How to update Foundry Virtual Tabletop on The Forge

Introduction

Note for 0.8.x update series: If you would like to verify that your favorite systems and modules are compatible with the 0.8.x versions of Foundry, the Foundry VTT Discord has compiled a helpful list here: 08x Packages Testing Checklist - Google Sheets

Foundry Virtual Tabletop (Foundry VTT) is an evolving software. Even after its full release, it sees several updates a year. In this article, we explain the Foundry release schedule and why it matters, how to prepare before updating your version of Foundry VTT, and how to update your version of Foundry VTT. We will also explain how to downgrade to previous versions, should you require it.

Foundry Release Schedule

The Foundry release schedule is, for the most part, consistent. We explain the various stages below, and for whom each release is intended for.

Alpha

The Foundry release schedules begin with several experimental versions. These releases test new features and “game-breaking” changes to Foundry API, and its user functionality. These releases are tagged as alpha versions, and are meant for module and system developers.

Alpha releases are not intended for the average Foundry audience, and The Forge recommends against updating to an alpha release unless you are a developer, or are unafraid of risking data loss in your games. Due to the chaotic nature of alpha releases, very few modules and systems will be compatible with these updates.

Beta

Eventually, these updates become more stable, and are tagged as beta versions. Foundry beta versions are more stable than alpha releases, but have expected bugs or issues that render them unsuitable for stable, general release.

Beta releases are intended for module developers, and users who want to experiment with the newest features that Foundry VTT offers. We recommend updating to beta only if you do not mind these issues, and are not reliant on modules for a positive gaming experience. While changes to Foundry begin to stabilize at this point in development, most beta releases will not immediately see modules or systems updated for them, owing to changes within Foundry software. Update at your own risk.

Stable

Once enough beta-testing has been completed, and any bugs or significant issues are ironed out, a stable version of Foundry Virtual Tabletop will be released. These releases may see a minor hotfix, or later accompanying stable versions that remedy any bugs- but they are releases intended for the general Foundry audience.

Stable releases are intended for all Foundry users. When a stable version of Foundry is released, The Forge will place the release in its alpha, or beta release channel. After a day’s wait to ensure there will be no hot-fixes, and that there are no game-breaking issues, The Forge will move this release into the stable release channel. Most major modules and systems will be compatible with this version of Foundry, or within a few days of release. The Forge always recommends using the latest stable version of Foundry, after following the steps detailed below.

Preparing to Update

For most users, updating Foundry VTT should be done sparingly. We recommend taking the following steps whenever updating your version of Foundry VTT on The Forge.

1. Verify that all game systems used are compatible with the update.

Game systems are an incredibly vital component to using Foundry. Updates to Foundry Virtual Tabletop can also produce drastic changes to how systems interact with the base software. As a result, there is no guarantee that a game system will continue to work after updating Foundry. When updating, we recommend verifying that there is a system version compatible with the Foundry version the user is updating to.

The official Foundry Virtual Tabletop website includes a list of game systems here. Each game system page will also include a list of versions, and which versions of the system are compatible with which Foundry version. Most systems are a volunteer effort, and are not always updated right away. Sometimes, a system will work despite not indicating compatibility with that version of Foundry- but this should not be automatically assumed.

When in doubt, message the system developer via their preferred communication channel- but be nice. Remember that most developers do this for fun!

2. Verify that important modules used are compatible with the update.

Many users rely on modules as an important or vital supplement to their Foundry gaming experience. As with systems, updates to Foundry can change the way the base software interacts with modules. As a result, there is no guarantee that a module will continue to work after updating Foundry.

The official Foundry Virtual Tabletop website includes a list of modules here. Each module page will also include a list of versions, and which versions of the module are compatible with which Foundry version. Most modules are a volunteer effort, and are not always updated right away. Sometimes, a module will work despite not indicating compatibility with that version of Foundry- but this should not be automatically assumed.

When in doubt, message the module developer via their preferred communication channel- but be nice. Remember that most developers do this for fun!

3. Back up your data outside of The Forge!

Unless you are updating per-world via the Game Manager (explained later, and not recommended), an update to your Foundry version will update all worlds on The Forge. Therefore, if an update breaks your game data, is incompatible with an important system or module, or is otherwise disruptive, your Forge gaming experience could be irreparably harmed. That is why we recommend backing up your game data before updating. That way, if an update greatly disrupts your worlds, you can restore them to their previous state.

Follow these steps to back up game data (Without Game Manager):

  1. Login to Forge, if you are not already logged in.
  2. Navigate to your My Foundry page, on the top bar of the website.
  3. Select the grey “Export Worlds” button under Game Tools, as shown below:
  4. You will be shown a menu with every world, as well as a blue “Export All” button. Select the worlds you want to download. It should automatically export that world as a .zip file for you to download. If you wish to download every world, select “Export All”.
  5. Save these world files somewhere safe! The Forge recommends constant backups- but it is especially important while updating!

Follow these steps to back up game data (With Game Manager):

  1. Login to Forge, if you are not already logged in.
  2. Navigate to your My Foundry page, on the top bar of the website.
  3. Select the world you wish to backup.
  4. Select the grey “Export World” button under Game Tools, as shown below:
    It will automatically export that world as a .zip file for you to download.
  5. If you wish to download every world, navigate to the Game Manager button, and select it.
    You should see the following change to the Game Tools menu:
  6. Select the grey “Export All Worlds” button. It should automatically export every world as a .zip file for you to download.
  7. Save these world files somewhere safe! The Forge recommends constant backups- but it is especially important while updating!

