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Poll: Your ideal game save system?

Tick all that apply

  • 1. Permadeath - no saves

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2. Level start

    Votes: 3 30.0%
  • 3. Partial save - intentionally doesn’t save full game state

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4. Save on exit

    Votes: 3 30.0%
  • 5. Checkpoint

    Votes: 6 60.0%
  • 6. Wall save

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 7. Quicksave

    Votes: 9 90.0%
  • 8. Manual save from game menu

    Votes: 5 50.0%
  • 9. Multiple save profiles for concurrent playthroughs

    Votes: 5 50.0%
  • 10. Other - please specify

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


Aug 14, 2000
7: Rotating quicksaves are the best with a file count of 2 – 5. Very few games do this. You get the freedom to play as you please while avoiding single file problems (saved in an impossible situation, a bugged state, and/or corrupted file). Also you never have to lose significant progress if you’re forced to a previous quicksave. It also avoids the problem of file spamming where checkpoints get out of control because they’re never cleared.

2: To complement above, level start saves are also nice so you can replay levels later.


No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
Depends on the Game Type, but generally: 2,4,5,7,8,9. Some Game Types it makes sense not to allow all those options, but for Single Player FPS games I like to have all Options available. Certain exceptions can even apply to that though, like having certain Save states removed for Difficulty's sake.


No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
7,5,9,2 for me, pretty much in that order.

Mainly because I'm older and don't want to screw around all that much doing a lot of things over, especially if I feel that I have already succeeded as I need to past a certain point. I still don't mind "level saves" if the game is designed that way and it makes sense, but I don't really play those games that much anymore
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Diamond Member
Jan 29, 2005
Depends on the type of game.

- If it's something 'arcady', for fun, 'mindless' action then I'd go for the classic Save Anywhere Anytime approach. So that would be #7 I guess, it's pretty much that (Quicksave, as long as you can quicksave anywhere, anytime). The only exception to that would be during cutscenes of course, if there's any. This would apply for the likes of DOOM (old style ones), Quake, any type of oldschool style Indie FPSes or stuff like Painkiller and so on.

- If it's a singleplayer open world game in the veins of Bethesda games, or Far Cry, or Assassin's Creed (maybe not the early ones but something like Odyssey) then I'd go for a Save Anywhere system again but I suppose it'd be done from the main menu / UI. So that would be #8 I suppose (that fits for something like Skyrim for example). There's some exceptions here and there, when a game can be played singleplayer but is essentially at least partly 'connected', sends or receives data from servers, or if the game has a multiplayer component that brings progress to singleplayer as well. That would be the likes of Monster Hunter World. In such cases most progress is done on what I'd call "Level End" (as a mission is over, and you transition back to base, or HQ, or a multiplayer HUB and so on). So in those rare cases I'd say #10, but sometimes stuff saves as you just close and exit the game.

- If it's an oldschool style game, something like Mega Man (be it Mega Man 11, or anything in that vein, can be something else like Trine for example) then I dig the 'Save After Level Completion' method (I.E. you can't save at all until you finish the level you're on, then it saves automatically). That's usually a 'Checkpoint' system in disguise (Checkpoint being the start of the next level). So #5 fits well enough for this, but also #2 (Level start). The same can be said about stuff like Shoot 'Em Ups, or Beat 'Em Ups (Streets of Rage, Golden Axe and so on, just as examples).

- If it's a very linear, story-driven game then that in and of itself depends on a per-game basis. If I take for example something like Half-Life, be it the first or second; I'm fine with being able to manually save on my own (anywhere, anytime, or as close to that as possible). But if it's something like God of War (2018), then I would tend to rely on a Checkpoint system (maybe one or two Checkpoints per 'map', or per area; whichever environment is loaded and you need to quest in before moving to the next one).

- If it's a Fighting game, say a modern one like Mortal Kombat 11, or Dragon Ball FighterZ and so on, usually have automatic save systems to save your progress after each fight is over. However, they can combine that along with a main menu save as well. In most cases whenever you have things to unlock (be it costumes, or stages and other stuff) it has to save experience points or unlocks and achievements pretty much on the fly as you perform in a match, or right after whenever you get to the victory or defeat screen. In this case I guess that #4 and #10 apply. I'd say #4 because if there's no main menu save, then usually a Fighting game will save any progress done on game exit (not all of them do that but some do). And #10 because if the game saves progress right after the match is done then that isn't anywhere else on the list, I'd consider that a "Level End" type of save.

- If it's an always-online multiplayer game, then whatever progress is made is usually saved on server-side, or at bare minimum you'd have maybe partially-saved data client side with your profile. In such cases I'd say it's a combination of #3, #4 and #10 (#10 I'd call it "Server Side Save" in this example). This would apply for something like Diablo 3, Overwatch or Heroes of the Storm, or Team Fortress 2 and so on, for example.

I could keep going with specific examples but generally-speaking it's pretty much a game-per-game ideal scenario of save types.

But if I had to pick maybe my "favorite" type of saves (for specific types of games) then I'd say I'm a fervent defender of the usual Save Anywhere Anytime (Quicksave / Manual Save) type if it's a first-person shooter. I don't mind some exceptions here and there. For example I recall back during the N64 days when I played Turok 1 and 2, but the sequel in particular, had a bunch of Checkpoints and I genuinely didn't mind them at all; however they were usually one of the main negative points complained about in magazines and reviews (but I never had a problem with them nor did I particularly wished I could have saved sooner or after them). And from time to time it's the other way around, not being able to Save Anywhere Anytime (in a first-person shooter, still) irks me to no end. It's normally not enough to just stop playing entirely, but it can be sometimes enough to lose interest and only play very short sessions, making me take ages to finish it.

So yeah, ideal would be Quicksave / Manual Save (but still, not in all types of games).
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Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2006

I ain't got time to lose hours of progress, or sit through the same pre-boss cutscene a dozen times, because of a game's god awful save mechanics.

Let me save anytime. Let me save anywhere. Hell, save the game for me quietly in the background every 5 minutes if the game is good enough to get really sucked into.

And if the game is the type of game with branching choices and character customization (most RPGs) make sure each character gets its own separate and distinct save bucket.


Senior member
Jun 22, 2016
quick save for me. Mainly as being a Dad means I have to stop playing in the middle of something all the time. I like the ability to save at any moment.


No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
something that has a really awesome auto save system and also lets me manually save, with custom names if I like.