Despite looking like an absolutely spectacular game in every manner, one lingering concern remaining has been the lack of support for Cloud Save Backup in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
First of all, the statement confirms that Cloud Save Backup is not supported in New Horizons, but that Nintendo is “currently looking into a customized method for backing save data up that will be specific to this game in the event that your Nintendo Switch is damaged or lost.”
Furthermore, it’s clarified that this feature will be available only to paid Nintendo Switch Online subscribers, just like the regular Cloud Save Backup feature. We can take from this that the customized method for Animal Crossing: New Horizons will use the internet like regular cloud saves.
This new customized version of save data backup will only be available at a later date which has not yet been decided. A further announcement will come when it’s been finalized.
Here’s the complete statement translated from Japanese by Alex Aniel via Vooks:
This game does not support Nintendo Switch Online Cloud Saves, but we are currently looking into a customized method for backing save data up that will be specific to this game in the event that your Nintendo Switch is damaged or lost. This function will be limited to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers. The timing of implementation is undecided and will be announced as soon as it is finalized.
That’s about all of the official information we have so far on this feature. Based on the information so far though, we’re interpreting this to be some new limited and more restricted version of cloud saves.
Clearly we should expect the feature to work differently from the standard cloud saves, or Nintendo would simply say Cloud Save Backup will be supported at a later date. They chose to instead say that a “customized method for backing save data up that will be specific to this game” will be available.
What exactly will make this new feature different though? We can only speculate, but my guess is that there will be a strict restore limit imposed of a couple times per year. Plus, the existing cloud save system operates off user profiles, which New Horizons appears to not use.
Furthermore, Nintendo’s statements today have also confirmed that the Nintendo Switch’s local data transfer functions will not be supported for Animal Crossing: New Horizons. We first suspected this based on information from the back of a German download card, but it’s now been confirmed with today’s update from Nintendo.
Here’s the translated statement by Alex Aniel via Vooks:
This game does not support User Migration or Save Data Migration functionalities. If you purchase a second Nintendo Switch, you will not be able to move your original island to the other unit.
However, this does seem to fly in the face of the other statement about how a new customized method save backup can be used in the case of a damaged or lost Nintendo Switch. That would involve moving to another unit obviously.
Really, this is all quite confusing and hopefully will be cleared up even more soon. For now, here’s our best interpretation and summary of all the new information regarding saves in Animal Crossing: New Horizons:
- At launch, the online Cloud Save Backup feature will be disabled, as previously announced.
- At launch and in the future, the local User Transfer or Save Data Transfer features will be disabled, this is new.
- At a later date after launch, a new customized version of online Cloud Save Backup will be available on a limited basis for damaged or lost systems. This is only for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers.
That’s our best attempt at least. Hopefully, an official English version of this information will be released soon, as unfortunately we had to use translations of Japanese for this article. A huge thank you to Alex Aniel who provided the translations used in this article via Vooks.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons launches worldwide in less than two months from now on March 20th! Check out our release date countdown here, or pre-order the game here. Stay tuned to Animal Crossing World for more news as we approach the release!