No Nintendo Switch? Here’s how to play Animal Crossing on your phone for free

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is the free mobile game app to get your Tom Nook fix

Kasey Furutani
Written by
Kasey Furutani
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
Photo: Nintendo

The thing we enjoy most while staying home during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic is escaping into another world. Whether it’s binge-watching Netflix, travelling the world via virtual tours or playing video games, we’re all doing our best to stay sane and optimistic. 

The ever-popular Animal Crossing has blown up over the past couple of months and everyone with a Nintendo Switch is busy building their islands and making new friends in New Horizons. Since there’s no real end point to the game, Animal Crossing serves as a wholesome substitute for real life, the perfect escape from these stressful times. 

Unfortunately, you do need a Nintendo Switch to play New Horizons. However, if you’re interested in dipping your toes into the Animal Crossing world before taking the plunge and purchasing a Switch, try playing the mini-version of the game on your phone. 

The free official app Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a stakes-free introduction to the world of Tom Nook and company. In Pocket Camp, you set up your own campsite with bells and leaf tickets earned from running errands for other Animal campers. Of course, these errands are delightful and fun – you’ll be gardening, picking fruit and fishing for giant tuna. 

The more bells and tickets earned, the more items you can buy for your character and campsite, from the necessities to extravagant additions such as cherry blossom forests and kimono. Much like in New Horizons, there’s no real end point or goal in the game, you’re just living your daily life: inviting animal friends to your campsite, attending seasonal events such as cherry blossom harvesting, and designing your own clothing and site layout. It’s good, wholesome fun without the commitment of buying a Switch. 

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is available on iOS and Android. If you find yourself hooked, consider yourself lucky – Nintendo Switch has resumed its domestic shipments. 

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