How to Add Best-Friends and Invite Friends Online – Animal Crossing: New Horizons Wiki Guide

You cannot add Best Friends until you’ve played with them at least once via online play (you must also be on your Nintendo Switch friends list). So we’ll start with how to play online. There’s no way to send a direct invite to your Nintendo Switch friends. Instead you’re “opening the gates” to your island. They don’t get a notification about this but you do have some in-game messaging options (we’ll discuss that in a bit).

Inviting friends online:

  1. Go to Dodo Airlines (unlocked on full day 2)
  2. Select “I want visitors.”
  3. Select via online play (if they’re in the same room as you, with their own Switches and own copies of ACNH you could select local).
  4. After connecting to the internet you can open your island to “All my friends!” “Only my Best Friends!”or “Invite via Dodo Code.” See the chart below for details.
  5. When you want people off your island just go back to Dodo Airlines and ask Orville to “close the gate.”

Visiting a friend’s island:

  1. Go to Dodo Airlines (unlocked on full day 2)
  2. Select “I wanna fly!”
  3. Select “I wanna visit someone.”
  4. Select via online play (if they’re in the same room as you, with their own Switches and own copies of ACNH you could select local).
  5. After connecting to the internet you can “search for a friend” or “Search via Dodo code.” See chart below for details.
  6. When you’re ready to leave your friend’s island just go to Dodo Airlines and head home. Tip: Your Map app on your NookPhone shows your friend’s island layout in case you get lose.
Dodo Airlines Online Invites and Visits to Friends’ Islands
I want visitors (inviting others)
All my friends All your Nintendo Switch friends can fly to your island
Only my Best Friends! Only your Best Friends can fly to your island.
Invite via Dodo Code Only my friends Only your friends who enter the Dodo Code can visit your island.
Only my Best Friends Only your Best Friends who enter the Dodo Code can visit your island.
The more the merrier! Anyone with the Dodo Code can visit your island. This is the only way to “invite” people you are not Nintendo Switch friends with.
I wanna fly (visiting others)
Search for friend Orville will look for islands (to see if any of you Switch friends opened the gates). If he finds several islands he asks you to select the one you want to go to. You’ll even be able to see how many people are on the island already!
Search via Dodo Code Enter the Dodo Code you have. Maybe a friend sent you their code directly or maybe someone you follow posted theirs on social media.
The only way to get the Best-Friends List App, which allows you to add people as Best Friends is to play Online.

When you go to Dodo Airlines and ask to visit someone “far-away, Online” or ask for visitors “far-away, Online.” Orville will add the Best-Friends List App and the Chat Log app to your phone.

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To protect your island during Online Play certain tools, such as axes and shovels, are forbidden unless you’re on a Best Friend’s island.

  1. Become friends on the Nintendo Switch.
  2. Play together online once. (The Airport unlocks on day 2. Remember this does not count the “tutorial day.”)
  3. Use the Best-Friends List app to send them a Best-Friend request.
  4. They must accept you in order for you to become Best Friends.
  5. You can also manage/remove best friends from this app. Plus message them all at once.

Playing with Friends vs Playing with Best Friends[edit]

Here’s how to play with friends and how the best-friends list can change things. Everything you get on another island will go into your pockets, allowing you to take it back to your island later!

Only Best Friends will have access to their Axe and Shovel.

Gameplay Options All Friends Best Friends
Gathering resources
Pick Fruit and Flowers yes yes
Catch Bugs and Fish yes yes
Pick up resources already on the ground yes yes
Strike stones (for clay, iron, money etc) no yes
Strike Trees for Wood no yes
Dig for Fossils, clams, etc no yes
Plant Flowers yes yes
Shopping and Community Building
Shop and Sell yes yes
Use anything inside Resident Services no no
Talk to animal residents yes yes
Enter homes yes yes

Other limitations: While visitors are on the island no one can decorate or terraform. No one can place items, only drop items.

How to Message Friends[edit]

Here are the ACNH messaging features. Orville will give you both the Best Friends App and the Chat Log app when you ask to play Online.

Both of these apps are integrated with the real life Nintendo Switch app > Animal Crossing New Horizons. So if you would rather type messages on your phone be sure to see the real-life app details on our How to Use NookLink page. This app also lets you import old designs from New Leaf and Happy Home Designer. This is only possible with this app.

Whether you have island visitors or are visiting an island yourself, you can use the Chat Log app to send messages to everyone as long as you’re on the island together. It’s basically a giant group text but your message also appears as a speech bubble above your head.

When you’re by yourself you can still send messages but ONLY to your Best Friends using the Best Friends App. You can ONLY send these messages when the recipient is online. Be sure to enable the communication feature by opening the Best Friends List app and hitting the (-).

How to Send Mail to Friends[edit]

Finally, the other form of communication in ACNH is good ol’ fashion mail! Just head to Dodo Airlines and interact with the card stand on the right of Orville. From here you can send a letter to another resident (human or animal!), your future self, or any friend! They’ll get the letter shortly after.


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