Animal Crossing: New Horizons' Switch Online App Support Is Pretty Clever

Scan patterns and text other players via NookLink.

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Nintendo shared a wealth of new details about Animal Crossing: New Horizons during its Animal Crossing Direct broadcast. As we recently learned through the company's website, New Horizons will support the rarely used Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app, and now we know exactly how.

Shortly after the launch of the game (read our Animal Crossing: New Horizons review-in-progress), the game will get its own game-specific service in the NSO app called NookLink. Among other things, you can use this feature to scan QR codes of patterns designed in the series' 3DS games, New Leaf and Happy Home Designer, letting you import those patterns into New Horizons easily.

NookLink also lets you communicate with other players while you're playing. Not only can you voice chat through the app, as you can with a handful of other Switch games, but you are also able to type out text messages. These messages will then be displayed in the game as a speech bubble above your character's head.

Nintendo hasn't specified when the NookLink service will go live, only noting that it will roll out "soon after" New Horizons launches next month. To use the app (as well as New Horizons' other online features), you'll need to have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. Individual memberships cost $4 for one month, $8 for three months, and $20 for a year. Nintendo offers an annual Family Plan that costs $35 and covers up to eight Nintendo Account holders across multiple systems.

That's not all we learned during the Animal Crossing Direct. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is also compatible with Amiibo figures and cards (check out our Animal Crossing merch guide to pick up some Amiibo), you'll be able to terraform your island, and there are tons of quality of life improvements that long-time Animal Crossing fans will be excited to see.

New Horizons launches exclusively for Switch on March 20. There's still time to pre-order the game, and a handful of retailers are offering their own unique pre-order incentives, such as the adorable bell bag bundle available at Best Buy. You can learn more in our Animal Crossing: New Horizons pre-order guide.

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