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Having friends in Animal Crossing: New Horizons could be just a bit better

Something something something, make it better

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is great for keeping up with your friends and having fun, especially since for now most of us can’t actually see their friends. But the social features do leave a bit to be desired, and that’s where I come in!

Here are some ideas that could spice up the friendship and social aspects of Animal Crossing: New Horizons!

Joint islands

Currently in Animal Crossing: New Horizons you have the option to play on your island with a few other friends, but with restricted permissions. You technically can have a joint island with other players, but only if they’re on the same Switch as you. I suppose for some people this is fine and dandy, but after a while you start to get tired of having to follow the leader around while they do their thing. This is where I propose the option for joint islands!

This would be a new island created specifically for co-op play; think something along the lines of Terraria or Satisfactory. You would have the option to be on your own island, and once your friends come online, you can fly to the co-op island and build that one alongside your buds. It really doesn’t have to be anything complicated either, it’s pretty much just having multiple saves on one Switch and changing the online capabilities to be more accommodating.

OK, so maybe it is complicated. I don’t know much about designing games, but for a company like Nintendo it’s not like it would be the hardest thing in the world either.

Animal crossing New horizons best friends

Visiting mystery islands with friends

You’ve redeemed your 2000 Nook Miles and you’re running to the airport to take the first plane out to sea. You’re harvesting, exploring and having a jolly old time, but you’re lonely. What if your friends who are currently also playing Animal Crossing alone could join you? Granted, at the moment there isn’t much to do on mystery islands aside from what I’ve mentioned, but think of it like a little getaway with friends. An island escape from your island escape, as it were.

On top of making your own fun on an even-more-deserted island, you’d have someone to help you pick the island dry… if you’re into that sort of thing. And when you finally clear the island, they’ll even help you catch Tarantulas to make double your profits (when they are in season, that is). Though I believe that’s disgusting and I’d prefer to never see another Tarantula again, I can’t deny the bell-shaped void in my virtual pockets.

Activities and mini-games!

Yes, you can buy the timer and do races, bug and fish catching competitions, and things of that nature. But those are all player-created and player-driven activities. And while this is pretty much what Animal Crossing is about, it’d be nice to see something in the way of activities and mini-games for multiple players to take part in. I’m not just saying that your friends come over during CJ’s fishing competition. I’m more looking at programmed mini-games, although not everything has to be so complicated.

What I had in mind was something more like hopscotch, or chess. These things wouldn’t be available from the get-go, but rather you’d have to find the item or craft it, or even design and collect pieces for it in order to set it up. Think back on the hopscotch example — what if you could find a placeable floor tile as part of a set. When you finish collecting the set, you can place it down, which in turn unlocks the ability for you, your friends and your villagers to partake in some hopscotch. It’s a simple idea, but it would unlock a world of new possibilities – all the while incorporating the concepts of collecting, buying and building that the game is built on.

Basically this, but as an actual game!

Island crossover events

This one sounds a little confusing at first, but let me explain. You’ve probably heard of Fortnite. You may have also heard of the events hosted in Fortnite’s virtual space – the Astronomical concert and a Star Wars crossover, among others. Well that’s kind of what I’m getting at here. I’m not saying do the exact same thing and host massive events. I’m suggesting something more like the wedding event on Harvey’s Island, but in actual multiplayer. You and a few friends can gather on a separate island where an event is taking place. Imagine the May-Day event, but with more people than just yourself, and more to do.

I mean hey, if Nintendo is willing to host massive events that would be welcome too! Maybe they could do virtual promo tours for their newest developments – like a virtual Nintendo Direct? I’ll be honest I’m not sure how that’ll work out… But that’s for them to figure out I suppose.

Hub-worlds! Err… Hub-islands?

And finally, we have Hub-worlds. These would serve a similar purpose to the island crossovers, but hub-islands would be permanent. These could be used as a safe space to trade and sell with other players around the world. As a secondary function, you could have minigames and other activities take place on the hub-islands too. I mean, you can have anything happen here – minigames, events, commerce hell, even heated debates on the state of the universe and our inevitable heat death or self-destruction.

Or like, you can have a pool party?

That’s all folks

So that’s it really, just a few suggestions I have that Nintendo won’t read regarding what they could do to enhance the Animal Crossing with friends!™️ experience in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. If you’ve got any suggestions, feel free to shoot them over to me on Twitter or at my personal email [REDACTED] and maybe I can include them in the next article on what Nintendo – a multi-billion dollar company – should do to appease us mere mortals.

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Kevin Dewan

Writer for SQUAD, runs after things a lot. Won't BM you to your face. Okay with losing as long as it's funny.
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