Nintendo Switch Save Games are Locked to the Console


Although plenty of Nintendo fans are building up enthusiasm for the launch of the Switch, a few details have surfaced that may give them pause. The latest is a revelation that save games for Nintendo Switch are currently locked to the console, meaning players cannot transfer them to a storage drive or even to another Switch.

At first, the Nintendo Switch save game lock was thought to be a byproduct of pre-release consoles, and would be fixed by the Day 1 update. Unfortunately it appears that is not the case, as further testing showed no way to transfer a Nintendo Switch save game off of the console.

Nintendo also confirmed the news saying, “At this time, it is not possible to transfer saved data from one Nintendo Switch system to another.” Presumably that means that the Nintendo Switch might eventually support transferring saves, but for now that is not built into the system.

As of right now, the major use for extra storage, via SDXC cards, is to boost the Nintendo Switch’s internal storage. At only 32GB out of the box, the Switch doesn’t offer a lot of wiggle room for players that want to keep multiple games on their hard drive.

In fact, one Nintendo Switch game, the Dragon Quest Heroes 1 & 2 double pack, won’t fit on the game’s standard hard drive. So if players are expected to buy extra storage at some point, it would make sense to let them also carry their saved games around.

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What’s most confusing about this latest Nintendo Switch revelation is that most figured moving from console to console would be easy. Late last month, Nintendo confirmed that digital game purchases would be tied to the Nintendo account and not the console, opening the door for players to access their games library on any Switch system. Unfortunately, that feature loses a bit of its luster if players can’t also carry their saved games with them.

Clearly, the Nintendo Switch is going to be going through a few growing pains in the weeks and months after release, as Nintendo fine-tunes the system to meet modern gamers’ needs. First and foremost, it appears that a left joy con syncing issue is the top priority for the manufacturer, but there are clearly other additions that will need to be made.

Not that gamers will be gallivanting around town with their game saves – the Switch console is very had to find right now – but there are likely going to be systems that fail during regular use. And players will want to make sure they don’t lose their progress when they get a new system.

The Nintendo Switch is out now.

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