Animal Crossing: New Horizons save limitations are ridiculous

Animal Crossing New Horizons No Cloud Backup Hero
Animal Crossing New Horizons No Cloud Backup Hero (Image credit: iMore)

Anyone familiar with Nintendo knows that this gaming company doesn't do things the normal or even the most logical way. While Sony and Microsoft have been off having their little console war, trying to provide the best services and graphics capabilities, Nintendo continues to dance off on a remote hilltop spinning out new and often strange ideas. While many of Nintendo's decisions help provide much needed variety to the gaming world, some of the company's decisions are ridiculous. For example, the save data limitations placed on the upcoming Animal Crossing: New Horizons game for Nintendo Switch.

Fans were already fuming about the rumors regarding New Horizons' strange cloud data backup limitations. But, it was finally confirmed in today's Nintendo Direct. Here's the fine print regarding save data as found on the Animal Crossing website.

This game does not support the Save Data Cloud functionality of Nintendo Switch Online. However, a limited ability to recover Animal Crossing: New Horizons save data from the server in the event of system failure, loss, or theft will be available to Nintendo Switch Online members sometime in the future. Check back for more details as they are available.Animal Crossing: New Horizons does not support the ability to transfer your save file from one Nintendo Switch system to another.

You read that correctly. Your Animal Crossing: New Horizons save data won't get stored in the Nintendo Switch Online Cloud. Should you lose or break your Switch gaming system, you're basically screwed. Nintendo will eventually have something in place to allow you to recover your New Horizons data sometime in the future, but even so, your save data can only be recovered ONCE. So, if your console goes on the fritz or you decide to upgrade to a new Switch, you're going to have to start your game over.

Players have every right to be angry about this. If Sony or Microsoft did something similar, they'd be eaten alive. Nintendo doesn't seem to be making decisions with its loyal players in mind. Granted, the company has stated that some kind of save data feature will be coming in the future. All I can say is that it had better be good and it had better be free. If I have to pay for another Nintendo cloud plan just to back up my little Animal Crossing island, I'm going to be livid. Nintendo needs to treat its fanbase better.

Come on, Nintendo.

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.