Follow TV Tropes



Go To

A feature in Video Games, where the game automatically saves data without the player's input, usually with a small notification. The game will save at certain points, such as when the player enters a new location, wins a certain battle, or after a certain number of minutes/turns have passed. An Auto-Save will always overwrite the previous file in the system. The option to save manually may also be present, in which case the Auto-Save system may rotate through multiple (usually three) save slots.

Although autosaving is usually meant to be just a convenience for the player, developers sometimes use it to prevent Save Scumming, which some feel is a form of cheating. While it used to be relatively uncommon in certain types of genres, such as Eastern RPGs, platform games and action games, it had become an expected feature across the medium by the late 2010s.

In arcade games with such systems, they will display Game Over screens in a literal sense after their auto-save is done (if the player decides to leave the game), signifying their sessions being ended. Though in recent games, the Game Over terms are changed to less insulting metaphors.

One downside to auto-saving is that the player might turn off their system or close the game in the middle of a save without knowing it (usually due to the "Now Saving..." indicator being easy to miss), potentially corrupting their save file in the process. However, many modern games with auto-save are on systems with User Operation Prohibit Flags, one of the few kinds of cases where such flags are seen as a good thing.

Compare and contrast Checkpoint, Save Point and Save-Game Limits.


    open/close all folders 

  • The Matrix: Path of Neo has this show up as a little green memory card at the beginning of the levels, so that if you die, you don't have to start from the last level.
  • Spark the Battle Dog: You know the game is auto-saving when a picture of a floppy disk appears in the corner of the screen.

    Action-Adventure Games 

    Adventure Games 
  • In Code 7, your game is saved pretty often; at the start of every cutscene, whenever you move to another location, and often even when you move to another computer through the network while gathering information. Because of this, there is no way to save manually. Every autosave overwrites the previous one, so Save Scumming isn't exactly encouraged, but it isn't prevented either, since the save files are pretty easy to find, copy and replace.
  • Heaven's Vault: Triggered by leaving a Moon or some other triggers. Making a translation is not one of them.
  • Her Majesty's Spiffing: The game autosaves at certain points, shown by the spinning hourglass icon in the top right corner of the screen.
  • Poptropica saves whenever you collect an item or trigger an event. This can be exploited, as you'll know if what you just did was important or not depending on if you see the "saving game" text appear.
  • The Radio Station: You know the game is autosaving when you see "Saving." in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  • Robinson: The Journey: This is indicated by "Saving Game" appearing in the middle of the screen below a spinning circle.
  • Sacred Odyssey: Rise of Ayden: The "Autosave" can be toggled on, so you save instantly at each checkpoint.

    Audio Games 
  • The Gate has these scattered throughout its various levels. When a player encounters them, the game simply says, "Checkpoint."

    Beat'em Up 
  • River City Girls: Quitting is the only way to save manually. Otherwise the game just saves by itself, at least before cutscenes, probably upon entering another room.

    Eastern RPG 
  • Afterimage: As indicated by a triangular emblem on the bottom right of the screen, the game autosaves whenever you pick up items from chests, obtain rare collectibles, or unlock achievements. It also autosaves whenever you return to the title screen, though that's more of a quality-of-life feature.
  • Citizens of Earth has an auto-save slot which is automatically updated each time you go through a loading screen. It's convenient given the large amount of game breaking bugs, but if you happen to be doing a quest which takes place on a single large map and the game crashes or you get stuck somewhere because the game didn't load the character that lets you leave, you're out of luck unless you saved manually.
  • The Dark Souls games and Bloodborne autosave almost constantly. While this is nice in that if the game gets unexpectedly shut off or crashes you'll only lose a couple of minutes of progress at most, it also means that everything that happens in the game will stick, whether it be killing a boss or an important friendly NPC. You cannot force a do-over by reloading an old save file: the consequences of your actions are permanent.
  • Dragon Quest IX only has autosave when calculating the odds of an alchemiracle, to prevent Save Scumming until you get the ultimate weapon/armor.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy XIII autosaves before every battle. If you die, you get the choice of Retry or Quit. Retry returns you to just before the battle, allowing you to fiddle with your strategy or just run away. Quit returns you to your last manual save.
    • Final Fantasy XIII-2 autosaves before key events like bosses.
  • Genshin Impact Auto Save is the only save. There is no manual save/load menu: you can only quit the game when you have finished a session, and continue when you log on again. The game doesn't even tell you when it is auto-saving.
  • Great Greed featured autosave back in 1992 for the Game Boy, alongside three traditional save files.
  • The Kingdom Hearts games mark a checkpoint whenever you enter a new room, which you can return to if you are killed. 0.2 and III upgrade these to full-fledged, loadable save files.
  • A Knight's Quest for Milk autosaves every time you get a new objective or clear an old one.
  • In The Last Story, the game's autosave is referred to as a "Checkpoint Save", and it's made any time you're about to go into a battle. The game notes that it only keeps one Checkpoint Save at a time, though you can have as many save files (using the traditional Save Point) as you want.
  • In Mega Man Battle Network, getting a new chip from the chip trader machine will cause the game to auto-save in any game after the first. This is to prevent Save Scumming for the desired chip.
  • Reincarnation Assistant: The first save slot stores the auto-save made upon completion of the tutorial. It can be overwritten by a manual save.

