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How to Start a Local or Online Multiplayer Game (Animal Crossing: New Horizons)

In this article, you'll learn how to play with others in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Important

  • During local and online play, players can see text and graphics that other players have created, such as names, chat, bulletin board posts, custom designs and more. Please be mindful of the content that you create and share with others.
  • When playing with others, please be mindful of Nintendo’s Code of Conduct and be considerate of other players.
  • A Nintendo Switch Online membership is required for each player to use online multiplayer features.
  • Your game must be updated to version 1.1 or higher to access online multiplayer features.

Note

  • Up to four residents on the same island can play together simultaneously on one Nintendo Switch console.
  • Up to eight players with their own Nintendo Switch console and a copy of the software can play together on an island via online or local multiplayer.
  • Online play is only available between players on your Nintendo Switch friend list OR players that you have shared a Dodo Code with.
  • When playing with multiple players, one is the Leader and the other players are Followers.

Complete these steps

  1. Start Animal Crossing: New Horizons from the HOME menu.

What do you want to do?

  1. At any point during gameplay, press the ZL Button to access the NookPhone.
  2. Select Call Resident. This is the icon that looks like a yellow flag.
    • This will become available when there are two or more players that live on the island.
  3. Select the player(s) that you want to play with. Select Confirm, then OK.
  4. Choose the controller type for each player. (Each player can choose between a single Joy-Con, a pair of Joy-Con controllers, or a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller.)
    • If you're using a single Joy-Con, hold the controller horizontally and press the SL and SR Buttons.
    • If you're using a pair of Joy-Con controllers, hold them vertically and press the L and R Buttons.
    • If you're using a Pro Controller, press the L and R Buttons.
  5. Read through the information on the screen, then select Close to begin playing.
  6. When you are finished playing together, have the Leader access the NookPhone, then Call Resident, then end the multiplayer session.

Do you want to connect with other players via local wireless or online?

  1. Have all players go to the Airport on their island (the aeroplane icon on the island map) and speak with the Dodo.
    • This building opens on the second day of in-game playtime.
  2. The Leader player (the resident of the island where you want to play) needs to open the gate.
    1. Select I want visitors.
    2. If it’s your first time using this feature, read through the information and select I understand.
    3. Select Via local play, then select Roger.
    4. Select Fling ‘em open! to open your island up to all local visitors.
      • If you want to open the gate to specific players only, select Let’s set a code to set a 4-digit Dodo Code. You will need to share the code with anyone who wants to visit your island.
  3. The other players visit the island.
    1. Have all other players select I wanna fly!
    2. Select Via local play, then select Roger.
    3. When the Dodo asks if you want to visit the Leader player’s island (he will provide the island name), select Let’s fly.
    4. If the Leader player set a 4-digit Dodo Code, enter the code when prompted.
  4. When the other players’ planes have landed on the island, select Next on all consoles to review information about how to Chat with other players.
    • Press the R Button whenever you want to text chat with other players.
  5. When all expected visitors have arrived, the Leader player can return to Dodo Airport and select Please close the gate. This will stop any new visitors from coming to the island.
  6. When a visitor is ready to leave, they can return to Dodo Airport and select I want to go home to return to their own island.
    • The Leader player can also press the - Button at any time and select End session to automatically close the gate and send all visitors back home.

Do you want to open your island to receive visitors or visit another island?

  1. Go to the Airport (the aeroplane icon on the island map) and speak with the Dodo.
    • This building opens on the second day of in-game playtime.
  2. Select I want visitors.
  3. Select Via online play.
  4. If it’s your first time using this feature, read through the information and select I understand.
  5. Select Roger!
  6. Select All my friends! to open your island up to anyone that you’ve added to your Nintendo Switch friend list.
    • If you want to open the gate to specific players only, select Invite via Dodo Code to receive a 5-digit Dodo Code. You will need to share the code with anyone who wants to visit your island.
    • If this is your first time using this feature, the Best Friends List app will be automatically added to your NookPhone.
  7. You will receive a notification when any new visitors arrive.
  8. When you are finished accepting new visitors, return to Dodo Airport and select Please close the gate. This will stop any new visitors from coming to the island.
    • The Leader player can also press the - Button at any time and select End session to automatically close the gate and send all visitors back home.
  1. Go to the Airport (the aeroplane icon on the island map) and speak with the Dodo.
    • This building opens on the second day of in-game playtime.
  2. Select I wanna fly!
  3. Select Via online play, then select Roger!
  4. Select Search for a friend to locate players from your Nintendo Switch friend list that are accepting visitors.
    • If a specific friend gave you a 5-digit Dodo Code for their island, select Search via Dodo Code and enter the code when prompted.
  5. When the Dodo asks if you want to visit the Leader player’s island (he will provide the island name), select Let’s fly to visit the island.
  6. When you are ready to leave, return to Dodo Airport and select I want to go home to return to your own island.