Save files for Animal Crossing: New Horizons are tied to your Nintendo Switch. That sucks — especially if you lose or damage your console. All those hours spent building your perfect island ... gone. It’s been that way since New Horizons was released earlier this year, but at the end of this month, it’ll change.
Nintendo is starting up an Island Backup & Restoration Service for Nintendo Switch Online members. It’ll come with the July 30 update, which will add a second wave of summer-themed items to New Horizons. The seasonal stuff is good and all, but the chance to protect your island — all those hours — is great. Nintendo said that players who enable the service will have their island and user save data uploaded to the internet “at certain times.”
“If your Nintendo Switch system is lost or damaged, you may be able to recover your island paradise as long as you’ve enabled island backup,” Nintendo said in a news release on Tuesday.
It doesn’t sound like it’s 100% reliable — “may be able to recover” — but more details on the process are expected when the update comes on July 30. To restore your island and use save data on a new Nintendo Switch, you’ll have to call Nintendo Customer Support. The backup feature is different than the Save Data Cloud Functionality that’s used in other Nintendo Switch Online games. Nintendo said “a function specific to Animal Crossing: New Horizons to move users and save data to another system is planned for later this year,” according to Nintendo. This second function is likely for users willingly looking to move their islands to a new system — not in emergency situations like in a lost or damaged console. Details on that are expected “in the future,” Nintendo said.
Alongside the Island Backup & Restoration Service, Nintendo is also adding fireworks and dreaming to New Horizons. The first wave of summer updates was added in June, introducing swimming to the game.