Inspired by Pokemon GO, my housemates and I have jumped back into handheld console versions of Pokemon. Our plan was to buy four games on cartridge (Pokemon X, Y, OR and AS) and buy two 3DSes to share between the bunch of us, since buying a handheld each seemed ridiculous.

I'm having trouble finding out how the saves work. It looks like they're not kept on the cartridge or the SD card, and perhaps they're on the onboard memory? Is there a way to move them from machine to machine; that is, can the four of us play on whichever machine's available and trade/battle each other or will we need 4 3DSes

  • To be clear: there are four of us and we're playing one game each, it's doable if we can only have one active save per game, even if it's kind of ridiculous considering modern technology
    – Skaramuche
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 17:28

3 Answers 3


So Nintendo support says that the save is actually kept on the cart, not the console or the sd card. So we should be able to just move the cart and the save will come with it no problem! Which is good to hear

  • 2
    I have two 3DS consoles and a copy each of Y and AS at home, and I can confirm that this is indeed correct: the saves are carried on the cartridges. However, any ev. update data (mostly patches for various bugs/glitches, the latest version is needed to use the online features of the games) seems to be stored on the SD card, or on the actual console, so bear that in mind while toggling between consoles. (You could also just redownload the same patches for both consoles, so this is really a minor issue…)
    – MonadBoy
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 20:27
  • I can confirm this, too. Saves are definitely stored on the cartridge.
    – pinckerman
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 2:42

Go to settings and go to other settings and do system transfer if you want to transfer save from system to system.

  • @declan did this help? Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 17:38
  • 1
    It looks like this would only work to move ALL saves, not just some. So, if i play AS on this 2ds and Julia plays Y on this 2ds, and then later we want to trade with each other so Julia plugs Y into a 3ds and I play AS on the 2ds... How do we get her save over there and leave mine here
    – Skaramuche
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 17:41
  • her save over to the 3ds or your 2ds? Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 17:44
  • If both our saves are on the 2ds (on different games), we'd want her y save to be moved to the 3ds sometimes, so she can play on that. And then back to the 2ds sometimes. Like saves on Wii controller could be moved freely from console to console
    – Skaramuche
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 17:47

So my brother and I had a similar situation (kind of) back when X and Y just came out.

We both had our own 3DS and a physical copy of X or Y. When we played, all of our data was saved to the cartridge itself and not our 3DS's because we were able to swap cards and play each other's games in our own 3DS.

Ex: Person A used 3DS #1 to play X all the way through to the end and Person B used 3DS #2 to play Y all the way through. Then, Person A & B switched so 3DS #1 was playing Y and 3DS #2 was playing X and noticed no problems with playing the other person's game on its respective cartridge.

So, in your situation, if you purchased X, Y, OR, and AS, each cartridge would have its own save independent of what handheld it was being played on.

However! You will want to make sure that the different handhelds have the same time and location settings, otherwise it makes the game cranky and not want to function correctly (probably because it thinks you're cheating).

Anywho, I wish you luck in your pursuit of Pokemon and hope my answer helps.

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