Ring The Bell: Dark Souls Slays GFWL, Transferring Saves

Sadly, GFWL got too deep into Artorias here.

In Lordran, the flow of time may be distorted, but eventually a hero always triumphs/staves off the darkness briefly/plunges us into a different dark age. The Steamworks version of Dark Souls is now out, a little later than planned, and lets folks transfer their saves and achievements away from Games for Windows Live. Splendid. Do switch on over now, as it’s not much hassle and profile transfers won’t be available forever; they’re only guaranteed until February 16th, 2015.

If you own Dark Souls on Steam, which I assume is most folks who’ve bought it, here’s how it basically goes: let Steam download a small Dark Souls patch, launch the game, marvel at the cascade of Steam achievement popups rewarding you for being so mighty, close Dark Souls, opt into a beta version of Dark Souls, then relaunch the game and that seems to be it? It’s free from GFWL now? Splendid.

I dread to imagine how messy things would get if Steam were to shut down.

For full instructions and for what you should do in other circumstances, read the announcement. Folks on the comments there have solutions if you’re using DSfix’s framerate options and run into crashes. It sounds like DSfix needs an update to work fully with this latest version, but I’d be surprised if creator ‘Durante’ doesn’t have that out soonish.


  1. Catweasel says:

    The save transfer is pleasantly simple. Just log into GFWL in the old version, then close the game, install the beta, and start the game and your characters and achievements are already there waiting for you. :)

  2. Viroso says:

    Finally I’ll get to play this blasted game. First time I bought it, it didn’t work because of GFWL. Namco and Microsoft’s support managed to be worse than Steam’s, which actually gave me a refund (even if they said it was a one time thing).

    I will play this game without using any internet information, at all, truly a madman.

    • B.rake says:

      Couldn’t ever get GFWL to register either, though I went ahead and played it offline (tbh my internet connection is so crap I can barely make it through a Hearthstone match) its still quite amazing even without all the invasion and message stuff. Hopefully offline saves transfer as well.

    • zentropy says:

      The only way for a first playthrough, IMHO. :)

      Now the souls series is all about the muliplayer (for me and my ilk), but I really recommend doing the first playthrough solo/offline. You only have one chance at the first expo, and if your really lucky you’ve managed to miss a myriad of trailers, LPs and other spoilers.

      Oh what I wouldn’t do do experience my favorite games for the first time again…

      • Wowbagger says:

        I have to disagree, when a major intended feature of the game is the co-op/invasion mechanic, playing offline makes it feel kind of hollow.

        • zentropy says:

          Thus, my comment on souls being “all about the multiplayer”. ;)

          What I was trying to get at was, in my experience, playing the souls series offline/solo first is essential. Stuff like bloodstains, messages and ghosts (while awesome mechanics in and of themselves) ruin the first dose of the excellently crafted environment – and initial feelings of isolation and despair.
          Besides if you like the game(s), like so many of us do, there’s plenty of time for online shenanigans. ;)

          Personal anecdote;: Played all three on launch, and Dark Souls II was the only one I opted to go online from the start. I reckon that’s one of many underlying reasons that one didn’t stick with me.

          Just to be clear, it has nothing to do with difficulty – all about the feels man.

          • Wowbagger says:

            I can certainly understand your point of view, but for me the constant threat of invasion and the little cryptic messages brought everything to life – When I first got the PC version I had no choice but to play offline due to GFWL shenanigans so maybe I’m slightly biased because of that.

            In the case of DS2, online actually made it more enjoyable for me, because the pvp and summoning was so much easier to get into, and I could ignore the blandness of the environments. Leading me to sink 20-30 hours into just fighting people on the bridge in Iron Keep :)

          • bequietpirate says:

            I like mixing it! I love using the multiplayer at launch because the community is just as fresh and confused as you are, but I use limitedly. I would always go it alone to explore new areas, and challenge the boss solo at first. Then I would gauge how well I’m doing against the area/boss and begin summoning help to ease the drudgery of clearing the area/facing the boss alone again.

            I totally get the solo immersion thing though. It’s just so hard for me to contain myself when I start a new one of these games. I’m like a fat kid at thanksgiving dinner looking at 13 pies and trying to decide.

        • Pretzl says:

          Hollow! Get it? Hollow!

          I’ll get me coat.

