You Can Preload Animal Crossing: New Horizons' Day One Update Before Launch

You Can Preload Animal Crossing: New Horizons' Day One Update Before Launch

The catch is that you need to have purchased it via the eShop.

The launch of Animal Crossing: New Horizons is just a couple days away, but you may need to wait just a bit longer to start your deserted island life if you're getting a physical copy. Yesterday, Nintendo announced that a 1.1.0 update for Animal Crossing: New Horizons will be released at 6 p.m. PT today, March 18, and that people who have prepurchased the game digitally will be able to preload the patch as well.

Presumably, this means that all the New Horizons cartridges that are on their way to stores, sitting idle on shelves, or that are already en route to your home, will have the 1.0 version of the game and will require an update, at least will need it before you're able to go online. So far, reviewers have been unable to access any online multiplayer features, but that may change with the update's release.

In response to the tweet announcing the prerelease update, many Animal Crossing fans asked Nintendo to release New Horizons early. There probably would've been some begging and pleading regardless—just look at how much people are obsessed with Animal Crossing's froggy chair—but with millions of people preparing to self-isolate or quarantine in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, there's a pretty good argument to be made for why Nintendo should release it early.

If you are waiting on a physical copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, hopefully the update won't take too long to download once you've got the game. Also, if you're going out to a store to pick it up, please don't be in such a rush to start that you forget to wash your hands before settling in with your Switch.

For those who haven't yet purchased New Horizons, it's probably a good idea to skip the physical copy altogether. Yesterday, GameStop announced that it's stopping all nighttime release events for the foreseeable future due to the pandemic, and even if you could go to a not-so-busy store or have your copy delivered, that's still risking unnecessary exposure. The base download for New Horizons is only 6.2 gigabytes, so it'll probably be easy to make room on your Switch and it shouldn't take too long to download—and who knows, if Nintendo does surprise us all with an early digital launch, you'll be happy you skipped the cartridge.

Caty's review of Animal Crossing: New Horizons went up earlier this week, and if you want some pointers on how to get the most out of your new island life, head over to our guides section.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

In other news

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Gets in the Spooky Spirit With a New Fall Update

Pumpkins, vampire-pale skin, and everyone's favorite Halloween czar are on the way.

The Game Awards Will Host Its 2020 Show From Three Remote Locations

Geoff Keighley's big year-end show will be broadcast from LA, London, and Tokyo.

No Man's Sky's Origins Update Adds Richer Planets and Some Really Big Worms

Hello Games has found a way to expand its universe without, y'know, starting it over.

You may also like

Did You Manage to Pre-Order a Next-Gen Console?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | Between PS5, Xbox Series X and S, and Nvidia's 3080 and 3090 graphics cards, it's been a busy couple weeks for next-gen preorders.

Mass Effect Trilogy Remaster Reportedly Set for Next Year, Without Multiplayer

The Legendary Edition will reportedly have all the DLC and no MP.

Left 4 Dead 2 Is Free-to-Play This Weekend in Honor of Its Big Community Update

Hoist a pitchfork, grab some pills, and go to town on those zombies.

Spelunky 2 Won't Have Online Support at Launch on PC, But Cross-Play Is on the Way

Yup, down the road you'll be able to go spelunking on PC with your PS4 friends.