Games for Windows Live, save game issues with Fallout 3


PC users now get achievements and friends lists similar to how Xbox Live works. Here some cool things you can do with Games for Windows Live.

1. Earn achievements. You can create a free Games for Windows Live profile or link your Games for Windows Live profile to your existing Xbox Live profile. That’s right — you can earn Fallout 3 achievements twice, for both PC and Xbox 360. To link your Xbox Live profile, create a Games for Windows Live profile using your Live ID (ie, the email and login you used to link your Xbox Live profile to Live ID — that is, how you log onto

2. Once you link your Xbox Live profile, you’ll be able to see both your Games for Windows Live and Xbox Live friends together via the Games for Windows Live dash.

3. Question: Hey I was playing the game for a while, then logged onto my profile and my saves are gone? What happened?

Answer: Your saves are kept in specific directories tied to your profile. But don’t worry – you can go into your My Games folder and copy those saves over to your Profile’s save game directory.

For example, on my computer running Windows XP, under the Saves directory, I have two folders – Player1 and acheng. I can simply copy all the saves from Player1 to acheng, and I’m able to access them while logged on with my gamertag. On Windows XP, look in your My Documents\My Games\Fallout 3\Save folder. On Windows Vista, the path is C:\Users\{Username}\Documents\My Games\Fallout3\Saves.

For more troubleshooting tips, visit the Games for Windows Live technical support pages.

Reader Comments

  1. Thanks for that. I started playing without realising that I needed to log into GFWL. Now that I have logged in, if I copy my saved games over as you describe, will I still get the achievements that I would have earned as I played while not logged in?

  2. i read that FO3 got 10 of 10 or gold or whatever. the vote shows that FO3 will played mostly on pc, like many other games. but i can’t find any report that bethesda will fix the massive crashissue ingame. 🙁
    so why u deliver a game with such massive bugs. FO3 is just another Oblivion but contains the same problems which sould found in a over 2 years old game allready. we give u our hard earned money and get only a unfinished product.
    i know, my comment will deleted soon, but i hope some of u bethesdapeople will read it an think about it.

  3. Do we have to use Live?

    We just bought the game for the 360, and I plan to buy it again if/when a modding tool comes out. I really don’t want to have to log into XBL to play PC games. It’s just more unnecessary steps for me.

  4. F***, f***, f***! I got excited about this getting achievements on ma XB playing PC game thing (I bought F3 PC because it’s half a price of XB :PP) so I tried it. Didn’t work. Why? There’s no freakin’ XBox Live or GfW Live in Poland, and because F3 is a third party title, they didn’t put registration key in a box of PL version. Doesn’t matter that I have XBL Gold membership or that I play F3 in English. Damn, I was gonna lough on my friend who has PS3, that I get XB achievements playin’ PC game…

  5. Can we copy our G4WL saved game files and toss them in the (offline) game profile just in case I can’t get onto the Net and/or G4WL?

  6. So I’m with Buzzrick. I was playing all the time with some bogus account that was popping on my screen. Then I did the registration (something that I never did before) and lost the save games, found the “old” profile copy the saves, started to get achievements, but I’m missing a lot of them, it seems that they only count if I was logged as that user at the time of the event. Is it possible to do something, to update based on my current status? And not on if I was either connected or not at that time?

  7. I have not been able to get the saved games to show up, I can see the gamertag name I use and all but when I load in to the game it never shows me a saved game, this is highly annoying as I just picked up the game and want to love it but right now its not giving me anything back. it has frozen my machine 3 times and when I have to close out I have no saves afterward.

  8. Bought Fallout 3 for PC and started playing without using G4WL, then a few days later logged in and started playing online. None of the achievements have been saved even while playing online. The achievements all say that nothing has been completed in the online profile. Shouldn’t it just be able to copy your offline game save into your online profile? This saving of 2 different games is confusing. Also I was thinking there would be some sort of multiplayer aspect to it. Seems like a waste of time so far using the online component.

  9. Darn.Same here game locked up lost all saved games.If they think I’m going to start over there nuts.Got my cash 50 and 28 for the book.It sucks.

