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Animal Crossing: New Horizons has local four-player multiplayer and online eight-player multiplayer modes, and lets eight users register on one Switch (via Nintendo).
At the airport, players are able to open up their island for visits. This is either local or online play, and with the latter, a maximum of eight players can be exploring and frolicking at any given time. However, the Dodo Code lets players choose who is allowed on their island. The temporary, randomised key invites certain players to the island, and visitors may only use axes or shovels if they are registered as a best friend. This prevents griefing, and also allows parents to oversee their child’s playtime while online. In addition, the Switch Online app offers communication with fellow players through the keyboard on the smartphone, or through voice chat. This feature is expected to arrive some time in March.
Local play is called “Party Play,” and one player may ring up other residents who live on the same island to play together. As the leader, the other three players will follow and whatever followers find will be kept in a recycling box. These materials and items will be accessible after the session ends. The role of leader is transferable, so all four players may swap their role from follower to leader between themselves on the go.
Finally, it is now confirmed that a maximum of eight users may register on one copy of New Horizons on one Switch. Each user will have their own plot of land on the shared island, and will be able to customise their home however they like. Cloud saves are currently not included with the new game, but there will be some sort of restore system in case players damage or lose their Switch.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons will launch for the Nintendo Switch on March 20, 2020. Watch the Direct below.