Re-Ordering Game Save Slots

What I would like to do is simply take my Normal Save from a previous back up of the game and insert it to the bottom, empty slot, of my current game saves. The reason being I have a ship I lost in my current game but have found a Save in an earlier Galaxy, still with my favourite ship and I’d like to continue playing NMS with it. A relative of mine passed away but I associate my uncle with that ship as it reminds me of him.

I’ve a spare unused slot and simply want to not have to keep swapping file folders to play one Normal Save or the other. I want to be able to have a choice between the Normal Saves on the same selection screen.

I have tried experimenting and changing the name of the ‘save.hg’ file(s) to ‘save9.hg’ but it is more complicated than simply changing a name to fool the game into swapping game save positions in the list. I hope there is a simple solution but not being a programmer I couldn’t find a method to name change the save files. Can anyone suggest a solution.

Ultimately it would be nice to swap ‘my uncle’s’ ship with one on my freighter one day in my current save.

it appears even number is the auto save storage files.
odd number are the secondary are save files.
I would suggest to send HG and email and see if you get a response.
I believe you have done everything I would suggest.

I am assuming you have the backed save on PC, Steam and it should indeed be as simple as overwriting the correct save files. I am also assuming your backup save files are using the new save system, save(x).hg compared to the older save system where they were named mf_save(x) and storage(x).hg.

Keep in mind that every save contains 2 files!
Slot 1 would be save.hg and save2.hg. Slot 2 would be save3.hg and save4.hg. And so on…

Also keep in mind that for a save to be accepted by Steam (cloud), it needs to exist first. What I mean by that, is that if I want a 3rd save game slot to be recognised by Steam, it needs to be created first. Then the created saves by Steam, can be overwritten by backed-up saves, using the same save file names.

So in your case, where you want to use the bottom empty slot, it would be best to simply start a new game using that slot, making sure to use the same game mode, just in case. Then let Steam and the game do their thing and have it generate the save files for it. Best to actually create a save in-game. Then exit this new game and make sure to be offline for Steam by just closing Steam completely before replacing the files needed.

Make sure to keep a full backup of your save games folder(st_xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx) just in case. Now go to the save games folder and check the new generated save files. For slot 5, these should be called save9.hg and save10.hg as each slot always comes in pairs of 2. Make sure to keep a backup of your backed-up save files by simply copying them elsewhere, to then rename them accordingly. So if your backup save files were called save.hg and save2.hg, simply rename them to save9.hg and save10.hg. Then copy or move them over to the actual save folder, overwriting the existing ones. Now you can start Steam again and run No Man’s Sky to check if it worked.


  • For older save games the process is similar, except for the backed-up files being called differently. Both save files (mf_save and mf_storage) should be getting the same numbering (9 and 10) and can most likely be renamed to ‘save9.hg’ and ‘save10.hg’ respectively, although I prefer to have them converted to the new save system/naming first.
  • If all fails, exit Steam completely and replace the full save folder with your backup again.

I messed up, but considered not to delete due to the topic flow. What I described above is incorrect and will not work even if I wrote it correctly.

See my reply here which explains and does offer a working solution:

In case you only wish to have your ship from your backup save, added to your current save, I would suggest to check a save game editor. This allows you to alter your saves and would make it possible to just add this ship or replace one of your existing ships if you wish. Basically you could compare both saves, make note of all the ship details in your backup (seed, class, type, name, inventory, etc.), to then add this ship using the same details in your current save. It will be a bit of work and may feel like ‘cheating’, but it is certainly possible with the below tool:

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Thank you for your time and detailed information.

I tried this following your advice but alas the save slots can not be swapped. It may be something in the code referencing something else not transferred. Could be DDS files or maybe something in storage that is being referenced. I did open the old backup in the new game to be sure both Saves in question were using the Atlas Rises 1.38 latest patch. But still nothing.

I also experimented with a completely shiny new game with no slots used to see how the files are named. Used one slot in Normal Mode, but even with such a simplified approach I couldn’t get things to swap.

I shall have to try his thank you.

I found out I totally messed up with my above explanation after verifying! I wrote it from memory, but I admittedly made some mistakes.

Each save does indeed come in paired files, both the auto save and the ‘forced’ save for each slot. This makes the amount of save files total 4. Slot 1 auto-save would be mf_save.hg and save.hg, with the ‘forced’ save being mf_save2.hg and save2.hg. For Slot 2 the auto-save would be mf_save3.hg and save3.hg, with the ‘forced’ save files being mf_save4.hg and save4.hg. And so on for the other slots. All pre-1.38 save files used storage(x).hg and mf_storage(x).hg respectively.

After messing with it, I found out that replacing files for a newly created slot simply does not work. Apparently the actual slot for the save-game is included in the save files. I tried various ways to try get it to work to no avail. Apparently this method only works for backups made, using the same slot.

However, I did find a solution! There is this neat command line tool that can do the trick. I have to credit Matthew Humphrey for this, see the link below:


  • Make sure to backup your save-game folder first, just in case!
  • Use parenthesis for paths containing spaces, or just to make sure.
  • This tool can directly work from the save games folder to duplicate a save to a new slot.
  • This tool uses the latest save for a slot.
  • For pre-1.38, another download is available. Make sure which to use/download!

I will shortly explain the steps:

  • Download and extract to preferred location (1.38, latest beta)
  • Open Command Prompt with admin rights
  • Navigate to the tool location you extracted it to in the Command Prompt.
    (Alternatively add the program folder to the System PATH variable.)
  • Use ‘decrypt’ for the backed-up save files and specify which slot to decrypt from them:
    nmssavetool decrypt "<path to backed-up files>" -g <slot> -f "<path to save location>\<filename>.json"
    nmssavetool decrypt "C:\NMS Backups" -g 1 -f "C:\NMS Backups\Decrypted JSON\backup.json"
    Result: You now have a decrypted json file for the slot 1 save from your backups at the specified location.
  • Now ‘encrypt’ the above created json file to the actual game save folder to occupy an empty slot or overwrite an existing slot.
    nmssavetool encrypt -g <slot> -f "<path to created json file>\<filename>.json"
    Example to write to slot 5:
    nmssavetool encrypt -g 5 -f "C:\NMS Backups\Decrypted JSON\backup.json"
    Your save game folder now has your backed up save as slot 5 (mf_save10.hg).

Now when you run NMS, you will have your backed-up file in slot 5. I tested it and it appears to work flawlessly for me. In case the tool does not find your save-games location, you can specify the path right after the ‘encrypt’ part before the further options/parameters and json file location.


  • Make sure to check the documentation at GitHub for other options or further details as it can do quite a bit more than just duplicating saves into another slot.
  • Made edits to my initial reply as it was incorrect, flawed, and will not work!

My sincere apologies @johnnycloud, let me know if you tried the above and if it works for you!

Gee what a super detailed set of instructions. Thank you! I took a while to try this. If I’m totally honest I was in the dark a bit on the use of the command line tool, something I had never used before. I didn’t succeed unfortunately.

I did manage to decrypt I think, but encrypting didn’t seem to make a file that worked as expected. I did manage to fill an empty slot (5), but not with the file I expected. The game began at the initialise state when the slot was selected. I did prior to experimenting, make sure both folders and game save files were updated to the correct version 1.38 of NoMansSky.

To be clear I want to take slot 1 from a game save file in a separate folder backed up from an early version of NMS and try to put that into Slot 5 into the current saved file in the folder I have associated with the current game. The encrypting back to a different slot seemed to work but the game progress in the file selected didn’t, and I guess the slot defaulted to the initialise state.

I haven’t succeed yet. But still hopeful. :slight_smile: