More games to play with your friends in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Make your own unofficial fun in the super popular game, with just a group of friends and a dash of ingenuity.

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Andrew Lanxon
4 min read

My happy face.

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch is already proving to be a wonderful way to relax during the difficult coronavirus outbreak, but here's how you can take the social element to the next level with some DIY games to play with friends. Before we get there, I just want to make sure you know about our 10 essential Animal Crossing tips, and how I caught a rare stringfish in the game.

Now, back to games with friends. First up, you'll need to get the game and you'll need to add friends to your Switch account (you do this on the main Switch home screen). They can then come and visit your island in the game by you going to the airport and asking the helpful dodo to open the gates to visitors. The games here can be played with as few as two of you, but are more fun with at least three or more. 

Treasure hunt

This one's straightforward. Hide some desirable items (cool clothes, a fossil or whatever you might have spare) or even bags of bells around your island for your friends to find. To avoid cheating, get them all to wait inside a building until you've planted the treasure. 

Find hidden nooks and crannies around the island to make the items more difficult to find. You can leave the treasure out in the open, or you could bury it by digging a hole with the shovel and chucking it in, leaving only a star-shape in the ground for them to look for. You could even leave a clue up on the community noticeboard if you're feeling generous. 

Watch this: Maximize your time in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Hide and seek

Again, pretty basic. One of you waits inside a building and counts to, let's say, 100. The rest of your party then goes and hides anywhere they like around the island. When the counting is up, the hunter announces they're coming with a message to the group and they systematically hunt down each and every one of you.

The islands aren't so huge as to make it really difficult, and you can change the rules up each round to say "no hiding indoors" or "no moving once you've chosen your spot." 


Notice the little water squirt in the bottom of the screen? That's a manila clam.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Resources race

Give your your friends a list of items they have to gather. You can make it common resources such as "five tree branches, seven clumps of weeds and three manila clams," or you could set more difficult challenges by demanding groups of iron ore or certain types of shells.

You can say the reward is for the first to come back with all the items, or you could say it's whoever has most after a specific time limit. Make sure your friends aren't just handing over items they already have by getting everyone to text or WhatsApp you a picture of their empty pockets before the game begins. 

Read moreHow to bring the Animal Crossing island life to your own home

First to catch a specific fish

"Go get a Crucian Carp" you tell your friends, and off they scurry! The reward goes to the first to come back with the fish you said. You can make it easy by suggesting a common fish like a loach or a sea bass, or be evil and demand one of the rare species like a stringfish. Of course, the latter may mean you're waiting a hell of a long time for the game to end. Use the WhatsApp method above to avoid cheating.


It looks majestic in the museum.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Most fish in 5 minutes

Set a timer, send out your friends on your island and task them with catching the most fish they can in the time limit. 

It's a great test of their fishing skill and their judgement in whether it's worth quickly gathering and crafting bait. Again, you can use the WhatsApp method to avoid anybody trying to cheat by simply handing over fish they already have.

'What's in the hole?'

Dig a hole in the ground and pick a nice item from your inventory. Choose to bury the item and have your friends gather around. Using the in-game messaging feature, each friend has to guess what they think you've buried. Whoever gets it right takes whatever was buried and it becomes their turn to bury next. 

These are just a few ideas I was able to cobble together. Keep in mind that it's worth swapping between islands and sharing the responsibility of hosting with your friends -- gaming on just your island will quickly drain your resources, and you shouldn't have to be the only one giving out prizes, right? 

Have you been playing any DIY games of your own? Let me know in the comments, or by hitting me on Twitter @Batteryhq -- and make sure to check out our tips for playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

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