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Splatoon 3 PSA: You Must Import Your Splatoon 2 Data When You First Start

You only have one chance to transfer your Splatoon 2 data to the sequel.

Kevin Knezevic Former staff writer
Kevin has been covering video games and tech since 2010, with a particular focus on Nintendo and Pokemon. Squirtle is the best starter and nothing will convince him otherwise.
Kevin Knezevic
2 min read
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Splatoon 3 has arrived on the Nintendo Switch, and returning players are able to transfer some of their Splatoon 2 data to the sequel. However, you only have one chance to do so when you first boot up the game, so make sure you do before you dive into the Splatlands.

As Nintendo warns, your Splatoon 2 data must be on the same Switch system that you use to play Splatoon 3. Plus, you can only transfer your Splatoon 2 data when you first start up the new game. If you choose not to do so at that time, you won't have another chance to transfer your data over.

Even if you do decide against transferring your data, you can still earn all the same rewards just by playing the game. However, transferring your data gives you a head start, and it's easy to do.

How to transfer your Splatoon 2 data

As soon as you boot up Splatoon 3 for the first time, you'll be greeted with a prompt that Splatoon 2 data has been found. 

Splatoon 3 data transfer screen
Nintendo/Screenshot by Kevin Knezevic/CNET

The game will then ask if you want to import that data. Simply select Import and your data will be transferred to Splatoon 3.

Splatoon 3 data transfer screen
Nintendo/Screenshot by Kevin Knezevic/CNET

What do I get for transferring my Splatoon 2 data?

There are a handful of rewards for importing your Splatoon 2 data. First, you'll be matched up with players of a similar skill level right off the bat, and you'll have access to Anarchy Battles -- Splatoon 3's name for the ranked modes -- earlier than usual.

Additionally, you'll receive three Gold Sheldon Licenses after participating in your first online battle. Unlike in previous Splatoon games, you need to exchange Licenses to Sheldon to unlock new weapons, rather than just buying them with money. With these three Gold Licenses, you can obtain your favorite weapons much earlier.

Splatoon 3 is available now on Nintendo Switch, with a regular stream of free updates planned every three months for two years. You can read more about the game in our roundup of everything you need to know about Splatoon 3.