Nintendo Support

How to Transfer Animal Crossing: New Horizons Save Data to a New Nintendo Switch System Overview

Animal Crossing: New Horizons allows you and up to 7 others on your Nintendo Switch system to live on one shared island. The save data for the island or for the individual residents of the island can be transferred to a new Nintendo Switch system after updating the game software to the latest version.  The island save data can also be backed up in case you lose access to your Nintendo Switch system and can be restored on a replacement system.

Please note:

There are three ways to transfer Animal Crossing: New Horizons save data to a new Nintendo Switch system. Please read about each option to determine which feature you would like to use:

Entire Island Transfer

Use this feature if you wish to transfer the entire island and all residents to a new Nintendo Switch system. The island, all progress and customizations, your animal neighbors, the island resident representative, and any other residents that have been created on the island will be transferred.

This feature is helpful if you are replacing your Nintendo Switch system with a new one and all players who have played Animal Crossing: New Horizons will be using the new Nintendo Switch system. It is also the only way to transfer your island resident representative when you have not backed up your island.

You must have access to both the original system and the new system to use this feature.

Resident Move (Single Player Transfer)

Use this feature if you wish to transfer just one resident to a new Nintendo Switch system. The resident, the resident’s home, and the resident’s customizations will be transferred. This island resident representative cannot be transferred.

This feature is helpful when just one player wants to continue playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons on a new Nintendo Switch or when multiple residents other than the island resident representative will be using the new Nintendo Switch. The transferred player(s) will move to a new island with new animals, so any island progress and animal neighbors will remain on the original Nintendo Switch system.

You must have access to both the original system and the new system to use this feature.

Island Backup and Restore

Use the island backup feature to ensure your island save data can be recovered in a situation where you lose access to your Nintendo Switch system. If you have enabled island backup, you will be able to restore the last saved version of your island and all residents on a replacement Nintendo Switch system.

You must have already enabled island backup on the original system to use this feature, but you can restore the island save data using only the new system.