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Save Data and Multiplayer Support FAQ (Animal Crossing: New Horizons)

You can find answers to some general questions regarding Animal Crossing: New Horizons save data and multiplayer support below.

How many players can share a single island?

Up to eight players can live on one shared island using the same Nintendo Switch console and one copy of the software.

How many users can play together?

Up to eight players can live on the same island within each game. With one Nintendo Switch console and one copy of the software, up to four people can play on the same island simultaneously (additional accessories required).

Additionally, up to eight people can play together on one island via local wireless or online play. Local wireless play and online play require one console and one copy of the software per player. For online play, a Nintendo Switch Online membership (sold separately) and a Nintendo Account are required.

When multiple players live on one island, does everyone have access to the same places and items?

There are some tasks on the island that the Resident Representative (the first resident on the island) must complete before the related features will be open to other players. For example, only the Resident Representative can receive and set up Blathers's museum tent. Once the tent is in place, all island residents can donate items to the museum.

Is there a way to create multiple islands?

You can only create one island per Nintendo Switch console, even if you use multiple copies of the software. A different console is required to create a different island.

The island save data is saved on the Nintendo Switch console, so there will only be one island (save file), even if different copies of the software are used on the same console.

If I purchase a second console, can I transfer the save file (island data) to a different console?

After updating your Animal Crossing: New Horizons software to the latest version, you will be able to transfer your island save data or individual resident to a new Nintendo Switch console. See How to Transfer Animal Crossing: New Horizons Save Data for full details on the different options to transfer save data.

Additionally, if you have backed up your island data on your first Nintendo Switch console and lost access to it, you will be able to restore it on your second console. For instructions, see How to Back Up and Restore Island Save Data.

Is this game compatible with Save Data Cloud?

This game does not support the Save Data Cloud functionality of Nintendo Switch Online. However, after you update the game to version 1.4.0 or later, you will have the ability to enable island backup in the event that your console is lost or damaged. This feature is available to those with an active Nintendo Switch Online membership. For more information, see How to Back Up and Restore Island Save Data (Animal Crossing: New Horizons).

What is island backup?

Island backup saves your island data and progress to our servers so that your data is stored in the event that you lose access to your Nintendo Switch console. If this happens, you can restore your island on a repaired or replacement Nintendo Switch console. Island backup is not enabled by default, so you will need to enable it in the in-game settings. For more information, see How to Back Up and Restore Island Save Data (Animal Crossing: New Horizons).

What do I need to enable island backup?

To enable island backup, you need a Nintendo Account that has an active Nintendo Switch Online membership and that has created a resident on the island. Only one island resident can enable island backup, but the island data and progress will be backed up for all players in the event that it needs to be restored.

How do I enable island backup?

When does island backup happen?

After island backup is enabled, your island data is saved periodically when your Nintendo Switch console is connected to the internet and no one is playing the game on your console. The last time your island was backed up will be displayed in the bottom-left corner of the title screen.

Can I disable island backup after it is enabled?

Yes. After island backup is enabled, it can be disabled by the same user that enabled it in the in-game settings. For more information, see How to Back Up and Restore Island Save Data (Animal Crossing: New Horizons).

How do I restore data from my island backup?

If you have replaced your Nintendo Switch console after it was lost or damaged, or if your console has been repaired, you can restore you island data using the same Nintendo Account that enabled island backup. For more information, see How to Back Up and Restore Island Save Data (Animal Crossing: New Horizons).

What is transferred to the new console with a full island transfer?

When a full island transfer is completed, all island save data, progress, animal neighbours, residents, residents' inventories and homes are transferred to the new console. No Animal Crossing: New Horizons save data will remain on the original console.

What is transferred to the new console when a resident moves?

When a resident moves to an island on a new Nintendo Switch console, only data and items related to that resident are transferred. The table below shows what is transferred and what is not transferred.

Will be transferred Will NOT be transferred
Resident name and appearance Island facilities and museum contributions
Items in pockets (except temporary items) Furniture and items placed outside the home
Resident’s house and remaining loan Any moving kits held
Items in storage and placed in the resident’s house Any task-exclusive items, such as an animal’s lost item, are turned into garbage
NookPhone apps and Nook Miles stamps Letters that were going to be received the next day
Catalog
Critterpedia
DIY recipes
Mail in mailbox (except letters that were currently being mailed)
Custom designs (only when moving to a new, unpopulated island)
Best Friends list (only when the same Nintendo Account is linked to the user on the new console)