Do you need Nintendo Online to have friends visit your island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?

So you want to play New Horizons with friends? There are a few different ways…

With so many people playing the new Animal Crossing, some are just happy to play by themselves or share with friends via pictures on social media. But what about those who actually want to play the game together? Do you need Nintendo Online to have friends visit?

The short answer is yes, and the long answer is sometimes. It doesn’t matter to the game whether you are the one traveling or hosting, if you want to invite a friend or go to a friend’s island who lives far away. Either way, you are going to need to purchase a Nintendo Online subscription.

That said, when you go into the Airport and select the option to allow visitors on your island, there are two options: Online play, which is what we discussed above, and local play.

What is local play?

There are two types of local play.

You do not need a Nintendo Online for local multiplayer, and if you live with family or roommates who also play, you may be content just playing with them. All of these functionalities work the same as online play, you just have to be physically close to the person you are playing with.

You can visit each other’s islands and even set each other as ‘best friends’ so you can make changes to each other’s islands and content.

The other type is single-system multiplayer, where you can invite other profiles on your switch to come to the island at the same time so that you can play together on the same screen.

Note that it is not split-screen, so there will be a leader who decides where to go, but everyone can play.

So, overall, whether inviting a friend or departing to a friend’s island, if they are far away, you need a subscription. If they are near you, play away with no worries of needing to subscribe.