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Back up your Animal Crossing: New Horizon saves before moving to Switch OLED or risk losing your paradise

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Switch items
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Nintendo has reminded Animal Crossing: New Horizons players to back up their save files before moving over to the Nintendo Switch OLED model. 

The official Nintendo of Europe Twitter account has put out a PSA alerting Animal Crossing: New Horizons players to the importance of backing up their save file if they plan on upgrading to the Nintendo Switch OLED when it releases later this week. The tweet also featured a guide on exactly how to do this. 

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As most Animal Crossing players are already aware, you can only have one island per Nintendo Switch console. So even if you perform a system transfer onto a new Nintendo Switch, this doesn’t actually include all your island data from New Horizons. To transfer this, you need to use the island transfer feature which enables players to move residents and even entire islands to another console and was introduced to the game late last year. 

Looking to back up your island in preparation for your shiny new Nintendo Switch OLED? Follow these steps. 

  1. Open Animal Crossing: New Horizons and select a user with a compatible Nintendo Account
  2. From the title screen, press the − button to access the Settings menu
  3. Select Island backup, then Enable island backup

It’s that simple. There are a few things you need to consider before doing so though. First of all, the person attempting to transfer their island must have an active Nintendo Switch Online account. They also need to be connected to a sturdy internet connection whilst the transfer is taking place, and they must have at least one resident living on the island they wish to transfer. 

Once the backup is complete, players will be able to see the exact date and time they last backed up their island on the title screen of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Once set up, a new backup of the island will be made periodically whenever the Nintendo Switch is connected to the internet and Animal Crossing is not being played, meaning you’re always going to have an up-to-date backup save file. 

It’s a good idea to get your island set up on your new Nintendo Switch OLED soon due to an upcoming November update in the game. All details of this next update will be revealed during an Animal Crossing: New Horizons specific direct which is taking place on Friday October 15, 2021. 

Still thinking about getting yourself the new Switch console? Take a look at our Nintendo Switch OLED pre-orders guide. 

Hope Bellingham

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at University, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became GamesRadar's trainee news writer where I get to spread the word about the goings-on in the video game world. My expertise lies in Animal Crossing related topics after spending the last 15 years immersing myself in island life. I also know a thing or two about The Last of Us, and way too much about the Kingdom Hearts series.