Animal Crossing: New Horizons Multiplayer
Below are all the known details about Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ Multiplayer features. You need a Nintendo Switch Online membership to access any online multiplayer features.
Couch Co-Op Local Multiplayer (Party Play)
Up to 8 players can live on one island; 4 players living on the same island can play together – at the same time – on a single system (couch co-op style). Here’s how to do it.
- Have one player set up their life on the island (i.e gone to sleep after the welcome party) – establishing themself as the Resident Rep. They can never leave the island! Their account is locked to it.
- Have any other account on the Switch can start the game and join the established island.
- Remember, each person who lives on the Island can have their own house.
- When new players join the island they’ll get a NookPhone that features a new app called “Call Islander.”
- This app is automatically added to the original Islander aka the Resident Rep’s phone.
- You can use this app, at any time, to call other residents who live on the same island to come play with you! Up to 8 people can live on an Island BUT only 4 people can play via couch co-op at once.
- Whoever made the call is automatically the leader and the rest are followers.
- Because it’s not split-screen the followers will automatically follow the leader, popping into the screen if they straggle behind.
- Only the leader has full access to their pockets, can enter buildings, shop, and only the leader can pick up fruit and wood. Followers can still catch fish and bugs but those will automatically be stored in the recycle bin in Resident Services – to be retrieved later.
- Fortunately, you can easily change the leader at any time during your play session by shaking your joy-con or doing this change from the Call an Islander app.
If you’re over the idea of sharing an island and want your own remember the person who named the Island i.e the Resident Rep cannot leave. However, you can remove other people from your island.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons Couch Co-Op / Party Play Multiplayer
Local Wireless and Online Multiplayer
Up to 8 players can play together on one player’s island via online multiplayer or local wireless.
If your friends are nearby and they each have their own Nintendo Switch and their own copy of Animal Crossing, you can visit each other’s island through local wireless play, meaning no internet connection is required.
You’ll want to be pretty close to each other to make sure the connection isn’t lost (within a few feet of each other is recommended).
Decide whose island all of you want to visit! The island host can go to Dodo Airlines and tell Orville they “want visitors” via “local play.” Or they can just hang around and wait to accept their friends.
To visit another player’s island go to Dodo Airlines and select “I wanna fly!,” “I wanna visit someone,” and “local play.”
He’ll search for a local island you can visit. Your friend’s island name should pop up and then you can fly over! We suggest doing this one player at a time because if multiple players are trying to fly over simultaneously your flight may get canceled, forcing you to repeat these steps.
To protect your island during Local Wireless and Online Play certain tools, such as axes and shovels, are forbidden unless they’re listed as your Best Friend via the Best Friends List Nook Phone App.
Online works similarly to local play. Visit Dodo Airlines but this time select that you want to fly and visit someone via online play.
You can also invite friends or players who are not registered as friends using a one-time, automatically generated code (Dodo Code).
To protect your island during Local Wireless and Online Play certain tools, such as axes and shovels, are forbidden unless you’re on a Best Friend’s island.
You can add people to your Best-Friends List and then notify them.
Nintendo Switch Online App (NookLink)
The Nintendo Switch Online App can connect to Animal Crossing: New Horizons. This connection is known as NookLink. NookLink lets you scan QR codes of custom designs from Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer but it also has some features specifically for multiplayer.
How to Message Other Players in Animal Crossing: New Horizon
1. Open the Nintendo Switch Online App > Animal Crossing New Horizons (NookLink) > Chat Keyboard.
2. When connected online you can message other Animal Crossing: New Horizons players using your smart phone keyboard
Open the Nintendo Switch Online App > Voice Chat. Make sure you’re connected online.