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How to visit friends on Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing is back with a new game for 2020, and it really couldn’t have come at a better time. Here’s how to make Switch time social with Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ multiplayer modes.

There are three ways to get together with friends and family in Animal Crossing: Party Play, local wireless, and online play. Read on to find out which route is best for you – and how to go about setting it all up.

Animal Crossing Party Play

Party Play is the best way to play if you and your family are all squeezed onto one Switch. Up to four people can play together in Party Play as long as you share the same island (though each island can actually host up to eight players).

How to start Party Play:

  • Press the ZL Button to open up your NookPhone
  • Press the yellow flag ‘Call Resident’ icon – you’ll only get this option when there are two or more users sharing your island
  • Choose which players you want to invite and press ‘Confirm’
  • Hit ‘OK’
  • Choose the controller type for each player – single Joy-Con, pair of Joy-Cons or the Pro Controller
  • Read the information that pops up then hit ‘Close’
  • When it’s time to wrap things, open up your NookPhone, click ‘Call Resident’ and end the multiplayer session

Animal Crossing local wireless

Local wireless lets you play with other nearby Switch users with their own copies of the game. This makes this method excellent for long car journeys and visiting the other islands in your household, with a player limit of up to eight individuals.

How to invite people to your island with local wireless:

  • Go to the airport on your island and speak with Dodo
  • Select ‘I want visitors’
  • Read through the information and select ‘I understand’ once you’re done
  • Choose ‘Via local play’ and hit ‘Roger’
  • Select ‘Fling ‘em open’ to open your gate to nearby visitors. If you’d rather limit your island to specific visitors, click ‘Let’s set a code’ to create a four digit password to get in

How to visit other islands with local wireless:

  • Go to the airport on your island and speak with Dodo
  • Choose ‘I wanna fly!’
  • ‘Select ‘Via local play’ and then ‘Roger’
  • Wait for Dodo to give you the correct island name and hit ‘Let’s fly’. You may be asked to provide a four digit Dodo Code if the other player has set one

Players can visit the airport at any time to go back to their own island or – in the case of the host – lock the gate to any additional visitors.

Related: Animal Crossing: New Horizons tips and tricks

Animal Crossing online

Online mode is perfect for social isolators and players who can’t reach their friends and family at the moment. This is the best multiplayer mode for long haul flights to far-away islands (read: playing with friends stuck in other towns or even countries). Two to eight people can play together in online mode, though you will all need a Nintendo Switch Online membership to team up.

How to invite people to your island with local wireless:

  • Go to the airport on your island and speak with Dodo
  • Choose ‘I want visitors’
  • Select ‘Via online play’
  • Read through the information then press ‘I understand’
  • Hit ‘Roger!’
  • Choose ‘All my friends!’ to open your gate up to visitors from your Switch friend list or ‘Invite via Dodo Code’ to get a five digit code to share with friends
  • Close to gate to prevent any new visitors from coming in

How to visit other islands with local wireless:

  • Go to the airport on your island and speak with Dodo
  • Hit ‘I wanna fly!’
  • Select ‘Via online play’ then ‘Roger’
  • Choose ‘Search for a friend’ to scroll through Switch friends with their gates open or choose ‘Search via Dodo Code’ to enter a code provided by a friend
  • Wait for Dodo to give you the correct island name and hit ‘Let’s fly’
  • Return to the airport when it’s time to go home

You won’t be able to access multiplayer on your first day in the game but the option is available 24/7 from day 2. That said, it’s worth adding friends to your Best Friend list if you want to know when they’re online to time visits effectively.

You can also message your best friends through the Nook Phone, but be aware the feature will also give them permission to mess with your island.

If you really want to feel like you’re visiting each other, you might want to consider setting up a video call at the same time. Apps like Houseparty, Zoom, FaceTime and Hangouts will let you talk face-to-face and give virtual tours of your island without hitting any character limits or awkward pauses as you wait for each other to type.

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