Here's all the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct major stories you need to know

(Image credit: Nintendo)

The Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct has been and gone, teeming with new information about the calming island getaway simulator that launches on Nintendo Switch on March 20.

Whether you didn't manage to catch it live or just wanted to go over some of the key news that Nintendo has revealed about Animal Crossing: New Horizons, we've rounded up all the key details below. 

Every major story from the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct

Hands-on with Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Reassuringly familiar, but that's exactly what you want

"Even from the smallest sample of island life, it's clear that Animal Crossing: New Horizons iterates on everything that we know and love about the series as a whole. Taking the mechanics that made Animal Crossing: New Leaf so utterly brilliant, New Horizons adds shine and polish, making tweaks where necessary to ensure that there's enough in here to keep it feeling fresh. New Horizons isn't an overhaul in any sense of the word, this is more of the Animal Crossing you know and love – and it is bliss."

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Nook Link being added to Nintendo Switch Online app as a communication function

"The Nintendo Switch Online app for smartphones and tablets will be getting a new Animal Crossing: New Horizons feature called Nook Link. 

Set to go live shortly after you arrive on the deserted island on March 20, Nook Link is a web service you can use to talk to other players in Animal Crossing: New Horizons - either by using voice chat or typing on your smartphone keyboard."

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Animal Crossing: New Horizons will get a number of free updates post-launch

"Animal Crossing: New Horizons is going to be supported with a tonne of free updates post-launch, Nintendo has confirmed. 

During today's special Animal Crossing-themed Nintendo Direct, it was revealed that the game is going to get additional content through a variety of free updates over the course of the year." 

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Your friends won't be able to destroy your Animal Crossing: New Horizons island

"Nintendo has put provisions in place to make sure any visitors can't destroy all your hard work in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. 

You don't need to panic about letting other players onto your island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons for fear of them completely destroying all the hard work you put into it... As Nintendo has thought ahead and has added a handy feature that will ensure that doesn't happen."

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Animal Crossing: New Horizons will not support cloud saves

"Animal Crossing: New Horizons won't allow cloud saves at launch, Nintendo has confirmed. 

However, it also revealed that there is a system in place to let you transfer data should your Switch suffer a terrible accident or go missing."

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Looking to pre-order the game? Here are the best Animal Crossing: New Horizons pre-order prices we've found.

Freelance Journalist

Mark Delaney is a prolific copywriter and journalist. Having contributed to publications like GamesRadar+ and Official Xbox Magazine, writing news, features, reviews, and guides, he has since turned his eye to other adventures in the industry. In 2019, Mark became OpenCritic's first in-house staff writer, and in 2021 he became the guides editor over at GameSpot.