Now that the latest pokemon games are out in the wild, fans everywhere are choosing between Grookey, Scorbunny and Sobble. But the fandom segment is also currently spooked, thanks to social media posts that claim Pokémon Sword and Shield are deleting all of their Switch save files.
The question is framed differently depending on where you are looking. For example, one viral post on Twitter initially said that the AutoSave feature was somehow able to not only mess up the pokemon game and its saved files, but also crash, allowing the save files for other games to be saved on the switch. (The author of the branch later corrects himself to name the real problem, which we’ll get to shortly.) In places like Reddit, players encourage each other to disable AutoSave. At least one player on my timeline had an issue seemingly affecting other games on their console:
The first thing you should know is that crashing is not common, so the chances of you running into this error are slim. (If you hear about it everywhere, maybe it sounds terrible, so people want to warn each other.) But, if you run into an error, what actually happens?
“Essentially, the operating system tries to extract data from the disk and it fails,” SciresM Polygon said. We do not yet know what is causing the failure, only that once it happens, the Sword and Shield will collapse. We know that formatting your SD card can affect further actions.
“It’s a wreck,” SciresM continued. “When this happens, IF you use exFAT, you get messed up.”
From a layman’s perspective, SD cards need to be structured before they can store data. Formatting creates this structure, and there are several ways to format maps. Those who use the exFAT format tend to occasionally run into data corruption issues on the Nintendo Switch, so people often tell each other to format their cards as FAT32. So if you run into a problem and are using FAT32 or the switch’s internal memory, all you have to do is restart the game.
“It’s more of an operating system crash than a game crash,” SciresM said.
It may seem like hair splitting if your data is corrupted, but the good news is that all is not lost yet – literally. Given that the data of the saved file is stored on the system and not on SD cards, in the worst case, you may just need to re-download some content. If you are particularly concerned about this possibility, it may be worth backing up your screen shots and videos stored on your exFAT SD card. But the safest thing would be to not use the format at all, if you can.
Of course, it’s still annoying to have to do anything at all to get your data back, but it’s much less severe than some folks are suggesting.
So, should you turn autosave off, then? You can if you want to, though there’s no guarantee this will actually preserve your content — right now it’s unclear if normal saves can also trigger the issue.
“Frankly I’d leave autosave on,” SciresM says. “So that if [the corruption] does happen, you don’t lose much.”