Guide Update: 8/18 - Switching Between Legacy and Stage 2 without Redownloading Every Time!


Basically if you opt in or out of the legacybeta, steam will overwrite your current game files, forcing a 40 or 20gb download every switch between Legacy and Stage 2. This solves that problem.


Nutshell Super Basic Explanation:

Backup/Edit a steam ACF File, Open Steam.
Steam downloads Legacy Evolve, Close steam
Backup new ACF File, switch ACF files to switch Evolve versions


I have no affilation with TRS, 2K, Take-Two, Evolve, Legacy, Stage 2, Steam, Windows, Sentiant AI, or anything else really for that matter.
I am just a founder user of Evolve who found this way to switch easily between the old legacy game and the stage 2 beta. I have not been able to test this on a non-founder account.

This will require having BOTH versions of the game on your computer.
(currently ~59.2GB of space)

This will require you to edit the evolve’s steam .ACF file.

This will not allow you to buy things for real money in Legacy and import them into Stage 2
(legacy store is currently offline)

However skins earned in Stage 2 may show up in the Legacy game
(at least the Carnivore Goliath skin recently obtained in Stage 2 did for me)

And lastly: I will help you if you need help or any questions you may have with this guide, just have patience, I get busy time to time.
Message on Forums, Find me on Steam, etc. :slight_smile:
ie: took me ~10 days to get back to doing this guide overhaul update I said I would do.


What this will guide you through will be setting up your computer for both evolve versions (Legacy and Stage2) and switching without downloading the whole game over and over and over again.

Before you begin:
Take note of where your steam install directories are, for example, mine is:

If you dont know where to look:

View Tab -> Settings, Downloads Tab -> Steam Library Folders Button -> See it in the window

Inside this folder you have a couple more dirctories of importance for our task.

“steamapps” contains your .acf files, these basiclly tell steam what options you have set for the a particular game (betas, install directory, etc)
“common” is where steam places your game files into its game folder. for example "EvolveGame"
In “steamapps” you will find “appmanifest_273350.acf” this is Evolve’s ‘steam settings’ file.

I will use “steamapps” “common” or ACF when referencing in the future.

Close Steam, Verify you have 60gb of Disk Drive space available.

This will require having BOTH versions of the game on your computer.
(currently both take ~59.2GB of space)


Close Steam before you Begin:
Make sure steam is completely closed.

Backup your ACF File:
Navigate to your “steamapps” folder.
Right click on “appmanifest_273350.acf”, and copy the file.

Navigate to your “EvolveGame” folder in "common"
Right click blank space and select paste, to paste the ACF file
Visually confirm the file copied into the folder.

How to Edit your Original ACF:

(explaining notepad as not everyone has txt editors)
Navigate to your “steamapps” folder and right click the file, click open
In this window, click select from list of programs, and click ok
In this window, Click notepad as program to use, and uncheck the “always use this program”, click ok

Notepad should open the file. I resized the window for easier viewing.

What to edit in the ACF:

In notepad, under Format tab, make sure word wrap is checked. (makes it easier to read)
(LEFT) RED Arrow Window Shows where to find wordwrap.
(MIDDLE) BLUE Arrow Window Shows what that file looks wordwrapped.
(RIGHT) PURPLE Arrows in the Window Shows what to edit in the file.

change the phrase below:
“installdir” “EvolveGame”

to this:
“installdir” “EvolveGame_legacy”

and change the phrase below:
“Betakey” “”

to this:
“Betakey” “legacyevolve”

Save and close the file.

Open Steam:
Steam will now see your ACF changes download the old Legacy Evolve to “EvolveGame_legacy”.
Sit back and watch a movie.
Its taking me about 90 minutes at 70mbps (9MB/s) to redownload the old ~40.3GB game.
(which I did do to make sure this guide re-write works exactly as written)

When it is done, open the game to verify the game runs and finished downloading
Close Evolve and steam, and continue on.

Backup the New ACF to Legacy Folder:
Navigate to your “steamapps” folder.
Right click on “appmanifest_273350.acf”, and copy the file.

Navigate to your “EvolveGame_legacy” folder in "common"
Right click blank space and select paste, to paste the ACF file
Visually confirm the file copied into the folder.

Close Steam.

