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Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ Multiplayer Guide – How To Visit Friends And Send Messages



‘Animal Crossing_ New Horizons’ Multiplayer Guide

One of the best aspects of playing Animal Crossing is that it’s multiplayer-friendly, allowing you to visit other islands and have people visit you. However, multiplayer in Animal Crossing: New Horizons works a little differently. If you’d like to know more about multiplayer in the game, just continue reading.

How Does Multiplayer Work?

There are two ways of playing multiplayer in New Horizons, either two to four-player local co-op or online. However, couch co-op can only be played by users living on the same island on the same console of which the game supports up to eight players.

Couch Co-Op

To play couch co-op, all you need to do is boot up the game, open your NookPhone and use the Call Islander app which allows you to call on four people to join your local couch co-op. This transforms you into the leader of the group, and only you can enter buildings, pick up items, and shop. Followers are still able to catch fish and bugs, but these are sent to recycle bin in Resident Services to be claimed later.

You can change the leader at any time by shaking the joy-con controller or using the Call Islander app.

‘Animal Crossing_ New Horizons’ Multiplayer Guide - NookPhone Call Islander App
Animal Crossing_ New Horizons’ Multiplayer Guide – NookPhone Call Islander App

Online Multiplayer


You can also play with friends via online multiplayer or local wireless where up to eight players can visit one island together. To play online via a wireless connection, you and your friends must all be close to each other with your Switch consoles and New Horizons game on.

Whoever is hosting the players must visit their Airport and talk to Orville, select ‘Want Visitors’ and then ‘Local Play’. Users looking to fly out must talk to Orville at their Airport and select ‘I Wanna Fly’, ‘I Wanna Visit Someone’, and then ‘Local Play’. Orville will then search for a local island and players will be flown over.

Internet Connection

To play over an internet connection, you’ll need to add friends to your Nintendo Switch. Once done, you’ll need to visit the Airport and talk to Orville, select ‘I Want Visitors’ and then you can select to open your island to everyone via ‘All My Friends’ or to select users by hitting ‘Invite Via Dodo Code’. Users who wish to visit will then have to speak to Orville and search for friends or enter the Dodo Code to visit your island, giving you more privacy over who visits your island.

What Are Best Friends?

The first time you have friends visit you or visit friends, Orville will provide you with the Best Friends List app and the Chat Log app for your Nook Phone. Through the Chat Log app, you’ll be able to see all messages sent by you and your friends, but more on that later.

The Best Friends List app, meanwhile, lists all of the friends you’ve interacted with via New Horizons either when you visit their island or when they visit yours. Through this app, you can send users a Best Friends request after they’ve visited your island. If they accept, they will become your Best Friend in the game which allows them to use tools on your island.

Users who are not Best Friends will be prohibited from using tools to prevent trolling and bullying, an issue that was prevalent in previous Animal Crossing games. The Best Friend status also allows users to plant trees, dig for items, and strike trees and rocks for items.

‘Animal Crossing_ New Horizons’ Multiplayer Guide - Message friends
‘Animal Crossing_ New Horizons’ Multiplayer Guide – Message friends

Messaging Friends

New Horizons has its own built-in messaging feature, and all messages sent will appear in the Chat Log app on your Nook Phone. The messages appear as speech bubbles above player heads in the game or, if a friend is off-screen or online but not in your town, the speech bubbles will appear to the side of your screen.

To message your friend, simply hit the R button which triggers a keyboard. From there, you type out the message you want to send and then hit the + button to send it. It’s that simple!

Sending Letters To Friends

Sending letters to villagers is a staple in the Animal Crossing franchise, and you’re able to send letters to friends too! To send a letter to a friend, you must have played with them in the game first and you simply need to visit the Airport and speak to Orville at the letter stand.

‘Animal Crossing_ New Horizons’ Multiplayer Guide - Dodo Airlines
‘Animal Crossing_ New Horizons’ Multiplayer Guide – Dodo Airlines

You’ll be able to send the letter to a villager or player on your island, to your future self or a friend via an internet connection. Select the letter you want to send, write out your message using the game’s keyboard, attach a gift if you’d like, and finally select where you want to send the letter. Pay your 200 Bell fee and Orville will send the letter. Sending letters to friends is a great way of sharing non-native fruit with other players, as well as sending furniture, clothing, and other items.

Custom Design Kiosk

Once you’ve built the Able Sister tailors shop, you’ll unlock the Custom Design kiosk where you can import other players’ custom designs from around the world into your game. To use it, just head to the back of the Able Sister shop and use the kiosk which will allow you to search for individual designs by the design or creator code.

You can also import your custom designs and share them with players around the world. However, it’s important to note that you will need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription to use the kiosk.

Now you’ve read through our multiplayer guide, you’ll know all about the different ways you can play and interact with players around the world. If you’ve invited friends to your town and aren’t sure what to do with them, keep an eye out for the second part to our Multiplayer guide which will give you some ideas and inspiration on various activities. For the time being, keep enjoying island life and don’t forget to pay off that debt – Tom Nook is waiting!


Fabio writes news and entertainment articles. Ranging from basic news to articles on film, television, gaming, and technology.

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