Does Animal Crossing: New Horizons need Switch Online?

Find out if you require Switch Online to play Animal Crossing: New Horizons, as well as what online features are available.

We hope you’ve packed your bags, because it’s almost time for Tom Nook to whisk us away on a holiday package. Wait, you’re not sure if you even have a ticket? That just won’t do. If you’re looking eagerly at Animal Crossing: New Horizons but aren’t sure if you’ll need to use the Nintendo Switch Online service then we have some good news for you. Does Animal Crossing: New Horizons need Switch Online? There’s a quick and easy answer below for you.

Does Animal Crossing: New Horizons need Switch Online?

Does Animal Crossing: New Horizons need Switch Online
The Airport allows you to invite friends or visit their islands, if you have a Switch Online membership. 
© Nintendo

The simple answer to id Animal Crossing: New Horizons needs Switch Online is no. You can play the game through entirely, building up your resort and accruing many Villager friends, all offline without Switch Online. However, you will need a subscription to access the many online features.

Much like most current games, Animal Crossing: New Horizons won’t force you to pay out for a subscription to the platforms online service, in this case Nintendo Switch Online. That said, the game has many online features that you may want to use while you spend time on the island. Want to know what having Switch Online will get you in Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Here’s a short summary.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Switch Online features

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Switch Online features
Up to eight players can be on an island at once via Switch Online. 
© Nintendo

Animal Crossing: New Horizons features more multiplayer features than ever before. Each island can now host up to eight players at the same time through Switch Online, letting you play co-op with more friends than ever. Party Play will also let multiple residents on a single island play together at once, with one nominated as the leader. If you want to access various crossover features between Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, including importing custom designs, you’ll also likely need Switch Online.

Unfortunately, Animal Crossing: New Horizons won’t support Switch Online Cloud Backup for save data, so make sure you protect that Switch carefully, even if you’re a subscriber to Nintendo Switch Online. Given the number of events Nintendo produces for Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, we wouldn’t be surprised to see future updates to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, some of which could also require access to Switch Online, though that’s far from confirmed.

More AC: New Horizons guides:

Hopefully this article has answered the question “Does Animal Crossing:New Horizons need Switch Online.?” For the most part, you’re free to potter about and develop your island as you please, with or without the Switch Online membership. Visit our game hub by clicking here to find more Animal Crossing: New Horizons news, tips and tricks.

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 game journalism stole his soul. Confess your love of Super Smash Bros. via email at henry.stenhouse@allgamers.com, or catch him on Twitter.

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