Pokémon Sword & Shield Players Are Losing Their Saved Data Due To Crash - Here's How To Avoid It

Pokémon Sword & Shield players have been reporting loss of SD card data, but the true issue and how to fix it have come out.

Pokémon Sword & Shield Players Are Losing Their Saved Data Due To Crash - Here's How To Avoid It

Pokémon Sword & Shield is out! That’s great. What’s not great is that some people’s games are crashing. That’s bad enough, but what’s worse is that some players are also reporting a catastrophic failure that corrupts their Switch’s SD cards and eliminates gigabytes of data.

But before you panic, this issue appears to be rare. You probably have never even experienced a crash at all, and if you have, it likely didn't result in the wiping of your save files as reported by some of the earlier tweets on this issue. We can't blame folks for wanting to warn others, but it's important to get the right info out there.

Thankfully, this Reddit thread seems to do a great job of collating the current info. Initially, it was said that peoples' save data was getting corrupted, but that was quickly corrected to be just the SD card. And then the thread turned to Switch hacker and Pokémon data miner extraordinaire SciresM to get the real low-down on what's going on.

In a series of tweets, SciresM describes in technical detail what exactly is happening. In an interview with Polygon, he dumbs it down for the rest of us.

“Basically, the operating system tries to retrieve data from disk, and that fails,” said SciresM, going on to explain how this results in the Switch crashing and requiring a restart.

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But the crash isn't coming from Sword & Shield, as many people thought. It actually has to do with the file formatting on the Switch's SD card.

The glitch is centered around the exFAT file format. Many of the newer SD cards use this filing system to save data, where older cards use FAT32. However, exFAT drivers have been known to cause issues and get corrupted on the Switch. If that happens, the entire SD card will need to be reformatted.

Reformatting anything causes all data on the drive to be lost, meaning you'd lose any data stored on the Switch SD card. Save files, fortunately, are saved on the Switch's internal drive and should be safe from this error. At worst, you’ll lose a whole bunch of saved games but you’ll be able to download them again later.

The solution to the problem is to head it off at the pass. Instead of waiting for the SD card to become corrupted, back up your data and reformat the SD card to use FAT32 instead of the exFAT file format. That should inoculate your Switch from this issue.

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