Maybe one of the biggest and most surprising announcements from this week’s September Nintendo Direct was the highly-anticipated reveal of a new Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch, which followed a sly fake-out involving another exciting Smash reveal.
The announcement didn’t let on any details about the new Animal Crossing – except that it’s coming in 2019 – so we gathered some of Tech’s biggest Animal Crossing fans to dive into what we’d like to see the most.
Before you read, watch the new Animal Crossing reveal below:
Better (and Bigger) Events
One of Animal Crossing’s best recurring features is that the game world mirrors real-life holidays. The animals in your town celebrate everything from Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, a Harvest Festival around Thanksgiving, to Christmas Eve, complete with presents, reindeer and personal Santa suit. If you’re like me, then you’ll have a hard time resisting checking in with your virtual neighborhood during real-life holidays – which brings me to the fact that the Animal Crossing versions of these celebrations can be a bit lonely. (Don’t worry about me IRL, please. I’m fine, thank you very much!)
Not to mention that once you’ve experienced a year in the game, there’s obviously less incentive to do it all again. MMOs and online games – including Nintendo’s own Splatoon series – have led the way on how to make all this a bit more interesting by letting your friends in on the fun. It’d be great to have more communal activities tied to these holidays, including challenges to get a certain amount of people together, or being able to experience festivals in your friends’ games that your town or region doesn’t celebrate. Shared multi-day mysteries, like Fortnite’s infamous comet event, could also bring together communities to obsess over what’s next and check in to see if a town- or gameplay-altering event will take place. Just nobody run through my flower beds, please. – Peer Schneider
Deeper Co-op and More Minigames
I’ve always wanted to see deeper co-op and multiplayer features in Animal Crossing, so I think adding minigames would be a fun way to accomplish that. Competitions around things you already do in the game would be a good place to start, like fishing and bug-catching contests. Races or scavenger hunts would also be a fun way to traverse around your town with your friends. – Gian Cruz
Simplify Trading and Visiting Friends
Animal Crossing has always been a social game, but from swapping memory cards on GameCube to the hilarious TV-topper Wii Speak voice chat device to tediously connecting your town train stations together in the handheld versions, the series doesn’t exactly have a rich history of connecting friends with ease. On Switch – especially with a paid online subscription – I’m hoping for far better online integration, simplified trading, and more. Looking for a specific item or fruit? It would be awesome to immediately see which of your online friends owns it or has it up for trade, and then message them to start swapping items immediately in-game. Want to visit a friend’s town and run around and chat together? I’d love to tap a quick chat icon and immediately message them to arrange a quick visit. With the Switch’s multi-capacitive touch screen, messaging should be easier, too. Look, I have apples. You have pears. Let’s work this out. – Brian Altano
Build a House in a Friend’s Town
While it’s always fun to visit a friend in Animal Crossing, multiplayer can be so much more. Instead of just having a few houses for each character you create, why not let your friends move into your town whenever they want – or even set up a campsite similar to the Pocket Camp game on mobile? Friends would not only be able to visit your town whenever they wanted, but set up a mobile home with a customizable RV or tent house that they could tweak and upgrade in addition to the house back in their own town. – Brendan Graeber
More “Out of Town” Experiences
While I appreciate the small town feel of the Animal Crossing games, I’m hoping to see more “out of town experiences,” like Tortimer’s Tropical Island. Once you’ve figured out the basic game systems in an Animal Crossing game and figured out what bugs and fish appear in any given season, things can get a bit repetitive. In addition to being able to visit friends’ towns, I’d love to see more areas open up that change the rules or offer unique activities and experiences. For example, what if a month into playing the game and when meeting certain goals, a landslide revealed an entrance to a hidden cave that lets you explore and find different bugs or add additional space for new houses for nocturnal animal friends? Paying Tom Nook to make your house bigger is an addictive little gameplay hook – but it’d be a big upgrade over the previous games to be able to expand your town in more ways. – Peer Schneider
House Tours and Fashion Shows
Acquiring loot in the form of furniture and clothing items have been my main obsessions in Animal Crossing. Exploring a “Beverly Hills” like neighborhood with huge houses filled with all the best furniture would be really fun. It would give me aspirations to upgrade my home and unlock even more stuff. Additionally, some form of traveling fashion show that teases (or even sells) high-end clothing items and accessories would be amazing. If they included extremely limited items in these traveling shows, it’s over for me. – Gian Cruz
Yards and Other Outdoor Designs
I’d love to be able to have furniture outside, like in Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer – options like a hammock or a swimming pool could add a lot to a front or backyard. In Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, you basically live outside, and you can have neighbors come by and interact with your furniture. Some neighbors come sit on a couch and grab a book, others might take naps on your bed or couch. For me personally, I would love to be able to create a fence (like in HHD) so that my friends (or me) run and destroy my flowers! Obviously the big part of all Animal Crossing games is to design in the home, but being able to personalize the area around the house that Tom Nook gave me would give endless more opportunities! – Jeffrey Vega
Bring Back NES Games… Sort Of
Animal Crossing for Nintendo GameCube had unlockable NES games like The Legend of Zelda, Punch-Out!! and Super Mario Bros. By finding them throughout the game, you could place small Nintendo kiosks in your home and play classic video games from the comfort of your in-game living room. Of course, Nintendo then realized they could sell you those games in real life for real money through the Virtual Console, Classic NES series, and more, and the dream of unlocking retro games in Animal Crossing sequels disappeared. However, I’ve got the perfect idea for a modern workaround in the next Animal Crossing game, assuming you’re a Nintendo Online paid subscriber: let us access our Switch Online NES game library through an in-game kiosk in our Animal Crossing home. It’s a little detail and it probably won’t mean much to most, but decorating our weird, cozy houses in Animal Crossing becomes a pretty intimate and personal thing, and having a tiny working NES in our homes would go a long way. Plus, it will look nice next to the practically guaranteed Mario and Nintendo furniture sets we’ll be playing daily to unlock. – Brian Altano
Switch Screenshot Integration
Sharing screenshots on the Nintendo 3DS was always a cumbersome experience. On the Switch, capturing them and uploading them to social media is a much, much easier process. But what if you could integrate those screenshots in to your Animal Crossing home decor? The game already lets you hang custom patterns and textures as wallpaper or wall art, so this would take the idea one step further. Remember that awesome screenshot you took the first time you found the Master Sword in Breath of the Wild? Hang it on your wall in Animal Crossing. That photo from the iconic moment when you finished Mario Odyssey wearing the swimming trunks outfit? Frame it and invite friends over to check it out. Now of course, user-generated content almost always immediately veers into the lewd and weird, so I expect most people would use this feature to hang up close-up shots of Link’s butt or something, but we shouldn’t let a few bad eggs ruin the whole idea for everybody. – Brian Altano
For more, check out our news on Animal Crossing on Switch’s announcement and read up on all the news, trailers, gameplay revealed during the Nintendo Direct. And don’t forget to share what you’d love to see in the new Animal Crossing in the comments!