Skip to Content

Can You Play Animal Crossing Offline? (Without Internet/Wifi?)

*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


A popular game on the Nintendo Switch is Animal Crossing. Players can collect money to pay for their human avatar’s home which is in a village of human-like animals.

Whether you are playing a relaxing game of Animal Crossing when the power goes out, or you are taking your Switch with you on a car ride somewhere, you may be wondering, can play the game without any Internet or Wifi access. 

Animal Crossing is able to be played without the internet or Wifi, but when you do play offline, there are some limits. The most ideal version of the game is played using the internet, but you can still play it perfectly fine without any Wifi.

When you don’t play Animal Crossing online you cannot visit your friend’s islands and they will not be able to visit yours either. So although playing Animal Crossing without the internet is possible you do lose this fun functionality.

A fun part of Animal Crossing is visiting your friend’s islands and them visiting yours so although playing Animal Crossing without the internet is fine temporarily I would not recommend this game to you if you don’t plan on ever getting online with your Switch.

In the Animal Crossing game, you play a human who lives in a village of anthropomorphic animals. In this virtual world, every day you complete tasks while collecting material, selling them, and gaining money to pay off your home. 

You then use these materials and money to build out your island. You can then visit your friend’s islands (if you are online) and they can come and visit you as well (again if you are connected to the internet).

So, although you do NOT need to have the internet to play Animal Crossing you will miss out on some of the fun of the game (like online multiplayer) if you never get online.

Want to take your Nintendo Switch to the next level? Then check out this Nintendo Switch accessory bundle by clicking here.

PowerA Pokemon Joy-Con Comfort Grip for Nintendo Switch - Pikachu, Works with Nintendo Switch Lite - Nintendo Switch

Do you love your Switch but want to stand out from everyone else with the same model? Then look no further than this custom Joy-Con grip.

This Joy-Con grip will make your Switch console look amazing and you can even choose the one that fits your style the best!

Can You Play Animal Crossing Offline With Friends?

We know that you can run around and enjoy the single-player experience when playing Animal Crossing, but there are limits to what you can do. Is one of those limits not being able to play offline with friends?

You cannot play Animal Crossing offline with friends. To visit a friend’s island, you need to have internet access. You also need to be connected to the internet to trade items or for them to visit your island.

Playing friends is a fun aspect of Animal Crossing: New Horizons so not being able to do that without the internet is certainly a downside. However, if you want to take your Switch and play Animal Crossing while you are on a plane or road trip you can still do that.

Then once you get back online at your destination you can play the game as you normally would.

What Can’t You Do On Animal Crossing While Offline?

So, you can play Animal Crossing without any internet or Wifi but there are some things that won’t work. Of course, it would be nice to have all of the functionalities of the game even when you are offline but that is not how this game works.

So, what exactly are all of the things that will not work if you are not connected to the internet when playing Animal Crossing? 

  • First of all, you won’t be able to connect to other players online without an Internet connection. 
  • Secondly, you won’t be able to download any new custom designs. 
  • Thirdly, you also won’t be able to download any game updates. 
  • Fourthly, you won’t be able to back up your Animal Crossing island.
  • Fifthly, you cannot visit a friend’s island.
  • Lastly, you cannot make trades unless you have access to the internet. 

Even though it is playable without any internet connection, playing Animal Crossing with the Internet is better. You also don’t want to miss out on any updates or bug fixes of the game. 

You should also know that some copies of Animal Crossing require Internet access and if you’ve gotten your copy of Animal Crossing from Nintendo eShop, you may have to be conceded to the internet for it to be activated for the first time. 

Why Do I Need Wifi To Play Animal Crossing?

Although you don’t have to have Wifi to play Animal Crossing you do have to have it to access all of the features of the game. But why exactly do you need Wifi to access those features and parts of the game?

You need Wifi to access everything on Animal Crossing because the internet is what allows you to interact with other players in the game in real-time. When both you and a friend are playing the game you can interact in real time just like you would in real life.

So, although you are not required to have Wifi to play Animal Crossing it is a good idea to have it so you can play with all of the features and interact with all of your friends. As mentioned above you will miss out on quite a few aspects of the game when you aren’t connected to the internet.

Without it, you will just run around the village alone and not be able to trade, visit other islands, etc. So, while you can definitely play Animal Crossing without the Internet, it is better to play with Wifi.

Can You Play Animal Crossing With Friends?

Playing Switch games solo can be entertaining, but when you want some friendly competition, you may want to invite others to play along with you. The last thing you want to do is to purchase a game that you cannot play with your friends.

So, can you play Animal Crossing with friends?

You can play Animal Crossing with friends. You can add friends in Animal Crossing with the Nintendo Switch friends lists, and then visit their islands and play with them.

Playing Animal Crossing alone can be fun as you go about gathering material and money and doing daily tasks around the village. But what makes it even better is when you can go and visit your friend’s island in the game. 

For playing Animal Crossing with friends, you need to have an Internet or Wifi connection. This makes it possible to visit their island. Without any Internet access, you can only play as a single player.

Friends can also visit you on your island and you can all have fun running around the village together. So, yes, you can play Animal Crossing with friends.

Final Thoughts

To have the best experience on all of your Nintendo Switch games (including Animal Crossing) you will want to have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription and have access to the internet. The online play opens up new parts to every Switch game that playing a single-player game just doesn’t have.

And although you can play Animal Crossing without the Internet or Wifi, you won’t be getting the most out of the game since you won’t be able to go to the airport and fly on Dodo airlines to access the wild world around your island.

You can still go around decorating your island, play local co-op, etc. with an offline game but you will miss out on a lot of the fun that you can have with online mode.

Having an Internet connection and a Nintendo online subscription allows access to important and fun features in the game. It allows you to play with friends by visiting their islands and having visitors come to your island. It also allows you to trade items in the game which is important to get the items you need. 

So although you can play Animal Crossing offline on your Nintendo Switch console (or Nintendo Switch Lite) you won’t be able to enjoy the game to the fullest extent possible without getting online with it the majority of the time.

If you are wanting to get this game and start playing it, you can purchase the game by clicking here.