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Introduction: what are savestates?

Like most emulators, PCSX2 supports the use of savestates. Somewhat akin to saved games on a memory card, savestates allow players to save their progress in the games they are playing. Unlike memcard saves, savestates are "snapshots" of the emulator at the exact moment in time which they were taken.

Using savestates

Savestates can be made at nearly any point in a game even where saving is traditionally unavailable, like during cutscenes, in the middle of a battle in progress, etc. The player does not need to find a game save point or wait for a lull in the action - a single hotkey press is all it takes to trigger the creation of a savestate. This convenience is the biggest and most popular reason for using savestates.

However, unlike game saves, savestates are extremely exact: if you create a savestate for game X, you can only load that savestate for that exact game X:

  • Savestates made for the NTSC/PAL release of game will only work for that region!
  • In multidisk games, savestates made in disc 1 are incompatible with savestates from disc 2.
  • Savestates can range anywhere from 10 MB to upwards of 25 MB in size - it can take a few seconds to finish creating the savestates, they are not created instantly.
  • Savestates are not 100% reliable. While they function exactly as advertised 95% of the time, it's that 5% when they don't which you need to look out for. There are 10 savestate slots for a reason, don't be afraid of using all 10 of them.
  • Each game has it's own 10 unique savesate slots, depending on the game's CRC number. The savestate slots are game-dependent. And when you run out of slots but still want to keep the existing 10 savestates, you can simply cut-paste the savestate folder somewhere safe, leaving you 10 free slots again.
  • Savestates will only work a specific version of PCSX2, check the chart below for compatibility with older savestates. PCSX2's currently supported savestate version is displayed in the console after launching the emulator.

Savestate Version 0.9.8 stable 1.0.0 stable 1.2.1 stable 1.4.0 stable 1.5.0 dev
0x9A01-0x9A07 Yes No No No No
0x9A08 No Yes No No No
0x9A0A No No Yes No No
0x9A0B No No Yes Yes No
0x9A0C No No No No Yes
0x9A0D - (Jan 2017-present) No No No No Yes

PCSX2 savestate-related hotkeys

F1 creates a savestate in the current slot. Default is slot 0.
F2 Points to the next savestate slot. If max 9 is reached, it will loop back to point at slot 0.
shift + F2 Points to the previous savestate slot. If min 0 is reached, it will loop around to point at slot 9.
F3 Loads the savestate from the current slot. Default is slot 0.