  10. Seriously? I’ve been waiting so long for this game, it is amazing. as long as you like to play in 10min increments. The crash issue for the PC is ridiculous. I have downloaded the patch and that doesn’t work either. Did you test the game? I am incredibly let down.

  11. I’m having problems with GFWL.

    When I connect to the service via Fallout 3, it said there’s an update I have to install. So I installed it.

    After this was done, it presented the login screen again. After logging in, it says the Terms of Use have been updated and I need to accept it before I can continue. If I click on the button to view it, a browser window opens, but re-directs me to “”. And I can’t find anywhere to log in to my GFWL account via a website either.

    This is quite annoying because now I can’t go to online mode. Anybody experience this as well ?

  12. (slightly less vulgar post than before)

    I’m a soldier in Iraq. I bought this laptop specifically before I came over here to play fallout 3 on it. At one point I had some internet access, and logged my ‘offline’ GFWL account into my main account that linked it with my gears of war game. Ever since then, it won’t let me get to any of my save games WITHOUT logging in online.

    1. Why the hell is it demanding I ‘verify’ what account I’m signing in with… for a single player game on my own computer?

    2. I can’t play my games AT ALL when I don’t have internet (which is, Oh I dunno, 99% of the time out here)

    3. I don’t care about achievements. Seriously, I don’t care. I just want to play my game.

    Games for Windows Live is preventing me from playing the game. As such, games for windows live is WRONG, and I want to DELETE IT, REMOVE IT, BYPASS IT, OR JUST GET RID OF IT. Then I can set fire to where it used to be and dance around it while chanting to get rid of the foul spitis, I HATE IT THAT MUCH.

    So please, please please please, tell me how to ‘trick’ fallout 3 into letting me play it without logging into windows live.

    – sincerely

    – One very pissed off soldier.

  13. Got the answer from another site’s forums.

    OKay, so once you log into Live, it sets your account as an ‘online’ account, and there’s no way to set it back to an ‘offline’ account. You need to ‘create new profile’, make sure you mark it as ‘offline account’. Then find your save games from the ‘online’ account and move them to offline account, and never touch the online account again.

  14. so… i bought fo3 via steam and started playing the campaign offline. sometime later i installed gfwl, but now all my save games are lost and with steam in the mix i cant cut/paste my saves anywhere (that i know of) someone pleeeeease help? i cant find this anywhere on the web to help me…. ty

  15. It’s a rip off that the game costs 800 points, but you’re only able to buy live points in quantities of 500, meaning that you’ll pay for 1k, use 800 and then basically waste the other 200.

    For those of us that just want this add on, I see no reason on earth why we should be required to pony up for the extra points, points that we’re not going to use. Next update’s unlikely to be 700 points.

    Bethesda, just allow some sort of reasonable way of paying, I’m not sure that I’m willing to spend money on points that I’m unlikely to ever use. And I really do want to play the DLC.

  16. I am a PC gamer, I wanted to buy and then play Operation Anchorage.

    But after a rather disquieting experience trying to navigate my way through the Games For Windows website I’m now so frustrated and discouraged I don’t think I’m going through with it. After nearly an hour of searching I haven’t been able to even purchase any points. Sad to say but I’m giving up.

    Could you please do us a favor, please don’t lump PC gamers in with Xbox gamers, we’re a different breed, forcing us to jump through these ridiculous hoops and then making us buy points is insulting. Like the soldier above, I too just want to play offline and on my own PC and could care less about achievement points.

    Is this a payoff from Microsoft or something? Why can’t we just buy it outright and then download it like you could with Morrowind and Oblivion DLC’s?

    Make it available for purchase ‘outright’ and download like the DLC’s for Oblivion and Morrowind and I’ll reconsider. Best wishes from a frustrated PC gamer.

  17. Although I’ve played FPS for 24 years, I’ve never played RPG, until Fallout 3, which I’ve completed on regular setting. Now, I’ve downloaded Operation Anchorage. I guess for this purpose, I’m a total newbie. I’ve never used an online gaming anything before. How the hell do I play Operation Anchorage? The CAB file is on my PC, but I don’t have any idea how to install/use it. Yes, I now have a GFWL account, because I had to buy one to get the damn add-on. Now, I just want to play it, and have no idea how to access it. Can someone help me (and others?) out without flaming me to death? Thanks!

