how to transfer Animal Crossing island to new Switch console

Have you upgraded to the new OLED Switch? Here’s how to transfer your Animal Crossing island to a new Switch console.

Getting a new console is an exciting prospect, but Nintendo hasn’t made it as easy as Microsoft or Sony. While there are some games that support cloud saves, not all games do. Animal Crossing: New Horizons requires a special backup to make sure your island is transferred.

What You Need

  • Your old Switch console with the ACNH save
  • A new Switch console you want to receive the ACNH save
  • Possess both consoles at the same time
  • Local wireless communication must be enabled on both systems
  • Island Transfer Tool (eShop software)

How to Transfer Animal Crossing Island to New Switch

Transferring your island save to a new console is a pretty easy process, but there are a few things you need to do. First, make sure the game is updated to the latest version on the source Switch. Then download the island Transfer Tool on your source system. After that, transfer the User Data for the user account to the target Switch system. That transfers all user information and save data except for ACNH.

On the target Switch system, update ACNH to the latest software version. Then download the Island Transfer Tool. Now you’re ready to begin the process of transferring your ACNH save file to your new Switch console. If the same Nintendo account was used to download the Island Transfer Tool on both systems, use an alternate user to open the tool on the primary console of the Nintendo account.

Starting the Transfer

  1. Follow the on-screen instructions and select ‘Continue‘ then ‘Let’s Begin.’
  2. On the source Switch system, choose ‘Source.’
  3. Select ‘Yes‘ to confirm when you see your island name.
  4. If the game needs to be updated, your console nickname will be displayed instead of your ACNH island name.
  5. On the target Switch system, select ‘Target.’
  6. Next, on the source Switch system, select ‘Continue.’
  7. On the target Switch system, select ‘Proceed.’
  8. When the target Switch system is detected, select ‘Transfer Data‘ on the source Switch system.
  9. When the source Switch system is detected, select ‘Proceed‘ on the target Switch system.
  10. The transfer of ACNH island data will begin.
  11. Once the transfer is complete, a message appears on both systems.

Congratulations, you should now have your Animal Crossing island data on your new Switch console. If you previously set up the island backup feature, you will need to re-enable that on your new system. You can enable island backups by pressing the – Button (Minus Button) to access the Settings menu on the title screen. Choose ‘Island Backup‘ and then select ‘Enable Island Backup.

Once island backups are enabled, you can view the date and time of the last backup on the title screen of the game. A backup of the game is made periodically whenever the game is not being played and the Switch system is connected to the internet.

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