People say that everything's more fun with friends and honestly, we reckon they're right. Things are no different in Animal Crossing: New Horizons because it's definitely stepped up your ability to group with mates to gallivant around your shared island paradise. If you're not quite sure how all that's going to work, though, check out this guide that we've put together on how to play co-op in Animal Crossing New Horizons.

How to Play Co-op in Animal Crossing New Horizons

Let's get one thing straight. For the first time ever, Animal Crossing New Horizons supports local co-op, also called couch co-op. Yes, you absolutely heard right. Couch co-op is now part of the Animal Crossing ecosystem for the first time, and we're super stoked. Essentially, this means that you'll all be able to play together using the same screen and different joycons. According to the most recent Nintendo Direct, up to 4 people can play together on one Switch though this number increases to 8 people if you're talking about online multiplayer. 

To play co-op in Animal Crossing: New Horizons locally, you have to whip out your trusty NookPhone - you get this as one of the starting items in the game, so it seems like mayors will have local co-op functionality from the start. From there, tab onto Call Islander and you'll be able to get your mates to come around with a little bell from your mobile. It's basically like organizing a hangout in real life! However, local co-op (unlike online multiplayer) is going to have some restrictions on what players can do. 

One player of the 4 maximum will be appointed the party leader, though this can be later transferred amongst members. The leader is the only one who can do the following things:

  • Leave or interact with buildings
  • Use the inventory
  • Control the camera 
  • Affect the movement of the rest of the party

Like other local multiplayer modes in various titles, if you're falling behind the party leader while exploring their island then you'll instantly be teleported to said person. This is definitely going to make hide and seek impossible to play, but at least you can have some wholesome fun offline with mates as a group! Now that you know how to play co-op in Animal Crossing New Horizons, it should be a piece of cake to organize on March 20 when the game's actually out. Need a hand with anything else regarding deserted island management? Check out these other tips and tricks that we've compiled: