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How to throw a party in Animal Crossing:New Horizons

As people now venture out after two years of the pandemic, many are still enjoying Animal Crossing:New Horizons by spending time on the game's virtual islands and their anthropomorphic animal residents. And the game's easy-to-use multiplayer mode that lets you host up to seven guests on an island is always a great way to host real-world events like birthday parties and even weddings.

SummaryBefore the partySend invitations by post using the Dodo Airlines postal systemClean the island before guests arriveOpen your island earlyDuring the partyLead a guided tourCommunicate with the in-game chatExchange giftsVisit the museumPlay games togetherTake a group photo

If you want to host your own party, we've put together a guide here. We'll offer some ideas on what you can do with your visitors to inspire you, and walk you through some of the mechanics of hosting the party so it runs smoothly.

Before the party


You could invite your friends to your party via text or Discord, but if you want to have a real authentic Animal Crossing -themed party, consider sending invitations through the Dodo Airlines in-game mail system.

To do this, head to the Dodo Airlines building and look at the stationery rack to the right of Orville's office. The game has many different card designs for you to choose from, and you can even attach a gift before the party. One thing you should know, though:you can't send in-game mail to a player unless you've visited their island or they've visited yours.

How to throw a party in Animal Crossing:New Horizons

Clean the island before the guests arrive

Once you've sent out invites, you may want to finally clean up your island. In particular, you'll want to make sure to put all loose and scattered items into your home's storage, sell those items, or "place" them so that they appear as a physical item on your island. If you simply "drop" an item, i.e. when it simply appears as an icon on the ground, it can be picked up by your visitors. Don't leave things lying around that you wouldn't want others to pick up!

How to throw a party in Animal Crossing:New Horizons

Open your island early

Actually getting everyone to your island may take longer than expected, so I very recommend opening your island a bit earlier.

To open the doors to your island, speak to Orville at Dodo Airlines, and he'll walk you through opening your island for local or online play. (Note that if you want to play online, you'll need a Nintendo Switch Online membership.) It'll also ask if you want to open your island to people on your Nintendo Switch friends list, at your "best friends ". in the NookPhone's "Best Friends List" app, or to anyone who enters the five-digit Dodo code Orville will issue you.

Once your gates are open and visitors begin to arrive, know that each of their arrivals will completely prevent you and anyone already on your island from doing anything for about one minute while the game plays a cutscene. Opening your doors early allows people to stagger their arrivals so everyone isn't stealing and stopping play at the same time.

How to throw a party in Animal Crossing:New Horizons

During the party

Lead a guided tour

Once everyone has arrived, a great way to get the party started is to take your friends on a tour of your island. One of the best parts of Animal Crossing:New Horizons that's how much you can customize your island - show your friends how you made yours!

My island, for example, is built around straight lines and grids, while a friend of mine has already divided hers into three distinctly themed neighborhoods. Share what makes your island unique with your friends.

How to throw a party in Animal Crossing:New Horizons

Communicate with the in-game chat

If you want to communicate with deeper thoughts than the reactions and emotions the villagers give you, press the R button on your controller to open an in-game chat window. You can tap on it by manually selecting keys with the controller or by using the Nintendo Switch touch screen.

If you are a Nintendo Switch Online subscriber, you can use the Nintendo Switch Online mobile app to enter chat messages using your phone's keyboard. The app will also let you communicate via voice chat, but those voicemails will only come through your phone's speakers, not game audio. The first time you use the mobile app, you will also need to configure it from the settings menu accessible on New Horizons title screen.

How to throw a party in Animal Crossing:New Horizons

Exchange gifts

One ​​of my favorite things about New Horizons collects new decorations and new clothes, so I recommend that you give some of your favorite things to your friends. With the sheer volume of collectibles in the game, chances are you'll give your friends something they don't already have. And if you really want to take your gift-giving experience up a notch, buy some wrapping paper from Timmy and Tommy at Nook's Cranny and wrap your presents before handing them out.

How to throw a party in Animal Crossing:New Horizons

Visit the museum

The Blathers Museum layout is the same from island to island, but you may have different fish, bugs, and fossils than your friends. Consider taking a tour of your museum so you can compare what you each found and caught.

How to throw a party in Animal Crossing:New Horizons

Play games together

If you and your friends are looking for something a little more active, you can also play a few games.

One ​​idea is to organize a competition to catch the most fish or insects. Have everyone start at the same spot (I have people who start at the Resident Services plaza), start a timer, then let everyone scatter around the island to catch as many fish or insects as possible before time runs out.

How to throw a party in Animal Crossing:New Horizons

Another idea is to do a scavenger hunt by burying treasures around the island. You can create a concentrated parcel of freebies like I did in the image below or spread the freebies all over the island - or both! And before you bury the items, you might want to wrap them in packing paper to add an extra layer of surprise to the buried treasures.

Note that before you start the scavenger hunt, you'll need to make each of your visitors a best friend through your NookPhone's "Best Friends List" app so they can actually dig on your island. Making someone a "best friend" also allows them to use an axe, so make sure you trust your friends enough not to cut down your trees.

How to throw a party in Animal Crossing:New Horizons

A really fun game is a nifty version of musical chairs called "musical strains", which I first saw played by @samirows on Twitter. To set up the game, plant trees in a circular formation, with one tree less than the number of players, then cut them into stumps. Once the stumps are ready, have one person play an instrument, such as the ocarina, while the other players walk around the stumps. When the musician stops playing, everyone must race to get on a stump and not be the only one left out. Once the dust settles, remove a stump and start again.

You can also just hit yourself in the head with your nets. I turned this into a game by having people congregate in Resident Services Square like an “arena” and then having everyone run around and swing with their nets. If you are hit in the head, you are eliminated. The winner is the last person standing. (Start the match with the sound of a judge's bell to increase the intensity.)

How to throw a party in Animal Crossing:New Horizons

Take a group photo

As the party draws to a close, don't forget to take a group photo to commemorate the event! Choose a gathering place, have someone open the camera app on the NookPhone, and ask everyone to strike a pose with a reaction or pointing to a fish or bug. The camera app also has lots of fun filters and options to zoom and pan the camera that you can use to get creative with your shot.

How to throw a party in Animal Crossing:New Horizons

These are just a few ideas on how to throw a party in Animal Crossing:New Horizons . Hosting parties with my friends on my island has really helped me connect with them even though we haven't seen each other in over a month, and I hope this guide can give you the tools and inspiration to also organize memorable events.

Updated February 24, 2022, 11:40 AM ET: This article was originally published on April 8, 2020 and has been subject to minor updates and captions added.