You can talk to friends in Animal Crossing: New Horizons using the new Nook Link feature on smartphones

(Image credit: Nintendo)

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. 

While it'll be a key way of communicating with any visitors you invite to soak up some rays on your very own island paradise, Nook Link also works as a way of downloading any custom designs you've made in previous games. The feature enables you to scan QR code patterns from Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, which you can then add to New Horizons. 

(Image credit: Nintendo)

As the Nintendo Direct revealed, customisation is going to be a massive part of our upcoming island getaway, with all manner of ways to change the landscape and create your own custom furniture and decorations. If you've spent hours and hours pouring over designs in New Leaf or Happy Home Designer, Nook Link sounds like just the ticket for getting your favourite designs over to the sandy shores of your new residence. If you think about it, it's a bit like you're getting your belongings from past homes shipped over. 

Of course, with all this customisation and designing you'll be doing, you don't want anyone coming and wrecking your meticulously crafted island, right? Well, thankfully you can rest easy knowing your friends won't be able to destroy your Animal Crossing: New Horizons island.

The Nintendo Direct also served up a generous helping of insight into other features and news, such as revealing won't support cloud saves, and that a host of free updates will be added post-launch.

Want to know more? Here are 25 things we learnt about Animal Crossing: New Horizons from the Direct and our preview. 

Heather Wald
Senior staff writer

I started out writing for the games section of a student-run website as an undergrad, and continued to write about games in my free time during retail and temp jobs for a number of years. Eventually, I earned an MA in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, and soon after got my first official role in the industry as a content editor for Stuff magazine. After writing about all things tech and games-related, I then did a brief stint as a freelancer before I landed my role as a staff writer here at GamesRadar+. Now I get to write features, previews, and reviews, and when I'm not doing that, you can usually find me lost in any one of the Dragon Age or Mass Effect games, tucking into another delightful indie, or drinking far too much tea for my own good.