By now, it should be common knowledge Animal Crossing: New Horizons only features one island per Nintendo Switch console. Multiple users can each have their own character, but all inhabit the same shared location.
This opens up the possibility of seeing your mutual home flourish when you’re not around (other users can share the load when it comes to daily chores, for example, or leave messages and gifts for you to come back to).
But it also, as players are finding out, results in the situation of the first person who plays – who becomes the game’s primary user – then being relied upon to keep the game progressing.
Decisions such as where to open and place buildings such as the island’s Museum and Nook’s Cranny shop are the work of the primary player, or “island representative”.
“This might not seem like a big deal, until your first resident happens to be your kid, who will grow tired of it after a month or two,” one Eurogamer reader explained to me in an email. “[It seems like the] only workaround is to restart your whole island.”
The Animal Crossing franchise has frequently kept to the formula of having a single player act as a settlement’s primary resident – the mayor, or campsite manager. With the game’s design formed around all players on a single console sharing a singular town, this limitation appears to be Nintendo’s workaround.