If you lose or break your Nintendo Switch, your save data goes with it.
If you own a Nintendo Switch, be very careful not to break or lose it.
Nintendo has confirmed that all save data is stored on the Switch’s internal memory and cannot be transferred to a MicroSD card.
The Data Management FAQ was updated by Nintendo to detail how game save data storage works. It stated that games are stored on the system’s internal 32GB of storage and that it’s locked to that memory. If a gamer uses up all the internal space, the only solution Nintendo detailed was to delete previous save data.
Of the 32GB, 6.1GB is taken up by the operating system. That leaves 25.9GB for data. While that is still a sizable amount for data, games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild take up 64MB of data.
Deleting save data can be especially difficult for many gamers. For big RPG’s, gamers tend to invest hundreds of hours into developing their character.
The other troubling aspect is what would happen if a user’s Switch breaks or is stolen. With no cloud storage solutions, all that save data would be lost.
Nintendo has been strict with data management in the past. Games purchased on a Wii U or Nintendo 3DS were locked to that system. Nintendo did release a tool to allow gamers to transfer all data from one device to another, but limited it to a set number of transfers. This was to accommodate players who upgraded from a Nintendo 3DS to an XL for example.
In the past, Sony released an update allowing PlayStation gamers to save their data to the cloud. Now that Nintendo is also charging for online access, it’s within the realm of possibility that cloud storage could come in the future.