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

Animal Crossing: New Horizons allows you and up to seven other users on your Nintendo Switch console 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 console 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 console and can be restored on a replacement console.

Complete these steps

There are three ways to transfer Animal Crossing: New Horizons save data to a new Nintendo Switch console. 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 console. The island, all progress and customisations, your animal neighbours, the island's 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 console with a new one and all players who have played Animal Crossing: New Horizons will be using the new Nintendo Switch console. It is also the only way to transfer your island's Resident Representative when you have not backed up your island.

You must have access to both the original console and the new console 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 console. The resident, the resident’s home and the resident’s customisations will be transferred. The 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 console or when multiple residents other than the Resident Representative will be using the new Nintendo Switch console. The transferred player(s) will move to a new island with new animals, so any island progress and animal neighbours will remain on the original Nintendo Switch console.

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

Island Backup and Restore

Use the island backup feature to ensure that your island save data can be recovered in a situation where you lose access to your Nintendo Switch console. 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 console.

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

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