Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel: How to avoid “this account has pre-existing data” error


Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel has players believing in the heart of the cards, but a “this account has pre-existing data” error message is sending some players’ progress to the shadow realm. Here’s all we know about what causes it.

Yu-Gi-Oh video games have long been popular, but Master Duel might be one of the long-running franchise’s most anticipated entries yet.

This free-to-play version of the card game is a longtime fan’s dream, offering full cross-play on all platforms. Sadly, while the game does support cross-save, there’s a bit of an issue at the moment which means you can actually stop yourself from being able to transfer data across.

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Here’s how to avoid the “this account has pre-existing data” error message.

How to avoid the “this account has pre-existing data” message in Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel

Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel screenshot showing the "this account has pre-existing data" error messageKonami
If you’re seeing this, we’ve got bad news.

The “this account has pre-existing data” error message occurs when trying to overwrite existing data on a platform by copying your save from another system.

In our testing, we installed Yu-Gi-Oh: Master Duel on PC via Steam, then on PS5, and then on Switch. We were able to link the PS5 and Switch versions together with the same Konami account, but returning to the PC version gave this message.

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We reached out to Konami support and were told the following:

“You can only create game data once per platform account, and once you start playing, there is no way to start over from zero.”

From the perspective of deleting personal information, you can apply to delete your game data, but if you delete your game data, “You will never be able to play this game again with that account platform.”

So, for the time being, there’s no way to remove your PC progress – even if all you’ve done is jumped into a tutorial before wanting to pick up your save from eslewhere.

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To avoid this, you’ll want to avoid hitting any key (or part of the screen) when first opening the game, and be sure to hit the three lines in the bottom right corner instead. You can see it below (if you’re playing on Steam, this may be covered up by Steam’s overlay).

Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel screenshot showing the title screenKonami
If you’re importing data, don’t click “Game Start!”

After that, you’ll need to click Data Transfer. If you get the “this account has pre-existing data” message then we’re sorry to say you’ll have to play with two different accounts, at least for now.

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For all we know about Master Duel, be sure to check out our hub page.

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