Has Factorio, in the past development, allow saved games to be migrated between different versions? If so, are there exceptions or restrictions?

In a general way, how was save game compatibility handled in the past?

4 Answers 4


Yes. Factorio has historically allowed saved games to be migrated between versions, and the 0.14 to 0.15 migration is no exception. Factorio 0.15 will be able to load any save that was made in Factorio 0.12 or later -- from the patch notes:

  • Disabled loading of saves before 0.12.0 version (You can use 0.12 to load older saves and re-save them).

Generally speaking:

  • Terrain will be preserved. If the game's terrain generation changed significantly between versions, there might be discontinuities between old and new terrain, but I don't think there's any such changes in 0.15.

  • Some ore patches will probably be created for the new uranium ore.

  • Most structures and items will be preserved. Some buildings which changed sizes between versions (like the fluid pump) may need adjustments, and I'm not sure what will happen with items that have been removed in 0.15 (like alien artifacts and science).

  • Any research you have completed will still be researched. You may need to research some new technologies if new prerequisites were added.

  • Boilers are particularly important offenders in this migration: If you load an old save in 0.15, prepare to redesign and rebuild your steam power immediately, because it's going to be broken. As for science, I think it's been reconverted (blue is still blue, alien is now ¿production?). Alien ore will likely disappear completely. You will also need to redesign science though.
    – Darkhogg
    Apr 26, 2017 at 14:32

While Factorio's major versions are generally backwards compatible with at least some older map versions, there's a limit -- around two older major versions from what I gather. I recently hit that limit, trying to load an old map (0.16.x from 2017-2018) in the most recent Factorio version (1.1.x from 2020-2022). That's four major versions older (0.16, 0.17, 0.18, 1.0, 1.1), so quite understandably it's not supported.

You can manually upgrade maps by loading them in older (but still within the compatible save file range) versions of Factorio. Load the save file, then re-save to upgrade. If you need to, you can repeat the steps to upgrade the save file across multiple major versions.

Here's the stepwise load/upgrade concept:

1.1   1.0   0.18   0.17   0.16
❌ --> ❌ --> ❌ --> ✅ ... ❓ ...
Upgrading           |
1.1   1.0   0.18    |
✅ <-- ✅ <-- ✅ <----

To get old versions of the game, log in to Factorio.com and download older versions from the archive. In the Steam version of Factorio you can switch to older/alternate versions of (games such as) Factorio in the game properties.

As other answers highlight, the factory you built on your map might not work quite the same anymore. Boiler size changes is one, oil recipe changes another. Technically upgrading a map doesn't necessarily mean functionally upgrading -- you should verify that everything on the upgraded map works as intended. Then again, fixing is part of the game loop.

With regards to my own save file (actually, a few dozen of them), I solved in a general way by building a (Linux-only) tool to automate map upgrading: factorio-save-upgrader. It uses publicly available Docker images for dedicated Factorio servers; no graphical/manual steps are involved. For game versions with a compatible Docker image, the tool can upgrade all of your save files (across multiple major versions) all the way to the latest version, in a single execution.


Note that while your version 0.14 savegame might be technically compatible, your version 0.14 factory will likely not be.

In version 0.15, many recipes were changed. Most notable are the completely new formulas for science packs beyond red and green, but there are also a lot of other, more subtle changes (armor-piercing ammo now has normal ammo as an ingredient, for example). So large parts of your factory will likely not work anymore.

That means that when you have a game you want to finish, you should keep doing that with version 0.14.23. When you are using Steam, you can downgrade by right-clicking on Factorio in your games library -> Properties -> Betas and selecting "0.14.23" from the dropdown. If you want to give version 15 a try, it is really recommended to start a new game.

  • 1
    When using Steam, at this point still, you only have to downgrade to 0.14 if you explicitly upgraded (through the method mentioned) to 0.15. 0.15 is not yet considered stable by Wube. May 17, 2017 at 6:52

I just started, but in .14 the boilers all crashed as soon as i loaded into .15. youneed to get a neww world,else it will self-destruct your old factory

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