Although the much-requested cloud saves system is coming to Switch, there’s apparently a pretty big catch. If you ever stop paying for an online subscription for your Switch, Nintendo won’t hold on to your save data and it will be deleted.
According to an FAQ page on Nintendo’s website, “Save data stored with Save Data Cloud cannot be kept outside of the duration of your Nintendo Switch Online membership.” Nintendo then adds that if you keep your save data stored “locally on your Nintendo Switch console, then you can use it again if you purchase another membership.”
So if you do buy a subscription, it might be in your best interest to also keep your most important game data saved on your console because if there’s ever a problem with your subscription payment, you’ll probably lose your saves. It’s also worth noting that not all games will support cloud saves–like Pokemon, Let’s Go Pikachu!/Eevee and Splatoon 2–so depending on what you play, you might not be able to completely rely on Nintendo’s online storage to begin with.
Nintendo’s online membership can be continuously maintained through automatic renewal. All subscriptions will renew automatically unless you select the “Terminate Automatic Renewal” choice in the Account Information settings. Renewal rates are determined by your latest online membership purchase. If you buy a three month membership and then buy one for 12 months, your account will automatically renew every 12 months.
The FAQ page details a few other clarifications from the other services that relate to a Nintendo Switch Online membership. If you’re playing in an online party with a group who’s using voice chat, you won’t be automatically added to the voice chat group. You’ll be asked beforehand whether or not you want to participate in the group’s voice chat when you first join the party. Also, you’ll only need one online membership for your family of Switch consoles provided all of your consoles are linked to the same account.