One of the more notable features included in Switch Online is cloud storage, which allows you to both access and recover your game’s save data even if your Switch is ever lost, stolen, or damaged. A Nintendo FAQ page created some concern that Switch Online would immediately delete your cloud storage if you ever stopped paying for the subscription, whether on purpose or not. Nintendo has now clarified that the FAQ statement is only partially true.
Switch Online will delete your cloud saves if Nintendo doesn’t receive a subscription payment, but the action won’t be taken immediately. According to a response made to IGN, cloud saves can be recovered up to six months after your subscription ends. You won’t be able to access your saves once your subscription expires, but they’ll remain on Nintendo’s servers for 180 days before they’re gone for good.
Not all of Nintendo’s games support cloud saves. Splatoon 2 and Dark Souls Remastered do not, and Nintendo has already announced that Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! / Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee! won’t either. A few other titles also don’t support cloud saves, most of which are games where players might be able to find a way to misuse an online save system to reclaim items they had traded away or return to a high multiplayer ranking after a loss.
Paying for Switch Online nets you a few other benefits, including access to a library of exclusive NES games. 20 games are already available, such as Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, but another nine are scheduled to arrive on Switch by the end of 2018.