New Horizons’ from Your Smartphone

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An update to Animal Crossing: New Horizons adds a reaction menu to the Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app—NookLink. It’s easier than ever to access all of your favorite reactions in one place and communicate with your friends and family using NookLink.

What Are Reactions?

Reactions in Animal Crossing: New Horizons are like visual representations of emojis (waving, cheering, fainting, etc.). Your Island Residents will even respond to your reactions with their own, providing a level of interactivity and connectedness to the system.

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You can pull up the reaction menu in-game by pressing “ZR” on your right joy-con controller and then selecting the “A” button on the reaction you want to use.

There are eight empty slots when you first unlock this feature on your Nook Phone, and you can change reactions by registering/swapping them as favorites.

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To unlock reactions in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you must progress through the game. Tom Nook will make the app on your Nook Phone accessible once you’ve unlocked a few other features through his series of requests.

Sometimes, villagers will walk around with thought clouds over their heads. If you talk to them, they may reward you with a new reaction to add to your collection.


With the new update for the NookLink app in the Nintendo Switch Online app, you can view your entire reactions collection (instead of just registered favorites in the game). The app has a keyboard and voice chat, so using emojis from the smartphone app makes sense, especially as you unlock more and more of them.

With the NookLink service, you’re able to use the Nintendo Switch Online app on your iPhone or Android smartphone to perform reactions in Animal Crossing: New Horizons without opening up the in-game reactions menu. This integrates into the existing keyboard chat feature that NookLink offers, with reactions usable right alongside chat.

The app requires a Nintendo Online subscription. After you’ve downloaded the app, you can access NookLink once you have linked your account. To activate a reaction in the game, just tap the reaction icon twice in the NookLink app.

Once you have installed the Nintendo Switch Online app on your smartphone and signed in to your Nintendo Account, you can access the NookLink Reactions feature. You must first update Animal Crossing: New Horizons to version 5.1 or higher.

Related: How to Update Nintendo Switch Games

To use the “Reaction” feature, you will need to install the latest firmware version for Animal Crossing: New Horizons and be connected to the internet while using Nintendo Switch Online on your smartphone. Launch Animal Crossing: New Horizons from the Home screen on your Nintendo Switch and then press the “-” button on your left joy-con to access your settings.


When Tom Nook appears, ask about the NookLink settings. Select the “Upload My Play Data” option. This action will sync your Animal Crossing: New Horizons data to the NookLink app. Once your play data has been uploaded, you can use your reactions, and other features, in the NookLink app.


Now, launch Animal Crossing: New Horizons on your Nintendo Switch and head over to the airport. The airport in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is another feature locked behind the game story, so be sure to finish Tom Nook’s request to unlock the airport. The airport is an essential feature to invite visitors to your island.

Once you’re at the airport, talk to Orville at the desk and select “I Want Visitors” from the menu. Select “Online Play” to connect to the internet and Orville will open the gates for you. Once the gates are open, you can start using the voice-chat and reactions menu from the NookLink app.

Currently, there is no way to use reactions using the Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app without opening your island for visitors first.

Use the Nintendo Switch Online App on Your Smartphone

With your gates open, launch the Nintendo Switch Online app on your smartphone. The app will list a few games at the bottom. Select Animal Crossing: New Horizons and wait for the NookLink menu to appear.

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Select “Reactions” from the menu. You can view your full collection of unlocked in-game reactions.

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To use a reaction using the Nintendo Switch Online app, tap the one you want to use and press “Send.” Alternatively, you can double-tap the reaction you want to use, and it will send immediately. Your character in Animal Crossing: New Horizons will immediately act out the reaction. You can also choose recently used reactions from the top menu for easy access.

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