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Description

We already have a trick for syncing other folders, so let’s put that to good use and sync our game files across multiple computers, allowing us to take our game play where ever we want. This has only been tested with games labelled “Games for Windows.”

Why would this be useful you ask?

To allow you to keep playing on the go. Syncing your laptop allows you to keep playing the same game you were playing at home, without having to start a new game. Plus, if you have a nice boss, you can play the same game at work also.

Notice

Before you go trying this; it is always a good idea to backup your “My Games” folder. I lost a few saved games when I was first trying to figure this out. If it can happen to me, it can happen to you. So BACKUP!

How Does it Work?

When a game says it is Compatible with the Microsoft “Games for Windows” program then it has to save its saved games in a special file in the users directory. This directory is called “My Games”.

So using the trick from this section (Sync Other Folders Outside The Dropbox Folder) We can sync this folder into our Dropbox account. A basic examples on what commands to use is below, but I would take the time to read the Sync Other Folders section and also look into the junction/mklink commands. Helps to know how to use them properly when fixing problems.

Windows XP

junction "C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\My Documents\My Dropbox\My Games" "C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\My Documents\My Games"

mklink /D "C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\My Documents\My Dropbox\My Games" "C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\My Documents\My Games"

Windows Vista

junction "C:\Users\UserName\Documents\My Dropbox\My Games" "C:\Users\UserName\Documents\My Games"

mklink /D "C:\Users\UserName\Documents\My Dropbox\My Games" "C:\Users\UserName\Documents\My Games"

The above is a simple command for our first computer that we want to sync. But it might create problems for additional computers that we add. I would suggest saving your “My Games” folder contents first, empty out the contents of the “My Games” folder and then creating the link to Dropbox, when adding additional computers to sync with. This will make sure that the original content that you wanted to use doesn’t get lost or merged with the My Games data in the other computers you sync up with.

Additional Notes

  • I know for sure that this works with FALLOUT 3.
  • Call Of Duty 5: World At War does not seem to be creating a “My Games” folder on vista so does not work with all “Games For Windows” games.
  • I’ve actually gotten this to work with Linux, using Wine and the ln command (For an explanation of the ln command type man ln in a shell prompt, or Google it).
  • Games that don’t follow the “Games for Windows” program can still have the saved games linked, you just have to find out were the program keeps them. On vista this gets a little tricky with some games and the whole security thing. I’ve had more luck with games that put their information in the users directory.
  • If you use emulators, such as JNES or ZSNES, you can sync save states across computers.

ScummVM

This also works with ScummVM. Simply select a folder inside your Dropbox as the save game path in ScummVM’s options.

DOSBox

Tip: Set your capture folder to a folder inside your Dropbox and all of your screenshots, sounds and video captures get synced!

SimCity 4

Using a similar technique, this works really well with SimCity 4. It stores its save files in a different directory (Documents/SimCity 4/Regions), and each region is just a folder of city files. If you link one of your region folders to a folder in your Dropbox, not only is it synced on all your computers, you can also share the folder with a friend. This makes it really easy to collaborate on a region.

Alternative Method

Change the save path of the game to a folder you create in your Dropbox folder. A lot of games either let you select where to save the file (like Civilization 4, for example) or you can change the save path in the game’s configuration (.ini) file.

Share the Knowledge!

  • boredofboredom

    This doesn’t work with Windows. It syncs once, but any updates to current files or newly created files are not synced (even though it shows up in the Dropbox folder as synced).

  • H. Clark

    Note for SimCity 4 on Mac. If you purchased via the AppStore look for your data here:
    ~/Library/Containers/com.aspyr.simcity4.appstore/Data/Documents/SimCity 4

    Then you can mv the “Region” folder from that to something like “~/Dropbox/My Games/SimCity 4/Region”. Finally make the symlink from Dropbox back to the folder above. “ln -s ~/Dropbox/My Games/Simcity 4/Regions/ ~/Library/Containers/com.aspyr.simcity4.appstore/Data/Documents/SimCity 4Regions”

  • H. Clark

    Note for SimCity 4 on Mac. If you purchased via the AppStore look for your data here:
    ~/Library/Containers/com.aspyr.simcity4.appstore/Data/Documents/SimCity 4

    SimCity 4 does not like SymLinks which is unfortunate; however, you can use a free app like “FolderSync” to sync from “~/Library/Containers/com.aspyr.simcity4.appstore/Data/Documents/SimCity 4/Regions/” to “~/Dropbox/My Games/Simcity 4/Regions/”

  • Kovacs Bela

    I using SyncToCloud (http://www.synctocloud.net/) to backup saved games to cloud. It’s platform independent, and can sync saved games (based on custom rules) to Dropbox folder.

  • Ron Razib

    at first i have built a city on my android, now my android is damaged. how can i sync my save data from android to the pc version?