Introduction: Older PC Video Game Save Hacking

Picture of Older PC Video Game Save Hacking

Are you bored of OLD PC GAMES that you have completed and never play anymore, well here is a way to give your old game a new life. basically you will learn how to change the save file to get whatever you the game.

Step 1: Play and Save

Picture of Play and Save

For this to work you must play just long enough to generate a save file. If you already have a save file created then skip this step. Yes I know I still play Mech Commander 2, and it's an old game but hey this instructable is for the older games you don't play anymore.

Step 2: Find the Save File

Picture of Find the Save File

Once you save, you must track down the save file. the easiest way to find it is to go where the program is installed and start looking. It will most likely be somewhere like C:\Program Files\name of company\ name of game. once there look through the files to find a folder named something along the lines of "saves, game saves, game logs, savegame, or logs" The game save folder will almost always be named with the word save somewhere in the title.

Step 3: Now the Hacking Part

Picture of Now the Hacking Part

Now that you are in the save folder you should see the files that hold what you are looking for, but before you change the files you should make backup copies of all save files just in case you mess up (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED). after you have done that click the file to open it. the cannot open file should open up. in that window click select a program from a list, then click ok. once you have done that find Notepad and select it then click ok to open the file. once open there should be lots of readable text that you may understand by playing the game (ex big monster level=0 life+10 speed=5) try adjusting the numbers to give that character an edge don't set the numbers too high or the game might not work. many other things may be accomplished too like unlimited money, all items, and much more. once you are done with the file then save it DO NOT CHANGE THE EXTENSION OR THE FILE WILL NOT WORK! after you save it find out if the file works. to do this run the game and load the file you have modified. if the game runs, and you have everything you changed then it worked, on the outer hand if the game crashes then there is a problem. the best way to fix it is to replace the file with the backup copy and start over. (This Process may only work on older games)

Hacking to your advantage may be considered cheating, but it sure brings life back to a dead game.
H4x0R's gaming motto "If you can not beat a game, then modify it in your favor!"
this is my first Instructable i hope you like it!


LBGSHI (author)2011-06-03

This is one of the more simple ways of hacking. I would recommend going a little more in-depth, by taking a look at the Library at , or the forums at .

lego99 (author)2010-02-24

I learned playing video game that the measure of courage is inversely proportional to the distance from the save point.
2 - I learned playing video games the little English I know! Start, Select, Left, Right, Options, Resume
3 - I learned playing video game that the princess is always in another castle (Super Mario)
4 - I learned playing video game that even can not read what people around us speak, we talk to them all!
5 - I learned playing video game that the smaller and more glued to clothing, the most dangerous woman is
6 - I learned playing video game that I can get a penalty and fly (Super Mario)
7 - I learned playing video game that there is a green monster aki in Brazil (Blanka - Street Fighter)
8 - I learned that playing video games with a handful of sand can go back in time (Prince of Persia)
9 - I learned that playing video games that the bananas that I loose on the track to the other rodarem, always make me run (Mario Kart)
10 - I learned playing video game that coins are more legal notes
11 - I learned playing video game that Zeus is a berry near Kratos (God Of War)
12 - I learned playing the video game's Roman numbers 1 to 13 (Final Fantasy)
13 - I learned that playing video game hens are extremely vindictive (Zelda)
14 - I learned playing video game that I play guitar (Guitar Hero)
15 - I learned playing video game that walls covered with bullet holes miraculously return to normal after a while
16 - I learned playing video game that no country can beat Brazil in a football game
17 - I learned playing video game that if I lean my body or the joystick, no use at all the curves
18 - I learned playing video game that elephants are afraid of rats when they are under the light (Donkey Kong)
19 - I learned that playing video games for more than q if you find good in any game .. always have a Japanese best you
20 - I learned playing video games when you use the Nitro, everything is blurred and you only see traces of its lighthouse lights and poles
21 - I learned that playing video games if I head out the brick in gold coin (Super Mario)
22 - I learned playing video games than any juncture of his life could be worse if it had water or lava
23 - I learned playing video games that a person needs to take several shots to die
24 - I learned playing video game experience is something that can only be won by killing enemies
25 - I learned playing video game that I'm better than my father
26 - I learned playing video game that terrorists and anti-terrorism exchange shots in a pool (Counter Strike)
27 - I learned playing video game that you step on the brake with the car stopped, he gives a defendant
28 - I learned playing video game that the blue hedgehog is an animal the world's fastest (Sonic)
29 - I learned playing video game that the white car uses less gas, but is the slowest (Top Gear)
30 - I learned playing video game that the guitar has only five notes: green, red, yellow, blue and orange (Guitar Hero)
31 - I learned playing video game that starts a movie in any game is better to prepare
32 - I learned playing video game that I was born with zero extra lives
33 - I learned playing video game that reincarnation exists (Continue)
34 - I learned playing video game that mushrooms are psychedelic drugs (Spuer Mario)
35 - I learned playing video game that you can blow a dragon, but not a door trancad
36 - I learned playing video game that ghosts lurk over her eyes (Super Mario)
37 - I learned playing video game that Paraguay in the end is reliable
38 - I learned playing video game that the characters know the exact key to use on doors where
39 - I learned playing video game that is easier to try 999X hit 3-digit passwords, than back in the game to look for it
40 - I learned playing video game that the guy

