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Managing Switch Saves: Using Checkpoint


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This tutorial is still here, in case people have Checkpoint, are on the lower firmwares, and Pokémon is on a lower game version. If you have any of the newer firmware and/or game version, use JKSV instead.



In this tutorial you will learn how to back up your Nintendo switch saves using a homebrew program called Checkpoint. The latest version of Checkpoint can be downloaded from here.
 

Note: This guide is meant for CFW emuNAND extracting from/importing to CFW emuNAND, or CFW sysNAND extracting from/importing to CFW sysNAND.

It's not meant for CFW emuNAND extracting from/importing to Stock sysNAND. In this unintended case, it may work for some of the readers,
but note that the sysNAND and emuNAND may unlink at any time, causing this unintended consequence to stop working.
The only real fix that we know thus far, is creating a new emuNAND using the present sysNAND.

 

0. Download Checkpoint.nro from their Github page, from the latest release.
Then place it into the Switch folder of your SD card.

1. Launch the Homebrew Menu from your Switch and look for Checkpoint. Then launch Checkpoint by pressing "A"

Untitled-1.png

2. Navigate to your desired game

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3. Press "A" to select your desired game. If you are in docked mode click "L" to start the backup process. If you are in handheld mode either click "L" or click on the "Backup" button on the touch screen.

Untitled-3.png

 

4. If you are in docked mode click "A" to confirm the backup. If you are in handheld mode either click "A" or click on the "Yes" button on the touch screen.

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5. Enter a name for your new save. Then click on the "OK" button to complete the backup process.

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6. If the backup has completed you will see a success message appear as well as a new save with the name you chose under your desired game.

Untitled-6.png

 

7. Turn your Switch off, insert your SD card into your computer and Navigate to "Switch//Checkpoint//saves". Then find your desired game in the list of games.

Untitled-7.png

 

8. Open your desired game's folder. Inside will be the folder you named in step 5. Note: this folder will contain all of the subsequent backups you make of this game.

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9. Navigate through the folder of the backup you created and eventually you will get to your save file. Note: this step may be different and the resulting save file may be different depending on the game you have chosen.

10. MAKE A BACKUP OF THIS FILE BEFORE USING OR EDITING IT WITH ANY SAVE EDITORS.Untitled-9.png

Note:
LGPE -> savedata.bin
SWSH -> main, backup and poke_trade. Use main with PKHeX.
 

Note: Switch Cartridges do not store saves. So whether physical or digital copy, the saves all goes into your Switch, and that is what this tool is dumping.


View full tutorial

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  • 2 years later...

Hi!  I am a dummy, I think -- this is my 1st time trying to do a save file.  Nintendo Switch .  The tutorial is fine, but I need some additional info.  For example:

* when downloading Checkpoint from Github, which file(s) do I need for the Switch?

* when putting Checkpoint onto my SD card for the Switch,

    *** which file(s) do I copy over?

    *** Do they need their own directory? does it need to be called something, like, Checkpoint?

   *** Is there anything special I need to worry about if I have my Sw game on cartridge vs DL file?

 

Thanks.  Sorry for such basic questions....

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6 hours ago, ryoverde said:

Hi!  I am a dummy, I think -- this is my 1st time trying to do a save file.  Nintendo Switch .  The tutorial is fine, but I need some additional info.  For example:

* when downloading Checkpoint from Github, which file(s) do I need for the Switch?

* when putting Checkpoint onto my SD card for the Switch,

    *** which file(s) do I copy over?

    *** Do they need their own directory? does it need to be called something, like, Checkpoint?

   *** Is there anything special I need to worry about if I have my Sw game on cartridge vs DL file?

 

Thanks.  Sorry for such basic questions....

1. You only need to download Checkpoint.nro.

2. Copy to SD card, preferably to switch folder.

3. It should create a folder once you start using it.

4. Any Switch game cartridge or digital, store saves on the console. This is why you can use the same software on different accounts with different saves.

 

Hope it helps.

 

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20 hours ago, Night Light said:

1. You only need to download Checkpoint.nro.

2. Copy to SD card, preferably to switch folder.

3. It should create a folder once you start using it.

4. Any Switch game cartridge or digital, store saves on the console. This is why you can use the same software on different accounts with different saves.

 

Hope it helps.

 

Hi, Night Light.  Thanks for the help.  I only have a Nintendo folder, though, not a Switch folder, so I'm dumping it there.  After convincing Win10 NOT to scan/repair the card 1st (sigh) -- I had wondered why a (mere) 200 GB sandisk flash card was taking, oh, an hour and more, to load.  Crossing fingers!  Did I say Thank you?  Thank you again.

Oops, spoke too soon.  Checkpoint is not showing up?  And, if I rename my Nintendo folder to Switch, the Switch simply ignores the Switch folder, creates a new Nintendo folder, populates it with the same folders it had previously, and wants to start downloading data to it....

 

image.png.9a900fedd5dc45eda864ae474b886967.png

Edited by ryoverde
Update with issue on loading.
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Is your switch even "hackable"?

You've got to first check your serial number.

If it is hackable, you could check this guide.

But do so at your own risk.


Generally, we don't use the "Nintendo" folder, instead on the root of the SD card, you can create a "switch" folder. (If it doesn't already exists).

Edited by Night Light
Context fix and more info added.
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  • 1 month later...

Hi, I had my switch already hacked and wanted to get a bigger microSD. So I used Checkpoint to make saves of all of my games.

Then I copied those saves in the exact same root in the new microSD, and when I open the program, it's all blank. It does not read the saves that I copied from the other microSD.

Is there a way to do what I need, other than this? Thanks

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  • 7 months later...

It seems that, with FW 12.0.0 and new Atmosphere version (0.19.0), Checkpoint no longer works.

Screenshot_20210411-195031_Discord.thumb.jpg.29d1b6c51ceba44c3b86934a377cee32.jpg

Until FlagBrew release a new Checkpoint version it's better to stay in FW 11.0.1 and Atm 0.18.1.

EDIT:
Meantime SciresM, the main Atmosphere developer, has released a potentially broken but working version > Releases · SciresM/Checkpoint (github.com)

Edited by AlamosIT
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