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Saved games go missing
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During the upgrade to 1.08 all my saved games went missing. Now (and this has happened in previous versions as well) every so often my saved games just disappear. Scenarios and/or campaign saves i have had go missing and the only options i have is to start the missions as I have never played it before. Sometimes it happens where i also try to load a saved game and it fails, and then when i try to load it again it's missing and all i have is the Play button to start over. Its very random but happens quite often to the point i have spent so many hours on several missions and all my time is lost where i have to start over. This is completely frustrating… Please help! {F22953}


Legacy ID
Steps To Reproduce

Save game, close game and come back and its missing. Or sometimes i load a saved session, it fails to load (no error message) and it deletes the saved game where it only has the start button from the beginning. Happens to both Steam Workshop scenarios and campaigns missions

Additional Information

I do have some MODs installed, but it doesn't seem to make a different if i have it installed or not.

Event Timeline

JCae2798 edited Steps To Reproduce. (Show Details)Dec 20 2013, 1:47 PM
JCae2798 edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
JCae2798 set Category to Performance.
JCae2798 set Reproducibility to Random.
JCae2798 set Severity to None.
JCae2798 set Resolution to Fixed.
JCae2798 set Legacy ID to 2390479808.May 7 2016, 5:39 PM
JCae2798 edited a custom field.

I found out more of the issue. Seems that mostly Steamed Workshop missions are affected. Saving seems to work OK when in-game. As soon as you close the game and restart, the resume button goes missing. Looking at the folders the saved files still exist. It seems like the system ignores the saved files. I have been attempting a workaround that seems to be working great for now. I have been manually moving the PBO missions from the steamed folders to the standard downloaded folder. This seems to be working just fine for now. I think this started since update 1.08

For the regular missions, i think the problem is more related at when mods are enabled/disabled. Once a change is made whether the mod affects the current missions or not it disables/corrupts the saved file. It will tried to load it and then it goes back to selection screen and the resume button goes missing. Only option is to start the missions all over. Not sure why this would happen if these mods would not affect the mission. For example, i have some mods to add additional units, but campaign doesn't use it. Enabling/Disabling this expansion should not affect the saved mission file.

Exact same thing happens to me. Saved games disappear for no reason. Before it worked fine. Been happening just recently.

Just tried your workaround and it works. Hope this gets fixed since steam makes things easy, including automatic updates.

TWiG added a subscriber: TWiG.May 7 2016, 5:39 PM
TWiG added a comment.Dec 31 2013, 12:14 AM

"Seems that mostly Steamed Workshop missions are affected. Saving seems to work OK when in-game. As soon as you close the game and restart, the resume button goes missing. Looking at the folders the saved files still exist. It seems like the system ignores the saved files."

Same thing for me as well... QUITE annoying.

Same here. NO mods.

Edit: Maybe change from "Performance" to "Steam workshop" as this might be related to similar bugs.

Savegames are incompatible between different stable releases. They are also incompatible between Dev and Stable. Mostly it's no issue since you might only have to restart one particular mission (in case of the campaign).

Gonna close as "no bug" unless someone's proving me mistaken.

I am fully aware that savegames are incompatible between different versions. The problem WAS that when you saved the game, you could load the saved game if you did not exit Arma. If you restart Arma and select the mission, resume was missing.

However, since the game was updated yesterday (?) I can't reproduce the error. It might have been fixed but I guess someone else needs to confirm.

It sure works for me! Marking fixed for now.

I have this error now, as described in the first note. The version of ARMA has not changed; a restart of the game loses all saves. It happens consistently.

Edit: a successful workaround is as follows. Upon restart, backup all the save content in e.g. C:\Users\You\Documents\Arma 3\Saved\steam\mission-name.island\, make a new save, exit the mission, copy the backup back into the folder, use the 'resume' function and then load the appropriate save.

So it seems there is a trigger somewhere that show if a mission is saved or not. Could it be under the META folder in C:\Users\You\Documents\Arma 3\Saved\steam ? If you backup that folder and replace it after the successful workaround, are you still able to resume?

Various experiments with 'meta' made no difference - either copying over an older one, or deleting it.

I also tried deleting all the save content and creating a new one, in case something was corrupt. No help - problem persists on restart. At the time of writing, my meta folder is currently empty, although it wasn't in the first tests.