    Card Battle Game 
  • Monster Monpiece: The game is very clear about not autosaving:
    Story progress will not be auto saved. You must save story progress at the system menu.
  • Touhou Lost Branch Of Legend: The game has Only One Save File and autosaves at the beginning of each combat encounter, and also saves at after the battle has ended, but the loot hasn't been collected, so at that point, the battle cannot be retried.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Valve games autosave in certain places or intervals. If you want to to back before an autosave, you can always load the previous save file:
  • Bioshock Infinite has only Save Point-based autosaves.
  • The Borderlands series: Autosave both when a player changes areas and when they enter the proximity of a New-U station in the first and second games.
  • Most Call of Duty games save between levels, and some save at checkpoints.
  • Many Doom source ports, such as ZDoom, autosave whenever the player enters a new level, whilst also having the option of manual saves. In ZDoom at least, this differs from the Quake II example above, in that ZDoom has four autosave slots (new saves overwrite the oldest one) which are separate from the standard save slots.
  • Far Cry used auto-save checkpoints. It was also possible to enable an option to make manual saves.
  • All games in the FEAR series autosave after reaching a certain place and sometimes before or after a especially hard fight. The first game also has an option to save manually.
  • Both Goldeneye 1997 and Goldeneye 2010 use auto save.
  • Metro Exodus has three auto save slots and one quick save. The auto saves are triggered by location, and are sometimes close to each other.
  • Done in Quake II. The game auto-saves into the first save slot whenever the player enters a new area, without notifying the player, but also allows the player to save in a different save slot manually whenever the player wishes.
  • Sharpshooter 3D saves your game automatically every few minutes. The words "Autosave" even appears onscreen each time.

    Platform Games 
  • Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy has autosaving as one of its several Anti-Frustration Features. It is enabled by default, with three other spare save slots for manual saves, but autosaving can also be deactivated at will for players who prefer to save completely manually.
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns saves even if you leave a level, which is helpful if you just want to look for Diddy in the level, but KONG letter and puzzle pieces are programmed to only be counted when you reach the exit.
  • Flippin Kaktus: The game will autosave at certain points, as indicated by the white outline of a floppy disk appearing on the screen when it happens.
  • Gun Witch: As Shirley says, after noting how to save and its importance, she whispers as an aside, or thinks to herself:
    (Although we do autosave after every quest)
  • HAAK: Even though there are many a Save Point in the game, it still autosaves at certain points, like when you have a conversation with Tr8, when you acquire a new item, or when you defeat any certain enemies.
  • The Jumper games automatically save progress at a moment that varies between games. Then again, being able to undo death-count wouldn't be rather fair.
  • Kirby games always save like this. The sole exception is "The Great Cave Offensive" game in Kirby Super Star, which has a Metroidvania-like design including Save Points.
  • Pankapu: The game autosaves whenever a level is exited. A small image appears in the bottom right of the screen during an autosave.
  • Purple saves progress automatically when you beat a boss, but level high-scores and item collections are saved instantly when you complete a level.
  • The Ratchet & Clank games save in between levels.
  • Spyro: Year of the Dragon autosaves whenever you're entering a level or the hub.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Wario Land automatically saves when you beat a level or boss (in pretty much every game in the series).
    • Yoshi's Island saves after every level. As does its DS sequel.
    • Where previous 3D Mario games left it to you to save, or gave you the option after finding a Plot Coupon, Super Mario Galaxy 2 just does it for you. You can also save at any time on the Faceship.
    • Super Mario Odyssey: Collecting Power Moons, Purple Coins, or entering different rooms, will have the game auto save.
  • Treasures Of The Aegean: If you see a white cloud with "Saving" inside it in the top right corner of the screen, you can probably tell that this is happening.
  • Turtle Pop: The autosave icon appears in the bottom-left corner of the screen every time you start a level.

