Animal Crossing: New Horizons holiday update adds an important feature

Nintendo has launched a holiday update for the popular video game Animal Crossing: New Horizons. While the update adds holiday-themed content for Thanksgiving and Christmas, arguably the most important changes have nothing to do with holiday festivities. The most crucial change added in the update is a new save data transfer function.

The saved data transfer function allows gamers to transfer an entire island or a single resident to another Switch system. That's important when gamers are upgrading consoles due to some sort of damage to the previous system. Nintendo has updated the same data transfer guide offering detailed instructions for users.

The feature will be a big deal for families getting someone their own Switch for Christmas this year who may have been playing the game as a resident on someone else's island. That gamer playing as a resident can now move their resident to their island. Caveats to the save data transfer require players to be sure they're running the latest version of the game and then download the Save Data Transfer tool to the source system.

From there, instructions vary depending on what exactly the user wants to do. There are guides for transferring an entire island to a new Switch system and guides for transferring an individual resident. Users will have to have access to both the new and the old Switch console. The good news is that an island can be transferred to a new console even if the source system is no longer available, assuming island backup is enabled.

Island backup periodically backs the game up when players are connected to the Internet and allows users to restore data on a replacement Switch. One other caveat is that users do need an active Nintendo Switch Online membership and help from support to complete the transfer.