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

Online Play Header.png
Play multiplayer with friends via online or local play in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH) for the Nintendo Switch.

Find out the prices for the different plans of Nintendo Switch Online, the difference with local and online multiplayer as well as the other multiplayer features in ACNH below!

Do You Have to Pay for Online Multiplayer?

Nintendo Switch Online Subscription is Required

ANCH - How to Play Online Multiplayer - Nintendo Switch Online

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

In order to play online multiplayer using Nintendo's Online services, you'll need to pay a monthly fee.

If you want to play online with friends, you'll need a subscription plan on the Nintendo Switch Online montly subscription service.

How to Get a Nintendo Switch Online Subscription

Local multiplayer is free

When playing Animal Crossing in the same area with 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 - Online Multiplayer - Airport
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

ACNH - Online Multiplayer - Fly or Visitors size:440x247

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

3. Select Between Local or Online Play

ACNH -How to Play Online Multiplayer - Online Multiplayer
If you're not using the internet to play with friends, select Local Play. This requires you to be physcially close to each other, like 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 want visitors, you can keep your gates open for friends whenever you play.

This doesn't require you to keep going to the Airport every time you have a visitor, just 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 to either visit 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 you're playing with friends.

You can find out more about Dodo Codes further down! (Click to jump)

4. Enjoy Multiplayer!

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

If you're looking for activities to do and games to play with friends, check out our guide below!
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're always a random sequence of up to 5 numbers and letters, keep in mind that they change every time you end a session and start a new one.

Visit Anyone with Dodo Codes

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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 items, sharing turnip prices, playing Events, or even if you just wanna show off your island on guided tours online!

You can find players to trade with on our Trading Boards, so 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.

Although when using the internet to connect with other players, all players will need to own a subscription to the Nintendo Switch Online service.

Limited Activities Accesible by Best Friends Only

ACNH - Multiplayer - Best Friends
Visitors can't use tools like axes and shovels when they're on another island. To be able to use this, they'll need to become best friends with the host.

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

How to Solve Multiplayer Errors and Problems

Wait For the Server to Reboot

If a lot of players are experiencing this problem at the same time, it's most likely to be an issue with the server.

If this seems to be the case, be sure to check out 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 get error messages and won't be able to connect.

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 update will be mandatory for you to connect to the online services to 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 won't be able to connect to the Wi-Fi and you'll receive an error instead.

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 then run another Connection Test.

How to Get a Nintendo Switch Online Subscription

Why Purchase an Online Account?

ANCH - Online Multiplayer - Play With Friends

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

Each Account Only for One Switch User

Keep in mind that a Nintendo Switch Online Account hooks up to your Nintendo Account.

So you'll need to purchase one account for every user, rather than one account per system.

Pricing and Plans

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

Individual Membership

1 Month 3 Months 12 Months
Price $3.99
(30 Days)
$7.99
(90 Days)
$19.99
(365 Days)
Price
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 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
$00.36

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 be 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, PayPal, or Pre-Pad cards, Switch Online Membership Codes can be purchased from a variety of stores so anyone can easily purchase them.

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