    Puzzle Games 
  • Angry Birds and all its sequels automatically save your progress every time you complete a level.
  • Puyo Puyo games from the 2000's onward periodically autosave once you complete actions or beat levels. This was a problem for first-run DS copies of Puyo Puyo! 15th Anniversary, which had a Game-Breaking Bug where they could only save 255 times.
  • Spelling Jungle: The player's progress is automatically saved once they've beaten a level, including the Spelldown challenge afterward.

    Racing Games 
  • The Forza series has always featured only auto saves without allowing manual saves, and has always done so in a sensible manner. The fourth installment of the Motorsport series, however, took the amount of auto saving that occurs to new extremes. Apparently in order to prevent any form of cheating (because all the cars and upgrades you unlock in the career mode can be used in competitive online modes as well), the game saves after practically anything you do — even if you didn't actually do anything at all! Enter any in-game menu like a car dealer or a tuning shop, exit again right away, and another auto save is being made. What's really annoying, though, is that you can't do anything while the game saves. You're forced to wait the two seconds it takes for the auto save to be written to the Xbox's storage media before the game reacts to your input again, and having to wait two seconds every single time you do anything at all quickly exhausts one's patience.
  • Initial D Arcade Stage may as well be the Trope Codifier at least for arcade games, with mandatory auto-saving between sessions overwriting data on their memory cards, even before the Game Over screens if the player ends their sessions altogether. This serves a purpose: to avoid cheating on data even in intentional Non-Standard Game Over scenarios.

  • Dicey Dungeons automatically saves your progress, but it can't save during a battle, so you have to start it over if you quit during it.

    Rhythm Games 

  • G-Darius HD implements not only savestates, but also auto-saves whenever the player reaches a boss or an Area select or Zone select prompt, with the three most recent auto-saves stored.

    Simulation Games 
  • Bear & Breakfast automatically saves your progress, which can be toggled in the settings, although you can save manually as well.
  • Cute Bite: There's six slots for the six previous autosaves, which trigger at certain points, like after every Hunting event, or at the start of a Hunting encounter.
  • Kerbal Space Program always autosaves whenever you exit to the main menu, and periodically does so in flight as well. However, autosaving is disabled while flying in an atmosphere or moving across the surface of a body, as otherwise (since physics take a few seconds to kick in when loading a save) you could potentially end up, say, passing through the ground before the game notices where you are. This effectively makes it impossible to exit the game while flying in an atmosphere or driving over the surface without throwing away everything since the last autosave, but this can be circumvented by creating a quicksave named "persistent" (the filename KSP uses for its autosaves).
  • Publisher Dream, a downloadable game for the Nintendo 3DS, autosaves at the end of every work week.
  • Stardew Valley autosaves at the end of every day. There's no manual saving option, so each farm can only be saved as one file, but you can have an unlimited number of farms.
  • The later games in the X-Universe series autosave when you dock at a space station. X: Rebirth shipped without an autosave, making the plethora of Game Breaking Bugs at release that much more painful; the game now saves periodically and at every station.

    Survival Horror 
  • Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water has autosave occur at various checkpoints during chapters and once after a chapter is successfully completed. There is no manual save option.
  • Gynophobia: Your game seems to save whenever you complete a level, as indicated by the message you get regarding it on the bottom of the loading screens.
  • Resident Evil: Revelations 2 has one autosave file and no manual saves.
  • Until Dawn goes to quite some lengths to work its save system into the game's themes. Every single time you make a decision, no matter how trivial, the game autosaves. There's Only One Save File. Any choice you make, you have to live with. Want to change your mind? Start over. After all, the past is beyond your control.
  • Zombie Claus: Whenever you pick up a present, you get a "Save Game" message.

    Stealth-Based Games 
  • The Assassin's Creed series autosaves whenever you change cities, finish combat, collect a collectible, or otherwise make any progress worth saving.
  • Castle Wolfenstein. In the original 1981 version the game saved your situation every time you entered a room or died. If you died you could prevent this by opening the disk drive's door, then re-booting. The game would start up again right where you entered the room.
  • Hitman (2016) and Hitman 2 use identical autosave systems. The games have eight separate slots that update one after another in a timeline fashion.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising will autosave frequently during menus, particularly after accessing screens where you perform actions that alter your save file (e.g. buying weapons, doing Idol Toss, etc.). The game also automatically saves when you use the "Close Software" function in the 3DS menu.
  • Sniper Elite 4 has three autosave slots, and saves every one or two minutes. If things go wrong, don't hang around too long to see if you can sort them out.
  • Sniper Elite 5 stretches the autosave interval out from one or two minutes to two or three minutes.