  18. I really hate windows products and junk like Games For Windows, because invariably, they take something smooth and simple and make it suck.
    But that being said, buying points is NOT difficult, and of course they sell them in even amounts but price product in odd increments, you guys ever bought hotdogs and buns?

    D’John, Open your games for windows, sign in, click marketplace, click Operation Anchorage. Click “Buy”, it will tell you that you haven’t got enough points and open a window that goes to xbox live. Enter your information and click “buy 1000 points” and hit proceed or whatever.
    Log out and close that window, click the “ok” button on your games for windows, then click “buy”.

    I just did it, first time buying anything on GfW and it took all of 5 minutes, hopefully you will manage to get through the arduous process just as quickly.

    Down with microsoft’s meddling, up with more downloadable content.

  19. Nice bait and switch tatics, Bethesda. I know several who THOUGHT they’d purchased a stand-alone single-player game, only to discover to their dismay what they actually have, thanks to the patch, is an online game provided by a service of dubious quality WHICH YOU DON’T EVEN CONTROL, and therefore can’t even properly support. Thanks, but no thanks. I’m passing on the game, and we’re all passing on the DLC’s. The only time we’re playing a game online is when we’re playing our favorite mmo’s, which are FULLY supported by their respective game companies. In the meantime, the dogs like their new frisbees.

  20. Please forgive the sloppy appearance of the above post. I’d assumed code would work for the links and such and am unable to edit, but you should be able to pick out the pertinent info. 🙂

  21. As much as I want to play “The Pitt” it’s not worth going through all this crap. I’m afraid I will have to boycott Bethesda till they drop this charade.

    I don’t buy goods with points, I use cash. I stopped buying tokens when I stopped going to the arcade. I’m not about to trade my cash for a restrictive form of currency, that is stupid.

    I’m afraid you are going to lose more to piracy if you keep this up.

  22. I Alos have the same lockup problem on PC and it doesnt allow me to acess my save games.The save games are in your my documents>my games>fallout3 folder,and they are still there but the game isnt reading them or something.After I spent almost 2 months playing I have to start allover.How gay.Go screw yourself bethseda and microsoft mostly.I will give you a solution;Make an easy to download/install patch that fixes the save game problem.If you cant deliver that than you people are useless.

  23. So I think I just found a pretty quick work around for this problem. This is what I did to get my save game transferred over to my GFWL account very quickly.

    1.) Load up your offline FO3 Game Save.
    2.) Sign into your Windows Live account.
    3.) Hit Escape and save your game. Or F5 for QuickSave.
    4.) You can now use your single player offline game save while signed into your GFWL account.

    I just tested this by completely restarting FO3 and then opening it back up and I now have the continue option available after signing into GFWL account where as before I didn’t.

    Works for me… Now lets see if I get any credit for achievements…

  24. Now that I have located my old save files where do I copy them so that I can continue playing them in Windows live? Where do I need to transfer them too? What is the path? I found my old saves but where do I put them now?

  25. Im a user of Steam, and i have my games registered on steam, but occationally i buy a game, and surprise surprise, everytime im unlukcy, i get this unwanted microsoft crap, that i hate and boicott, And everytime it does the same, remove games from steam, all my saved games..
    It is simply to mutch that i need a engineer to correct the sabotage Mircosoft does to my PC everytime i buy a product that i didnt know where infested with this virus.
    I feeel like im being stolen from! Violated.
    Many games i played before, i no longer buy cause of this, and in this descision , im not alone!

  26. ok,my problem is a little more complexed,what is listed here with the saves i get and fixed.What makes no sence is that all of my recently(pre WL) are gone.they arent anywhere ive checked in relation to the game.Anyone else get this issue,if so am i just screwed?

  27. P.S. I am EXTREMELY unhappy with this windows live Bullspit. Ive been playing Fallout 3 for months and never had a scrap of trouble until this MANDITORY crap got released.Why oh Why must you go and take a GREAT Game like F3 and screw it up like this with pointless BS. can you tell me that?