Animal Crossing: New Horizons — The best activities to do with friends

Animal Crossing New Horizons two players using players using Reactions
Animal Crossing New Horizons two players using players using Reactions (Image credit: iMore)

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has a great online multiplayer. Multiplayer opens the door for friends to have an awesome time in-game together. However, there are some activities that we think rise above others. Here's our list of the best things you can do with your friends in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Trade valuable items

Animal Crossing Best Friends Hero

Animal Crossing Best Friends Hero (Image credit: iMore)

One of the simplest things you can do with friends in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is also one of the most lucrative and useful — trading. Your friend may have a piece of furniture you would love, and you might have a piece of fruit that they've been looking to plant on their island. By trading these items, you and your friend both benefit. This is just one example of the many different types of trades you can do. Plus, all you have to do to trade is put your items on the ground so the other player can pick them up. You can also offer Bells as well by selecting your wallet and putting the amount you want to offer in a bag.

If you're still in the early game, trading with a friend who's farther along than they can really help by offering important building materials like stone, iron nuggets, and wood. Check with your pal to see if they would be willing to trade some of their extra resources for Bells, fruit, or other items, and you'll get a head start on your island's development!

Compare shop stocks and prices

Animal Crossing New Horizons Nooks Cranny Outside

Animal Crossing New Horizons Nooks Cranny Outside (Image credit: iMore)

If you and your friend don't have anything you want to trade, why not explore what your shops have? Both Nook's Cranny and the Able Sisters have daily rotating stocks, and even if shops on your island may not have anything you're interested in purchasing, your friend's shops might. Therefore, communicating with your friends and visiting each other to check out what's on shelves can be an awesome way to benefit mutually.

Related: The trick to Turnip sales in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Something else you should do is regularly check Turnips prices, as the prices vary for each player. If your friend's shop is buying Turnips for a significantly higher price than your own, you can make some serious money! Having two available islands to sell to also helps you reduce the chance of losing money on your investment.

Host a fishing or bug-catching tournament

Animal Crossing New Horizons Monthly Fish Bugs Hero

Animal Crossing New Horizons Monthly Fish Bugs Hero (Image credit: iMore)

While Animal Crossing: New Horizons has its own built-in fishing and bug-catching tournaments that occur every so often, you and your friends can host your own tournaments whenever you want. Simply have everyone head towards one person's island, set a timer, and see who outperforms the competition.

The best part about these player-made tournaments is that the rules can be changed to encourage different experiences. For example, one version of competition could be designed to encourage people to catch a ton of bugs or fish, while another could be focused around the quality and rarity of each catch. Players could even implement "street rules" by allowing people to sabotage each other by scaring away the critters they're looking to snag.

Ultimately, the sky is the limit here. And since catching and selling bugs and fish is one of the best ways to make money in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, everyone will walk away with a nice fat wallet once the tournament ends.

Play minigames

If you're looking to switch things up from standard activities like fishing and bug-catching, you can always create your own minigames using furniture pieces, tools, and some imagination. Musical Chairs is, by far, the most fun. You can recreate the game in Animal Crossing: New Horizons using stools and a handheld instrument. Other ideas include using a shovel to create buried treasure hunts, whacking each other with a net to play tag, and terraforming part of your island to create an obstacle course.

The large size of New Horizons islands means that even playing hide and seek is an excellent choice, as the numerous houses, buildings, trees, and cliffs all give players plenty of hiding spot options. Again, the only limit to the possibilities is your imagination.

Give island and house tours

Animal Crossing New Horizons Multiplayer Local

Animal Crossing New Horizons Multiplayer Local (Image credit: Nintendo)

Designing an aesthetically-pleasing village is tougher than you might think, and the same goes for decorating homes. However, one of the best ways to get some inspiration is to take a tour of your friends' islands. Seeing how other people express their creativity is an excellent way to get over designer's block, and there's a good chance your friends will get inspired by your island and house designs, too.

Throw a surprise birthday party

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Acnh Birthday (Image credit: iMore)

Your animal villagers will throw birthday parties for each other and you, and you can do the same for your friends! First, send a letter to all of the people you want to invite to the party besides the person whose birthday it is a few days in advance. You can do this by buying postcards from the Dodo Airlines airport. Pick out a nice gift and wrap it using the gift wrap you can get from Nook's Cranny. Then, on the big day, open your island's gates and have everyone hide somewhere with party poppers from Nook's Cranny.

Next, contact the special someone and ask them to come to your village for a bit because you want to show them something cool. Once they arrive, lead them to where everyone is hiding and have the whole gang jump out and blast off their party poppers. If you were careful and kept the party a secret, they will likely be shocked! Then everyone can give them their birthday present, and everyone can have a good time goofing off in celebration.

Your thoughts

What do you think of all of the different activities we mentioned? Have you come up with some other interesting, useful, fun, or engaging ways to play with your friends? Let us know! Also, make sure you check out our full guide to multiplayer in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available now on Nintendo Switch for $60.

Brendan Lowry