Can You Play Animal Crossing on a Nintendo Switch Lite?

Yes, here's how to download the game and start playing with friends

What to Know

  • Go to the eShop > select a profile > Search/Browse > type Animal Crossing > Accept > select Animal Crossing > Proceed to Purchase.
  • The Switch Lite can also play the physical version. Animal Crossing on Switch Lite lets you play local and online multiplayer.

This article explains how to get and play Animal Crossing on a Nintendo Switch Lite.

Animal Crossing on the Nintendo Switch Lite

While there are a handful of Switch games that don’t work with the Switch Lite, Animal Crossing is not on that list. As Animal Crossing is designed to be played in handheld mode, with no special requirements for the dock or joy-cons, it works the same way on a Switch Lite as it does on the original Switch. If you already own an Animal Crossing game card, you can use it with your Switch Lite. 

How to Get Animal Crossing on Your Nintendo Switch Lite

Don’t already have Animal Crossing? No problem. You can either buy a physical copy from your favorite retailer or get it directly from the Nintendo eShop on your Switch Lite. If you have a high-speed internet connection, you could be landing on your island paradise just minutes after purchase.

Here’s how to get Animal Crossing on your Switch Lite:

  1. Open the Nintendo eShop from the home screen.

    Nintendo eShop highlighted on the Nintendo Switch home screen.

    Not on the home screen? Tap the home button located under your right thumbstick.

  2. Select a profile.

    Profile selection for the Nintendo eShop.
  3. Select Search/Browse.

    Search/Browse highlighted in the Nintendo eShop.
  4. Type Animal Crossing with the on-screen keyboard, and select Accept or press the + button.

    Searching for Animal Crossing in the Nintendo eShop.
  5. Select Animal Crossing: New Horizons from the search results.

    Animal Crossing highlighted in Nintendo eShop search results.
  6. Select Proceed to Purchase.

    Proceed to Purchase highlighted in the Nintendo eShop.
  7. Select Credit Card, Nintendo eShop Card, or PayPal to choose your payment method.

    Credit Card highlighted on the Nintendo eShop.
  8. Select Required Amount Only.

    Required Amount Only highlighted in the Nintendo eShop.

    Selecting any other amount will add the balance to your eShop wallet to use later.

  9. Select Use This Credit Card.

    Use This Credit Card button highlighted in the Nintendo eShop.

    If you don’t have a stored card, you’ll have to enter your credit card information.

  10. Select Add Funds and Purchase.

    The Add Funds and Purchase button highlighted in the Nintendo eShop.
  11. You’ve successfully purchased Animal Crossing, and it will start downloading to your Switch Lite.

    Animal Crossing: New Horizon purchased from the Nintendo eShop.

Do You Need a Nintendo Online Subscription For Animal Crossing?

Animal Crossing doesn’t require a subscription to Nintendo Online to play by yourself or to play with friends in the same room, but you can’t play with friends via the internet without a subscription. If you have a Nintendo Online subscription, you can use Dodo Airlines to visit your friends' islands via the internet and invite your friends to your island.

How to Play Animal Crossing On Switch Lite With Friends

Once you have Animal Crossing on your Switch Lite, you can play with friends playing on their Switches and Switch Lites. If you’re in the same room as a friend or family member who is playing Animal Crossing on their Switch, you can use the local multiplayer option. Otherwise, you can connect your Switch Lite to the internet and play online.

When you first start playing Animal Crossing, online play isn’t immediately available. Just play the game, and multiplayer will become available on the second in-game day when Dodo Airlines starts operation.

Here’s how to play Animal Crossing with your friends on Switch Lite:

  1. Launch Animal Crossing on your Switch Lite.

    Animal Crossing selected on the Nintendo Switch home screen.
  2. Check your mini-map in the bottom right corner to locate Dodo Airlines. A pinpointer marks your location, and the plane icon indicates Dodo Airlines.

    The mini map highlighted in Animal Crossing.
  3. Head to Dodo Airlines.

    Dodo Airlines in Animal Crossing.
  4. Approach Orville, the Dodo behind the counter.

    Orville at Dodo Airlines in Animal Crossing.
  5. Talk to Orville, and select I want visitors.

    I want visitors selected in Animal Crossing.
  6. Select via online play to play with friends over the internet or via local play if your friends are in the same room and have copies of the game on their Nintendo Switch consoles.

    Via online play selected in Animal Crossing.
  7. Select Roger.

    Roger! selected in Animal Crossing.
  8. Select an option:

    • All my friends: Allows all of your Nintendo Online friends to join.
    • Only my best friends: Only allows friends you have marked as best friends in Animal Crossing.
    • Invite via Dodo Code: Gives you a unique code to share with friends.
    Invite via Dodo Code selected in Animal Crossing.
  9. If inviting via Dodo Code, select an option:

    • Only my friends: Allows all of your Nintendo Online friends to join if they have the code.
    • Only my best friends: Allows your best friends to join if they have the code.
    • The more the merrier: Anyone can join, even if you don’t know them, but only if you give them the code.
    The more the merrier! selected in Animal Crossing.

    If you chose to open your island to all your friends or best friends in the previous step, skip to step 11.

  10. If inviting via Dodo Code, Orville will give you the code. Write it down, and share it with the people you want to invite.

    A Dodo Code in Animal Crossing.

    A unique Dodo Code generates each time, so make sure to give your friends the current code and not an old one. When you close your island, the current Dodo Code expires and will not work anymore.

  11. Your island is now open to visitors. If your friends open Animal Crossing and visit Dodo Airlines on their island, they’ll be able to come to yours. As long as the gate in Dodo Airlines is open on your island, people can visit you.

    An Animal Crossing island that's ready for visitors.
  12. When you’re done, talk to Orville and select Please close the gate.

    Please close the gate selected in Animal Crossing.

How to Visit Friends in Animal Crossing

If you prefer to visit your friends’ islands, you can do that too. Friends who have been playing for a long time may have fun stuff to show off or may even be able to share valuable items with you.

Here’s how to visit a friend’s island in Animal Crossing from your Switch Lite:

  1. Head to Dodo Airlines on your island, talk to Orville, and select I wanna fly!

    I wanna fly! selected in Animal Crossing.
  2. Select I wanna visit someone.

    I wanna visit someone selected in Animal Crossing.
  3. Select via local play if your friend is in the same room with their Switch or via online play to play with friends over the internet.

    Via online play selected in Animal Crossing.

    If you select via online play, make sure that your Switch Lite is connected to the internet.

  4. Select search for a friend if you want to check for friends with open islands, or search via Dodo Code if your friend gave you a code.

    Search for a friend selected in Animal Crossing.
  5. Orville will search for friends with open islands. Select the friend to join, and you’ll be on your way.

    Animal Crossing searching for friends to visit.

    If Orville doesn’t see your friend, check to make sure they’re online and that their island is open, and try again.

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