One modification to my workaround: it's not necessary to exit the mission, except perhaps to replace the PBO. As soon as the files are present, the Load option appears.

Happy to test anything you think of.

I guess we need feedback from a developer or similar who knows how it works and what files are touched during save. Perhaps uploading the working save game could help out?

Curiously, something I did fixed it for one restart, but it's broken again. I've done a bunch of stuff so it's going to take some narrowing down.

I did see this in some of the RPT logs, but again may be related to my changes:

"Initializing Steam Manager
unable to load subscribed content list. list will be updated from steam
unable to load published content list. list will be updated from steam
unable to load cached items meta info. save and update functionality will be broken
Steam Manager initialized."

and also a reduced version:

"Initializing Steam Manager
unable to load published content list. list will be updated from steam
Steam Manager initialized."

I guess it is the Meta folder that is corrupt. Restore it from a backup and hopefully it will be fixed. If that does not help maybe you could verify Arma in Steam so that all files are OK.

Edit: Looks like this might be related to ticket 0016524 as they mention a problem with save game as described in this ticket. As I cant reproduce the error anymore, could you test again and see if the new DEV-build also fix the Save game error?

So the problem is back for me and I can confirm this is due to an update of the Workshop Scenario. As soon it is updated the saved game disappears...

sadako added a subscriber: sadako.May 7 2016, 5:39 PM

I have the same Problem.
i have tried the Workaround above but it didnt help me. :(

uuum...think i found the problem maybe, when you start the game it will wont automatically go to the 'new' account but the other account you created. Why is this important? For some reason when you play singleplayer when even loged in (for the first time) to your 'true' account ,e.g. mine being 'shadow999999', it will instead save the save data to the 'new' account instead of the correct acount but after the second time (when your data apears lost) when then you save it will apear in that acount. I'v only tried this twice so i dont know if it switches the acount around each time but if you have an extra acound and do/do not have the 'new' account in the profiles part of confiqure then youll have to search for it in either steam directory or your documents directory.

edit: sorry if i seem vage about what im saying here but to sum it up just look for your saves in, for me it was, the documents which one will be called arma 3 and the other being called arma3 - other profiles which is where the saves are kept.

Danius added a subscriber: Danius.May 7 2016, 5:39 PM

I have been having the same issue with my DUWS saves. When I change the loaded mods to go play a different game type, I completly lose my DUWS saved games. Major bummer. There just isn't a resume button anymore at all.

Can anyone explain the workaround for this?

hilkiah added a subscriber: hilkiah.May 7 2016, 5:39 PM

Also have this problem (v1.28 stable branch). For me it only affects Steam subscribed scenarios (i.e. Armaholic downloaded scenarios work well). Note further that I am not modifying mods (adding/deleting) between game. To reproduce :

  • start Arma3
  • start scenario
  • save scenario
  • save and exit scenario
  • there is no option to resume scenario

So basically you don't even have to exit Arma3 for the problem to manifest itself. Note further that ...Documents\Arma 3\Saved\steam\scenario name... exists. So it appears that Arma3 is writing the savegame info to disk, it just isn't reading it back.

Lastly, it is not a profile issue as I am using the same profile all the time.

DUWS had to be start as a Multiplayer Game.
For Singleplayer too. Then the old Saved games will run.

Ok here's an update; I have 2 ARMA3 profiles, the default profile and my clan profile. I usually play with my clan profile. What I have noticed is that for my save games to appear (i.e. resume button), I either have to play using the default profile OR play the scenario with my clan profile, save and exit, switch to the default profile, play the same scenario and save and exit, then switch back to my clan profile at which point I can resume (i.e. resume button appears).

