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Can I save my game and resume it later?

Sometimes. There is a save state feature implemented in MAME; however, there are some caveats to its use:

  • Many games in MAME have not been updated to support save states. (Games that haven't been updated will display a warning upon save.)
  • MAME will allow you to save the state of any game, even if it is not officially supported.
  • The use of certain features (such as "anonymous timers") may prevent a save state from succeeding (though this should never happen for games that have been updated to support save states).
  • The save state format is currently very fragile, and save states from one version of MAME are not necessarily compatible with save states from another version of MAME.

With all of that out of the way, when it works, it generally works quite well. To save the state of a game, use the default save state sequence of Shift + F7. At this point, you will get a prompt asking you to select a slot. Type a letter from 'a' to 'z' and the game's state will be saved. If the game doesn't officially support save states, you will be warned at this time.

To restore a saved state, use the default load state key F7. Again, you will prompted to select a slot to load from, and the state will be loaded. If something has changed in the way the driver or any of its dependent code handles save states, then the restore may fail, so be warned.

If you'd like to automatically save the state when exiting MAME, and automatically restore the state the next time you run any game that supports save states, you can add the -autosave option to the command line. For example:

mame robby -autosave

Will automatically save the state of the game when you exit, and will pick up where you left off the next time you run.

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