May 22, 2022

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Has Some Pretty Strict Save Data Restrictions

Anticipation for Animal Crossings: New Horizons is high. Why, then does it seem like Nintendo only wants to ruin things for fans? This latest stunt severely limits what players will be able to do

Earlier this week, the back of a German download card surfaced on Reddit. Supposedly for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the download card made the rounds on ResetEra. Helpfully translated by Kotaku, the text seemingly alludes to some pretty strict save data restrictions.

New Horizons, Sea of Troubles

The main aspect of the controversy stems from the alleged confirmation that only one island can be created per Switch. This means that if you were to create separate user profiles on your console, or even buy extra copies of the game (!), you would still only be allowed the one island.

Further details suggest that having one save file per Switch may not be the only issue for fans either.

According to the card, it looks like save files will also be locked to the Switch they originate on. Meaning there will be no cloud save support, nor will save data transfers be available between consoles.

Gameplay image from Animal Crossing New Horizons

Apparently Nintendo is working on a save data backup feature for the game. Though it’s unclear when that will launch and what exactly it will entail. It is supposedly intended for “broken, lost, or stolen” Switch owners to be able to recover their saves.

Unfortunately, it’ll only be available to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers. Plus, due to the lack of a release date it may not be seen until long after the game’s release.

Fans the Opposite of Relaxed

All of this information was apparently slightly overwhelming for fans who, needless to say, reacted negatively. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise though.

In their current form, the restrictions mean that if you were to upgrade to a newer Switch, or if your console were to break, you would have to start your save from scratch.

According to Kotaku, Nintendo has not responded to any requests for clarification.

However, they have updated the Japanese website confirming the information on the German download card.

Promo image from Animal Crossing New Horizons

Against the Grain?

The decision to only allow one island per Switch is unusual, not just for Nintendo, but for the Animal Crossing series in general.

The previous game, Animal Crossing: New Leaf allowed multiple saves on the same console as well as transfers between them. Even games like Breath of the Wild and Pokemon: Sword and Shield allow different save data for individual profiles.

Whatever the final state of saves ends up being for the game, it’s not long until it comes out now. So if you’re a big Animal Crossing fan it might be worth investing in some extra protection for your suddenly fragile-looking Switch. Heck, you could even splash out on the New Horizons-based special edition Switch console.

Stick with Any Button Gaming for the latest on Animal Crossing: New Horizons.


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