One of the biggest features the Nintendo Switch Online premium service offers is the ability for subscribers to store their save files in the cloud.
These files can be accessed on any Nintendo Switch device, provided you have an active Nintendo Switch Online subscription. With that requirement, however, comes a very important question: Do these saves get deleted if your subscription lapses?
The FAQ on Nintendo’s support page offers a bit of a vague answer. “We are unable to guarantee that cloud save data will be retained after an extended period of time from when your membership is ended,” the company wrote.
“However, you can continue to use the save data that is saved to your system memory.”
The official page for Nintendo Switch Online has a more definitive answer. “Save data stored via the save data cloud backup is available for as long as you have an active Nintendo Switch Online membership,” the message reads.
“Classic games in the NES Nintendo Switch Online collection and the save data for those games will not be removed unless the user chooses to do so manually. These items are stored locally on the Nintendo Switch system but cannot be accessed without an active Nintendo Switch Online membership.”
By comparison, PlayStation keeps save files in the cloud to be accessed whenever you renew your Plus subscription, whereas the feature is available for all Xbox One owners. The other crucial detail worth pointing out is that both PS4, and Xbox One allow users to back up their save files to a USB drive, something not available on Switch.
On the subject of save file backups, Nintendo confirmed that some games won’t support the feature to “ensure fair play”. The company also said that certain games, such as Fortnite, won’t require an active subscription to play online.
Nintendo Switch Online launches tomorrow in North America, and the day after in Europe.