Here is how to reproduce :

Delete the Saved folder in the default profile:
C:\Users\HILKIAH\Dropbox\Documents\Arma 3\Saved

Delete the Saved folder in the alternate profile:
C:\Users\HILKIAH\Dropbox\Documents\Arma 3 - Other Profiles\-1PARA-hilkiah\Saved

1-Launch game
2-switch to alternate profile (if it isn't already selected)
3-start the scenario (e.g. Dsylecxi's gear menu)
4-save and exit

  • at this point, here is what the Saved dir looks like on both profiles:

Default profile:
C:\Users\HILKIAH\Dropbox\Documents\Arma 3\Saved\steam\dslyecxi's%20gear%20menu%20v1%2e6.altis\dslyecxi's%20gear%20menu%20v1%2e6.altis.pbo (only the pbo file)
C:\Users\HILKIAH\Dropbox\Documents\Arma 3\Saved\steam\meta\,publishedContent.list,subscribedContent.list (3 files)

Alternate profile:
C:\Users\HILKIAH\Dropbox\Documents\Arma 3 - Other Profiles\-1PARA-hilkiah\Saved\steam\dslyecxi's%20gear%20menu%20v1%2e6.altis\continue.Arma3Save,weapons.cfg (2 files)

  • at this point there is no resume/restart option for this scenario

5-switch to default profile
6-start same scenario (e.g. Dsylecxi's gear menu)
7-save and exit

  • at this point the resume/restart option is available for BOTH profiles. Also here is what the Saved dir looks like on both profiles:

Default profile:
C:\Users\HILKIAH\Dropbox\Documents\Arma 3\Saved\steam\dslyecxi's%20gear%20menu%20v1%2e6.altis\dslyecxi's%20gear%20menu%20v1%2e6.altis.pbo,continue.Arma3Save,weapons.cfg (3 files)
C:\Users\HILKIAH\Dropbox\Documents\Arma 3\Saved\steam\meta\,publishedContent.list,subscribedContent.list (3 files)

Alternate profile:
C:\Users\HILKIAH\Dropbox\Documents\Arma 3 - Other Profiles\-1PARA-hilkiah\Saved\steam\dslyecxi's%20gear%20menu%20v1%2e6.altis\continue.Arma3Save,weapons.cfg (2 files)

As a work around, I will simply play all scenarios with my default profile until this is fixed.

I was also having problems saving. Details:

  • Single player.
  • Using a secondary account.
  • Cannot see "Resume" when exiting the scenario, let alone after restarting the game.
  • All this is using DUWS from Steam.

Then I switched to my default account and I was able save and resume DUWS as expected. Then I switched back to my secondary account and that started working! I was able to Resume the game I had started before I experimented with the default account.

I just read hilkiah's report closely; I guess I'm seeing exactly what he's seeing.

R3vo added a subscriber: R3vo.May 7 2016, 5:39 PM
R3vo added a comment.Sep 10 2014, 8:13 PM

I can confirm that issue. I recently started to play Singleplayer again, and noticed that I can't resume old saves.

I discovered a few things today:

When you hit "Save and Exit" a file of the name "continue.Arma3Save" is created. The next time you play, it is the presence of continue.Arma3Save that seems to allow the "Resume" button to be displayed. When you click Resume, that file gets loaded *and then deleted*.

Now this is a problem for DUWS, because you'll get killed and decide to pack it in for the night by pressing "End." This causes nothing to be saved, and there will be no "Resume" button the next time you play. This makes sense for short missions like Ground Attack (you died, its over), but is stupid for DUWS.

To get out of this situation you can...

  1. Use explorer to find your save folder (C:\Users\yourname\Documents\Arma 3\Saved\steam\[sp%2fmp]dynamic%20universal%20war%20system.altis)
  1. Find one of the existing savegame files, say autosave.Arma3Save or save.Arma3Save.
  1. Make a copy of that file and rename it to "continue.Arma3Save".
  1. Restart Arma and the Resume button should be available.

It worked for me. Good luck!

Wowwwww goertzenator. Such a simple solution and it sounds to make perfect sense. Especially since dying is typically the catalyst for the "f*ck this. Time for bed!" trigger. Will try to test it out later. Awesome catch man!

With all these longer play style scenarios coming out the save/load game functionality probably needs a rethink. There's nothing more frustrating than loosing hours of hard fought battles due to these issues.

If you look at the related issue you can see that the devs responded with why they dont allow a save between versions/updates of a scenario. It means that if you get an update of either the scenario or Arma version you will not be able to resume.

However, this is something the scenario developer can fix by using a custom save function. Look at the mission [Dyn/SP]Whole Lotta Altis on the workshop and test the function there. (made by Saok who reported the other issue). Even if the scenario or Arma is updated you can still, in this scenario, resume the mission.