    Tower Defense 
  • Plants vs. Zombies saves your progress every time you complete an action - be it completing a level, buying something from the store, or watering your garden.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Battle for Wesnoth automatically creates a save file every new turn and scenario, the former being referred specifically as autosave. Older automatic save files made every new turn will be removed automatically once there's too many of them (more than 10, by default).
  • The GBA Fire Emblem titles all have a continuous autosave, though it's for keeping track of unit death counts to show on the ending screen instead of keeping your progress.
  • Phantom Doctrine: The game is generous with auto saves.
    • It keeps auto saves of the last three combat turns, for your Save Scumming pleasure.
    • It also keeps auto saves of the last three game days on the world map.
  • Shadowrun Returns was criticized for only having autosaves (which were done whenever a new area loaded), as the engine didn't support manual saves until the release of Dragonfall.
  • Victoria: An Empire Under The Sun autosaves periodically, at intervals that can be set by the player (e.g. every 3 months in game time, 6 months, etc.). The player can also save manually at any point in the game.
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown and its sequel has this as an option where it saves after a certain number of days and after every mission, but the Iron Man difficulty setting ramps this up - it will save after every out of battle decision made and every turn to prevent Save Scumming.

    Western RPG 
  • Child of Light: Auto Save is the only save. There are no manual save slots, but you can trigger an auto save by examining old shrines (if you're near one) or by using items in the main menu (if you have some to spare).
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution has autosaving, generally when moving between room sets and whenever significant conversations occur.
  • Diablo II and Diablo III. The second game seems to autosave after some time has passed, as well as when leaving the game. The third game autosaves when entering a certain place.
  • Dragon Age: Origins has the game autosave at certain predefined locations (often immediately before a battle) while Dragon Age II pretty much saves automatically each time the player enters a new area. Both have up to four autosave slots.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Morrowind brings it into the series, autosaving every time you rest. It can also be turned off in the settings menu.
    • Oblivion expands it to automatically save your progress each time you enter a new location, with a small "Autosaving" notification on the upper left of the screen.
    • Skyrim expands it even further, with semi-regular autosaves when you open the menu with a 15 minute cooldown. In the PC version, you can change the length of time after autosaves will trigger.
  • Mass Effect: Mass Effect has autosaves roughly at the beginnings, midpoints, and ends of missions. However, Mass Effect's missions are long. You can easily lose an hour or more of progress if you die without using manual saves. Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 greatly increase the frequency of autosaves, making this less of a problem.
  • The Of Pen and Paper series: Knights of Pen and Paper and Knights of Pen and Paper 2: The game does it after the party rests, and enters an area.
  • Transistor: Usually saves happen whenever an Access Point is accessed, but the game also saves at the start of the motorcycle riding cutscene.
  • Undertale makes use of this to screw with the player's head. While not telling the player that it's happening, the game automatically saves after the player makes moral choices, most notably sparing or killing the bosses. These saves also persist across the player's save files, and certain NPC's will "remember" what happened in previous saves. For instance, if the player kills the first boss, reloads the game and spares the boss, Flowey the Flower will call the player out on it.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons introduces periodic Autosaves to the series. This has the side effect of Mr. Resetti being Demoted to Extra, as this makes Save Scumming (which he called you out for in older games) less doable anyway.
  • Dragon's Dogma has autosaving, though it doesn't seem to pop up often enough to be effective, especially considering the singular save file.
  • Grand Theft Auto IV, aside from the manual saving that is allowed at Save Points, autosaves after completing missions. The manual saving at Save Points allows several savegames, the autosave uses only one file that is replaced each time.
  • Minecraft uses a single save state that overwrites itself persistently and upon quitting. Not even the game crashing will prevent it.
  • Saints Row 2 and Saints Row: The Third also have autosave.

  • Alekon: The games has "Saving..." appear in the top-right corner of the screen sometimes.
  • The Midnight Sanctuary: Whenever the player can make a manual save, the game also makes an autosave at the same point.
  • Harthorn: It saves when you see "Saving" in one of the corners of the screen.
  • Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan: This game appears to have this, as you can sometimes see a picture of a floppy disk appearing in the bottom left corner of the screen.


Origami King autosave

The game autosaves between areas.

How well does it match the trope?

4.8 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / Autosave

Media sources: