Animal Crossing saving explained: Autosaving, data recovery and save transfers in New Horizons explained

Look after your save data or Mr. Resetti will find you.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is introducing a range of new features to the Animal Crossing series, including autosaving.

No longer will you have to worry about losing a rare fish or piece of furniture to a power outage. This change has, however, made a certain ranting mole seek new employment...

Aside from autosaving, this guide will also cover manual saving, data recovery and save transfers for New Horizons.

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If you want to learn more Animal Crossing: New Horizons, then check out are guides on amiiboo support and multiplayer.

How to save in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and autosaving explained

Mr_Resetti
Mr Resetti himself.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the first game in the series to introduce autosaving.

This means that at anytime during your island adventures, you'll be able to turn off your Nintendo Switch without the worry of loosing any of your progress.

Autosaves seem to happen at regular (or random) intervals, with a swirling icon in the corner indicating it's just happened. You can't turn this feature off - meaning it'll keep ticking away as you play.

Either way, when you are done with a session, press the minus button to Save and Exit the game, ensuring your hard work will be kept for the next time you play.

How many islands can you save in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?

In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you're restricted to one island per console, which means that everyone who uses your Nintendo Switch will share the same island.

Since the maximum amount of users a Nintendo Switch can have is eight, this also means that there can be a total of eight human residents on an island in New Horizons.

If you want to start your New Horizons adventure afresh, you'll have to delete the save data from your Nintendo Switch. This should allow you to create a whole new island, but this will come at the cost of losing your original isle.

Cloud Saving for Animal Crossing: New Horizons explained

Sadly Animal Crossing: New Horizons is not supported by the Nintendo Switch Online Save Data Cloud Backup feature.

This is mostly likely due to the restriction of one island per Nintendo Switch.

If you wish to visit other player's islands or invite them to yours, however, then you'll need to have a Nintendo Switch Online membership.

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Data Recovery for Animal Crossing: New Horizons explained

Though you won't be able to save your island to the Nintendo cloud, Nintendo is planning to introduce a recovery service at some point after the New Horizons' release.

Not much is known about this service at the moment, but we've been able to gleam a few details from small print found on both the official Animal Crossing: New Horizons website and in the US version of the Animal Crossing Nintendo Direct from Thursday 20th February.

According to the official website, Nintendo will offer 'a limited ability to recover Animal Crossing: New Horizons save data from the server in the event of system failure, loss or theft will be available to Nintendo Switch Online members sometime in the future.'

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In the US version of the Animal Crossing Nintendo Direct, during the section discussing data recovery, small print saying, 'Nintendo Switch Online members can only have save data recovered one time due to loss or damage of system.' could be seen.

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We'll update this section when we have full confirmation about the details for the data recovery system.


New to Animal Crossing? Our Animal Crossing New Horizons tips can help with the basics. From the off, there's fish and bugs to catch, flowers and fruit to grow with Leif selling seeds, villagers to add or remove and tools such as the new ladder and vaulting pole to collect. Once you have settled in, you'll want to be making as many Bells as possible, start collecting K.K. Slider songs and work on your island star rating, increase your HHA ranking, incorporate Feng Shui into your room design and acquiring kitchen furniture. You can also buy fake art from Redd. Recently added were swimming, sea creatures and Pascal.


Transferring save data for Animal Crossing: New Horizons explained

According to the Animal Crossing: New Horizons page on the Nintendo UK website, the game will not initially allow you to transfer your save file from one Nintendo Switch to another.

It continues to say, however, that 'a function specific to Animal Crossing: New Horizons to move users and save data to another console is planned for later this year.

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We'll make sure to update this section when details about this function is released later in the year!

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About the author

Lottie Lynn

Lottie Lynn

Guides Writer

Lottie Lynn is Eurogamer's guides writer. She likes exploring new games and still has nightmares about the moon from Majora's Mask.

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