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Read the fine print before you use your PC Warframe account on Nintendo Switch

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Your progress can carry over, but only once, and only in one direction

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Warframe - Venus Spider Digital Extremes

Warframe is out on Nintendo Switch, and the free-to-play third-person shooter is absolutely worth a try if you’ve never played it. You can even migrate your account from the PC version to your Switch if you’re already a fan and don’t want to start from the beginning.

Don’t expect cross-platform play, however, and here’s where it gets a bit strange: Don’t expect your progress on the Switch to carry back over to the PC. Migrating your progress from the PC to the Switch basically means that you’re splitting one account into two, and neither have any way to talk to each other. So progress can be moved from one platform to the other, but only once, and only in one direction.

I asked why this was a case.

“As a games as a service title, Warframe leads with PC and follow with console versions,” a Digital Extremes representative told Polygon. “Thus, the PC and console build versions are out of sync by about a month or so. Any migration attempt would require putting the account through a kind of update/de-update converter to amend and sync. This can lead to a lot of issues including potential loss of in-game items due to being from a later patch, data corruption, loss of player data, the inability to play until previous builds are reached, etc. In short, lots of headaches.”

The official migration page also has a lengthy list of things to consider before you migrate your account. It’s important to read and understand what this all means, because the migration can only happen once:

  • PC to Nintendo Switch account migration creates a copy of your PC account and transfers it to your Nintendo Switch account. Once migrated, the two accounts act as separate accounts.
  • PC to Nintendo Switch account migration can only be done once and can NOT be reversed. Be sure to use the correct Nintendo Network ID for the migration.
  • All existing Nintendo Switch account progress will be overwritten by your PC account.
  • All Platinum and goods purchased on the Nintendo eShop will be added to your new migrated account.
  • Any items purchased in-game with Platinum on Nintendo Switch in-game Market will be overwritten and the Platinum returned to your new migrated account; items purchased with Credits will be overwritten by your PC account.
  • No Platinum purchased on the PC version of Warframe will be transferred to the Nintendo Switch copy.
  • No Clan information from the PC is copied, all existing Nintendo Switch Clan information remains untouched.
  • Any items on PC that are not currently available on Nintendo Switch will appear when the Nintendo Switch is updated.
  • Your PC Friends List will not copy over, and your Nintendo Switch Friends List will not be overwritten
  • Account sharing/selling is prohibited and if violated, you risk having both accounts banned.
  • Your PC account will remain unaffected and unchanged after migration.
  • WARNING! Please note: PC accounts that are migrated to will not include many economy impacting items. Be sure to check the revised full list: here
  • This migration works only for PC to Nintendo Switch.
  • You will now be redirected to Nintendo to confirm your Nintendo Network ID.
  • After successful login, your PC account will be migrated.

The state of cross-platform play is still complicated, despite the many allowances companies seem willing to make for Fortnite. Don’t migrate your account to the Switch until you understand exactly what you’re doing, and whether you’re comfortable with using your one chance to do so at that moment.