Animal Crossing New Horizons – Playing With Others


There are three ways you can play Animal Crossing: New Horizons with your friends: Local Play, Party Play and Online Play. These are all different methods of inviting people to your island and vice versa, whether they are right next to you or across the globe.

Party Play

Once an island has been created, other players can move in as well by using a different profile on the same console. After you start a new game, you will be taken straight to the island and given a NookPhone and the chance to choose where to place your tent. As soon as a second player has made their home on the island, all local residents will get a call from Tom Nook, who will install the Call Resident app. This can be used at any time to summon up to three other residents who live on the island. Once they arrive, they can be controlled by another player by connecting any Nintendo Switch controller. Keep in mind, other visitors can’t be invited through Local or Online play while Party Play is active.

Followers and Leaders

As soon as another resident shows up, one player will be marked as the Leader and the rest as Followers. The Leader will get to play roughly the same as they would play alone with complete access to all standard features. This is not set in stone, though – you can change who the Leader is at any time by gently shaking the Leader’s controller or by selecting the Change Leader option from the Call Resident app. Once you do, whichever player would like to take the role will need to press the A button to appoint themselves as Leader. The camera will always stay on the Leader first and foremost. If too much distance is put between the Leader and any of the Followers however, the Follower will be transported right next to the Leader once the distance has become too great.

Local Play

Using Dodo Airlines, you can really crank up the island party. If you have a friend nearby with their own Nintendo Switch, you can visit their island or open up your own for visitors via Local Play. Just tell Orville at the front desk that you want to fly and visit an island via Local Play and he can scout out your friend’s island for you! If multiple friends have their airport gates open at once, you can pick and choose which island you would like to visit. You also have the option to make a secret 4-digit Dodo Code in case you would like to keep the riffraff out.

When Playing as a Visitor

You can’t interact as much as usual with the nature of the island, whether that means excavating stones, chopping and uprooting trees, or catching fish, unless you are Best Friends with the island’s owner. You can post on another islander’s bulletin board, but you will be limited to two posts. If you change your mind about something you have posted, you can delete it. There is tons to do one your visit. You can chat with animals, who will tell you funny things about your friends and their islands. You may even get a sneak peek at your friend’s Passport Titles. There is no need to worry about doing busywork like returning lost items, though. That is what an island’s representative is for.


Facilities act differently during an island visit. Tom Nook and Isabelle won’t be able to do much for the host island representative or their guests while the visit is happening. The host will still be able to use the Recycle Box in the Resident Services Centre, but if you happen to be the one visiting, it is rather rude to go through someone else’s stuff. The Nook Stop also won’t be compatible with your account on a foreign island. The host will be able to use their own Nook Stop, but you will have to wait until you get home.

Online Play

Online Play requires a Nintendo Switch Online membership and uses a Wi-Fi connection to allow you to play with players around the world. You can visit their islands and they can visit yours. As usual, Dodo Airlines will facilitate bringing players to different islands, and once you are on another player’s island, Online Play functions basically the same way as Local Play.

Other Things to Consider

Trading items and Bells is a cinch is you don’t mind picking things up off the ground – just drop whatever you want to trade, rather than placing it. Placed furniture, fish tanks and insect tanks, both outdoors and indoors, can’t be moved or picked up until the visit is over, however. If you are worried about how your island looks, we recommend doing your redecorating before your guests arrive.

In the Best Friends menu, you can press Y to open a keyboard menu and send a message to all of your Best Friends at once, or send individual messages by selecting a Best Friend with A. You can use the keyboard to chat with friends. Usually, there is a profanity filter in place to avoid nasty words being used, but this doesn’t apply to messages sent to Best Friends.

When speaking to Orville, you have the option to open your island to only your Best Friends. Be sure you trust someone when you make them a Best Friend, because they will be able to dig up your trees and break your rocks.

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Keywords: nintendo switch, animal crossing, new horizons, multiplayer, gaming, handheld