Updating Foundry on The Forge

Make sure to have followed the steps listed in the previous section. The Forge is not responsible for any data loss as a result of user error. Updating without following the previous steps can result in game data destruction, world loss, and other campaign-ending consequences.

Updating (Without Game Manager)

To update your Foundry version on The Forge, without Game Manager enabled, complete the following steps:

  1. Login to The Forge, if you are not already logged in.
  2. Navigate to your My Foundry page, on the top bar of the website.
  3. Navigate to the bottom of your Foundry server page.
  4. Under "Foundry VTT Server Version, select your preferred version.
  5. At the bottom of the page, it will state “You have unsaved changes to your game configuration.” If you are certain that you are ready to update, select “Save Changes”. Otherwise, select “Reset Changes”. Once you select “Save Changes”, the Foundry version will be updated.
  6. if the server is currently online, stop the server for these changes to take effect (If you are still uncertain about updating, this is your last chance to revert the update. If the server is already offline, it is too late.)
  7. Your Foundry version has now been updated. Make sure to update your systems and modules before checking out the new features!

Updating (With Game Manager)

To update your Foundry version on The Forge, with Game Manager enabled, complete the following steps:

  1. Login to The Forge, if you are not already logged in.
  2. Navigate to your My Foundry page, on the top bar of the website.
  3. Select the Game Manager button.
  4. Under the “Select the default Foundry VTT Version for your games” drop-down menu, select your preferred version of Foundry.
  5. After selecting the preferred release, select the tiny green “Save” icon to the left of the menu.
  6. All worlds should now be updated to that version of Foundry, unless you have chosen a separate Foundry version per-world (not recommended). If you have selected a different version per-world and wish to update that world, follow the instructions below.
  7. Restart any servers that are currently active for these changes to take effect (If you are still uncertain about updating, this is your last chance to revert the update. If the server is already offline, it is too late.)
  8. Your Foundry version has now been updated. Make sure to update your systems and modules before checking out the new features!

Updating Per World (With Game Manager)

With Game Manager enabled, you are able to selectively update worlds to different versions of Foundry. The Forge recommends against doing this, owing to potential system and module conflicts that can occur with different-versioned worlds. If you wish to proceed regardless of these warnings, complete the following steps:

  1. Login to The Forge, if you are not already logged in.
  2. Navigate to The Bazaar, at the top bar menu.
  3. Select the world you wish to update.
  4. Navigate to the bottom of your Foundry server page.
  5. Under "Foundry VTT Server Version, select your preferred version.
  6. At the bottom of the page, it will state “You have unsaved changes to your game configuration.” If you are certain that you are ready to update, select “Save Changes”. Otherwise, select “Reset Changes”. Once you select “Save Changes”, the Foundry version will be updated.
  7. if the game is currently online, stop the server for these changes to take effect (If you are still uncertain about updating, this is your last chance to revert the update. If the server is already offfline, it is too late.)
  8. Your Foundry version has now been updated on this world. Make sure to update your systems and modules before checking out the new features!

Updating Systems and Modules

After updating your Foundry version, you will need to update your systems and modules. To update this content, follow the steps below:

  1. Login to The Forge, if you are not already logged in.
  2. Navigate to The Bazaar, at the top bar menu.
  3. Navigate to your Updates Available page. You can navigate there via the hyperlink, or by selecting “Updates Available” within menu to the left on The Bazaar.
  4. Here, you should see the following blue display:
  5. Select the green “Update All” button
  6. Finally, select the blue “Update All” button in the popup menu.
  7. Your modules and systems should now be updated. You are free to begin enjoying your new version of Foundry Virtual Tabletop!

Downgrading Foundry on The Forge

The Forge does not recommend downgrading Foundry versions, unless upgrading has created serious issues for your game data, world, or other content. We strongly recommend restoring from a world backup after downgrading.

If you downgrade via an existing world on a higher version, The Forge cannot guarantee survival of world, game, or content data. As with upgrading, you should make sure to backup these worlds as well, in case something goes wrong during the downgrading process.

To downgrade your content on The Forge, complete the same steps you took while upgrading. However:

  • When selecting a Foundry version, select your preferred downgraded version.
  • Complete the usual steps from there.
  • “Update” your systems and modules the same way specified above, to revert them to a previous, compatible version.

If you followed the steps mentioned earlier before updating, you should have backups of your worlds pre-update. Upload them via the summon import wizard after downgrading the Foundry version. Overwrite the existing worlds via the prompt it gives you. Your worlds should now be restored to their previous functionality.

If you did not backup your worlds before upgrading, you will have to downgrade your existing worlds, and manually verify that each world has survived the downgrade with its content and data intact. If the world is corrupted by the downgrade, you will now need to upgrade Foundry back to its upgraded version, and then import the pre-downgraded backups.

If you world data is corrupted after this process and you have no backups to restore from, you will need to contact Forge Support. Unfortunately, The Forge cannot guarantee:

  • Success in restoring your worlds.
  • Timeliness in restoring your worlds.
  • The version of the world that is restored (you may lose several days, or even weeks worth of work).

As they say on the Foundry Discord…


(Credit to the official Foundry VTT Discord)