This Might Be The Easiest Way To Fix Saturn's Volatile Save Data Issue 1
Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension

We love the Sega Saturn here at Time Extension. Sure, it may have come dead last in the console war with PS1 and N64, but it's home to some truly amazing games, including Guardian Heroes, Panzer Dragoon Saga, SEGA Rally, Princess Crown, X-Men Vs. Street Fighter and many, many more.

As much as we adore this console, there is one truly egregious problem with it – Sega chose to include built-in, battery-based save data rather than placing it on a memory card, as is the case with the PS1 (yes, we know there's a memory cartridge for Saturn, but the built-in storage is treated as the default).

This storage is kept alive by a CR2032 battery, which also allows the console's real-time clock to function. Now, these batteries are cheap to purchase – even in 2024 – and if you use your console regularly, they last around two years before they need replacing. However, if you don't use the Saturn for a while, the battery will only last about a month before dying – and taking all of your progress with it.

To overcome this issue, FRAM mods have been created which allow you to swap out the volatile SRAM memory chip with an alternative that lasts for decades, if not longer. The catch with this solution is that it requires some skill with electronic modifications and perhaps isn't for the faint-hearted.

Thankfully, modder @zaxour appears to have come up with a new approach which should be a lot easier to install.

The catch here is that the console's real-time clock needs the battery to function, so while FRAM mods help preserve your save data, they won't stop the console from forcing you to input the time and date every single time you boot it up.

It's worth noting that the FRAM mod is merely one option when it comes to 'fixing' your Saturn; we've also seen mods which allow you to fit an internal memory card, offering even more space for save data.

Is this mod something you're personally interested in? Let us know by posting a comment below.