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I recently purchased the iPad version of FTL, after having unlocked all the ships on the PC version, and was disappointed that I would need to potentially re-do all my achievements and unlocked ships.

Is there any way to transfer your progress from the PC to the iPad?

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Yes. First you'll need to locate the saved game file you want to transfer.

Second, you'll need a tool that is able to upload files to the inside of an application sandbox on your iPad. Two possible tools are iFunBox for Windows or iExplorer for the Mac.

Open the FTL app in your iOS file explorer. Browse to the FTL app and you will see a file structure that includes a Library/Application Support directory with a prof.sav file. This is the default save file, but if you have enabled Game Center, there will be a separate prof.sav file under each player ID inside the players folder here. Make a backup copy of the files here, if you wish to be on the safe side. It would also be a good idea to kill the FTL app on your iPad if it is currently open, to prevent the game from overwriting your changes when you save and quit. (double-press your home key and swipe it away on iOS 7, or press the X on iOS 6)

Find the prof.sav file on your local PC. You will notice that there is a separate ae_prof.sav file alongside it, which contains all your progress ever since you installed the Advanced Edition patch.

Last, copy the ae_prof.sav file to the iPad, under the same folder where you find the prof.sav. (if you have multiple gamer profiles, you will need to be careful; it's difficult to match up Game Center IDs except by trial and error, so be sure to make a backup if you are concerned) Then delete the prof.sav on the iPad and rename ae_prof.sav to prof.sav. (since the iPad version only has Advanced Edition content, there was no need for a migration from prof.sav to ae_prof.sav.)

(Note: if you have not yet played the Advanced Edition on the PC, but you want to play AE on the iPad, you can just transfer the prof.sav file.)

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    My girlfriend is going to love this. Great answer to a great question! – Mkalafut Apr 4 '14 at 20:27
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    Yes; it's a credit to the talent of the developers of FTL. Great game, and great software engineering! – mpontillo Apr 5 '14 at 2:49
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    No longer works since iOS 8.3 – Agent_L Oct 28 '15 at 19:09
  • Indeed. How sad. Perhaps the FTL developers can enable iTunes file sharing so that people can back up and restore their saved games. – mpontillo Oct 28 '15 at 19:45
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By now, iOS does not let us access the apps' private data any more. The only way to solve this is to jailbreak the iPad.

In my case, I have an iPad Air (1st generation), which cannot be updated to the latest iOS version (13 as of Jan 2020), so jailbreaking it won't cause me any future trouble as far as I can tell. And as long as I don't start installing all kind of crap from untrustworthy places, I don't think I put myself into too much of a risk with this.

So I went ahead and used the Checkra1n jailbreak (Mac only - you may need to use another method, they all can be found on the pangu8 site - just choose a method that includes Cydia):

Caution: This requires some command line skills

  • Follow the instrutions to jailbreak the iPad
  • Install and Cydia
  • Let Cydia install all its recommended updates first
  • Install OpenSSH from Cydia. For this, read the SSH help on Cydia's main page.
  • Use Terminal or another shell to log into the iPad as explained in Cydia's SSH help page.
  • Once connected to the iPad, for extra security, change your root and mobile user passwords as explained on the Cydia SSH help pages.

Now, assuming you have already purchased and run FTL from the Mac App Store, you can use this command (while logged into the iPad via ssh) to locate its data folder:

find /private/var -name prof.sav

This will list a long path like this:

/private/var/mobile/Containers/Data/Application/165EBD98-0F7A-495A-8923-2A79C6FE0A1C/Library/Application Support/continue.sav

Now you can copy or replace the prof.sav file in that location to exchange them with the ones of your desktop game (on my Mac, it's called ae_prof.sav, so I have to rename it accordingly, of course).

I use an FTP app (Cyberduck is my favorite) for logging into the iPad with the SFTP protocol (username: root, password: the one I also use to login via SSH) in order to make it easier to access the file without the need for any more command line tools.

Note: While copying the at_prof.sav from my Mac to the iPad (as prof.sav) worked, and would synchronize my overall progress, such as unlocked ships, copying the continue.sav file, which contains the current game's progress, would crash FTP on the iPad. So, the current game may not be synchronized this way, but you won't have to restart the game all from the beginning on the iPad if you have have made progress on your PC/Mac before.

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