How to Play Online Multiplayer | Do You Have to Pay for Online? | ACNH - Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)

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This guide shows how to play online multiplayer in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH) for the Nintendo Switch. This guide also shows the price of Nintendo Switch Online and the difference between local and online multiplayer. If you're wondering if the latest Animal Crossing has multiplayer, and you want to know its features and how it works, this is the guide for you. Read on to learn all about how to play online multiplayer!

Do You Have to Pay for Online Multiplayer?

Nintendo Switch Online Subscription is Required

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Note: A Nintendo Switch Online account is not needed for local multiplayer.

In order to play online multiplayer using Nintendo's Online services, you will need to pay a monthly fee. If you plan to play online with friends, you'll have to purchase a subscription to the Nintendo Switch Online montly subscription service.

How to Get a Nintendo Switch Online Subscription

Local multiplayer is free

When playing Animal Crossing within close vicinity of a friend who also has the game, you can connect via Local Play for free. The features you can enjoy on Local Play are more or less the same as the ones you can do online.

How to Play Online Multiplayer

1 Go to the Airport.
2 Select whether to depart or invite someone.
3 Select local or online play.
4 Have fun!

1. Go to the Island's Airport

ACNH - Airport - Interior.png
In order to play online mutiplayer, you should first head to the island's Airport. This building sits on a wooden deck that floats on water, and has a small airplane out in front of it.

How to Unlock the Airport

2. Choose if You Want to Depart or Open Gates

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Choose if you want to fly to another island, or if you want visitors.

3. Select Between Local or Online Play

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If you're not using the internet to play with friends, select Local Play. This requires you to be physcially close, such as playing in the same room!

If you're far apart, you'll need to select Online Play. For online play, all players will already need to have purchased their Nintendo Switch Online membership.

Open your gates to friends

If you like visitors, you can keep your gates open for friends whenever you play.

This doesn't require you to keep going to the Airport, you simply tell Orville to invite all your friends and they can come and go as they like!

Play with new people online

If you want to play with players who are not on your friend list, you'll have to use Dodo Codes both to visit them or invite them over.

Every time you visit someone this way, you'll have to enter the code, so it takes a bit longer than when playing with friends.

You can find more info on what Dodo Codes are further down! (Click to jump)

4. Enjoy Multiplayer!

ACNH - Airport - Friend Arrives.png
Now you're ready to get started! Enjoy seeing new things from an island you have never seen before, or show off your favorite island spots to visiting friends.

If you are looking for activities to do and games to play with friends, check out our guide!
What Can You Do Online?

How to Use Dodo Codes

What are Dodo Codes?

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If you want to visit or open your island to players not on your friend list, you'll have to use Dodo Codes.

Dodo Codes are created by Orville when you ask him to invite or depart by Dodo Codes in the menu.

They are always a random sequence of up to 5 numbers and letters, and they chance every time you end a session and start a new one.

Visit Anyone with Dodo Codes

Even if you're not friends with someone, you can visit them or have them come over by using Dodo Codes.

This is extremely useful for things like trading recipes or fruit, sharing turnip prices or Events, or even showing off your island on guided tours online!

You can find players to trade with over on our Trading Boards, so why not make full use of the Dodo Codes to get your hands on new items?

Recipe and Fruit Trading Board

How Many People Can Play Together?

Up to 8 People Can Play Together

ACNH - Multiplayer - 8 Players

Through online multiplayer, up to eight people can play simultaneously on one island. If players connect over Local Connection, up to eight people can join without having to pay. When using the internet to connect to other players, however, all players will have to own a subscription to the Nintendo Switch Online service.

Limited Activities Accesible by Best Friends Only

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Normally, other people cannot use tools like axes and shovels when they're on another island. To be able to use this, they need to become best friends with the user.

To learn about the Best Friends system and how to add Best Friends, check our guide!
How to Add Best Friends

How to Solve Multiplayer Errors and Problems

Wait For the Server to Reboot

If many players are experiencing this problem at the same time, it is very likely an issue with the server. If this seems to be the case, be sure and check the information posted on the Game8 Twitter Page.

Game8 Animal Crossing Twitter

Check If There is a Maintenance

If the online services of Animal Crossing: New Horizons are undergoing maintenance, you'll be unable to connect and get error messages.

For more information, see our guide below.

Maintenance | How to Fix an Error

Update Your Game

To fix bugs, glitches or other issues, sometimes an updated will be mandatory for you to connect to the online services and visit other players.

How to Update and Update Patch Notes

Make Sure Your Switch Isn't on Airplane Mode

From Home > System Settings > Airplane Mode, check and make sure that your Switch is not set to airplane mode. If Airplane Mode is turned on, you will not be able to connect to Wi-Fi, and you will instead receive an error.

Try an Internet Connection Test

From Home > System Settings > Internet > Test Connection, and make sure that your internet connection is stable. If the Connection Test fails, try restarting your Wi-Fi router and then running another Connection Test.

How to Get a Nintendo Switch Online Subscription

Why Purchase an Online Account?

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In order to play online multiplayer with your friends, buying a Nintendo Switch Online account is essential.

Each Account Only for One Switch User

Since a Nintendo Switch Online Account hooks up to your Nintendo Account, you will need to purchase one account for every user, rather than one account per system. If you are planning to share your switch with someone else, you'd best be aware of this beforehand.

Pricing and Plans

Nintendo's online service is relatively cheap. Line up a plan with the amount of time you'd like to have it for, and choose the plan that suits your needs.

Individual Membership

1 Month 3 Months 12 Months
Price $3.99
(30 Days)
(90 Days)
(365 Days)
Per Month
$3.99 $2.67 $1.67

An individual membership can only be used by one user of a Switch. If you plan to use only the one account on a single Switch, this is the best option for you.

Family Plan

12 Months
Price $34.99
With 8 users
Monthly Price Per Person

Up to 8 accounts can enjoy online multiplayer through the same device if you purchase a family plan. If you plan to have multiple online accounts on the same Switch, the Family Membership is a great option, since the price everyone pays will become incredibly low.

Available Pay Methods

1 Credit Card
2 Nintendo Pre-Paid Card
3 PayPal
4 Nintendo Switch Online membership code

There are 5 methods of payment for registering with Nintendo Switch Online (see above). Even if you don't have a credit card or PayPal, Pre-Pad cards or Switch Online Membership Codes can be purchased from many stores so that anyone can easily purchase them.

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20 Anonymousabout 1 year

Oh. This is sad. I thought its for free. I guess I'm playing alone after all. :(

19 Anonymousabout 1 year

>>18 Yeah, has anyone tried this? Calling 4 residents and invite more people on your island?

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