Does Animal Crossing: New Horizons require Switch Online?

Learn whether you need to have a subscription for Switch Online in order to play Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is upon us. As players zip around their personal islands, some questions begin to form, like: Does Animal Crossing: New Horizons require Switch Online? Thankfully, that answer is fairly straightforward.

Does Animal Crossing: New Horizons require Switch Online

The answer to the question, “Does Animal Crossing: New Horizons require Switch Online,” is yes it does for online play and no it does not, provided you’re not trying to do anything online. This is pretty much how most games with online functionality behave.

So what does online play look like in Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Well for starters, with multiple systems, it’s possible to have eight players exploring one island at once. This lets you and a whole lot of other friends enjoy the serene island living. This is done through Party Play, which likely requires Switch Online.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Switch Online
Players can still enjoy Animal Crossing: New Horizons without Switch Online.

There is also some crossover content between Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. Players that want to take advantage of this may need to have a Switch Online subscription.

One interesting thing to note is that Animal Crossing: New Horizons will not support Switch Online Save Data Cloud Backup. The reason for this was revealed by Aya Kyogoku in an interview with IGN. Kyogoku said that it was because players could “unfairly take advantage of the in-game economy if certain things like cloud saves are used improperly”.

What this means is players will not need Switch Online for Animal Crossing: New Horizons unless they want to participate in Party Play or potentially take advantage of the Pocket Camp crossover. The main point is that, unless you want to do the online activities in New Horizons, Switch Online is not necessary. If you do want to use that feature, Switch Online subscriptions are quite cheap – $19.99 for a year. This service also includes NES and Super NES games!

Now that you know about Animal Crossing: New Horizons and whether it needs Switch Online, you can get back to enjoying island living. Be sure to check out the Shacknews Animal Crossing: New Horizons page for even more coverage of the latest entry in the series.

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler is relatively new to the industry, getting his start a few years ago as a writer-for-hire. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and finding his feet, he’s found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There’s nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can Tweet him: @SamuelChandler