If you were currently playing Stage 2:
Backup: copy your “appmanifest_273350.acf” from “steamapps” into your “EvolveGame”,
Replace: and then copy your .ACF from “EvolveGame_legacy” to your “steamapps”

If you were currently playing Legacy:
Backup: copy your “appmanifest_273350.acf” from “steamapps” into your “EvolveGame_legacy”,
Replace: and then copy your .ACF from “EvolveGame” to your “steamapps”

Open Steam.


Why did I make this guide? Who wants Legacy Evolve anyway?

Well, the pursuit of knowledge is one. It is possible to log into old evolve for your old stuff, play the old game for nostigia. multiplayer defend/evac game modes, keep leveling your classes, etc.

So i wanted to get a basic guide out right away (with-in reason, had to check in on something first) to show its possible if you do want to get into the old stuff again but keep doing the new stuff as well. Without much of a hassle or eating bandwith from downloading just because you opt-in/out of legacy.

I really dont need to boot up legacy often (if ever) as i’ve had such a blast with Goliath in Stage 2, but at least two weeks ago someone was looking into this so here the updated guide for anyone wanting.

During booting I did copy over the legacy files to other pc and logged into my guest account, I was able to connect and was successful in playing multiplayer online private evac matches. (well until my guest pc crashed, its not that powerful for old evolve) Switched right back to Stage 2 by moving the .ACF.

Anywho, Hope this helped someone. :slight_smile:

Question About Legacy Evolve
Question about having Legacy and Stage 2 installed simultaneously
I'm Installing Back Legacy
Who of you will keep playing evolve?
Evolve: Stage 2 Veteran mode
Anybody else want Legacy back?
PC Evolve Legacy ARISE! (Laz Voice)
Is there a way to play the old version of Evolve?
What about the people who bought the first evolve?
Evolve 2-Year Special Anniversary Stream
Daily Sign-In
Legacy or stage 2?
Anyone who has Legacy Evolve for PC installed wanna play?
Thanks for the fun stage 2, hello legacy
Legacy Evolve Player base
Your Game of the Year
Need help with understanding switching between Legacy and Stage 2
A last ditch effort to play Legacy Evolve for PC

anyone here know if this is valid guide? i don’t want to do this only to find that it’s something that’s not valid or worse…


its probably legit man


Hey There @DevourMistress, this guide steps are still valid and working (just booted up stage2->legacy on my other machine and back again without a download). I will however update this (as soon as I am able, about to start an 8 hour shift) with pictures and steps, and make everything clear as to what is happening. If this guide can help even one person be happier with Evolve than I am happy to help. :slight_smile:

In a nutshell to hopefully answer your question, this guide will step you through (strikeout)Backing up Stage 2,(/strikeout) Opting into the Legacy Beta, Downloading the Legacy Beta (just one time), and setting up your steam files to allow easy changing between Stage 2 and old Legacy.

To ease your mind of “valid or worse”. Evolve allows opt in and out of the beta anytime. The modifying of the steam .acf file should be perfectly legit as it is only changing an option of the beta option and where to find the legit corresponding game files so steam wont overwrite them/etc. That is basically the same as changing where to find your steam games folder in steam.
TLDR; Moving around an .acf is arguably the same as manually changing settings in steam.

Also as a sidenote: Legacy store is offline, no real money purchases are able to occur in legacy to sneak things into stage 2.


That might have been me, I was really wanting to play some of the game modes and maps left behind in legacy. Thanks very much for the write up.

I was trying to do it in an easy way by re writing the folder names in there or saving one to desktop and switching them as needed but neither were working. Will have to give this a shot when I have more time, but like you I have found I am really enjoying stage II a lot more than legacy.

I still want those extra maps and game modes like extraction though. Hopefully they put them out soon. Even if those maps aren’t balanced I wouldn’t mind having them available for play in training or co op mode for a nice change of pace.


Wait you can STILL play Legacy on PC? Are there anyone who plays it?


There are still people who like to do Legacy for a change of pace from Stage 2 (more maps, game modes). I personally dont do much legacy anymore, but still log in to to Legacy to make sure this guide works, and to see if anything has changed… Did some matchmaking testing today, and came across no other real players in legacy while i was testing.

