Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Check out our review here!) released on March, 20, 2020. One of the features that players are bound to be excited about is the multiplayer. There is just something about teaming up with your your friends and running around a village in Animal Crossing and it looks like New Horizons is going to give players some great options.

There are two different ways to play with other people. Take a look below to see how they work.

One Switch

Each Nintendo Switch can have a single Animal Crossing: New Horizons deserted island. Each account can have a different island resident with their own home. Up to four of those players can play on the island simultaneously (with separate joy-cons and controllers) using the local multiplayer option.

This is accomplished by one of the players starting Animal Crossing, accessing their NookPhone (Using the ZL button) and “calling” the other players who live on the island using the “Call Islander” app.

The player who does the calling is the Leader and everyone else is a follower. The leader controls the camera, and can access menus while the followers have to stay on the same screen as the leader. Likewise, the leader is the only one who can access their pockets. Followers can catch fish, bugs, fruit, and wood but those items end up in the recycle bin near the Resident Services building to retrieve later.

This seems limiting, but it is very easy to change who the leader is using the NookPhone menus.

Up to Eight Switches

Up to eight people can play Animal Crossing: New Horizons using separate Switches. This can be done locally using the Local Play options or Online.

Players access this option by visiting their deserted island’s airport and talking to the Dodo bird. He will give you multiple options for opening up your island to visitors.

All my friends!

If you select the “All My Friends” option, then anyone that you are friends with on the Nintendo Switch that also has a Nintendo Switch online membership will be able to visit your town.

Only my Best Friends

You can designate visiting players as Best Friends using the Best Friends app on your in game Nook Phone. If they are Best Friends, then they CAN use tools like axes and shovels. Be sure to explain this difference to your kids to avoid trolling or innocent accidents.

Once you have people on your Best Friends list you can choose the “Only My Best Friends” option which limits the people who can come to your island to just Best Friends.

Invite via Dodo Code!

The Dodo Code is essentially a password that you set up to let people enter your game that you might not already be friends with on Switch. Anyone who has the Dodo Code can enter the island so you definitely want to make sure that your kids only use it sparingly.

Why Play Online With Other People Anyway?

At first glance, Animal Crossing: New Horizons doesn’t look like an online game. You’re just a cute little person running around a deserted island. But, its definitely not intended to be a purely solo experience.

Playing with other people is helpful for a few reasons beyond just being social and seeing other people’s creations.

  • You and other players can trade decorations, tools, resources, and fruit
  • Each fruit that you plant on your island will help you complete a Nook Miles ticket.

What do you think? Were these descriptions helpful? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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By Stephen Duetzmann

Editor in Chief Founder/EiC Blogger, Podcaster, Video Host RE: games that families can play together.

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