If you’re like me, you have two gaming computers: your hardcore desktop computer that’s maxed out on everything, and your laptop, which may not run everything at max but lets you scratch the gaming itch when you’re on the go (i.e. at work and bored). The problem comes in, though, in syncing up your saved games. USB thumb sticks can do the trick, but require a decent amount of effort, and if you forget to do it, then you could potentially lose hours of saved progress; it’s infuriating.

Many publishers have started building in the functionality to sync your save games via the cloud, and Steam has Cloud Sync which is awesome on the games it’s enabled for. However, many modern games are still released without this ability, and you’re back to the USB method. Luckily, there’s an easy (and free) way to get around this restriction.

The solution lies in the free service Dropbox, which maintains synchronized data across an unlimited number of computers. The first thing you’ll need to do is download Dropbox; find it here. After you’ve got that set up, then we’ll need to do a little bit of trickery to get your games to put save files in your Dropbox folder instead of the default, so that you can keep them in sync. You’ll need to locate where your game puts save files; for Skyrim, it’s My Documents>My Games>Skyrim>Saves.

Now you’ll want to back up that folder (believe me, this is important unless you really don’t care about your game saves). Once that’s backed up, move the folder to your Dropbox folder. In general, it’s a good idea to create a subfolder for game saves, and then organize them by game to make it easier to tell what’s what later. For instance, I put my Skyrim saves in Dropbox>GameSaves>Skyrim>Saves.

Now for the trick: you need to create a symbolic link between the original save folder and the one you just placed in Dropbox. It’s basically a redirector that makes your game think it’s saving in the old folder, but in reality is saving to Dropbox. Sound complicated? It is, but luckily for you, there’s symlinker, a free utility that does all the nasty command-line stuff for you.

Just download the utility, and use it to replace the old saves folder with a link to redirect to the Dropbox one. It’s important to note that on Windows Vista and 7, you’ll need to run symlinker as an administrator to get it to work right. And…you’re done! Just do this process on each computer that you want to keep in sync. Want to see if it worked? Just load up your game and see if it’s still seeing your saves. If so, you’re good!

The great thing about this method is that it can be used for almost any game, even older games that came out before cloud syncing became a thing; and you could theoretically use it to sync between PC/Mac (haven’t test that myself, though…). Let us know how it works for you!