        • Emeraude says:

          I don’t know, the game works better for me as a pure solo King’s Field alternative.

          If anything I find the multiplayer feels tacked-on and mood-killing.

          • Wowbagger says:

            You’ll get Solaire all depressed if you carry on making remarks like that you know.

          • Emeraude says:

            What, he doesn’t like King’s Field ?

            No wonder he gets mad.

          • Wowbagger says:

            It’s not so much the field he doesn’t like as the refusal to move to a more secular administration of turnips.

  3. Emeraude says:

    Plague replaced by cholera.

    Would making the game not dependent on a third party infrastructure have been that costly ? Honest question.

    • Asurmen says:

      Plague replaced by the common cold seems more accurate, or cured even.

    • Geebs says:

      Hey, at least cholera runs.

    • vecordae says:

      The Internet: “From Software. You have replaced the plague on your game with cholera. Please replace with syphilis as I have very strong opinions about cholera.”

      From Software: *looks at the shoddy PC port of their 3rd-party-infrastructure-dependent (but much beloved) console game and shrugs* “I dunno man. Maybe you could mod that in, too?”

      • Emeraude says:

        Well, thank you for upgrading my little self to the whole Internet.

        I feel bigger, yet smaller. It’s a weird sensation.

        • vecordae says:

          I really like the idea of trying to mod an actual STD into the Souls experience. It’s fitting, really. “The Internet” managed to get Souls ported over to PC and to get a sequel out the door. Hopefully, “The Internet” can make this happen as well.

          Thank you for this, Emeraude.

          • Emeraude says:

            I really like the idea of trying to mod an actual STD into the Souls experience.

            Isn’t it called life ?

          • B.rake says:

            I don’t know about yours, but my wanderer character has some awful cold sores…

          • Heliocentric says:

            @B.Rake rub some humanity into it, clears them right up.

    • Gargenville says:

      Most of the heavy lifting actual player interaction stuff is P2P but due to the way the game works it has to keep track of every single player at all times in close to real time if it’s going to match people up. From Software are relatively small to have an AA game on their hands, and Japanese (meaning basically useless at real-world netcode) to boot so they have neither the budget nor expertise.

      You can play any of the console versions completely offline if you really have to get your fix, don’t care about any of the groundbreaking multiplayer features and are willing to put up with some terrible framerates (I think Demon’s Souls is the most stable of the bunch actually).

      • Emeraude says:

        You can (could ?) play the PC version that way too if wanted.

        My question I guess would have been: couldn’t private servers work in any cost-sensitive fashion ?

        • Sweetz says:

          I think you are underestimating the cost of setting up a privately owned data center, from scratch, to handle any meaningful volume of players *worldwide*. Especially for what is effectively a legacy game.

          It’s likely multiple millions. It’s not like they can stick 1 server in a back closet of their office in Japan and call it a day…

          • Emeraude says:

            I think you’re misunderstanding what I am saying, so I’ll repeat with emphasis: what would be the cost for allowing a private server solution ?

            Since most of the trading is P2P, what about a solution sharing the load between players ?

            Those are alternative, compromised design-wise, but at least long term solutions that do not leave the product and the customers codependent on a third party solution.

            Which is better in the long run. Though not necessarily materially possible. Hence the question. I’m not underestimating the cost, I’m asking for an evaluation of it.

  4. Horg says:

    I’ve just tested the beta patch and it doesn’t work with DSMouseFix. If you were using that you might want to hold off on this update until the mod is patched or someone makes a new mod.

    Edit: if you try the beta patch, you will probably lose your save games if you revert to the GFWL version. They only convert one way. Also DSFix still works if you don’t set a custom frame rate and let it run at 30 fps.

    • Zallgrin says:

      Thanks for the heads up! I’ll wait for a mod update before I opt into the beta, then. It’s really impossible to play without the MSfix.

      • Horg says:

        Many Horgs…..died….to bring us this information.

