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Next Animal Crossing: New Horizons Summer Update adds save backups, fireworks and dreams

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Summer Update
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is finally getting save backups in its next big update, and it's also set to add dreams and new end-of-summer festivities.

The next Animal Crossing: New Horizons Summer Update is set to arrive starting on July 30 (rather than the originally scheduled August), and the biggest new feature for players who worry about losing their beloved island if something happens to their console will definitely be the island backup and restore process. You will need an active Nintendo Switch Online subscription to use the service, which backs up your island at regular intervals in a process separate to the usual cloud save feature.

If your Switch is lost or damaged, you can start the restore process by contacting Nintendo Customer Support. If it isn't an emergency and you just want to move users or save data from one Switch console to another, you'll need to keep waiting; Nintendo says another update to that effect is planned for later this year.

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That's the business end of the next Animal Crossing: New Horizons Summer Update. On the more festive side, it's also adding fireworks shows that will trigger starting at 7 pm on every Sunday of August (whether you're in the northern or southern hemisphere). You can buy raffle tickets from Redd to win prizes - it looks like they include sparklers and party horns - and you can even upload your own custom designs to see them burst into the sky as fireworks.

Even once the fireworks are put away for the year, you'll be able to keep dreaming. This new feature works much like it did in Animal Crossing: New Leaf: by laying down on a bed in your house, you'll be able to enter an imaginary world where you can tour other players' islands. It's all just a dream, so you can make whatever changes you want without fear of messing anything up for the owner. Since the dreams are exchanged online, you'll need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription to use this feature as well.

Make sure to check our Animal Crossing: New Horizons bug guide to complete your critter collection before the season changes.

Connor Sheridan
Connor has been doing news and feature things for GamesRadar+ since 2012, which is suddenly a long time ago. How on earth did that happen?