Nintendo Switch Online

One of the best reasons to sign up for Nintendo Switch Online is cloud saves. Yes, they're finally arriving on Thursday when the online service finally launches.

To help prepare you for the upcoming changes, we thought we'd give you a heads up on how cloud saves work on Nintendo Switch. That way you can get right into ensuring that you never lose a

How Cloud Saves Work On Nintendo Switch Online

Before we begin, here's one thing to bear in mind: not every single Nintendo Switch game will support cloud saves. There are two reasons for this:

  1. It's up to each developer to enable cloud saves, and some might not bother.
  2. Nintendo won't support cloud saves for games like Splatoon 2 to avoid cheating.

Yes, this is a tiny bit of a huge disappointment. We hear you, guys. But let's not get too caught up in the apathy and instead focus on how cloud saving actually works on Switch.

Once the service is live, you'll probably notice that a bunch of your favourite games will download tiny patches. This is them effectively ticking the box that allows cloud saves to work.

Download the patch and Nintendo will then start firing your save files up into the cloud where they'll safely sit until your console breaks and you want to carry on from where you left off in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and the like.

This process is automatic, and doesn't require any input from you. We're not entirely sure of the timeline yet – does the Switch upload the save when you've finished playing? When you manually save? Each time the game auto-saves? We'll aim to update this guide when that's clear.

We believe that, in the event of a crash, the Switch will always favour the most recent save though. So if your local save file is more recent than the cloud save, it will replace the cloud save.

What isn't clear is whether or not your cloud saves will work on another Nintendo Switch console. For example, could you feasibly sign on to your Nintendo Account while using a friend's Switch and carry on your Zelda save from it? We hope so, but Nintendo hasn't made that clear yet.

There doesn't seem to be any limit to the size of a save file, nor limitations on how many save files you can fire up to the cloud. That's excellent news.

Here's the bad news though. It seems that if you cancel your Nintendo Switch Online subscription, Nintendo will immediately delete your cloud saves. There isn't a holding period or anything like that, so make sure they're backed up.

In short, that's pretty much how cloud saving will work on Nintendo Switch. As soon as a game supports it it happens automatically, there are no limitations in terms of file sizes and number of files, and the Switch will always favour a recent save.

We'll keep you updated as we learn more.

What do you think of Nintendo Switch Online's cloud saving system? Are you disappointed it won't include all games? Let us know how you feel in the comments section below.