Does Animal Crossing New Horizons Have Local Co-Op?

Does Animal Crossing New Horizons Have Local Co-Op?

We take a look at how local co-op works in Animal Crossing New Horizons.

Animal Crossing New Horizons takes players to an deserted island setting, allowing them to set up a camp and start building. It looks to be a continuation of ideas first set up in Animal Crossing Wild World, though there have been some notable changes to multiplayer this time around. While we’ve not seen everything the game has to offer yet we do know a fair bit about the multiplayer functionality. Let’s take a look at whether the game supports couch co-op.

Can You Play Couch Co-Op With Friends?

Animal Crossing New Horizons supports local co-op. This means that you can play with friends using the same screen, a first for the series. This opens up a lot of possibilities, though from what we’ve seen in promotional material there might be some limitations imposed on what players can do while playing local co-op. Let’s dive deeper.

How Many Players Can Play Co-Op On One Nintendo Switch?

Thanks to the most recent trailer for Animal Crossing New Horizon we know that up to four players can play together on the same system. If you head online you can increase this to 8 players.

Animal Crossing New Horizons has 4 player local co-op | Nintendo

How to Start Local Co-Op

To start local co-op in Animal Crossing New Horizons you’ll need a Nook Phone. This is given to you shortly after arriving on the island, and allows you to call other Islanders. Whip out your phone and select the ‘Call Islander’ option. This will then allow you to select who you’d like to play with.

Use your Nook Phone to call other islanders | Nintendo

Each Session Will Have a Leader

Judging by the Nintendo Treehouse presentation that aired last year (video embedded below), each local co-op session will have a leader. This leader is indicated by a yellow flag above their head. Only the leader can enter and exit buildings (this will move the whole group), select items from their inventory, and move the screen camera along with them.

Can Each Player Go Into Different Areas of the Map?

For now, it seems that all players will need to be within a certain distance from one another at all times. If players stray too far they are automatically teleported back to the leader. This means that players cannot go off exploring on their own.

Bring your friends! | Nintendo

Do You Share A House? Or Will Each Player Have Their Own?

One thing that we’re a little fuzzy on right now is whether or not players will get to build their own tents/houses. In the demo footage it looks very much as if all players share one tent, perhaps functioning how houses did in Animal Crossing Wild World. We’ll have to wait and see to find out, and we’ll be sure to update this page if we hear any more.

Do You Need a Nintendo Online Subscription to Play Local Co-Op?

There is some info that can be gleaned from the trailer above on this subject. When it is detailing local co-op there is no disclaimer regarding Nintendo Online memberships. Once online multiplayer is shown, a disclaimer appears. This likely means that local co-op will be free to use without an online subscription. If this changes we’ll update this page.

Party Play

Using the Nook phone, you can call up other residents and start a party. These residents will need to be your friends.

That’s all we have so far on Local Co-Op in Animal Crossing New Horizons. For more on the game be sure to check out our Everything We Know Guide. For help with Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, head here.

Jake Green

Guides Editor

Jake is a former freelance writer who now heads up guides for USG. He spends his days dreaming of an X-Files dating-sim and will play literally any game with monkeys in it. He has an unhealthy obsession with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and would pretty much trade a kidney for Skate 4 at this point.

In other news

Hello Games Teases New No Man's Sky Update Called Origins

It'll be "the beginning of something new," studio founder Sean Murray says.

The New Myst Remake for Oculus Rift Is Also Coming to PC

Cyan is rebuilding the 1993 classic from the ground-up for VR as well as flatscreen play.

And Now, a One-Woman Performance of Hamilton in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

And there's a chance you could attend a future performance!

You may also like

Are Launch Day Lineups Getting Worse?

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | People are clearly excited for the new hardware, but are the games they'll actually play on it as interesting as they used to be?

Hello Games Teases New No Man's Sky Update Called Origins

It'll be "the beginning of something new," studio founder Sean Murray says.

Superbrothers Delay Jett: The Far Shore to 2021, Pushing Back Another PS5 Holiday Title

Before Jett lifts off, the Sword and Sorcery EP makers say they need more time.