Animal Crossing: New Horizons' Save Recovery Limit May Be Open To Change [Update]

Guard your Switch with your life.

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During its Animal Crossing-focused Direct, Nintendo once again confirmed that the upcoming New Horizons will not make use of Nintendo Switch Online's cloud save backup function, but NSO subscribers will have a way to recover their save data should something unfortunate happen to their system. However, this feature comes with one notable caveat.

[Update] The caveat that previously stated that players would only be able to recover data once in the event a Switch console was damaged or lost resulted in some criticism from the community and became a key subject of discussion around the game. In the time since, Nintendo has re-uploaded the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct video--sacrificing a considerable number of views in the process--and changed the language used in the data recovery section to indicate it may be reconsidering the limitation.

Where it previously stated, "Nintendo Switch Online members can only have save data recovered one time due to loss or damage of system" it now says, "More details on save data recovery functionality will be shared at a future date." Of course, there is no guarantee that the limitation will be removed; Nintendo may simply want to justify the restriction better at a later date.

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[Original story continues] In fine print during the presentation, Nintendo specifies that you will only be able to recover your Animal Crossing: New Horizons save data one time should your Switch get lost or damaged. As previously mentioned, this service will only be offered to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers, and it won't be available until sometime after the game launches.

This isn't the only unusual save data restriction New Horizons imposes on players. Nintendo recently confirmed that only one island can exist per Nintendo Switch console--so if another player who shares your system would like to start their own island, they'll need their own Switch and game. Additionally, you will not be able to transfer your New Horizons save data from one Switch system to another, at least from launch. Nintendo UK's website says that a function to move your save to another console is "planned for later this year."

We learned a lot of other details about New Horizons during the Animal Crossing Direct. Nintendo showcased a variety of quality-of-life improvements, as well as some new and returning characters you'll meet in the game. New Horizons also lets you change your island's terrain for the first time in the series, and it'll make use of both the Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app and the Animal Crossing Amiibo figures and cards.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons releases worldwide on March 20. You can see what pre-order bonuses are available for the title in our Animal Crossing: New Horizons pre-order guide. For more on the game, be sure to check out our roundup of everything we know about New Horizons.

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