Technology

How to visit or invite friends to an island in ACNH

Animal Crossing: New Horizons allows you to play with other players either in local or online multiplayer.

No man is an island. I mean obviously they aren’t, they’re men. But you can definitely enjoy playing games with your friends on an island thanks to Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It’s a chill game that allows you and your friends to either reside on an island using local multiplayer or allows you to visit your friend’s islands using online features.

Here’s everything you want to know about New Horizons’ multiplayer modes and how to set up multiplayer.

The hangout spot

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

$60 at Amazon

Play with others on your island

Use your NookPhone to call other islanders together, make changes to your island, purchase goods, manage your items, and more. You’ll have fun building the island getaway of your dreams.

Multiplayer modes

There are a few different ways to engage in multiplayer activities. However, these options are divided into two modes: Local couch co-op multiplayer and online or local wireless multiplayer. We’ll explain what you can do in either version and how they differ from each other.

Party Play: Local couch co-op multiplayer

Only one island can be created on a Nintendo Switch. That means that if multiple people want to play from one Nintendo Switch, they’ll all have to share an island. Thing is, only the person who starts the game first will actually be able to make any island progress. This can be frustrating for other players since they’re unable to progress the island development. If you’d rather have it to where everyone has their own islands, then everyone will need their own Switch and their own copy of New Horizons.

Now, let’s get back to local couch co-op: Up to eight players can live on the same island together. The thing is, each player must have a user account on the same Nintendo Switch system in order for this to work. You’ll want to note that you can only create one island resident per user account. However, each resident can create their own home, so everyone can design their house just the way they like.

Despite the game allowing up to eight residents on one island, New Horizons only supports local multiplayer for up to four players at a time, as long as each player has their own controller. One person will be the leader and the remaining players will be followers. This means that everyone follows the leader around, but when the leader stops, everyone can engage in the activities in that area. You can also change who the leader is if one of you wants to do something character specific like go shopping.

Only the leader can access the pocket or enter buildings, which limits what the followers can do. Anything caught or harvested by followers will be stored in the Recycle Box at the Resident Services building. You’ll want to make sure to go and pick those items up at some point when you’re no longer playing together so you can add them to your inventory. It is possible to change who the leader is at any time during party play.

How to set up local couch-co-op multiplayer

  • Someone needs to start New Horizons, name the island, and go to sleep. This makes it so that the game syncs with real-time. Note that the first person to do this will be the only player who can make any progress on the island’s development and as such, they cannot abandon the island.
  • Additional players can join the established island as long as they have their own user account on the same Nintendo Switch. All they have to do is boot up the game to join the island. This will allow them to have their own house and work towards paying off their own debt.
  • Whenever multiple people inhabit one island, Tom Nook gives the players a new app called Call Resident, which allows for party play.
  • To initialte party play, one person starts up the game and then selects Call Resident from their NookPhone.

  • Select the players you want to play with.
  • The person who set up Party Play becomes the leader. Wherever they go, the other players will follow.

  • Once the leader finds an area they want to explore, everyone can participate in a local activity.
  • If you want to change who the leader is, you can do so by shaking the Joy-Con or by opening the Call Islander app.

Online and local wireless multiplayer

In order to take advantage of online and local wireless multiplayer, everyone who wants to play will need four things: A Nintendo Switch Online subscription, their own Nintendo Switch system, their own copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and they will need to at least be on day two within their own game.

Player limitations

Visiting players have tool restrictions that prevent them from being able to run off with all of your best harvestable items. That way if you happen to invite a troll over, they won’t be able to get away with your rare goods. However, if you have a friend who you trust, you can mark them as a Best Friend in the game. This allows them to use their tools while visiting your island.

Communication and NookLink

If you’re playing multiplayer with a good friend, you’ll likely want to take advantage of NookLink on your real-life smartphone. This is an app that integrates with Nintendo Switch Online in order to let you text chat and video chat with other Animal Crossing: New Horizons players.

That way, even if your good friend is miles away or unable to come over, you can still communicate easily while playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

How to set up online multiplayer

Inviting others to your island

  • Head to the Airport and talk to Orville, the Dodo bird behind the counter.
  • Tell him I want visitors.

  • Then specify that you want to do this Via online play.
  • He’ll tell you that he needs to set up the online connection. Select Roger!.

  • You can then choose to either invite via a code or Fling ’em open!. The second of which allows random players to visit your island. If you’ve already experienced multiplayer you will also have the option of choosing to either invite All my friends!, Only my Best Friends! or you can have random people visit you by selecting The more the merrier!

  • If you want to play with someone who you know, but who isn’t registered as a friend within New Horizons, select Invite via Dodo Code.

  • Make sure you tell your friend(s) the name of your island along with the code.

  • Now have your friend(s) complete the following steps.

Flying to another player’s island

In order to do this with a specific friend, they must first make it possible for others to visit their island. See instructions above.

  • Head to the Airport and talk to Orville, the Dodo bird behind the counter.
  • Tell him I wanna fly!

  • Next tell him I wanna visit someone and then tell him you want to do this Via online play.
  • He’ll work on setting up an online connection. Select Roger!

  • If you’ve never done multiplayer before, select Search via Dodo Code. Then type in the code given to you by your friend.
  • If you have already done multiplayer before now, you can also choose to select Search for a friend. If any friends in your friend lists have made it possible for players to visit, you’ll be able to travel to their islands.

  • Select Let’s fly!

  • An animation will play showing you flying to your friend’s island. Enjoy multiplayer together!

How to set up local multiplayer

Inviting others to your island

This is what you want to choose if your friends are physically near you, have their own Switch, and their own copy of New Horizons. Additionally, all players must at least be on day two of their game. Make sure you don’t get too far apart from each other or the connection between the Switch consoles might grow weak.

  • Run to the airport and talk to Orville behind the counter. Tell him I want visitors
  • Specify that you want this done Via local play.

  • He’ll inform you that he’s turning off the internet connection. Select Roger!
  • Now you can choose to allow anyone nearby to enter your island by selecting Fling ’em open! This is the option I always choose unless there are random people around me that I don’t want coming to my island.

  • To make it so only certain people can come, choose Let’s set a code.
  • Type in a four-digit code and select Confirm.

  • Now tell your friend(s) the code and the name of your island.
  • It’s now up to your friend to complete the rest of the steps from their Switch. You’ll find those steps below.

Flying to another player’s island

In order for you to be able to visit a specific friend’s island, they will have needed to allow for visitors. See instructions above.

  • Run to the airport and talk to Orville behind the counter. Tell him I wanna fly
  • Next tell him I wanna visit someone. Specify that you want this done Via local play.

  • He’ll inform you that he’s turning off the internet connection. Select Roger!
  • He’ll locate the name of a friend’s island. If this is where you want to go, select Let’s fly!

  • An animation will play showing you flying to your friend’s island. Enjoy mutliplayer!

Castaway Kids

As we learn more about multiplayer mode in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, we’ll be adding it to this guide. Do you have any questions about setting up and getting started? Put them in the comments and we’ll help you out!

The hangout spot

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

$60 at Amazon

Play with others on your island

Use your NookPhone to call other islanders together, make changes to your island, purchase goods, manage your items, and more. You’ll have fun building the island getaway of your dreams.

Get More Switch

Nintendo Switch



$299 at Amazon

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