Playing Animal Crossing is a social experience, and not just when you’re out and about interacting with your digital neighbors. The experience of playing the franchise over the years has evolved from the concept of a simple mix of social interaction, gathering and city-builder mechanics. And in the new Switch title, you can explore your own paradise and gather resources to improve your idyllic little town. You can even play with your friends if you wish.
But what about those who actually want to play the game together? Do you need Nintendo Online to have friends visit? You and your friends can invite each other to your respective islands, but the catch is that you are going to need to purchase a Nintendo Online subscription if you want to avoid playing locally.
You do not need a Nintendo Online for local multiplayer, thankfully. But there are two types of local play that you need to think about. There is single-system multiplayer, although it’s kind of limiting. Only profiles on the same Switch console can be invited to another island in this mode, and of course you both have to share the same screen. Nice if you want to play with a sibling, but it’s not so useful for those looking to play with friends or online.
There is an option for Switch consoles that are paired up on the same network, and they can utilize all of the functions to alter each others islands and engage with all fo the same gameplay systems present in the remote online play.