Make uPlay work better

I usually buy PC games through Steam, but occasionally I end up getting a game which requires Ubisoft’s uPlay to run. This can include franchises such as Far Cry, Assassin’s Creed, and Splinter Cell. Unfortunately, uPlay has some major issues causing it to crash regularly, making it impossible to play some games. I’ve got a few quick tips here which seem to solve the issues for me.

Common problems

Most commonly, uPlay seems to crash whenever it tries to install updates. This is most noticeable when it first starts up.

However, I’ve also noticed that it sometimes crashes silently in the background while playing a game (specifically, Far Cry 3). For some reason, this resulted in the game failing to save my progress. It would just sit there displaying a never-ending “saving” icon. Restarting uPlay (while the game was still running) didn’t seem to fix it. I’m not sure why this happened, but I assume it’s related to uPlay’s cloud sync for saved games.

Manually install uPlay

Don’t let Steam install uPlay for you. Manually install it from the website (or manually re-install it if Steam has already done it). This may not always have any effect. It may simply be that manually installing it gives you a more up-to-date version, meaning it won’t crash when it tries to auto-update. It’s definitely worth a try though.

Run as administrator

In my experience, this one is essential: Always run uPlay as Administrator.

In practice, this means you have to launch it manually rather than letting Steam start it for you. Doing this seems to be the only thing which allows it to auto-update successfully, and it seems to avoid the in-game crashes too.

Backup your saved games

Your saved games are usually stored at this location:

C:Program Files (x86)UbisoftUbisoft Game Launchersavegames[…]

The […] bit will be replaced by a rather long set of characters which (as far as I know) uniquely identifies your uPlay account. Within that will be one or more sub-folders, each corresponding to a particular game. Unfortunately, they’re identified by number rather than name, e.g. 46 is Far Cry 3.

All you need to do is make a copy of those saved game files and put them somewhere else on disk. If uPlay crashes while running a game, you may want to restore your backup. The reason is that sometimes the local saved games seem to get overwritten by old copies via cloud sync.

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