        • Horg says:

          In the slight off chance that someone might browse this comment section over a week after the article went up, i’ll post some good news for you. DSMouseFix now works with the updated DSFix v2.3 for steamworks. I’d recommend a complete reinstall of Dark Souls, deleting your old Dark Souls folder in steamapps for best results. You wont lose saves if you already converted them. Information on how to make it work was lifted from the steam user forums (links removed so this comment doesn’t get eaten by spam detection, it’s fairly easy to find what you need):

          ”I must apologise with Jellybaby for having doubted him. The new DSMFix actually works! The problem is that I absolutely don’t know what actually solved the puzzle. All I can tell you is that I’ve tried everything in the last three days, including a full removal of both Steam Client and the whole SteamApps folder (the games). The I proceeded to reinstall both Steam and Dark Souls (Beta dsptde 2.0, Steam Build enabled); then I downloaded the new DSFix 2.3 from here: (google for DSFix 2.3, look for metaclassofnilblog link) and the original Mouse Fix from here: (google DSMouseFix, follow steam user forums link and download dsmousefix 0.9), uncompressing both into my Dark Souls folder (c:Program Files (x86)SteamSteamAppscommonDark Souls Prepare to Die EditionDATA). Then I downloaded Jellybaby’s updated DLL from a.pomf.se/cndmni.zip (this is the actual link) and overwrote the original DSMFix.dll. Then, after an endless tinkering with both DSFix.ini and DSMFix.ini, especially changing this row: “dinput8dllWrapper none” to “dinput8dllWrapper dsmfix.dll” in DSFix.ini, the miracle just happened! Thank everybody who made this possible, and especially Mr Jellybaby!”

          I’ve tested it, confirmed working. Don’t forget to turn up the mouse sensitivity in the mouse fix gui so your character doesn’t turn like a cow.

  5. Freud says:

    I played through it twice and I’m not the type of gamer that goes back and plays a game I’ve finished, but I’m going to re-install it to save my save games just in case.

  6. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    This would be lovely, but GFWL isn’t accepting my password any more in Dark Souls. I know it’s right because I can log into other stuff with it, but it refuses to log in on Dark Souls (and Dark Souls only). How does it keep finding new ways to disappoint and frustrate?

    • cressk says:

      i seem to remember problems with GFWL if 2 step authentication was enabled on your Live account.

      • Stellar Duck says:

        Didn’t sort it for me. Haven’t been able to play for a year or so no matter what I do.

        I’d cheer this but I can’t. It was From who fucking put it there in the first place, incompetent dunces as they are.

      • mashkeyboardgetusername says:

        That did it. Thank you!

    • derbefrier says:

      everytime i have had a issue with logging into GFWL its been because its been a long time since i had used it. IT gives me some error message that makes no sense and I eventually figure out(after lots of yelling and cursing) i just need to log on the website and reset my password and it will work. dont know if this will help you but its worth a shot.

  7. Anthile says:


  8. notenome says:

    Could someone possibly be so kind as to tell me what do I need to make Dark Souls: The First work ok on PC? I know there are a couple mods that supposedly greatly improve the mouse + kb experience, but I could never really get it to work.

    • Anthile says:

      There is DSfix and MouseFix although it still plays a lot better with a gamepad. Both mods are very easy to install.

      • Horg says:

        Be warned that Mouse Fix doesn’t currently work with the Steamworks patch.

      • B.rake says:

        PC Gaming Wiki is our friend: link to pcgamingwiki.com

        M+K really is tough, even with the fixes- I think because movement and positioning is so vital and the camera requires a bit of extra minding by 3rd person action standards- handling all that along with player actions without a 3rd hand is quite difficult, though I’ve heard even some relatively hardcore players manage.

        (xinput pads work great, though I had to disable as a HID in device manager for my XBONE pad to work.)

    • Zallgrin says:

      Add HD definition mod pack to the list.

      EDIT: Oh, and the SweetFX Preset! It really makes the world look a lot more beautiful.

    • fish99 says:

      The game was designed for a gamepad, and if you’re a PC gamer who plays a variety of games you should own one IMO. You need to stop thinking about a gamepad as a console controller, there has always been gamepads available for PC, all the way back to the days of DOS. And there has always been games that don’t play optimally on mouse/keyboard, such as racing or flight sims.

  9. PeopleLikeFrank says:


  10. Stellar Duck says:

    “I dread to imagine how messy things would get if Steam were to shut down.”

    And yet people willingly cheer it.

    Blows the mind, it does.

    • pepperfez says:

      “The longer you put it off the more it’ll hurt,” I imagine.

