Cloud saves are a big selling point for Nintendo’s upcoming online subscription service, but the company might have bungled it before it even began.
In the Nintendo Switch Online FAQ posted on Nintendo’s website, Nintendo mentions that if your online subscription expires at any time, your Save Data Cloud will be erased without hesitation. The statement suggests that your cloud saves will be deleted with no way to get them back if you miss a payment.
It might be best then to keep all your important save files on hard storage, the console or a microSD card, at all times. If those hard copies are compromised and it lapses with an unpaid subscription fee, like if your Switch needs repairs, then you might be out of luck.
This is not the standard. Sony, for example, keeps cloud save files stored on its servers for up to six months after your subscription ends, a grace period to renew, while Microsoft offers indefinite cloud saves for all users for free.
Cloud saves are also not available for a handful of games on the system, including Splatoon 2 and the upcoming Pokémon: Let’s Go games.
Nintendo’s online subscription service launches Sept. 18, Sept. 19 in Europe and Japan.