Automatically Take Versioned Steam Save-Game Snapshots Using Steamback

Steamback backup steam save games and restore snapshots later

Steamback is a Steam Deck plugin and desktop application which adds versioned save-game snapshots to Steam Cloud-enabled games.

Steamback waits for your Steam games with Steam Cloud support to exit, and it takes local snapshots when it sees updated game saves. The ten most recent snapshots are stored, so you can re-use any of them later.

To have Steamback take snapshots of your save-games, make sure to launch the application before playing any Steam games. On the left-hand side of its main window, Steamback shows a list of installed Steam games that are supported, and on the right, a list of save-game snapshots and the time they were taken. To revert to a save-game, click it and a button which allows reverting to this snapshot will be displayed.

The tool was initially started as a plugin for Steam Deck (Decky Loader). The developer has received requests for a desktop version, and they built one recently using Python and Tk for the GUI. The desktop version runs with a GUI, or it can run as a daemon, looking for game backups in the background.

To run Steamback as a daemon, open a terminal and type:

steamback --daemon

The software doesn't support taking save-game snapshots for games that don't support Steam Cloud, and the ability to easily export your game saves to other machines, but maybe we'll see this in future releases. Even without these features, though, Steamback is already a very useful tool.

It's worth noting that the Steamback is currently not considered stable software, so you may find bugs! The Steamback developer has recently made a post on r/linux_gaming which announces Steamback but is also looking for beta testers, so check out the Reddit thread in case you want to help.

Also, Steamback for desktops was tested on Linux, but it may also work on Microsoft Windows and macOS. Its developer is looking for testers and/or patches (if needed) for Windows and macOS.

How to install the Steamback

The Steamback Steam Deck plugin is available in the Decky loader plug-in store so you can install it from there.

The Steamback desktop application can be installed from PyPI, using pip/pipx. I recommend installing it using pipx.

Install pipx from your distribution's repositories. Here's the command to install pipx on some popular Linux distributions:

  • Debian, Ubuntu and Linux distributions based on these (Linux Mint, Elementary OS, Pop!_OS, Zorin OS, etc.):
sudo apt install pipx

  • Fedora:
sudo dnf install pipx

  • Arch Linux / Manjaro:
sudo pacman -S python-pipx

  • openSUSE:
sudo zypper install python-pipx

Once pipx is installed, run the following command to ensure directories necessary for pipx operation are in your PATH:

pipx ensurepath

Now you can install Steamback, using the following command:

pipx install steamback

Later, when you want to upgrade it, you can do it using: 

pipx upgrade steamback

Steamback is not shown in the applications menu so to launch it, press Alt + F2 and type steamback, or open a terminal and type steamback.