If You Want A Second Island In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, You’ll Need To Buy A Second Switch

If You Want A Second Island In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, You’ll Need To Buy A Second Switch
Credit: Animal Crossing via Nintendo

Well, this is a bummer and a half. Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the upcoming Switch installment of the popular series, will only support one island per console. Nintendo technically announced this back at E3 2019, but the way it was worded left gamers unsure of whether or not the single-island limit was console or account-based.

Sadly, now we know that the limit is console-based. This is a major disappointment. The Animal Crossing entries for the Nintendo Gamecube and Nintendo 3DS were also limited to a single island, but given that those consoles didn’t support multiple profiles, the limitation made sense.

This is 2020 and, like every other major console, the Nintendo Switch allows for multiple user profiles. This gave gamers hope that New Horizons would break the trend (that seemingly only existed due to technical limitations) and that each separate player could have their own island. That’s not the case, as per the official word.

“Please note: only one island can exist per Nintendo Switch console, irrespective of the number of user accounts registered to or copies of the game used on one console. One Nintendo Switch and one copy of the game is required for each unique island.”

If you share a Nintendo Switch with someone else, which is a common situation if you live with family or roommates, everybody will have to play on the same island. Each player can make their own characters, but they have to share the space. You think Tom Nook makes life hard? Wait until you’re carving out territories and going to war over stolen land. If you’re thinking that multiple SD cards could provide a loophole, think again. The save data is stored internally on the console itself.

This seems like a really weird limitation in this modern age and everyone would probably appreciate an explanation from Nintendo. If the Switch can handle games like The Witcher 3, it’s hard to imagine that console limitations have anything to do with it. Sure, it will be nice for each player to have their own house, but could you imagine how fun it would be if everyone had their own island?

It’s ridiculous to even think it, but if you share a Switch with someone else and you want your own island in New Horizons, you’ll have to buy your very Switch console. That’s a hefty price to pay for something that seems like it shouldn’t cost anything extra at all.