If there's been one minor blip on the Animal Crossing: New Horizons hype train, it's the confusion surrounding the game's options for transferring and restoring save data. Back in February, it was revealed that save data recovery is a one-time-only deal - and only for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers in special circumstances - which isn't exactly what you want to hear when talking about a game that hoovers up hundreds of hours.
It was also revealed that players will be able to transfer their save data from one system to another, but not until "a function specific to" the game has been implemented to do so. It all sounds a bit messy, but Nintendo has now reiterated its plans in an easier-to-understand FAQ.
Below, you'll find the most up-to-date knowledge on how the game will handle its save data. Note that for both the transferring and restoring of data, Nintendo plans to have workarounds in place by the end of the year, even if they are a little frustrating:
Is there a way to create multiple islands?
Even if you’re using multiple copies of the same software, you are only able to create one island per console. If you wish to build up another island, you’ll need a different console.
As the island save data is saved directly on the Nintendo Switch console, even if you use both the physical and digital versions of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, there will only be one island.
Is there a way to transfer save data onto another console?
We are currently considering a function to move user and save data to other consoles that is uniquely for the software. The function is planned to be implemented within the year.
What if I lose my save data?
Animal Crossing: New Horizons does not support Nintendo Switch Online’s Save Data Cloud Backup feature. However, we’re currently considering a function for Nintendo Switch Online members to backup save data, uniquely for the software, in case one’s Nintendo Switch console itself malfunctions or is lost. The function is planned to be implemented within the year.
Is the game playable on the Nintendo Switch Lite?
This title can be played on the Nintendo Switch Lite. However, in order for multiple residents to play together in Party Mode on a Nintendo Switch Lite console, Joy-Cons and/or Pro Controllers suitable for the amount of players joining in must be connected to the Nintendo Switch Lite.
Wouldn't things be easier if Nintendo just allowed us to save and restore data as we pleased, hmm?