Animal Crossing Direct: Breaking Down Online and Multiplayer

Let’s look at how players will be connecting in New Horizons.

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 02/20/2020 07:44 Comment on this     ShareThis

During today’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct, there was a lot of talk about how online and local connectivity and multiplayer will function. It’s a lot to take in, so let’s break it into more easily digestible chunks. Also, be sure to click here for a full rundown of everything that was announced today!

Island Natives

There are many Nintendo Switch games that allow players to log into another account on their console and create additional save files. New Horizons, however, does not support that. One island can be created per system, with up to eight other people allowed to create avatars and share the space. These eight players are all allowed to create their own individual houses to live in on the island.

Dodo Airlines

The airport in New Horizons is how players will be able to connect either locally or across the Internet. Up to eight players can be on an island at once. Run around and have fun with friends and family! Dodo Airlines also lets players take advantage of Nook Miles Tickets, where they can be flown to new deserted island and accumulate all sorts of goodies to take home and improve their own island getaways.

Trouble in Paradise… Or Not

In New Horizons, players can opt to let visitors to their islands wreak as much or as little havoc as they’d like. Players are not allowed to utilize shovels or axes under normal circumstances while visiting an island. The exception is if a visitor is designated as a Best Friend. In that case, the visiting player is allowed to wield axes and shovels, and have at the island as they see fit. Peace of mind is a wonderful thing.

Cloud Saves, Cloud Fails

One aspect of New Horizons that still remains somewhat hazy is the implementation (or lack thereof) of cloud saves. Numerous games on Nintendo Switch take advantage of the feature which enables players to remotely download their save data when playing on another Switch (Switch Lite owners, we see you!). New Horizons will not be utilizing cloud saves… kind of.

Basically, if a player has a catastrophic loss occur where their save data is somehow wiped out via external means (if the console is damaged), or the player loses their Switch entirely, and so on, Nintendo will allow the data to be re-downloaded. The catch is that Nintendo will only allow players to do this one time. So, if anyone needs to take advantage of this service, make it count!

Of course, this begs the question… does this mean the game is being uploaded into Nintendo’s servers like a typical cloud save-supported title despite the fact said backup is inaccessible under normal circumstances? It would seem so.


While connecting to other players in New Horizons, the new NookLink service available within the Nintendo Switch Online app on smart devices will be a must. It enables voice chat and text chat in-game while playing New Horizons. Don’t forget that NookLink is also how players will be able to scan in old QR code designs from Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Happy Home Designer!

Hopefully, this makes the prospect of linking up with other New Horizons players a little less daunting. Be sure to shoot us any lingering questions down below and on social media!

Source: Animal Crossing Direct 02.20.20

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