Animal Crossing: New Horizons players can transfer their island and island residents to a new Switch. In fact, you can now choose to move specific players from your island onto another Nintendo Switch.
Transfering Animal Crossing data to a new Switch or moving individual players require different methods. We’re going to take you through all of the steps so you know how to transfer your data successfully.
Note: You will need both Nintendo Switch consoles to perform the data transfer. No Wi-Fi is required.
1. How to Move Your Entire Island to a New Switch
Before you begin this process, check that your Animal Crossing: New Horizons game is updated to the latest version.
If you want to transfer your whole island and its residents to a new Switch console, this is the method you’ll need to pay attention to.
Your Animal Crossing: New Horizons island, residents, customizations, and representatives will all be transferred to a new Switch.
- Launch the eShop on both Nintendo Switch consoles and download the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Island Transfer Tool.
- Ensure both consoles are running the latest version of Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
- On both Switch consoles, open the Island Transfer tool and follow the instructions on-screen.
- When the transfer is complete, launch Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the new Switch.
- You will be asked whether you want to use existing resident data. Select “Existing data“.
- Choose the villager name that is the same as the villager you were playing as on your previous Switch console.
When making the transfer, if you transferred more than one character, you’ll need to ensure that all the characters match the user account when logging in using the new Switch.
2. How to Transfer a Single Player to a New Switch
If you want to transfer Animal Crossing data to a new Switch for just one resident, this is the method you’ll need to follow.
Transferring one resident to a new Switch means their home and customizations will transfer across. If one player wants to play Animal Crossing: New Horizons on a new Switch, such as your child who now has their own Switch, this is the recommended method.
Moving a player to a new Switch where no Animal Crossing: New Horizons save data exists means the player will become the Island Representative.
Note: You will not be able to move the Island Representative to another island. The first user to play Animal Crossing: New Horizons on their original Switch console will have their island tied to their character.
- Launch Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the original Switch you want to transfer a player from.
- On the title screen, press the – button.
- Select “Move to a new island” and “Move me off the island” from the settings menu.
- Select “Yes” when following the on-screen instructions.
- Launch Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the new Switch you want to transfer data to.
- Using the Nintendo user account you want to be linked to your new character, open the game.
- When greeted by Timmy and Tommy, respond by saying “I’m moving“, “Yes, I have!“, and “Start the process“.
- Choose your new island and resident name.
- On the original Switch console, select “I want to move” and choose the new Switch to confirm where you’ll be moving to.
- Your Animal Crossing data will transfer to the new Switch. A notification will appear confirming “Everything is ready!“.
3. How to Backup and Restore Your Animal Crossing: New Horizons Data
You can use the island backup feature to make sure that you can recover your island save data. If you lose access to your Switch or something goes wrong, this will allow you to back up the data.
When you use the backup feature, your last saved version will be restored.
Note: Island backup must be enabled on the original console to use this method. You will need to use the new Switch console to restore the island save data.
- Launch Animal Crossing: New Horizons to enable island backup on your original Switch console.
- On the title screen, press the – button.
- From the settings menu, select “Island Backup” then “Enable island backup“.
- Once enabled, you can view the data and time of the latest backup from the title screen of the game.
Restoring Your Data
To restore your Animal Crossing: New Horizons data, you must have enabled island backup on your original Switch. This method is most appropriate when you’ve lost or damaged your Switch and have purchased a replacement console.