when that is available as an option.

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cikame

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I was playing PC games in the late 90's so i couldn't say where exactly, Half Life or something, smashing the F5 key all the time.
I'm a one save slot kinda guy, unless a game creates multiple by default, it hasn't backfired on me yet.

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Bivis87

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First for me was PS1 era, playing Rayman, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider etc.

I feel in the last couple of years, I've had to relearn the habit all over again playing through all the Yakuza games.

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g_rex

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editing short films

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rorie

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I think it was almost certainly XCOM: UFO Defense for me. Your mission could go from "hey this is going pretty well" to "hey two of my squaddies got mind controlled and shot the rest of my team" real quick back in the day.

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Slag

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before auto saves existed.

Even when auto saves are reliable I'll never fully trust them. I've felt the pain of lost or overwritten saves to many times to not make tons of extra backups when I can

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Undeadpool

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#27  Edited By Undeadpool

Fallout 2

NO auto-save whatsoever, and just as bug-riddled as the games of today. I had a hard-crash bug hit my game out of nowhere during a 3 hour play session. I tried to remember when I last saved and realized, with creeping horror, that the answer was "never."

@cikame That went so wrong for me in the first Grandia. Got to a point where I was underleveled to beat the final boss, but couldn't leave the room with the save point to go and grind.

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stinger061

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Starting with a PS1 means I have always been a single manual save person. Couldn't afford to waste those precious blocks by having duplicate saves. So far it hasn't come back to bite me, I've never had a save corrupt or put me in a position where it was impossible to progress in a game.

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theonewhoplays

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Always have. During my PC and PS1-2 days I used to keep several saves just so I could go back and replay sections or show them to my friends. I basically never do that nowadays but I always keep at least a manual save just in case, and it has saved my bacon several times. But I remember getting stuck at the infamously hard boss in Final Fantasy Tactics without a backup - thankfully I could push through it with the help of GameFaqs...

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dudeglove

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Growing up in the countryside with a ps1 you manually save a lot and also in perpetual terror. Had more than one corrupted save because of power cuts.

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omatictoast

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#31  Edited By omatictoast

Half-Life for sure.