30 Jul 2021 3:38 PM +00:00

Animal Crossing New Horizons: How To Transfer Island Saves

Though not available from the game's launch, later updates for Animal Crossing New Horizons have added the ability to transfer saves and your own islands across different Nintendo Switch consoles. We'll show you how to transfer island saves in the guide below.

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How To Transfer Island Saves in Animal Crossing New Horizons

There are three ways to transfer Animal Crossing: New Horizons save data to a new Nintendo Switch system, each one of which we've laid out for you below. Check them all to see which ones looks like the right process for your circumstances.

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 neighbours, 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.

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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 most items held by the resident and kept in storage will be transferred to an island on the new Nintendo Switch system. The 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 neighbours 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 back up on the original system to use this feature, but you can restore the island save data using only the new system.

Looking for more Animal Crossing info? You can find out how to back up and restore your saves, or discover how to unlock all character customisation options!