As save data became almost omnipresent, Password Save started becoming obsolete by the late 1990s and pretty much extinct by the 2010s. However, the idea of saving the game in text was still interesting, especially in the cases of games that could be easily transferred by copy-paste (almost always on computers) and lack cloud save functionality. Due to modern games having a lot more variables than old-school games with typically higher values as well, a solution has been developed with the export save.
An export save is a save file which is usually so absurdly long that just typing it in would be impractical. Instead, you're supposed to copy the text into a plain text file with an "Export" function and then paste it into a window with an "Import" function. Alternatively, you have to download the file (usually plain text, but occasionally other formats) and then import it directly from the file manager.
Most files are obfuscated or encrypted in order to prevent people from figuring them out or making code generators (not that it stopped this). Additionally, if someone shares a 100% code, the game can effectively beaten by everyone with a simple copy-paste, which is even easier than typing in a password for the last level. Used fairly, it can be a nice and easy way to backup your savefile.
Another helpful use for an exportable save file is players being able to help the developers with fixing a Game-Breaking Bug like a NaN error by providing the circumstances in which it occurred. Some games do recommend doing so if that happens.
This trope is most commonly used in Idle Games but can be seldom seen elsewhere. By the way, most export saves end with "=" due to peculiarities of base64 encoding.
- Antimatter Dimensions copies the 6kB+ save file into the clipboard which can then be pasted into the game's import window.
- Brain Creator has an 800+ byte save copiable or downloadable from the game which can then be loaded.
- Candy box! saves the game as a 2kB+ C♯ file that you save and load directly from the file manager. Be careful, as it's made in such a way that just looking at it will spoil most upgrades and secrets.
- Many Choice of Games works use export saves containing data on every ultimate variable as a way of preserving progress for sequels that haven't yet been released.
- Clicker Heroes has a 4kB+ save that is first downloaded as a text file and then pasted into the game.
- Cookie Clicker has a copiable save file that weighs at least 3kB. It's also full of "wMDA"note if you've just started playing.
- DualForce Idle lets you import the 45kB+ save file into the clipboard or a text file which can be pasted into the game or read from the file.
- The Dynas Tree: You can export the 4kB+ savefile into the clipboard and paste it into a window that pops up. Also, gaining access to the map and conquering lands inflates file size by more than ten times.
- Epic Battle Fantasy:
- Exponential Idle lets you export the approx. 20kB save into the clipboard and paste it into the game or a document.
- FE000000: You can export the 16kB+ save file into the clipboard or have it appear in a window and paste it into the game. There's also the option of having the game remind you to export every x seconds.
- The Formula: You can copy the 4kB+ save file from the game and paste it into a window.
- Five-Leaf Clover lets you export a 110kB+ save file from the menu and paste it into a window to import it.
- Galactic Grind has 11kB+ files. Oddly, the Import and Export buttons seem to serve the same function, as you can export by copying the code, then replacing it in the very same window by pasting it and clicking import, no matter which button you pressed.
- The Game Dev Tree: You can export the 4kB+ savefile into the clipboard and paste it into the game.
- The GFRIEND Tree: You can copy the 5kB+ save file and paste it into a pop-up window.
- Groundhog Life has 19kB+ save files which are copied from and pasted into an in-game window. The game also notes imports from pre-Kongregate versions are no longer supported.
- Home Quest: You can export the 13kB+ save to the clipboard and import it by pasting a string to the game.
- Idle Bouncer offers 5kB+ copiable files.
- Idle Brain Quest: There's an export button in the options, which puts your save as "IdleBrainQuest_exported.save" in the Downloads folder, and you can import it from "IdleBrainQuest.save", but it won't work if you don't turn on access to the files in the options (the game won't ask for enabling them, at least not on a phone running Android 9).
- Idle Breakout has a not too large (for this trope anyway) copiable from a web window save file that is only 300+ bytes. It's also full of "MCwwLDAs"note if you've just started playing.
- The Idle Class: You can copy the 4kB+ save file or download it and paste it into a window. One of the stats tracked in the stat screen is the save file size.
- Idle Football Manager: You can copy or download the 55kB+ save file and paste it into an in-game window.
- Idle Mine Remix: You can copy and paste the game's save into a text document that's over 100kB long.
- Idle Recruit has a surprisingly short 20+ byte file which only holds how much EXP you've earned and not other game data. That said, it's still copied into the clipboard and pasted into the game.
- The Incrementali Tree: You can press a button to copy the 2kB+ save file and paste it into a window that pops up.
- The Incrementreeverse: You can export the 5kB+ savefile into the clipboard and paste it into a window that pops up.
- The Leveling Tree allows you to export the 2kB+ savefile into the clipboard and paste it into a window that pops up.
- Logistics Inc has an 8kB+ save that takes up the whole game screen which can be copied from there and imported either directly from the .txt file or pasted into a window. Note that it's impossible to get out of the save code screen after opening it.
- Kittens Game: As an option under the options menu, a text version of the game state is provided to copy out, and a corresponding import option is available there as well.
- Omega Layers: The 7kB+ save file can be copied by clicking a button or downloaded as plain text and pasted from clipboard to an in-game window.
- The Perfect Tower starts with 4kB save files which grow larger as you play (clearing just one mission can typically add 10 bytes). Due to engine limitations, a password is directly exported into a plain text file, but it can be copied into an import menu's window.
- Pixels Filling Squares lets you copy the 3kB+ save file from an in-game window and paste it back in.
- Plazma Burst's second installment, Plazma Burst 2, allows you to import and export game states around 2kB to 7kB with the "Export game state" option located in the main menu's "Settings & Performance" via manual copy-and-paste. This applies to both importing into the game state box and exporting to a new text file.
- The Prestige Chain: You can the export the 18kB+ savefile into the clipboard and paste it into a window that pops up.
- Primordia (2022): The save manager has an option to export the 2kB+ save and immediately make it a new save file by importing it.
- Rebuild the Universe: There's a button for exporting the 140kB+ save file. It doesn't initially work and it's made of strange symbols due to being made in Unicode, but you can still paste it into the game.
- Replicanti Incremental: You can download the 2kB+ save file in plain text format and paste it into the game.
- Sipho: Aquarium layouts are exported and imported via text.
- Swarm Simulator has a 900+ byte save file which can be copied normally or by push of a button in-game and then copied into a window.
- Sword Fight's save can be copied to clipboard with at least 6kB of text and pasted into the in-game window.
- Synergism lets you export the game's save file to clipboard or as a 15kB file and paste it back to the game. Exporting gives you a small Quark bonus (up to 25 per day which can be increased with Research). The game developer also mentions exporting every time he releases an update.
- The Tree of Life: You can export the 30kB+ save file and paste it into an in-game window. There's also a save bank that lets you click a button to enter a specific progression stage, working as a Password Save of sorts with the different parts of the game it lets you come/return to.
- The Tree of Nerfs: You can export the 2kB+ savefile into the clipboard and paste it into a window that pops up. Chances are you won't have to do it as the game is so short.
- Trimps has a 15kB+ save file (growing to 40kB+ on later stages) that can be copied manually from an in-game window, copied into clipboard or downloaded as a file and imported by pasting it into another window.
- Universe Shrinker: You can click "Export" to show the 6kB+ save file which can be copied and pasted into a text file or imported from the text field. Also, the previous save isn't replaced when you click "Export".
- Vector Incremental: You can export the game in a 12kB+ text file which is automatically put in the default folder you've chosen for downloads and imported from the file explorer.
- World Idle: The settings menu has the 5kB+ save file in a window which can be copied and pasted elsewhere and loaded from it.