Some Switch Games Won't Support Cloud Saving To Prevent Cheating, Nintendo Says

Screenshot: Kotaku, YouTube

Last Friday, posters on the gaming forum ResetEra discovered that the Nintendo website information page for Splatoon 2 had been updated with a note saying the game does not support cloud save backups, one of the big new features being added to the Switch when its paid online service launches later this month.

It’s to prevent cheating, Nintendo said.

It’s not the only major game that won’t support the much-requested feature. Dark Souls: Remastered won’t support it either when it releases in October. Nor will FIFA 19 when it arrives in a couple weeks. The things all of these games have in common is that they all have significant online components, and Nintendo said that fears that save backups could be used to exploit the games were behind the decision.

“The vast majority of Nintendo Switch games will support Save Data Cloud backup,” Nintendo said in an emailed statement to Kotaku. “However, in certain games this feature would make it possible to, for example, regain items that had been traded to other players, or revert to a higher online multiplayer ranking that had been lost. To ensure fair play, Save Data Cloud backup may not be enabled for such games.”

“To ensure that Save Data Cloud backups cannot be used to unfairly affect online multiplayer rankings, the feature will not be enabled in Splatoon 2,” it said.

In other words, Splatoon 2 players who have invested hundreds of hours unlocking stuff in the game and building up their match history should be extra careful with their Switch, because if something happens to it, they’re out of luck. Nintendo hasn’t confirmed yet whether Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will support save backups when it comes out in December, but the above statement isn’t very reassuring.

It also shows a shortcoming of the Switch when it comes to addressing an issue that every other major console solved several years ago. The whole reason cloud saves were such a big deal was because the Switch doesn’t allow users to back up their data in any other way.

You can’t copy your saves to an SD card, for example, a fact that has even caused some hackers to take matters into their own hands and try to come up with workarounds.

PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, in addition to allowing cloud saves for online games, also make it easy to copy the data to external devices. The fact that in 2018 Nintendo is still struggling with this problem is disappointing and yet, given the company’s spotty track record with online infrastructure (to say nothing of basic offline features like the ability to copy files), not totally surprising.


Comments

    You cannot copy Xbox One saves to external devices, thats a Playstation / Xbox 360 feature. Xbox One is cloud only.

    Why are online multiplayer rankings stored to a save game file on the device? Nintendo's explanation seems a bit bizarro.

      It's Nintendo. They're still using friend codes.

        Are they? I've added a bunch of people from either games or external services that we both use.

        But yeah, stuck in the past. Hopefully now that is is a sub, they will have it from the start of the Switch 2 and design games around it. But yeah, Nintendo. Great games and weird stuff.

    Huh! Is it not the other way around cloud saves. Cloud saves can be secured and parsed to prevent corruption and hacking... being in the console memory makes them easily corruptable and hackable.

    An online game should be server side to prevent hacking of player data with a cache stored to memory for offline mode... Nintendo is really wierd about this its like all saved data or none to them.

    Last year I got the Scorpio. Gave my Xbone to friend for their son. Now he gets access to all my games - even one's I just bought!! And he is signed in to his own profile. Anyone else heard of this happening? I know it's off topic........

      It's because your old console is set as your home console, meaning that anyone on that device can play your games and use your memberships, without signing you in.

      To fix this, you'll want to go into the settings on your new Xbox and set it to be your home console. Not entirely sure where it is, but it's not too hard to find.

      And that's it. He'll no longer have access to the stuff you own.

    A big shoutout to Nintendo for making me not give a shit about being banned from there online service

    Screw it, I'll wait till I can emulate it and save state locally on my computer.

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