There’s a very key piece of information regarding Breath of the Wild doing the rounds right now, and it’s something that may save some players a massive headache — and perhaps some damage to nearby precious belongings following a fit of rage.

Here it is: the “New Game” option will permanently delete all of your old save files.

While the game does indeed warn you that starting a new game will “overwrite previous save data”, this isn’t very clear on exactly how extreme this is. I’ve played so many games where “overwriting previous data” simply meant deleting my last autosave, or simply removing my progress in a current mission. Not the case here: the game will remove every single save on your system, both manual and automatic.

There is a simple way to get around this, of course. If you want to let someone else play from the beginning, create another account on your Switch system.

With so many Switch owners now showing relatives and friends their new system and letting them have a go to show off the delights of the new Zelda, it’s very important that you not only remember this detail, but maintain some supervision (at least until the player has signed in on an alternative account and got past the main menu). Keep a particularly watchful eye if you let young children play!

There’s nothing more frustrating than losing hours of game progress, especially with such a large, open-world game such as this one. With the game’s open-ended nature, people are shaping their own personal stories and I’d hate for anyone to lose out on that unique experience. Please do spread the word to your fellow Zelda fans!

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  • Domingo Cardona

    Nintendo: one step forward, and then a running start to do the most impressive back flip ever seen.

    • Brian McBehrer

      You can make multiple profiles per machine. It’s not like you can’t do it.

      • Domingo Cardona

        Sure there’s obvious quick fixes, but you shouldn’t HAVE to jump through those hoops for something like this. That’s the problem

        • Brian McBehrer

          It’s not a hoop, it’s just how it is. You make your profiles before you boot up the game, not after. Same amount of steps (less, actually, because I’ve profile works for multiple games), different order.

  • Tim Ruiz

    I’m assuming it does the same on the Wii U version as well?

    • Melyssa St-Hilaire

      would like to know as well, because I promised my wife she could play! xD

    • Jason KatyCat Perry

      Yes, it works for the Wii U version as well! 🙂 My sister and I both have a save file on our Wii U. You just need to create a new profile/account.

  • Joseph Winfield

    How is “overwrite previous save data” ambiguous? Its pretty clear they stated you were getting your previous game deleted if you start a new game. From the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) “1.1Computing — Destroy (data) by entering new data in its place.” Its pretty clear they were as clear as possible.

    • Ulises

      “I’ve played so many games where “overwriting previous data” simply meant deleting my last autosave, or simply removing my progress in a current mission. Not the case here: the game will remove every single save on your system, both manual and automatic.” That’s why it’s ambiguous.

    • Ryan Haney

      Twilight Princess HD says Overwriting Previous Save Data every time you save. You don’t have to start at Ordon village each time, though.

      • Jeffrey Cameron Suhr

        Overwrite means to write over, if the save is a new game, writing over the old game with a new game is in no way ambiguous. Overwriting game data with newer progress in the same game, would save your newer progress over the unprogressed state, leaving it impossible to return your game to unprogressed state. For example you could not clear the water temple in twilight princess, save and then revert your save to the point before you entered the water temple, because your game state was overwritten to the point after the water temple. Starting a new game and overwritting the save with the water temple being cleared with the new save file would make it so you start in ordon, and you could not revert it to the point where the water temple was cleared.

  • Knight of Hyrule

    This never happened to me. I have the Wii U version and started a new file, but it only overwrote the auto-saves. My manual save stayed intact. I never got far, but I was sure to check.

  • Dave Zane

    yah this didn’t happen to me, brought it over to a friend’s house and he had some auto-saves on there from playing for an hour that didn’t affect my progress since i could still start from my last time-stamp save file.

  • Ryan Haney

    Thanks for the heads up!

  • Will

    Does Breath of the Wild still have multiple save files? If so, what is the point of multiple save file slots, if opening a fresh game in a blank slot deletes the other slots anyway?

  • George

    this happened to me is there any way to get it back?
    on Nintendo switch.

    • George

      and I manually saved it
      but they are still gone