    • Rwlyra says:

      It wouldn’t be as bad, at least not for the games that store data locally.
      Some games (like certain Paradox titles) already have independent launchers and Steam is the easiest DRM to crack (you don’t need effin authentication server emulators like for some Ubi games back in the day).
      I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t even be needed as Valve would probably just remove the Steamworks lock from games that have it if they were going to go down.

      • Stellar Duck says:

        “I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t even be needed as Valve would probably just remove the Steamworks lock from games that have it if they were going to go down.”

        Why do people keep saying that?

        It’s DRM. The games are not Valves. They can’t just remove the DRM for other peoples games willy nilly.

        • Afoxi says:

          Valve can and will remove Steam’s DRM.
          link to i.imgur.com

          • Emeraude says:

            Not their choice, really.

            Interesting urban legend nonetheless (that screen you used gets reposted a lot, but it is not official company declaration of intent – perfectly deniable by the company heads, and has little to no legal weight whatsoever).

        • cederic says:

          They can however refund me for all of my purchases to which they remove my access. That’ll be a nice little nest-egg.

          To be fair, even if they remove the DRM.. I’d need a couple of months warning so that I could buy additional storage and kick off the downloads. That’s a lot of data…

  11. pepperfez says:

    I look forward to the next round of patches replacing Steamworks with GoG Galaxy.

  12. njursten says:

    I couldn’t log in in to my Windows Live account, but the following instructions let me copy my saves:

    This is what I did:
    – Sign out of the Dark Souls beta again, if you have signed in before and let the update install.
    – Start Dark Souls and create a new offline profile in GFWL. Let Dark Souls create a savegame. Close the game.
    – Copy over your old savegame from your online profile to the new offline profile in C:Users*your name*DocumentsNBGIDarkSouls (folders have the same name like the profile)
    – Start the game and log in with your offline profile. When the message appears “restore damaged save data” (or similar) quit the game via Alt+F4.
    – Sign into the beta. Viola – the old, non-acessible savegame is back again!

    PS: You won’t get any achievements this way, but I don’t care anyway.

    • B.rake says:

      Thanks! Was trying to figure out if I could save my offline game. meh @ achievements, though cool they added them

  13. Monggerel says:

    “In” Lordran, the “flow” of time may “be” distorted, but “eventually” a hero “always” triumphs/staves “off” the darkness “briefly”/plunges “us” into “a” different dark “age”.

    For easier comprehension.

  14. mcwizardry says:

    Works great, Durante already updated DSFix to work with it as well.

  15. yogibbear says:

    For those who recently upgraded to Windows 8.1, and use a LOCAL account (i.e. do not login to windows with a microsoft account), here’s how to get GFWL to login to you can easily get your save games accessed!

    Go windows key -> “Games” -> top right hand corner “Sign in” -> bottom of screen in sneaky blue text click the “(not recommended)” option to only login for this application and not convert your LOCAL account to a Windows Account. Then login here with your GFWL Login details. (If you have 2 step authentication it’ll SMS you a code or whatever you setup as). You can now click drag this application to close it.

    Then after completing the above when you launch Dark Souls from Steam it’ll automatically login to GFWL. (This fixes the error that I had transferred over from my working Windows 8 Dark Souls to my now unable to login to GFWL Dark Souls).

  16. zentropy says:

    OMG. All of my yes! Been stalking the stam page for weeks now waiting for my reurn to Lordran.

  17. Josh W says:

    I was so happy about this I went off and played 3 hours of dark souls! Not that that needs much encouragement.

  18. Premium User Badge

    Harlander says:

    I’m going to use the deletion of my saves as an excuse to never play Dark Souls ever again.

    Not that I was going to before, but it’s always nice to add extra excuses to a settled decision.

  19. Wowbagger says:

    ‘ll use this as an excuse to play afresh, with the proper multiplayer mechanics in place (hopefully). No more fummoning sailed for me!

    • zentropy says:

      Haven’t had a chance to play yet, but apparently it’s still a bit troublesome for.. some. May have to open ports to summon and such. :P

      • Wowbagger says:

        I think part of my original problem was a BT router that refused to allow the correct port forwarding regardless of my fumbling. I feel like GFWL and BT combined should cause some kind of Armageddon.

  20. fish99 says:

    Since I haven’t read anything to the contrary I’m assuming they didn’t take the opportunity to fix the rendering issues the game has, which is a real shame. The game should not need a 3rd party hack to make it render above 720p.