Everyone has had at least one run-in with the horrible experience of losing your save data. Hours upon hours of hard work, grinding for that one rare item, meticulously prepping your inventory for the final boss – all gone in a second of carelessness. Luckily, these days auto-save, cloud storage, and external backups have made permanently losing save data a much rarer issue. Less fortunately, the Switch has taken a few steps back in this area.
According to the Nintendo Switch Online FAQ, “Game save data cannot be saved or copied to a microSD card.” Nintendo also stated that “At this time, it is not possible to transfer save data from one Nintendo Switch system to another.” It’s currently only possible to delete data to make space for more. This means that, for the time being, you should probably refrain from doing any ROM hacking/modding or other activities that could corrupt your save data, since there’s no bringing it back if it’s lost. Same goes for keeping your Switch physically safe – taking it to rooftop parties is not actually recommended, and try to keep food and liquids away from it.
This lack of data transfer is an odd feature to leave out initially, especially considering that Nintendo’s other most recent consoles (the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS) have this option. Sure, the 3DS’s data transfer tool was tedious, but at least it existed. The Switch doesn’t offer any option at all for data transfer – not even cloud storage! This also means no lending your save files to a friend’s console – they’ll have to either borrow yours or go without. We can only hope an export option will be added sometime in the (near) future, or I foresee many a frustrated gamer accidentally wiping/corrupting their data. Either way, if this feature gets implemented, we’ll be sure to let you know.