Animal Crossing: New Horizons Isn't Family Sharing Friendly

Published: March 20, 2020 11:15 AM /


A group of villagers and animal residents in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Despite its emphasis on neighborly interaction, Animal Crossing: New Horizons doesn't seem particularly friendly to those sharing Switch consoles with one another. According to a number of Reddit users, the game isn't playing ball when it comes to playing New Horizons across different profiles on the same console.

Supposedly, if these reports are correct, then once a file has been created on a Switch console, anyone else trying to play New Horizons on that same console (but with different profiles) will run into limitations. These include not being able to place buildings or bridges, finding it harder to obtain tools, and having progress gated by the main player's progress. For example, if a player begins the game and doesn't play for a while, the second player may be stuck with the same tools and buildings despite playing more recently than the first.

The decision to limit players to one island per Switch doesn't appear to be a technical one, rather being a deliberate design choice. The only other game in the franchise's history to operate this way is the Wii's Animal Crossing: City Folk, which only allowed players to create one city per Wii console. Family communication is very important to the Animal Crossing franchise. In a Nintendo interview, series producer Hisashi Nogami said that the original intent was to "promote greater communication between the family". In part, this was done by ensuring everyone who played on a single console would live in the same village.

In that light, the decision to limit New Horizons players to one island per console makes sense. However, the reports that players are limited in their interactions with the island if they're not the "main" player are troubling. Time will tell whether Nintendo makes adjustments to the game to fix this problem or if everything is "working as intended". Super Mario Maker 2 received an update allowing players to play with friends after complaints. We'll see if Animal Crossing: New Horizons gets a similar feature.

Have you encountered any issues or limitations playing New Horizons on a friend or family member's console? Let us know in the comments below!


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More Info About This Game
Learn more about Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Nintendo Switch
Release Date
March 20, 2020 (Calendar)
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