SteamWorld Heist Savegame Editor
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SteamWorld Heist Savegame Editor

This is a little utility to allow you to cheat at the excellent game SteamWorld Heist by editing a savegame. This is currently only tested against savegames generated by the Linux version, but I would expect it to work against savegames on other PC platforms as well.

The following values can be changed from the commandline:

  • Water (money)
  • Character XP (will be set to 19,999 for all unlocked characters)
  • Inventory size
  • Adding specific inventory items
  • Adding a ludicrously-huge chunk of powerful endgame items en masse
  • Unlocking all hats

This utility is written in Python, using Python 3. I didn't intentionally use anything which would make it not work in Python 2, but it's totally untested in Python 2. It's command-line only; there's no GUI, nor do I plan to write one for it. I use it on Linux, but it should work in OSX's Terminal without problems, or in a Windows commandline/powershell.

Disclaimer: This has been tested on a bunch of savegames and works just fine on the ones I have, but I am sure that there are some corner cases that this utility won't be able to read. The utility uses Python's assert statement pretty frequently while loading, and does a sanity check to make sure that it can correctly write out a 100%-accurate replica of the savegame before actually making any changes, so the worst-case scenario is that the utility Just Doesn't Do Anything, but as always, keep in mind that this utility could generate a savegame that will break SteamWorld Heist in unexpected ways. Buyer beware! Make backups of your savegames!

This utility does not parse the entire savegame; it only goes up to about the place in the file that I was interested in editing, so there's about half the savegame beyond that point which the utility just treats as raw data.

This is released under the New/Modified BSD License. See COPYING.txt.


usage: [-h] (-l | -c | -o OUTPUT) [-e] [-w WATER] [-s SIZE]
                       [-i] [-a item[,item,...]] [-t] [-v]

View/Edit SteamWorld Heist Savegames

positional arguments:
  FILENAME              Input filename

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -l, --list            Just show information about the savegame
  -c, --check           Just check that we can load the file and can produce a
                        100%-accurate replica
  -o OUTPUT, --output OUTPUT
                        Output filename (required if making changes)
  -e, --experience      Set all unlocked character XP to 19999
  -w WATER, --water WATER
                        Set Water value (money)
  -s SIZE, --size SIZE  Set new total inventory size
  -i, --inventory       Add a frankly ludicrous number of powerful items to
                        inventory (will add appropriate inventory space
                        automatically unless --size is specified, in which
                        case --size is used)
  -a item[,item,...], --additem item[,item,...]
                        Add a specific item to the inventory. Can specify this
                        option multiple times, and/or specify a list of items
                        separated by commas. (Will increase inventory size
                        automatically if required.)
  -t, --hats            Add all hats to the savegame.
  -v, --verbose         Show extra information during list. Specify more than
                        once to also show a hexdump of data at the point we
                        stopped parsing.

The --check option was mostly just useful for myself, to make sure that the util was Doing The Right Thing against all my collected SWH savegames. See my script for how I'd typically run that while parsing the game.

The --experience option will set all unlocked characters' XP to 19,999. The way SteamWorld Heist reads this file, merely setting the XP does not automatically unlock character abilities, even though they show up if you "view abilities" from inside the game. It looks like the part of the savegame which actually deals with those ability unlocks is much further down in the savegame than I cared to parse, so instead we leave a single point of XP for the characters to acquire during a mission. When the character levels up from 9 to 10, the game retroactively applies any abilities which were "missed." So you'll get all those abilities after running a single mission with the character.

(Interestingly, it looks like you only need one character to officially go through the level-up process for all characters to receive any ability unlocks they might have missed. So I could theoretically rewrite --experience a bit so that it sets all but one unlocked characters to 20000, and then just left one at 19999, to serve as the "unlock" character. In the end I think that'd be more confusing than what we do now, though, so I'm going to leave it.)

The --inventory option adds a ridiculous number of items to your inventory. If the savegame has been saved after the SteamWorld Heist: The Outsider DLC has been purchased, the items added will include a few items from that DLC as well. It currently adds a total of 108 items if the DLC is active, and 96 if not. Basically enough to allow you to use just about any combination of gear imaginable with all four characters active (though apart from Radioactive Bullets, the most of any one item in there is four).

You can also add individual items "by hand" with the --additem option. You can specify the --additem argument multiple times, and/or specify a comma-separated list of items, for example: savegame_000.dat -o savegame_001.dat -a smg_09 -a handgun_09,rpg_09

... would add the items smg_09, handgun_09, and rpg_09. Most weapons in the game run from 01 to 09, and the base weapon types are handgun, smg, shotgun, scoped, sniper, rpg, and lobber. You can get a feel for what some other names are just by using --list to see what items are in your current inventory. To get a complete list, find the file Bundle/data01.impak in the SteamWorld Heist game directory (there's also one in the DLC directories). That's just a regular zipfile, despite the impak extension - if you unzip it, look at the resulting files Definitions/weapons.xml and Definitions/utilities.xml.

Lastly, you can unlock all available hats with the -t or --hats option (-t is used instead of -h because -h was used for --help). This option, like --inventory, is DLC-aware, and will unlock hats based on the DLC purchased before the game was saved.

Notes on the Savegame Format

I'm quite sure that the bits of the file supported directly by arguments here are being processed properly, but I've not really played around with any of the other data in the file, so I'm really not sure exactly how any of the rest works. I suspect it wouldn't be difficult to unlock characters before they're meant to be unlocked (when not in NG+, of course), but I didn't bother trying.

If you take a look at a savegame in a hex editor and look near the end, you'll see what looks like lists of abilities which have been unlocked for characters, spread out a little bit among other bits of data. I suspect that's where I'd have to parse out the file if I wanted to be able to "properly" unlock character XP, rather than doing the 19999 trick as --experience does, and letting the game do the unlocks. There's a lot of data between where I stopped and where that bit of the file is, though, and I didn't care enough to slog through it.

SteamWorld Heist saves the game midlevel if you quit while on a mission, and I bet you could do things like edit health, ability usage, enemy health, etc, if one were inclined to parse the format. Not really worth figuring out, though, IMO. The handful of mid-level savegames I've tried with the utility seem to work fine; I think the data for all that is after the point at which I stopped parsing it.

As I mentioned far above, I've verified that this works against the collection of savegames that I saved, though I am sure that there are corner cases which this utility'll choke on. I've checked it against an entire run of the game in NG+ mode, and against a few of the final savegames from my initial runthrough the game. I've only got a single savegame from before I bought the DLC, so DLCless saves are a little less well tested, thouh I'd expect they should be fine.

I suspect that many of the places in the savegame loading routine where I'm asserting that various numbers are 0x00 are actually supposed to be lists of data which just happen to have zero elements on all my savegames.

And, of course, all of the data marked with "unknown" as varnames are basically just guesses as to what size data they are. When presented with five unknown bytes, do you read it as a uint32 followed by a byte, or the other way around? Or two uint16s and a byte? Lots of options, certainly, and I'm sure that I've gotten it wrong in a number of places.

If you do run across a savegame which this can't open, do feel free to open up an Issue here, and attach the savegame, and I'll see if I can patch it up.