If you are playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons On the Nintendo Switch and sharing the system (and one island) among family members, we’re sure this story will be a familiar one. There is sibling or cross-generational rivalry as parents and children wake up early every morning and start shaking trees, storing all the fruit for themselves. Or maybe there is a disagreement over how to decorate the island. Perhaps, just maybe, there is a play time competition for other games where the rest of the family is not involved in island life. Cheer up, Animal Crossing fans, because Nintendo has heard your plea.
As part of the Winter Update, Nintendo has released a Animal Crossing: New Horizons Data transfer tool. If constant competition causes the choice of a new Nintendo Switch and another version of the game, you can now transfer the inhabitants of your island – or even an entire island – to another console. To make the transfers, you’ll need two Switch consoles and two copies of the game. On the Nintendo eShop, download the Animal Crossing Transfer Tool required for most of the features released by Nintendo.
To get started, run the Animal Crossing Transfer Tool on both the source and target Nintendo Switch consoles. A handy guide will walk step by step through the process of transferring saved data from one Nintendo Switch to another. The transporter can only transport an entire island, complete with all its inhabitants and elements. A simple wizard step-by-step guides the entire process, the result of which is the transfer of data from one switch to another. However, the same data cannot exist on both devices.
On the other hand, the resident transfer occurs alone in the settings menu of the game itself. To get there, open the game and hit the minus (-) key on the left Joy Con to open the Settings menu. Just tell Tom Nook that you want to transfer a consonant to another Switch, and he’ll walk you through the process.
Cheer up islanders, cloud backup and restore here!
But what if you can’t access Switch with the Island anymore? Backups are always a good idea, even for game save data, and Nintendo has finally added Cloud Backup and Restore. This feature is only available for those with an active Nintendo Switch Online subscription. The account of the user who wants to move the island must also have a resident on the island. This means that you cannot perform a backup backup if other people are playing it on Switch. If the key is broken, lost, or actually stolen, it is too late. Downloads cannot be enabled remotely.
To enable cloud saving, access the Settings menu as shown above. Tom Nook will browse the process and the console will download the data automatically whenever the saved data changes. There are some limitations to this process. For one of them, you cannot just restore island data to another switch on your own. The only way players can do the restore themselves is if the system was provided by an authorized Nintendo Service Center.
This is frustrating for a player if the console dies and they buy a new one to start playing again. Instead, those players who just bought new consoles should contact Nintendo for some help. This isn’t the first time Nintendo has fallen behind when it comes to online services. Recovering purchases from both the Wii eShop and 3DS eShop also requires contacting Nintendo. It’d be nice if Nintendo were more forgiving – hardware breaks from time to time, after all.
However, if the system is serviced by Nintendo, the process is straightforward. Now log into the new Nintendo Switch with the same Switch Online member and get started Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Press and hold the minus button as the black screen appears with the Nintendo logo, and the game will prompt you to restore a save from the cloud. Not only does a Switch Online subscription need to be active for downloading, an expired subscription cannot download data. If your subscription expires in the meantime, you will need to re-subscribe before you can redeem the island.
At the very least, having a backup of game save data is a relief as players get close to eight months to live on the island. Even if it takes a little help from Nintendo, having access to a backup lets players continue where they left off. We’re more than happy about being able to move residents to a new console. This should ease a little bit of home conflict. You can see this Nintendo how-to here for more details.