Pokemon Sword and Shield’s Save File Bug Explained

Update: Further evidence now shows that the problem rests solely with the Nintendo Switch exFAT. People are claiming that Sword and Shield has introduced a problem due to no properly flushing the SD. We will continue to update this article as more information becomes available.

Original Article: Pokémon Trainers are in a tizzy due to an apparent Sword and Shield bug. There are rumors of a bug that people claim has been deleting save data, not just for Sword and Shield, but for all games on the Switch. After much investigation by the community, some more information has come out that is important, so we will run through everything you need to know.

Pokemon Sword and Shield’s Save File Bug Explained

The most important thing to understand about this bug is that it is not outright deleting save files or save data. Instead, SD cards are being corrupted. SD cards hold game information, while save information is stored on the actual Nintendo Switch itself, according to information discovered by Reddit user weldersmightyb. It would seem that SD cards are being corrupted during a crash; this is not affecting the actual console in any way.

The second important piece of information is from the Pokémon Center twitter account.

A translation this tweet tells us that the bug is caused by people using customer firmware/hacks on the Nintendo Switch along with an SD card in exFAT. The exFAT driver used by the Switch has been known to cause issues since launch. The tweet then backs up the fact that the game does not have direct access to the save files, which are stored on the console, so an exFAT failure will cause a game crash and potential SD issue, but it cannot delete save files.

At the moment, it seems that unless you are running custom firmware and exFAT, you should have no issues at all. If you are ever genuinely concerned about losing your game save files, be sure to use Save Data Cloud Backup for some peace of mind. This is available to all Nintendo Switch Online customers.

  • Navigate to the game you wish to back up in your Switch library
  • Hit the + button
  • Scroll to “Save Data Cloud Backup”
  • Select the account that has the save data you want to backup
  • Select “Back Up Save Data”

Not all games will be able to use this option, but it should be available for many games that you own on your Nintendo Switch. It will be automatically activated for games that can use it, but once again, this is just for peace of mind the event of incidents like the current save file bug turning out to be true.