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NookLink app lets Animal Crossing: New Horizons players pull custom designs from previous games

Start charging your 3DS

Players draw a Tom Nook print on the 3DS to scan to Animal Crossing: New Horizons Image: Nintendo
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

The Animal Crossing franchise is getting a new feature spanning the upcoming Animal Crossing: New Horizons and two previous 3DS games. It’s called NookLink, and it begins shortly after New Horizons’ launch.

With NookLink, players may pull custom designs from Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, and Animal Cross: New Leaf into New Horizons, using the Nintendo Switch Online mobile app. Players can use their smartphone’s camera to scan QR codes from the two earlier games, bringing the custom designs into New Horizons.

For example, the Direct showed a player drawing a Tom Nook pattern on their Nintendo 3DS, using NookLink to scan the QR code, and putting the pattern on a t-shirt for New Horizons. Players can also use NookLink as an in-game chat service, either voice or text, for Animal Crossings: New Horizons.

Two entries in the NookLink menu went unmentioned during the direct: Passport and Best Friend. We’re currently unsure what they do.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons, launching March 20 on Nintendo Switch, sends players on an island vacation as part of the Nook Inc. Deserted Island Getaway Package. On their island, players will establish a new life, craft and build custom items, and interact with newcomers to the island destination. The Nintendo Switch sequel will add brand-new villager customization options and support for up to eight players in local and online multiplayer. Features from previous games, like a museum that can be filled with flora, fossils, and other items, will return in New Horizons.

Nintendo will release Animal Crossing: New Horizons for Switch on March 20. Nintendo will also release a special Animal Crossing-themed edition of the Nintendo Switch on March 13. It’s available for pre-order now.

Update (March 20): The NookLink app is now live within Nintendo Switch Online.

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