How amiibo and amiibo cards work in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons amiibo
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Animal Crossing: New Horizons amiibo and amiibo cards can be incredibly useful for a number of things during island life. If you're sitting on a wealth of Animal Crossing-themed amiibo and the related amiibo cards, you're in luck, because there are a few ways they are supported in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Not only is a cute way to get mileage out of your no doubt vast collections of NFC critters, but it could also help you progress in the game. That's because Animal Crossing: New Horizons amiibo support actually comes in two distinct forms: one is more focused on having fun and being silly, but the other is actually really useful for building the profile of your little island paradise. 

Here's how Animal Crossing: New Horizons amiibo functionality works.  

1. Harv's Island and the amiibo photoshoots

(Image credit: Nintendo)

The first way you can utilise your Animal Crossing amiibo collection with New Horizons is through a dog character known as Harvey - or Harv to his friends, of which there are few. You'll find him loitering around the Resident Services tent in the early days of island life. You'll recognise him because he's dressed like a hippy. He tells you that you can visit his island - handily named Harv's Island - whenever you want. Just head over to the airport and you can ask to visit Harv's Island. 

It's here that you discover Harv's Island is actually called Photopia, and Harv is actually a photographer and has a photography studio here on the island. Head inside the building and you can use your amiibo and amiibo cards to summon rather strange zombie-like versions of characters (although some NPCs like Digby and Resetti are off-limits) to pose for photoshoots. 

(Image credit: Nintendo)

It's quite limited, but if you want to have a little fun with old favourites, it's easy to do and travelling to and from Harv's Island is free - it won't cost bells or Nook Miles. Plus, from the next calendar day, you'll unlock a purchasable poster version of anyone you invite to Photopiain in the 'Special Goods' section of Nook Shopping from the Nook Stop terminal, which you can then hang on the wall of your home. 

2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons campsite and amiibo visitors

(Image credit: Nintendo)

The second type of Animal Crossing: New Horizons amiibo functionality comes through the campsite, which you'll add to your island by talking to Tom Nook once the Resident Services upgrades from a tent to a building. Once it's built, you can invite villagers to visit the campsite using your amiibo and amiibo cards. The same restrictions apply - you can't invite characters like Resetti or Digby, and even Isabelle won't turn up at the campsite - but you can ask any villager to pay you a visit. This is where amiibo cards come in particularly handy. 

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Once a character has arrived at your campsite, you can head over and talk to them. They will usually ask you to craft a souvenir for them to take back home with you, but doing this gets you closer to unlocking the option to ask them to move to your island permanently. You will have to invite them to the campsite several times before they consider making the move - and you can only invite one character to the campsite per calendar day - but it's worth pursuing if there's a particular character you want on your island. 

This is currently the only way to cherry-pick the characters that move to your island. Otherwise Animal Crossing: New Horizons villagers will arrive at random to the campsite, or will lurk on the islands you can visit using Nook Miles Tickets.

Sam Loveridge
Global Editor-in-Chief, GamesRadar+

Sam Loveridge is the Global Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar, and joined the team in August 2017. Sam came to GamesRadar after working at TrustedReviews, Digital Spy, and Fandom, following the completion of an MA in Journalism. In her time, she's also had appearances on The Guardian, BBC, and more. Her experience has seen her cover console and PC games, along with gaming hardware, for a decade, and for GamesRadar, she's in charge of the site's overall direction, managing the team, and making sure it's the best it can be. Her gaming passions lie with weird simulation games, big open-world RPGs, and beautifully crafted indies. She plays across all platforms, and specializes in titles like Pokemon, Assassin's Creed, The Sims, and more. Basically, she loves all games that aren't sports or fighting titles! In her spare time, Sam likes to live like Stardew Valley by cooking and baking, growing vegetables, and enjoying life in the countryside.