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Can I move game saves from a Nintendo Switch to a Nintendo Switch Lite?

Can I move game saves from a Nintendo Switch to a Nintendo Switch Lite?

Best Answer: "Yes, you will have the ability to transfer between devices, your gameplay experiences," Nintendo of America president, Doug Bowser, said. While there was no official announcement of a game save data transfer system, this confirms it's in the works.Pre-order the Switch Lite: Nintendo Switch Lite (opens in new tab) ($200 at Amazon)

Nintendo Switch Lite: Everything you need to know

An update on data transfer

Before we were unsure whether data transfer between two Nintendo consoles was possible, but thanks to the official Nintendo website, it has been confirmed how data transfer works.

For this feature, you will be able to move one save data file per game/user from one console in the Nintendo Switch family to another console that is nearby. Handy, isn't it?

We're talking about data transfer, not data sync

The transfer usually involves moving data over from one device to another. From previous experiences with Nintendo's 3DS handheld line, the transfer system for the Switch — which would mean transferring over the licenses and data of each game from your original Nintendo Switch console over to the new Switch Lite — could be something similar.

The process for transferring game libraries and data over between 3DS devices was a pain and could take a while. With this in mind, the process for the Switch may be similar.

It hasn't been possible to keep your data synced between two Nintendo consoles before, so we're not sure if this is something that Nintendo could do with the Switch. Again, Bowser has only mentioned transferring data, not syncing.

What about those cloud saves with Nintendo Switch Online?

If you have a Nintendo Switch Online account, then you should be aware that a perk of the membership is the ability to save your game data in the cloud. There are a few exceptions though, such as Splatoon 2, where your online stats are saved locally on your Switch, so they don't have cloud save support.

We think if you have Nintendo Switch Online and play games that support the cloud saving feature, then it should be possible to re-download or transfer games over from your original Switch to a Switch Lite. Then all you have to do is log in to your Nintendo Account and download your cloud saves to your new console.

Still, this doesn't mean that your game data syncs between two devices at once, at least from what we know right now. Even with this current cloud save system for supported games, you'll need to re-upload your save data each time and then re-download on the other console to pick up where you left off. This isn't ideal.

We'll be sure to update you, though when we learn more.

Christine Chan
Christine Chan

Christine Romero-Chan has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently the iMore lead on all things iPhone, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.

When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.