Animal Crossing: New Horizons will support customized version of cloud save backup post-launch

2 months ago 6 Comments

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.

Thanks to a new update of the official Japanese website for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, we have brand new information on this topic and it offers good news, albeit with some potential caveats!

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!

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Vanessa

Then I hope they deliver my preordered switch in time, because I don’t wanna start over after a few days.

Matthew Barcellos

I just have to believe Nintendo will find a way to satiate the angst felt by those who may be on the receiving end of a delayed Limited Edition Switch. I’m no coder by any means, but perhaps the game can generate a one-time-use code that allows you to restore an Island from a previous session, granted the Switch you’re attempting to move it to is one of those Limited Edition Switch consoles (determined by Serial Number, perhaps).

Peach15

That’s my concern as well. What if users simply want to upgrade to a different in the future, such as the ever rumored Pro—they’re forced to lose their town? Is Nintendo is pretty much encouraging folks to not buy new switches.

Lorrai

Hallelujah! That was my main concern, esp since I plan to buy the new Animal Crossing edition Switch. No one wants to start over. BUT, knowing this is in the works, I can happily start my island life on my current Switch knowing I’ll be able to transfer at a future date. Thank you Nintendo Gods and Goddesses! Praise Nooks!

Pengu

Well, I don’t think they said they’re gonna have a way to support transferring saves, just backing up your data. They might allow you to transfer later but as of now it seems like that is sadly still not planned.

Peach15

I agree their wording is vague, but if your switch is damaged or lost the entire point of backing up the data is to transfer it to a new switch. Am I missing something?