How to Save in Aliens: Dark Descent

Saving has some limitations in Aliens: Dark Descent. Here's what you need to know.

Screenshot by GameSkinny

It doesn’t take long for a deployment in Aliens: Dark Descent to turn into a desperate fight for survival against hordes of Xenomorphs. It’s only natural that you’d want to be safe and save in between all the chaos, but the process isn’t as simple as it is in other games. This guide will go over how saving works in Aliens: Dark Descent.

How to Save in Aliens: Dark Descent

Screenshot by GameSkinny

A key aspect of the save system here is that there isn’t a manual save option. Everything is handled by an autosave system instead. As someone who would save quite often while playing games like XCOM 2, I can attest that this limitation does a lot for making things tense. It also goes in line with the encouragement of escaping before finishing every objective, since everything will carry over to your next deployment.

That being said, the triggers for the autosaves are known and it is possible to use specific ones to your advantage.

What Triggers Autosaving in Aliens: Dark Descent

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Very specific situations will trigger the autosave, with some of them being specific to a mission and others dependent on player action. Here’s what is expected to cause an autosave:

  • Completing objectives
  • Encountering a difficult threat
  • Resting after creating a shelter
  • Changing floors

You should find autosaves created for you after completing primary and secondary objectives. Likewise, anytime you receive a “[Danger Incoming]” screen where it advises you to prepare for a difficult threat, an autosave point will be created right before you make the decision to to forward or not.

Creating shelters and taking elevators to new floors will also create an autosave point. As these can be done indefinitely provided you have enough tools for the former, these are the closest methods to manually saving.

No matter if you want to save in the middle of the mission just to be safe or maybe do a little bit of save scumming right before fighting an Alien Queen, you’ll want to either weld some doors closed in a room or go up and down an elevator. 

It’s worth mentioning that these aren’t always consistent and that’s likely due to bugs. There were a handful of times that changing floors or creating a shelter didn’t overwrite an autosave slot for me, although this really was a rare occurrence for me over my time 36+ hour campaign.

How Many Autosave Slots are Available?

Screenshot by GameSkinny

The number of autosave slots at your disposal depends on which options you selected for your campaign’s difficulty. At the bottom of the difficulty parameters screen is a Save System toggle between “Permissive” and “No One Can Hear Them Scream”.

You’ll have up to ten autosave slots with the former option, all of which are triggered through the above methods. The latter option only provides you with two autosaves that will be constantly overwritten – one during USS Otago base management and one that’s triggered whenever you rest in a shelter.

That covers all you need to know about how to save in Aliens: Dark Descent. If you want to hear my experiences with the game, check out my review for the PC version. For everything else you need to help you on your Xenomorph-ridden adventure, check out our Aliens: Dark Descent guides library.

About the author

Samuel Moreno

Samuel is a freelance writer who has had work published with Hard Drive, GameSkinny, Otaquest, and PhenixxGaming. He's a big fan of the Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil series, but truth be told he'd sell his soul simply for a new Ape Escape game.