With the Nintendo Switch online details being released yesterday and the impending launch making your previously-free online games now incur a cost, the smaller but pertinent details about the service are now coming out. As part of Nintendo’s FAQ concerning cloud saves, the save data backup for the Switch, Nintendo mentions that cloud saves are seemingly not retained if you don’t have an active subscription.
“Save data stored via the Save Data Cloud backup is available for as long as you have an active Nintendo Switch Online membership,” the FAQ 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.”
The implication, at least, is that the saves disappear if you are not subscribed. Nintendo has commented on requests for clarification by stating they have nothing to announce at this time.
For comparison, the PlayStation 4 also requires a subscription to use cloud saves, but will keep your saves safe until you renew your subscription. Both Xbox One and Steam have free cloud saving. All three platforms allow local backups of your saves.
We reported last week that Switch cloud saves are not compatible with every game. Those games will still be stored locally on the internal storage or SD card.