New Horizon - Beach GroupSource: Nintendo

Best answer: Yes! Animal Crossing: New Horizons will feature multiplayer. It's confirmed that up to eight players can play together online, while up to four players can explore an island locally thanks to the new "Call an Islander" app on your standard-issue NookPhone.

Phone a friend

Animal Crossings isn't just a single-player game anymore. While in the past you were able to visit other players' homes or towns, there wasn't any other interaction beyond that. However, with Animal Crossing: New Horizons fans can look forward to both online and local multiplayer options. To get to know how co-op play works, Nintendo presented a demonstration during its E3 2019 Nintendo Treehouse: Live segment.

For a local multiplayer session, up to four players can play at the same time using the Joy-Cons. Also, online multiplayer has been confirmed where up to eight players can join up.

Follow the leader

Animal Crossings: New Horizons FriendsSource: Nintendo

If you do plan on linking up with your pals to reshape your island paradise, you need a local connection or Nintendo Switch Online membership, depending on how big of a group you want. For a local session, all you need is your Nintendo Switch and two pairs of Joy-Cons for four-player fun. To make a group, pick a group leader who will use the "Call an Islander" app on their NookPhone. Once they call, the other players can answer, and they will be brought into the game.

The leader is marked by a little yellow flag, making it easy to remember who is leading the group. All the other players can explore the island as long as they stick close to the leader. If you stray too far, you will get pulled back to the leader's position. As you play, the other group members help the party leader gather materials and other items, but can't keep anything for themselves. If the group wants to switch up the party leader, there's no need to quit and restart the game. You can easily swap leader status whenever you'd like, so everyone can share the material bounty.

Keep in mind; if you want to jump into a local group, every player needs to have a house on the island. Only one Island can exist per Switch console, regardless of home many names are registered. One copy of the game and one Switch is required for each unique island.

For eight-islander multiplayer, however, you can travel to one player's island and explore using local wireless or online play. For local wireless, you need a copy of the game and console per player, while an internet connection is needed for online play. In addition, players will also need a Nintendo account and Nintendo Online membership; unfortunately, online services may not be available everywhere.

When does Animal Crossings: New Horizons release?

The wait is nearly over. Animal Crossings: New Horizons is set to release on March 20, 2020. The game is currently available for pre-order.

Desert island bliss

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizon

Shape your paradise

Animal Crossing: New Horizon is the perfect place to gather with four friends locally or up to eight players online and build the perfect island getaway. Hunt for bugs, gather materials, or just lounge by the beach; it's your world, and you can truly make it your own.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.