Solitude can be great but friends are what turn an island into a community. Overtime more animal residents will join your Island but your human pals can visit too.
Here’s how to play multiplayer locally via local wireless and online in Animal Crossing New Horizons.
Couch Co-Op AKA Party Play
Up to 8 players can live on one Island and 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 establish themselves as the resident rep by starting new horizons naming the island and going to sleep on the first night.
This person will never be able to abandon the island and is the only resident who can make island development progress.
Remember only one island can exist per Nintendo switch so it will have to be shared with others who share the console.
Any other account on the switch can start the game, join the establish Island, live in their own house, and pay off their own debt.
When more than one person shares an island like this each of them will get an app on their NookPhone called call resident.
This app can be used at any time to call other residents on the same switch to play co-op with you.
Whoever makes the call will become the co-op leader which the camera will follow in the single screen.
Only the leader has full access to their pocket and can enter buildings. Followers can catch bugs and fish but they will automatically be stored in the recycle bin in resident services to be retrieved later.
You can change the leader at any time by shaking your Joy Con or choosing to in the call an islander app.
Keep in mind you can’t do party play while visiting other islands locally or online.
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 no internet connection required.
You want to remain within a few feet of each other though so the connection isn’t lost while you play.
First, you need to be on at least day 2 of your animal crossing new horizons adventure so that Dodo Airlines is unlocked.
To invite others to your Island go to Dodo Airlines and tell Orville you want visitors via local play. You don’t have to set a dodo code but if you’re in a crowd you may want to.
To visit another player’s Island go to Dodo Airlines and select I want to fly > I want to visit someone > Local play.
We suggest doing this one player at a time because if multiple players are trying to fly over simultaneously their flight may get canceled forcing them to repeat these steps.
For players that joined an island, no one on that island can be in any dialogue or menus either.
To leave an island you’re visiting press the minus button and if you’re the host you can press the minus symbol yourself to end the session.
If you want people to stop entering your Island go to dodo Airlines and Ask Orville to close the gate. This will not kick out players who are already there.
Online works similarly to local play but you will need a Nintendo Switch Online membership to play online.
Follow the same steps as above but this time selected via online play whether you’re opening your island to others or trying to visit someone.
When trying to visit someone you’ll see a list of all of your online friend’s islands with open gates.
You can set your Island to be open to players on your Nintendo switch friends lists and also invite via dodo codes which work as a password to limit who exactly can visit your Island.
Inviting via a dodo code is also the only way to invite players who aren’t on your Nintendo switch friends list.
You can also open your island to only best friends. You may notice if you’re visiting an island you won’t be able to use tools such as Axe or Shovels.
People who visit your Island can’t either unless you add them as a best friend.
To do this you must become friends on the Nintendo Switch, play together an animal crossing new horizons then use the best friends list app on your NookPhone to send them a best friend list request.
Once they accept you’ll be able to use tools on your Island so you may want to be selective. If anyone abuses there are new powers you can remove them from your list.
Don’t worry about having to jump through hoops to unlock the best friends app. You’ll unlock it automatically by playing online.
Lastly, you need to press “minus” while in the best friends list app to turn on the communication features within it.
This will notify your best friends when you’re online and will allow you to send messages to them directly.
That’s about all you need to know about how multiplayer works in Animal Crossing new horizons.