How to play co-op in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Play with friends in online and offline co-op in Animal Crossing: New Horizons - here's how to invite those pals to your holiday island!

We’ve known for a while that Animal Crossing: New Horizons would include online co-op for up to eight players. Today’s Animal Crossing Direct finally confirmed how online and offline co-op will work, and how an island can support up to eight players at a time. Interested to learn more? Here’s how to play online and offline co-op in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

How many players is Animal Crossing: New Horizons co-op?

how to play coop in Animal Crossing new Horizons
© Nintendo

Nintendo has confirmed that playing offline, up to four players can play co-op at the same time, each using a single Joy-Con. While only four can play offline at one time, up to eight people can be residents on the island, each with their own house. If you’re happy to head online or connect to another Switch locally, up to eight players can be one island at a time.

How to play offline co-op in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons allows for easy offline co-op using a feature called Party Play. All you need to do to play offline co-op is open up your phone and use the Call Residents app. This lets you invite other players who also live on the island.

How to play offline coop animal crossing new horizons
© Nintendo

The Call Resident feature will let you select up to three other residents who live on the island, inviting them into the game. All you’ll need are four Joy-Cons connected to the Nintendo Switch.

In Party Play, one player is assigned a leader, with the camera following them over any other character, and letting them interact with shops and other features of the island. By default the player who makes the call will be the leader, but don’t worry, you can change this at any time! Any items found by followers will be stored in a recycling box at the Residents Services building 

How to play online co-op in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

How to play online co-op in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
© Nintendo

Up to eight players can spend time on one island at the same time using local connection between Switches or online play. To play online co-op in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you need to visit The Airport. Here you can open up your gates to other islands, or head over to visit theirs. To note, to play online co-op, each villager will need to have their own island, rather than living on the same island like in offline co-op.

The DoDo Airlines Airport is available 24 hours a day, and to play online co-op, all you need to do is speak to Orville, who’ll ask if you want to use a local connection or online. You can set your gates to be open to all your Switch friends, or you can get a DoDo code that can be shared online and allow anyone with the code (friend or not) to join for this one-off session.

Anyone who wants to join will need to head to their own airport and choose a flight to your island, either via Dodo code or by searching online. You'll get a message when they arrive. As noted, up to eight players can be on an island at one time, but be warned that anyone who doesn’t live on the island won’t be able to interact with many features and residents. You can assign a friend as a Best Friend to let them use tools while on your island.

How to invite friends in animal crossing new Horizons
© Nintendo

Keen for more Animal Crossing: New Horizon info? The links below might help:

There you have it, how to play with friends in offline or online co-op for Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Who will you be sharing your island with? We hope they’re a trusted friend and won’t go nicking a bunch of apples! Remember that you can explore your online friends’ islands too, so get out there and make the most of this holiday!

Associate Editor

Henry Stenhouse serves an eternal punishment as the Associate Editor of AllGamers. He spent his younger life studying the laws of physics, even going so far as to complete a PhD in the subject before video games stole his soul. Confess your love of Super Smash Bros. via email at, or catch him on Twitter.


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