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Animal Crossing: New Horizons will include both online and local multiplayer, letting up to four friends play together on one Switch

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Animal Crossing Switch (opens in new tab) (a.k.a. Animal Crossing: New Horizons) is easily one of the most anticipated titles in Nintendo's portfolio of upcoming Switch games (opens in new tab). As E3 2019 (opens in new tab) finally gave us a March 2020 release date, not to mention some actual gameplay footage, all that's left to do now is wait in eager impatience. 

In a recently published interview on the Nintendo News Channel on Nintendo Switch, New Horizon's Director Aya Kyogoku and Producer Hisashi Nogami revealed a little bit more about how multiplayer will work in the first new major game in the life simulation series since Animal Crossing: New Leaf (opens in new tab), which will be more ambitious than anything seen in the franchise so far.

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(Image credit: Nintendo)

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"There are two main multiplayer modes," explains Kyogoku. "One is similar to the legacy titles where you’re able to visit other villages or have people come to visit your village. You’re able to visit other islands or have your friends visit you locally or online. Up to eight people can play on one island."

"The second mode is a completely new form of local multiplayer. For the first time in the series, up to four residents living on the same island can play together at the same time in local multiplayer on a single system by sharing Joy-Con controllers. Before, we've had a feature that let families or friends make their own houses and reside in the village on a single system, but they weren’t able to play simultaneously. But this time, with one system, you're able to live and play in the same village simultaneously."

So there you have it. Animal Crossing: New Horizons multiplayer will have support for  local co-op between four people, in addition to real time online multiplayer with up to eight villagers at one time! This news will be especially comforting to those that are still frustrated with the multiplayer limitations of 2017's Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp – Nintendo's mobile adaptation that restricts social interaction to indirect visits between single players – although it's unclear whether you'll need a Nintendo Online subscription to enjoy all of New Horizon's social features. 

The interview also contains information about the starting island of New Horizons, the game's new DIY feature, and the general premise of the story this time around (hint: Tom Nook's being as sneaky as ever), and you can read the entire thing on Nintendo Insider here (opens in new tab) for more about the big new contender (aside from Pokemon Sword and Shield (opens in new tab), of course) to our list of the best Nintendo Switch games (opens in new tab) of all time. 

For more, read about all the big new games of 2019 (opens in new tab) still on the way, or watch our release radar below for a guide to everything else out this week. 

I'm GamesRadar's Features Writer, which makes me responsible for gracing the internet with as many of my words as possible, including reviews, previews, interviews, and more. Lucky internet!