Bethesda Save Game System

This is the system I use to handle switching between characters in Bethesda games (Skyrim & Fallout 4 mainly). It’s a bit clunky to get setup and it requires using .bat files so it’s not for everyone.

A couple of notes to start with…

  • If you’re using mods this doesn’t do anything with your mod list. You’ll need to handle those using your preferred mod manager.
  • If you haven’t run the game using the Steam launcher at least once to create the .ini files you’ll need to do so before starting.

Creating Initial Files:

  • In your \Documents\My Games\Fallout4 directory
  • Make a backup of your Fallout4.ini file by copying it to something like Fallout4_Backup.ini.
  • Make another copy of Fallout4.ini named Original.ini
  • Using your preferred text editor copy the text below into a new file and save it as Original.bat

:: Copy the proper .ini file for a given character to Fallout4.ini
@echo off

:: Original
copy Original.ini Fallout4.ini /y
echo .ini file copied you are now ready to play the original save game location

  • Make yet another copy of your Fallout4.ini file and name this one NewCharacter.ini
  • Edit Original.bat and change the following line:
    • copy Original.ini Fallout4.ini /y
  • To:
    • copy NewCharacter.ini Fallout4.ini /y
  • Save the edited file as NewCharacter.bat
  • Next edit NewCharacter.ini and change/add the following line in the [General] section:
    • SLocalSavePath=Saves\
  • To:
    • SLocalSavePath=Saves\NewCharacter\

Important Note: Make sure the line ends with the \ or it will just use the default directory.

Using the System:

Now when you want to start a new character you’ll just need to do a few quick edits and you’ll be setup.

  • First go to \Documents\My Games\Fallout4\Saves and create a new sub-directory for the character. I usually just use the first name so Nora’s files would go in \Documents\My Games\Fallout4\Saves\Nora.
  • Now go back to your \Documents\My Games\Fallout4 directory and copy your NewCharacter.ini and NewCharacter.bat files to <CharacterName>.ini and <CharacterName>.bat respectively, using whatever you named the directory above in place of <CharacterName>.
  • Next edit the <CharacterName>.ini  file and change the SLocalSavePath=Saves\NewCharacter\ line to replace NewCharacter with your character name.
  • Then edit the <CharacterName>.bat file and change the copy NewCharacter.ini Fallout4.ini /y line to replace NewCharacter with your character name.

Switching Characters:

Now when you want to switch characters you just need to go to \Documents\My Games\Fallout4 and click on the .bat file for the character you want to play. A terminal window should pop-up with a message saying you’re now ready to play whatever character. Just press a key to close the window then start Fallout4 however you normally start it.

If you’re just starting this character then you should only see the option to start a New game since the save game directory your ini file is pointing to should be empty. Otherwise you’ll only see save games that were created when using the specific .ini file for that character.

To switch to another character you’ll need to exit the game and go back to \Documents\My Games\Fallout4 and run the appropriate .bat file.

If you want to get back to the default save game location just run the Original.bat file you created.