MotoXrider (author)lego992010-11-28

You really have no time on your hands do you.

1OAK (author)2010-03-28

Trollin for runescape hacks, damn non-nowledge of binary data and dll. files lol

vbexpressrocker (author)2010-01-14

IE is poop!

CowGuy (author)2007-10-10

This really isn't "hacking". You can't really hack a video game either unless you try hacking a server for an online game. This would be more considered modding.

navaburo (author)CowGuy2007-11-20

I believe modifying games in the way described here qualifies as hacking. One of several definitions for "hack" can be found in the Wikipedia page on "Hack": A "hack" means a clever or quick fix to a computer program problem, as in "That hack you made last night to the editor is working well".

littlechef37 (author)navaburo2008-05-12

hack=good idea or ileagle idea... eg; borrowing windows (nobody dose that anymore cuz LINUX YAY) and getting stuff that shouldnt be in your hands such as people that GO THROUGH YOUR GARBAGE LOOKING FOR PREPAID CREDIT CARDS.....GRRRRR!!!!! :( <br/>

jotism (author)littlechef372009-02-26

Linux rules, Ubuntu 8.10 RULES over Windows!!!

evanwehrer (author)jotism2010-01-08

I lost part of my soul the oither night..I installed Windows. It crashed 3 times during installation and my LAN still doesnt work. But I needed to play portal and HL2 DM ...

CowGuy (author)littlechef372008-11-17

Yeah that's stealing, or pirating. And as my previous post was somewhat stupid. I just looked back on that and felt kinda dumb. I made it sound like only hacking was bad too.

Decepticon (author)littlechef372008-07-14

That's not called hacking, that's called pirating. Big difference. Hacking used to not carry such a negative connotation. Hacking was just a way (and still is) to get something (not necessarily a piece of electronics or computer hardware/software either) to work differently than what it was intended to do. There are 'Hackers' out there known as 'Black Hat Hackers' that do intend to do harm to computers/software for monetary gain or status among their peers. And then there are 'White Hat Hackers' that actually find exploits in software and hardware and fix/patch them to prevent Black Hat Hackers from destroying or harming them. Hope this lesson on Hackers/Hacking has opened your eyes to more than just pirating software. Look up 2600 and read some, you may learn a thing or two.

Noblevagrant (author)Decepticon2008-11-16

I just had a vision of the old madd Spy vs Spy but far less amusing

jotism (author)CowGuy2009-02-26
If you reverse engineered the code, then re-wrote it, or parts of it (which in most cases is illegal*) so you had extra life at the start or at every save point you gained full health etc, etc, then that would be considered hacking, technically even if it is open source.

  • Only in most countries and most programs, not including Linux as it is mostly open source.

PS it helps if you are any good at programming.
BlueRaja (author)2009-03-11

Just because a save-file format is non-human-readable doesn't mean it's "encrypted." I highly doubt any game would go through the trouble of encrypting its save-files - it's pointless. Remember, all these games are programmed by humans, who are free to create a savefile format however they want - whether it be in plaintext or binary. This tutorial is pointless.

rik3098 (author)BlueRaja2009-09-07

no im sure there done by COMPUTERS now

spartan 2209 (author)rik30982009-10-10

Well, you're wrong.

Jimpiedepimpie (author)2009-09-02

I haxord rome total war couse i was too lazy to complete the game and unlock all(unlockable) factions What i did I haxord it and now i can play all of em!

chilll2009 (author)2009-07-29

I opened up a ds game on notepad and by one number it ruined the whole game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just warning ya to watch out, because it can happen on pc+mac games!!!!

Conexion (author)2008-01-27

Yeah, it does work... but it won't work for many. Usually any game made past the mid-90's encrypts their save files. Good job though.

macyrlivyed (author)Conexion2008-08-11

So un-encrypt them. Its pretty easy. There are programs on the internet that will do just about everything. IE homework! : )

You use IE? Ew.

zaery (author)andyhuntdesigns2009-05-23

I think he meant to say the abbreviation for "id est" Although, i do agree that I.E. is gross

mythbusterma (author)Conexion2008-11-06

ummm im sorry but i play games form 2006 that work like this

jirtan (author)2007-12-12

I'm skeptical as to how many games this trick will work with. You should talk about what the maximum numbers usually are for common data types (ex: char or byte is 255), and how to compare and contrast two save files with a hex editor. Go into the game, save it, go back into the game and change just one value (like life), and save it again. Then compare the two files to find out which section has the value you want (life). This is made even easier when you have multiple save files and a program that will automatically compare them for you.

tommylovesjamie (author)jirtan2009-02-08

The problem with that particular method is that you also have to deal with the fact that some games also change time as well as other values when you play them. If the game does use encrypted save files, however, you are spot on with your method, it helps to narrow down which places are actually important. One thing I tend to do is just search online and see if someone else has maybe already made a save editor for the game I am playing (I know, lazy man's solution).

bighead5454 (author)2009-01-08

reply if it can

082535 (author)bighead54542009-01-08

I haven't tried it on that game but it would be nice to experiment on semi old games like halo 1 i might test it this weekend, but i will have to find the disk, that i haven't touched in years. if you try it before this weekend tell me if it works.

bighead5454 (author)0825352009-01-11

also do you know if they made a halo 2 for the cp i no i saw one in wal-mart onetime but i cant find it anymore

082535 (author)bighead54542009-01-11

Yes they make Halo 2 for the computer, but I would look for it at target rather then Wal-mart tho. And yes i know that the name of Halo 1 is halo combat evolved.

bighead5454 (author)0825352009-01-11

halo combat evolved is the actual name for halo 1

bighead5454 (author)2009-01-08

will this method work for Halo:Combat evolved

smidge147 (author)2007-11-29

Half-life 2 is the greatest game to mod because if you do mod it, its legal and the game makers encourage modding.

Redgerr (author)smidge1472008-07-17

yeah i payed for one-- GARY'S MOD :) great game :P

bedbugg2 (author)Redgerr2008-09-12

indeed it is

Redgerr (author)bedbugg22008-09-15

lol only down side, that isnt much, is that you have to buy it first lol :))

bedbugg2 (author)Redgerr2008-09-15

yeah XD, but i think it is worth the money 10x over

Redgerr (author)bedbugg22008-09-16

yhar i think so too!!

agent (author)Redgerr2008-09-27

Lol until you gotta give your friend back your 2 gb of RAM you had to borrow and you're back down to 1/2gb and can't even play it anymore xD. Not very good when I have 3 GMod servers.

Redgerr (author)agent2008-10-01

gl gettin some more :)

Redgerr (author)agent2008-10-01

lol, stinks when you dont got much

macyrlivyed (author)2008-08-11


logan996 (author)2008-08-07

not bad thanks for the on insperation (it's really easy to do this but i never really thought of it)

rocksalt2342 (author)2008-05-13

does it work for games like bioshock?

082535 (author)rocksalt23422008-05-14

This method won't work with Bioshock, Me and some friends are looking into how to hack newer games though, so far with no luck.

littlechef37 (author)2008-05-12

You call Mech Commander 2 old ? Try SIMFARM or STREET ROD....(PONG lol) Good instructable. But I consider old two be before the 21st century. I mean try cheating in asteroid....

Prometheus (author)2007-10-12

I just want to add that there are third-party programs out there (trainers) like "Artmoney" and "TSearch", where you can simply search for the values in memory as they change, whether you know their exact values or not, so long as you know how they are behaving. You are presented with search options that would make just about anything hackable if you know how and where to look for it. Then you can just save the game "legitimately".

artmoney is client side, so online games would be useless, but i have not yet used this on an non online game/mode

correction: if it is a server-based online game, it would be useless. but as for browser based games:unlimited possibilities!

stratholm (author)SSuperSSoldier2008-01-11

try cheat engine(CE). If you're trying it on flash games always multiply the number you're searching for by 8 or something like that. Look it up on google.

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