Animal Crossing New Horizons has a multiplayer that allows up to 8 players active at the same time. However, there are several game modes that have different functions and restrictions.
In this guide we see how to play local co-op games for 2 to 4 players, how to play local and online, how to invite friends to join our island and how to send messages and talk to them in Animal Crossing : New Horizons.
What are the multiplayer modes of the game
Below are full details of New Horizons multiplayer features. A Nintendo Switch Online subscription is required to access any online multiplayer functionality.
- Local cooperative couch multiplayer (Party Play): up to 8 players can live on an island; 4 players living on the same island can play together at the same time.
- Local wireless and online multiplayer: up to 8 players can play together on a user's island via online multiplayer or local wireless.
How to play multiplayer in local couch mode (Party Play)
Up to 8 players can live on one island; 4 players living on the same island can play together on one system at the same time. Here's how to do it.
- Ask a player to organize his or her life on the island (i.e. go to bed after the welcome party), establishing himself or herself as a Residents' Representative. The other players can never leave the island! Their account is linked to it.
- You must have any Switch account to start the game and join the established island.
- Everyone who lives on the island can have their own home.
- When new players join the island they will receive a NookPhone with a new app called "Call Islander".
- This app is automatically added to the residents' representative's phone.
- You can use this app at any time to call other residents living on the same island to come play with you! Up to 8 people can live on an island, but, again, only 4 people can play co-op on the couch at the same time.
- Whoever made the call is automatically the leader and the others are followers.
- Only the leader can enter buildings, shop and only the leader can collect fruit and wood. Followers can still catch fish and insects, but these will automatically be stored in the resident services basket - to be retrieved later.
- Fortunately, you can easily change the leader at any time during the game session by making this change from the Call Islander app.
How wireless multiplayer works locally and online
In wireless local
If your friends are nearby and everyone has their own Nintendo Switch and copy of Animal Crossing , you can visit each other's island through local wireless playback, which means no Internet connection is required.
We recommend that you are close enough to each other to ensure that the connection is not lost (we recommend a few metres apart).
The island's host can go on Dodo Airlines and tell Orville that they "want to receive visitors" through "local shows". Or they can just go around and wait to accept their friends. To visit another player's island, go to Dodo Airlines and select "I want to fly!", "I want to visit someone" and "Local game".
We recommend that you do this one player at a time because if multiple players are trying to fly at the same time, your trip may be cancelled, forcing you to repeat these steps.
Online works in a similar way to the local game. Visit Dodo Airlines but this time select "I want to fly" and "I want to visit someone through the online game".
You can also invite players who are not registered as your friends using a one-time generated code (Dodo Code).
How to send messages to friends
- Open the Nintendo Switch Online app > Animal Crossing New Horizons (NookLink)> Chat Keyboard.
- When you are connected online you can send messages to other players of Animal Crossing : New Horizons using the keyboard of your smartphone.
- Open the Nintendo Switch online app > Voice Chat. Make sure you are connected online.