How to Play Animal Crossing on Two Switches: A Guide to Sharing a Single Copy of the Game

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has taken the gaming world by storm, and players are having a blast with the new multiplayer feature. But what if you want to share a single copy of the game with a friend and still have your own Island? Is it possible? The answer is yes, and in this guide, we’ll show you how to do it.

To illustrate this method, we have two users, myself and Stinker, and our own switches. Before the launch, Stinker bought the digital copy of the game and deregistered his primary console. Then, I logged into his account on my switch, and my console became his primary console automatically. When Stinker launches the game, he must go through an online authentication before being able to play. But I can now launch any of his games without going through an online authentication, using my own Nintendo user profile.

Great! Now each of us can own our own Island using just one copy of the game. But can we play together? The answer is both a no and a yes. If we attempt to travel to each other’s Island through local play, one of us will be met with an error message. In order to play together, both users will need a Nintendo Switch Online membership. Simply add one another through the friend list on the Nintendo system, and select online play at the airport. Do note that the airport will only be open on your second day of playing.

If you do not have a Switch Online membership, you can redeem a 7-day free trial from Nintendo’s website using 100 Platinum points, which is easily achievable by signing up for the newsletter.

So, let’s summarize the limitations of sharing a single copy of the game. Firstly, the user who deregisters as a secondary console must have an internet connection to play. Secondly, local play is not available, and both users must have an internet connection and a Switch Online membership to play together.

With these limitations in mind, it is understandable if both users want their own copy of the game later down the road. But you may be wondering, will I lose my progress if I was previously sharing my game copy and now have my own copy? The answer is no. We tested this by buying a cartridge version of the game and inserting it into my switch after transferring the primary console back to Stinker’s switch. We can play the game without going through authentication, and I can launch my game as normal while keeping my progress.

This trick is especially useful if a copy of the game is currently delayed due to the pandemic situation, and you have a friend with the digital copy of the game. By sharing the digital copy, you can jump into the game and play to your heart’s desire without losing progress while waiting for your copy to arrive.

We hope this guide has been helpful for you to share a single copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons with your friend and still have your own Island. If you find this guide helpful, please leave a like and support our very new channel. You can also support us by using the affiliate links in the description to purchase Nintendo Switch credits via Amazon for the purchase of a digital game or Switch Online membership at no additional cost to you.