I don't really know how to ask this question. Anyways, I'm fairly new to Nintendo Switch and its whole online and account stuff. So, I have 2 Switches, a regular switch (my younger brother's) and a lite switch (mine). I bought a downloadable Animal Crossing New Horizons card because they sold out of physical copy and downloaded it on my switch lite and started playing the game for a few days. About 2 days ago, I bought another downloadable Animal Crossing New Horizons card and downloaded it onto my brother's switch, there was a error because our switches are linked but I just ended up re-downloading the game on my brother's switch (wasting my money but that isn't my main concern and I still have the activation that is unused). We are able to somehow play at the same time on different console but different users. But the main concern is...

When we tried to visit each other's island, we get a error that says downloaded software cannot be played on 2 console at the same time, something like that. Is it possible to transfer my brother's saved data to a physical copy of the game? Or, if he deletes the animal crossing off his switch and we buy a physical copy, will he be able to pick up where he left off? Also, will we be able to visit each other's island if we do this?

  • As I understand it, Animal Crossing saves are on the device, not the game/account. This means if you both played using the same physical copy on different Switches, you'd both have your own island. So, if either of you plays using a different copy of the game, you should have the same save data.
    – Batophobia
    Jun 10, 2020 at 18:28
  • Do the two Switches use the same Nintendo account? That may be the cause of the problem.
    – jwodder
    Jun 10, 2020 at 19:26

1 Answer 1


Save data is tied to the Switch's built-in memory, and potentially cloud storage or SD card if you're using those. It doesn't matter which version you launch as they use the same save files.

It seems like you assume you bought "another digital copy" of animal crossing but that isn't really how it works. You bought an activation or "license" allowing you to play the game digitally, and you either have it or don't have it tied to your account. You already had it after buying it the first time so you are unable to get a 2nd license to play the game on separate systems on the same account.

Going forward you either have to unlink your account from his switch system and link the currently unused digital license of the game (he will of course need his own account to access online services however), or get a physical copy. In which case you will also have to be sure you are launching the game from the physical copy and not the digital one, I would just uninstall it first to be sure.


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