Some eager Pokemon players got a rude awakening this morning when it seemed like an autosave in the new Sword and Shield games erased their data. Luckily, the situation isn't as dire as it sounds, though if you're using a newer SD card, you might want to look into it.
The commotion was mostly centered around one tweet, where a user reported an autosave wiping their SD card. They later updated to say their card had not been wiped, but rather games would get corrupted and need to be redownloaded from the Nintendo eShop, as corroborated by others.
As best we can tell, the issue seems to revolve around the file format of your SD card in the Nintendo Switch. One very helpful Pokemon player summed things up in this Twitter thread, but if your eyes glaze over at the sight of tech talk, it has to do with an exFAT file system, not Pokemon Sword or Shield. Users are recommending that you backup and reformat your Nintendo Switch's SD card to FAT32 rather than exFAT.
Also, to be explicit: save data is not at risk at all. Saves are stored on the internal NAND, which uses FAT32/doesn't corrupt.- Michael (@SciresM) November 15, 2019
The only data at risk are downloaded games/other SD card files, and those can be redownloaded.
The absolute worst case is you lose some screenshots.
It's likely that newer SD cards are already pre-set to exFAT and could be at risk. It doesn't sound like any save data is being lost, just the actual game itself and possibly some screenshots, but still, probably better to be safe than sorry.
We've reached out to Nintendo to see if they could clarify the issue or confirm if a fix is on the way, but have not heard back by time of publication.
Hopefully this gets resolved, as it's a scary (yet thankfully not horrible) aside to today's launch of Pokemon Sword and Shield. Our early review impressions have been fairly positive; it's not exactly a leap forward, but it's Pokemon on the Switch, and it sounds like the online areas provide a lot of interesting new ways to catch and battle Pokemon.
We'll have a full review after we've had some more time with the online portion. Meanwhile, if you're hopping on this weekend, be sure to check out our guides section for Pokemon Sword and Shield, which is being gradually updated with all the info you'd want to know about the new Galar region.