How to Backup and Restore Your Island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

You can finally preserve your progress if something bad happens to your Switch.

The new summer update, or wave 2 of the already-released summer update to be precise, has arrived today in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. This update brings a new seasonal event to the game, letting players have fun with fireworks shows every Sunday night starting in August. But this update also brings along a major feature that fans have been begging for since before the game launched. While it still isn’t compatible with the normal save data cloud, you can now set up the Island Backup feature for Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It takes a little bit of tinkering to get it started, but it’s worth the effort in the long run.

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons Island Backup Guide

First, you’ll need two things. Obviously, you’ll need to make sure your Animal Crossing: New Horizons software is updated. It should do that automatically by default, but if not you need to make sure the game is on version 1.4. You can press the plus button on the Nintendo Switch home screen icon to check and update if necessary. Next, you’ll need an active Nintendo Switch Online subscription. You need that for cloud saves too, so that makes sense.

Related: What’s New in Animal Crossing: New Horizons Summer Update Wave 2?

Once those two requirements are settled, you’ll see a little Island Backup message under the button prompt on the bottom-left corner of the title screen. Press the minus button to go to the settings menu, and you’ll now be able to have Tom Nook enable the Island Backup feature. Once you’re back at the title screen you’ll see the feature is now set to “enabled.” Then you can go about your Animal Crossing business as usual. Upon revisiting the game after playing and saving, you should see a time stamp on the title screen indicating your most recent Island Backup. Hopefully from there you won’t need to restore your backup anytime soon, but if you do, you can’t just retrieve it on your own.

If your Switch is lost, stolen, damaged, or replaced, only then will you be able to restore your Island Backup. To do this, you’ll have to hop over to the support section of Nintendo’s official website, and get a hold of a support representative. Once you explain your case, you’ll be given further instructions to get your Island back. Otherwise, you don’t have actual control over your Island Backup data beyond toggling the feature on or off.

Do you feel a bit more safe, knowing that you can back up your Animal Crossing: New Horizons data now? Or do you still have concerns due to the extra red tape for this feature? Let us know how you feel over on the Prima Games Facebook and Twitter channels! 


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Lucas White
Lucas plays a lot of videogames. Sometimes he enjoys one. His favs include Dragon Quest, SaGa and Mystery Dungeon. You can find him on Twitter @HokutoNoLucas. Wanna send an email? Shoot it to [email protected].