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Portable USB

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The developers have been informed of the fan desire to have a version of FTL: Faster Than Light which runs portably from a folder (such as a Dropbox or USB storage).


Running without admin privileges[edit]

If one wants to play the game on a machine without admin privileges, one needs:

  • Access to a Windows machine with admin privileges.
  • The DRM-free version of the game.

Installation steps:

1) Using the Windows machine with admin privileges, install the game to a folder.

2) Copy the folder to a new folder (such as Dropbox or USB storage).

3) Run the FTLgame.exe on the Windows machine without admin privileges.

Installing without admin privileges[edit]

It is possible to install the game on an account without admin privileges, in case that it's not possible for the user at the moment. It requires:

Installation steps:

1) Put FTL's setup .exe and Innounp's .exe on a folder

2) Open the command prompt (By clicking start -> run... and typing "cmd" without the quotes, or typing it directly on the Start Menu's Search bar if you are on Windows 7)

3) Navigate to the folder where FTL's installer and Innounp are.

4) Type (without quotes) "innounp.exe -x FTL.exe"

The game can be found on the {app} folder on the same place the setup and innounp were.


  • The game will still create the save games in the default location, which is C:\Users\%USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\FasterThanLight\. (WinXP named its folder "My Documents") If one wants to remove trace of the game, this folder will need to be purged or backed up for future use.
  • In terms of system requirements, the game is lightweight and can be run on most office or school machines that run Windows XP. It has very light systems requirements, and runs in a window by default. The main barrier is the fact that it runs in 1280x720 resolution as a minimum.[1]

Setting save location in Windows[edit]

Using a batch file and a small amount of setup, one can change the save location of the game, which is especially useful for installation on a USB drive. It requires:

  • A functional install of the DRM-free version of FTL
  • Any version of Windows supported by FTL

Setup Steps:

1) Install FTL using one of the methods on this page

2) Create the folder that you wish to store your saves in, and create a folder named "Documents" inside of it (or "My Documents" on WinXP). If the subfolder doesn't exist, FTL will create one named "user" and store things there.

3) Create a batch file containing these commands:

SET USERPROFILE=DesiredSaveDirectory

CD /D "FTLInstallationDirectory"


Alternately, you can set the save directory to FTLInstallationDirectory\user by using a batch file containing these commands:

SET USERPROFILE=InsertGibberishHere

CD /D "FTLInstallationDirectory"


4) Use the batch file you created to launch the game


  • Each command must be on a separate line in the batch file for it to function.
  • To use the save directory you selected, you must launch the game using the batch file. Launching the game without it will simply use the default save directory.
  • If you are using the first batch file, the save files will be in DesiredSaveDirectory\Documents\My Games\FasterThanLight
  • To set the save directory relative to the batch file location, which is useful for portable drives, start the directory with "%~dp0" (without the quotes, that's a zero btw). This will become the drive:\path\ of the script's folder, including a trailing backslash. For example:


CD /D "%~dp0FTL\gamefiles"


  • "cd .." will allow you to move up a directory. For example, if the batch file is in E:\games, a "cd .." will bring it to E:\

Running off USB drive (with backup made to the drive)[edit]

I have found the method above to not work due to the fact that FTL does not use variable USERPROFILE anymore but goes directly to MyDocuments library. The option I'm using is the batch file below. It first restores the save from USB drive to the normal save position of FTL, runs the game and afterwards it copies the content from FTL save location back to USB drive. It also backs up each save to another folder which then remains as a permament copy. PLEASE USE IT ONLY IF YOU CAN UNDERSTAND IT AS IT CAN OVERWRITE YOUR PRECIOUS SAVES!!!!

rem Assumption is that FTL is located in FTLAE folder in the root of USB drive

rem Put this batch file in the root folder of the USB drive


if not exist %GAMEDIR%\FTLGame.exe exit

rem Backups are made to saves subfolder under FTL folder


rem Find location of MyDocuments and then of FTL saves

for /F "usebackq tokens=1" %%i in (`powershell.exe -Command "[Environment]::GetFolderPath('MyDocuments')"`) do set MYDOCUMENTS=%%i

set savedir="%MYDOCUMENTS%\My Games\FasterThanLight"

rem Restore backup

if exist %SAVEDIR%\ae_prof.sav exit

mkdir %SAVEDIR%

xcopy /y %BACKUPDIR%\*.sav %SAVEDIR%

rem Start the game

cd /d %GAMEDIR%


rem Backup the saves into our backup folder

xcopy /y %SAVEDIR%\*.sav %BACKUPDIR%

rem Another copy of the save stored in timed folders - in case something goes wrong with saves

for /F "usebackq tokens=1" %%i in (`powershell.exe -Command "Get-Date -format 'yyyyMMdd_HHmmss'"`) do set DATETIME=%%i



rem Remove daves from MyDocuments\My Games folder - uncomment if you want

rem rd /s /q %SAVEDIR%

OS X[edit]


To run this game from USB on Linux, unpack the .tar.gz package that comes with the DRM-free version of the game or copy the game folder from your Steam installation as it does not require Steam to be running. Create a directory named "saves" under the "data" directory and then run the game using the following script:

export XDG_DATA_HOME=./saves/
exec ./FTL

If your USB drive has a FAT32 file system you may get a "Permission denied" error when trying to run the game. In this case you need to manually mount the USB drive using umask=0000 (in order to give all files and directories the rwx permissions) and defaults which adds the exec option (among others).

sudo mount -t vfat -o utf8,defaults,umask=0000 /dev/sdb1 /mnt/your-mount-point