Nintendo Switch Save Game Files Can't Be Transferred (For Now)

Your saves live and die with your system.

28 Comments

At least for the time being, any save game files you create on a Nintendo Switch can't be transferred to another system.

The feature wasn't available in the hardware we got our hands on last week, and today's day-one update didn't introduce any new functionality that enables you to move save files from one system to another.

Save files are stored on the system itself, not an external storage card or physical game cards themselves. Nintendo said earlier this year that game cards are non-writable.

In the short term, this may not be a serious issue, but it's something we'll hopefully see added eventually.

It's no stretch to assume that such a feature could be planned for the future. We already know about a wide array of things that Nintendo plans to eventually add to Switch, including more ways to add friends, a premium online service, and Virtual Console. That's not to mention the potential for media streaming apps like Netflix, which have yet not been confirmed, though areas of the system's Settings menu suggest they could be eventually released.

For more on Switch, which launches tomorrow, March 3, check out our review and everything you need to know roundup.

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EdwardNygma

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Oh Nintendo what are you doing?

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R4gn4r0k

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But we were told we would get cartridges that could be saved on.

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SuperBry23

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Edited By SuperBry23

They were over a decade late on party chat how long will it take Nintendo to discover cloud saves? 2027?

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fig56

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Only reason this would suck was if your system was fried for some unsuspecting reason. Other than that there is no reason at all for me to transfer my saves to another console at all. Most of the people complaining below aren't even getting a Switch now or at all.

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Kiaininja

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@fig56: Transfer isn't even the main problem of having locked saves. It also means that you can't backup your saves to an external source which can be a big problem since a game or system error can corrupt the main save file.

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fig56

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@Kiaininja: I didn't think about that. That would be a good reason.

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R4gn4r0k

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Edited By R4gn4r0k

@fig56: Cartridges can always be saved on, the reason Nintendo didn't do it in this case, while all their other cartridges have save files, is weird to say the least.

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MHzBurglar

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Edited By MHzBurglar

@R4gn4r0k:

It depends on the chips inside of the cartridges. Traditionally, the game was stored on a ROM (read-only memory) chip which cannot be written to. Retro games with a save feature would use a separate RAM (random-access memory) chip to store the save file. The problem with RAM chips is that they need constant power or else they lose their data. Older games contained a battery inside the cartridge to power the RAM chip when the cartridge wasn't in the system to get around this.

Newer systems' cartridges (mid-GBA era and onwards) use NVRAM (non-volitile RAM) or Flash memory to get allow read/write without the need for a constant power source to retain data. These chips are more expensive to manufacture, however. It's quite possible that Nintendo went back to using good ol' ROM on their Switch cartridges to keep the manufacturing costs down.

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R4gn4r0k

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@MHzBurglar: Very interesting to read !

What I wonder about Switch cartridges is this: how big can they go ? 20GB ? 30GB ? can they go up to 50GB like blu-ray discs ?

One of the reasons N64s cartridges lost out to PS1s discs is because discs could hold a tenfold of what could be stored on a cartridge for a fraction of the cost.

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Tomcat2007

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I guess this isn't a big issue. Unless your console is defective and you need to exchange it. Then you'll have no way to save and transfer your saves to a new console. Thank goodness Nintendo hardware is typically very reliable.

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Thanatos2k

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What is this, 1992? Hell, even in 92 I could bring the cartridge to a friend's house and the save went with it.

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X-7

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Wow... so a feature every system in the past 10 years had and you still don't have it Ninty? BwhahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaHHHHHHHHHahhaahhaahahahahaah...

Sorry that is just bad. C'mon Nintendo please get good again.

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GirlUSoCrazy

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I don't get why you can't do it via SD card like 3DS, unfortunate. Another good reason to play on cartridge I guess!

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Imajinn

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Don't like keeping up with the times? Still good old Nintendo

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Pyrosa

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The clueless design engineers & product managers at Nintendo strike again, with yet another deprecated technology & methodology.

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TashunkoSapa

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Welcome to the previous century, guys!

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Daveof89

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They'll probably change it later... chill people

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Pyrosa

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@Daveof89: Which means they MIGHT earn those missed dollars "later" too -- probably.

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Pedro

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The Switch is truly next gen because most of the features are coming next time. :P

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airboygt

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Well this is surprising coming from Nintendo...
(Extreme Sarcasm)

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HUYI12

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Edited By HUYI12

i guess they haven't learned anything from the wii u, same old garbage and don't expect this to change at all, a simple cloud service is too much for nintendo, even the vita which has similar lockdown on it's saves has cloud storage.

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grimakis

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@huyi12: How's that Vita doing?

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gamingdevil800

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Da Fk even my Playstation 1 can transfer save data

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gelgoog2

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Edited By gelgoog2

That is just silly. Come on Nintendo!

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dominoodle

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In a world of cloud storage, this is pretty terrible. Get it together Nintendo.

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