Too bad, with regards to the devs response there is only one way this issue can go now.. closed.. :( I would hope different though because of all the missions with long lasting battles etc.

But there are issues here that are completely separate from scenario updates, namely:

  1. If your machine crashes, you cannot Resume.
  2. If you press "End", you cannot Resume.

If I've understood the save file situation properly I think the devs can easily fix this by...

  1. Not deleting continue.Arma3Save after loading it (provides crash resilience.)
  2. Whenever an autosave or "Save" is invoked, make a copy of the savefile as continue.Arma3Save. (provides crash resilience, better behavior after hitting "End")
  3. Only delete continue.Arma3Save when the scenario is actually completed.

So, is there anyway BI can make old saves work with new scenario updates/game updates?

Will695 added a subscriber: Will695.May 7 2016, 5:39 PM

Found an easier way to make the saves work, only skimmed this thread so apologies if this has been mentioned. I use 2 profiles the default one and Will695.

in C:\Users\%username%\Documents\Arma 3\Saved\steam
find the mission and copy the .pbo

go to

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Arma 3\Missions

and paste the pbo's in there (i subscribed to a load of missions as today was the 1st time I've played any scenario's)

when in ARMA Scenario's you'll now see 2 lots of the same mission,one under a steam "tree" and the other just above. Use the ones not in the steam tree and you'll get a resume. Bit of an easier way than saving the save.arma3save and renaming every time. you don't have to worry about it.

Hey Will, I've seen that suggested elsewhere and probably above as well. It seems to help, but not always. The issue with that I believe is that your mission files will not receive automatic updates through the Steam Workshop. Meaning you would be responsible for manually copying updated mission .pbo files into the Missions folder every time they are updated. I might be wrong about that though...

I have tried above, and it does not seem to work. All my scenarios loose the saved games once I go back to main menu

Delta99 added a subscriber: Delta99.May 7 2016, 5:39 PM

I can reproduce this with a mission downloaded through Steam workshop. I saved multiple times during the game. Then Save&Exit. I don't even quit the game and the save is still not there.

I got the same issue with playing DUWS. The resume button dissappears. The trick of goertzenator worked for me. Thank you!!

we have fixed the problem, resuming is now possible for all scenarios.
Steam Dev rev. 127272 and higher.

Thanks Iceman. Any Idea when that will go GA?

I'd guess it's rather 1.32, so that be with Chopper DLC on Nov 4th. Just a guess, since 1.30 RC is already in public tests and probably GA next week.

The plan is to release only multiplayer fixes in 1.30, so 1.32 sounds much more reasonable right now.

besides my savegames go missing I also have a huge FPS drop after playing for an hour or so and loaded a savegame because I died. It's funny because I have regular framerate when I stand still (40-50) and it drop und 10 when I am walking with my player mannekin

Baraz added a subscriber: Baraz.Sep 11 2017, 8:45 PM
Baraz added a comment.EditedSep 11 2017, 8:52 PM

I am a bit pissed that it is tagged Fixed, when it is not at all in single player campaigns.

Saved games are very often deleted by the game for various reasons (i.e. unrelated to any user or pc issues).

  • If you press the Escape key after you die, to bring up the menu used to load a saved game or to quit mission, the game deletes all saves. That key is used to save/load/save & exit, so it becomes a reflex. When a player quits a mission of the game, he/she did not ask to delete all her saved positions. Please Bohemia change this!
  • As soon as you reach the following mission, all saves are deleted ! I wanted to redo the last part of the Supply Network mission, but no can do.
  • The game deletes saved game for other random reasons, such as crashing, and other occult "reasons".

Often, the Save & Exit option is not even available, yet you can do Save, which will be destroyed if you quit the mission ! Bohemia, this is really player unfriendly and is ongoing in September 2017.

That bug is still there. I just noticed it today. No mods. I used enableSaving in my mission, might be related to that. Other missions seem to work OK, only this one is problematic.

honger added a subscriber: honger.Oct 24 2022, 12:09 PM

FYI issue still exists, it seems like once the savegame is bigger than a certain uknown treshold no "continue.Arma3Save" is generated and unless you rename any existing save to the "continue" one, you're forced to replay the mission from its very beginning. Lost many hours already as it happens so rarely it's hard to get used to it.