'Animal Crossing' update brings much-anticipated save transfer feature
By Elise Favis
"Animal Crossing: New Horizons" is receiving a significant update for the holiday season with Christmas and Thanksgiving events, furniture, new emotes and, to everyone's surprise, the long-awaited ability to transfer saves from one Nintendo Switch to the next.
The latter is big news: Nintendo has previously imposed strict rules to "Animal Crossing" when it comes to cloud saves and save data. In the lead up to the game's release in March, Nintendo announced it would be only possible to recover save data if a Nintendo Switch was lost or stolen. By July, an update added cloud saves, but to recover your data you would need to prove your console was broken, lost or stolen.
The newest holiday update changes those limitations dramatically, bringing more flexibility than before. You can transfer your island, character, items and residents to another system for free via the Island Transfer Tool application in the Nintendo eShop. Even if you're not the island representative (i.e. a secondary player who plays on a friend or family's island), you can transfer data too, including your character's name, appearance, equipment, inventory, home and storage. This new feature goes live at the end of the day on Nov. 18 and the rest of the update comes Nov. 19.
Another noteworthy portion of the update is how you can upgrade your home storage further, even after you've expanded your home to the largest it can be and paid off all your debts to Tom Nook. The new storage allows for 2,400 new items.
The update also kickstarts a couple of events, with Turkey Day occurring on Nov. 26, when chef Franklin will visit and prepare a feast in your plaza. He will ask for specific ingredients, and if you give them to him, he will reward you with seasonal gifts.
On Dec. 24, the reindeer Jingle arrives for Toy Day, but festivities begin even sooner. Holiday-themed decorations will automatically appear in your plaza, along with decorated trees. In expected "Animal Crossing" fashion, goodies can be found if you shake the trees: Ornaments will drop to the ground, which are special materials like pumpkins were in the October update, to craft your own holiday items.
Stores will similarly be updated: From Dec. 1 to 25, the shops Nook's Cranny and Able Sisters will have a new selection of holiday goods.
New reactions (which is the "Animal Crossing" equivalent of emotes) and six hairstyles will be added as well, all of which can be redeemed by using Nook Miles at the terminal inside Resident Services. A smaller detail: one of these reactions lets your character sit on the ground, which wasn't previously possible.
Some features are quality-of-life updates, unrelated to the holidays. For those that enjoy the dreaming ability, which allows you to visit a friend's island through a dream when your character is sleeping, you can now visit random islands as well.
Finally, fans of "Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp," the 2017 mobile game, will be happy to hear that a smartphone can be added to their items and placed in their homes or on their islands, so long as they link their "Pocket Camp" and "New Horizons" accounts together.
The Washington Post