How to save game saves and data between Nintendo Switch

Whether you have two consoles at home or if you have considered buying the new Nintendo Switch OLED, you may have wondered if there is any way to transfer saved games from one console to another. In this guide we will explain all the methods that are available so that you can change your console without fear of losing your data.

Nintendo Switch stores in its memory our screenshots, our master play recordings and of course, our valuable saved games . To transfer your data from one console to another you mainly need each console to have a separate microSD card . Once that requirement is met, you can transfer in two different ways depending on whether or not you have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription.

Method 1: Using Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo Switch Online is a subscription payment service that gives us the ability to play online, enjoy retro titles on our portable console and much more. One of the functions that many people do not know that are included in the subscription is a backup service of our games in the cloud .

Once you register and pay for Nintendo Switch Online, your games will automatically start copying to the cloud. If for some reason you are not interested in making a backup of a specific title, you can decide which games can copy data to the server and which ones cannot. If you prefer to make a manual copy of your data, you should go to Settings > Data management > Save data in the cloud and uncheck the automatic saving of the ones you want.

The process to move your games to the new console is very easy. If you already have your console configured, you must link the Nintendo account in which you have saved your games and have Nintendo Switch Online. If, on the other hand, you have not done the process yet, link your account during the initial configuration process of the console.

Once you have the Nintendo account associated with the new console, you have to download the same games using the eShop. Inside the store, tap on your profile thumbnail and select “Redownload.” Once that is done, you can return to the settings page that we mentioned earlier and recover your games individually.

Use two consoles and sync data

The good thing about Nintendo Switch Online is that you can keep your games on several different consoles and resume your games regardless of the device you use. This feature is exclusive for subscribers.

To do this you will have to go to Settings and then Data management and Saving data in the cloud . You will have to establish that your games are always overwritten with the most recent data. Additionally you will have to set your new console as the main console (we will show you at the end of the article step by step). You must also remember that you can play without problems on either of your two consoles as long as the secondary console is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the main one. Otherwise it won’t work.

Method 2: If you don’t have Nintendo Switch Online

Without Nintendo Switch Online you can also transfer your games, but it will not be so easy. To do this you will need to have both consoles at hand, an Internet connection and access to your Nintendo account.

Your Nintendo account must only be logged in on the source console . If you log into the target console, the process will fail. The console itself will ask for your login details when appropriate.

To carry out the process you must follow the following steps on both consoles :

  1. Go to Console Settings from the Nintendo Switch main menu.
  2. Go to User Profile , located in the left sidebar.
  3. Select User Transfer .
  4. Click next. Connect the power adapter to the console and follow the steps.
  5. From this step, you will have to choose which console will be the source and which will be the destination of the data .
  6. You can now start your Nintendo Account on the target console. Your Nintendo ID will now be associated with this console and the data will be transferred. The process will take a while, which will depend mainly on the amount of data that has to be transmitted from one console to another.
  7. Once the process is finished, you will have all your data in your new console.

Unfortunately, you will not be able to keep your data on both consoles . Your Nintendo Switch user will disappear from the source console. However, you can keep your games synchronized on two consoles if you use the Nintendo Switch Online payment service and follow the steps of the first method that we have explained in this article.

Finally, you should know that if you have several profiles on the source console and each profile is associated with a different Nintendo ID, you will have to repeat the process for each user . A somewhat cumbersome process, but so far it is the only option offered by the company to transfer data from one console to another without using the payment service.

Extra Step: Set Your New Nintendo Switch as Your Primary Console

Once you have finished transferring the data to your new console using either of the two methods that we have explained to you, it is convenient that you pass the title of the main console to your new Switch .

Each Nintendo Account can only have one main console associated with it. However, the same console can be the main console for several Nintendo accounts. The main consoles have privileges over those that are not, such as, for example, they allow you to play downloaded games without the need for an Internet connection. The logical thing to do if you have transferred your data to a new console is to put the latter as the main console. The steps you must do are the following:

  1. Go to the console that you want to make secondary and enter Nintendo eShop from the main menu of Nintendo Switch.
  2. Select your profile in the upper right corner.
  3. Navigate down to the “Main Console” section. Tap where it says “Delete record .”
  4. Now go to your new console and enter the eShop. As soon as you log in, your new console will have been established as the main one.

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