Animal Crossing: New Horizons Save Encryption Already Broken

Published: March 18, 2020 9:52 AM /


Resetti condemns save mining in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

We're still a couple of days away from the launch of Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Switch. That isn't going to stop dataminers and homebrewers from doing their work, though. The encryption algorithm on the game's save files has already been broken. Work on breaking the encryption comes courtesy of Twitter user Dualie (tweeting as @dualie_ink), who makes tools for Switch games.

Please note: this article contains spoilers regarding some of Animal Crossing: New Horizons' content. If you don't want to know anything going in, don't read. You have been warned.

Dualie says they've created a PoC (proof-of-concept) project in the C++ coding language for breaking the encryption on Animal Crossing: New Horizons save files. They used C++ "in case someone wants to use it in a homebrew or something". Fellow Twitter homebrewer Eman Cisab - or @shadowninja108 - has already implemented the decryption protocol. These are GitHub projects, so you'll need just a little GitHub knowledge to access 'em.

This isn't the only datamining work going on when it comes to Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Twitter user OatmealDome has already uncovered shocking and disturbing news: the froggy chair is not in the game. New Horizons will use the same engine as Splatoon 2ARMS, and...uh...Super Mario Maker 2. For some reason, New Horizons also contains Havok, physics middleware used to simulate realistic physics interactions in games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Perhaps most disturbingly, though, some villagers have naked base models. Obviously, you're unlikely to see these models in game, but now you can picture naked Tom Nook every time you go to pay off some of your loan. You're welcome.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons launches for Nintendo Switch on Friday. It's the fifth title in the main Animal Crossing series and the first to appear on the Switch.

Will you be playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons at launch? Will you miss the froggy chair? Let us know in the comments below!


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More Info About This Game
Learn more about Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Nintendo Switch
Release Date
March 20, 2020 (Calendar)
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