@“Everyone Else”

As always i have no affiliation with 2K, Take-Two, Evolve, Steam, Etc.
These are changes that I have just noticed first hand in Legacy:

Changes in Legacy / Other Info to be noted since my last guide update:

ALL Legacy Monster Skins are now available for use and are no longer linked to Stage 2 unlocks.
ALL Legacy Hunters Weapon Skins are now available for use and no longer linked to Stage 2 unlocks.
These do not include the elite skins unlocked by game progression.

(ie: I do not own the Gold or the Taurus Goliath skins in stage 2 but they are now usable in Legacy)
(ie: I do not own the Hyde Night Hunter Weapon skin in stage 2 but it is now usable in Legacy)

ALL Hunters/Monsters appear to be unlocked in Legacy, as my guest account does not own EMET in stage 2, but can use him in Legacy.

In game-progression appears to be intact and can still skillup your monsters/hunters.
Along with all the milestones progress as well (ie: blitzleopards killed, plainstriders killed, etc)

Matchmaking is still available in Legacy Evolve.
Recently upgraded my guest pc’s graphics card, so did a more indepth test than my last test. I was able to connect with my guest account and main account for Quickplay / Evacuation / Hunt / Arena / Defend / Etc Modes.
Invites and groups between accounts are still working too.

Legacy store is still down for all purchases. (store did pop up for a day with 1 item that couldn’t be purchased)
This seems ok to me now, as everything you could buy seems to be unlocked and then some.

Leaderboards are still active (not sure what they are linked to for their reports, but names do change over time)

Also just to maintain a quality of life question asked thing:

Executive Producer “snowkissed” appears to have confirmed that this guide should not flag for any anti-hacking/tempering flags, in a post in this closed thread:
(Question about having Legacy and Stage 2 installed simultaneously)


Only a Founder can redownload Legacy, however if you buy a key for Evolve on PC you will gain Founder status and benefits, up to and including being allowed to play Legacy again.

Two copies left on Amazon.


Thank you very much.


Edit 2: Success! After backing up Stage 2 and installing OG Evolve, I had to verify game cache. That got OG working, and I was able to play a couple bot matches, admiring the metric tonne of new Monster skins I didn’t have last time I played. Switching back to Stage 2 for the daily signin reward worked without a hitch, I’m testing a bot match now.

Edit: Trying to run the executable directly, I get the error; cryd3dcompilerstub.dll is missing. Downloading the .dll to common\evolvegame_legacy\bing64_retail did not work, just a generic crash error then.

Has anyone who has tried this experienced where Legacy says ‘running’, and then just stops? No popup, crash or anything. Play, running, quit.


Only just seen this thread. Very useful indeed :slight_smile:


Just keep bumping… Just keep bumping…


Question: Do need to set the game’s DLC to Legacy or just leave that?


The way this guide is setup you don’t have to actually do the drop-down in the game for the beta change. But I do recommend seeing if it is there first (or confirming you own the “Evolve Founder” DLC).

Editing the .ACF manually does this change as if you did it in steam, but you also change the install path for legacy at the same time in the directions to keep from any overwriting.


Sounds a bit messy


it works thoe.


Going to try this now. I think a simple bat file could be made to automate the switch between the two acf files.

Created two bat files. One is called Stage2 and the other Legacy
I run the appropriate bat file for the game I want to play.

Legacy bat file is:

xcopy /y "C:\ProgramFiles(x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\EvolveGame_legacy\ACF\appmanifest_273350.acf" "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps"

Stage2 bat file is:

xcopy /y "C:\ProgramFiles(x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\EvolveGame\ACF\appmanifest_273350.acf" "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps"

I created that ACF folder to store my backed up .acf files so the directory may need to be adjusted.


My ACF is perfectly fine, but one key thing is missing…

where you put the betakey.

I own Legacy Evolve (The Founders DLC) but I can’t really do much, as it’s missing the betakey string of text.

EDIT: Thanks to the help of the writer of this guide, I managed to get the full ACF! If anyone else encounters this issue, replace your ACF in steamapps with this one:

Thanks, @Katt74x9 !


I’ve now followed the guide and succesfully launched legacy, but it didn’t create a new game folder for legacy, so now i dont have stage 2. does anybody know what to do then?


have you found any solution yet?

I am now trying from legacy to S2