How to Play Animal Crossing New Horizons on PC

Playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons on a PC involves using an emulator, as the game is exclusively available on the Nintendo Switch. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you play the game on your computer:

Step 1: Understand the Legalities

Before proceeding, it’s important to understand that emulating games can be legally complex. You should own a legitimate copy of the game and the Nintendo Switch. Downloading games you don’t own is illegal and considered piracy.

Step 2: System Requirements

Ensure your PC meets the minimum requirements to run a Nintendo Switch emulator smoothly:

  • OS: Windows 10 or higher, macOS, or Linux
  • CPU: Quad-core processor (Intel i5 or higher recommended)
  • GPU: Dedicated graphics card with OpenGL 4.5 support (NVIDIA GTX 1050 or equivalent)
  • RAM: 8 GB or higher
  • Storage: Sufficient space for emulator and game files

Step 3: Download a Nintendo Switch Emulator

Yuzu and Ryujinx are the two most popular Nintendo Switch emulators. For this guide, we’ll use Yuzu.

  1. Visit the Yuzu Official Website:
    • Go to
  2. Download the Emulator:
    • Click on the “Download” button and choose the appropriate version for your operating system.
  3. Install Yuzu:
    • Follow the installation instructions for your OS.

Step 4: Dump Your Switch Keys and Firmware

To run Yuzu, you need to dump the keys and firmware from your Nintendo Switch.

  1. Homebrew Your Switch:
  2. Dump the Keys and Firmware:
    • Use tools like Lockpick_RCM to dump your keys.
    • Follow guides on the Yuzu website for detailed steps on dumping keys and firmware.

Step 5: Dump Your Game Copy

You need a legal copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

  1. Use Homebrew Tools:
    • Use homebrew tools like nx-dumptool to dump your game cartridge or digital copy to your PC.
  2. Transfer the Dumped Game:
    • Move the dumped game files (usually in .XCI or .NSP format) to your PC.

Step 6: Set Up Yuzu Emulator

  1. Launch Yuzu:
    • Open the Yuzu emulator on your PC.
  2. Add Your Keys and Firmware:
    • Go to File > Open Yuzu Folder.
    • Place your dumped prod.keys and title.keys in the keys folder.
    • Place the firmware files in the firmware folder.
  3. Add Your Game:
    • Go to File > Load File.
    • Navigate to your dumped game file and select it.

Step 7: Configure Yuzu Settings

  1. Optimize Settings:
    • Go to Emulation > Configure to adjust settings for optimal performance.
    • Adjust graphics settings based on your PC’s specifications.
  2. Controller Configuration:
    • Go to Emulation > Configure > Controls to set up your keyboard, mouse, or gamepad.

Step 8: Start the Game

  1. Load Animal Crossing: New Horizons:
    • Select the game from Yuzu’s main interface and click Start.
  2. Enjoy the Game:
    • You can now play Animal Crossing: New Horizons on your PC.

Tips for Optimal Performance

  • Update Yuzu Regularly: Ensure you are using the latest version for the best compatibility and performance.
  • Adjust Graphics Settings: Lower the resolution and disable unnecessary features if you experience lag.
  • Use a Gamepad: For a more authentic experience, consider using a gamepad instead of a keyboard and mouse.


Playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons on a PC using an emulator like Yuzu allows for higher resolutions and potentially smoother gameplay, provided your system can handle it. Always ensure you follow legal guidelines by owning the game and console you are emulating.