Nintendo has finally added the ability to transfer save data for Animal Crossing: New Horizons from one Nintendo Switch console to another. The process is a little complicated, and requires that you have access to both the old and new Nintendo Switch at the same time.

When Animal Crossing first launched, fans complained that each Nintendo Switch is only able to support a single island with up to eight players.

Things get more complicated if any player wants to play their game on another Switch – for example, in cases where a family shares a single Switch, but then buys a second device to let two people play at the same time.

How to transfer Animal Crossing save data to another Nintendo Switch

To transfer Animal Crossing save data, you need to download the free Animal Crossing Island Transfer Tool from the Nintendo Switch eShop. Using the app, you’ll be able to choose whether you want to migrant a single resident to the new Switch, or the entire island with all of its inhabitants.

Select Entire Island Transfer to migrant all players’ entire save data, including the island itself and everything on it, to the new Nintendo Switch. Bear in mind that each Switch can only store a single island’s data.

To transfer a single player’s character, select Resident Move. This player will then be transfered to the new Switch – if the new Switch doesn’t already have Animal Crossing save data, the player will become the first resident on a new island when they start playing.


Limitations to the ability to move islands

As the new save data transfer feature requires the player to have access to both Nintendo Switch devices at once, this won’t help in cases where a player is trying to recover their island after their first Switch is lost or broken.

Instead, this feature is designed to provide some players with the option to migrate their island or their player to a new Switch if they are upgrading devices.

Bear in mind that an island’s Representative (ie its primary player) cannot move between islands, and must remain with the island that they started on. This may affect how versatile the ability to transfer Animal Crossing save data may be in your case.

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