Open World Animal Crossing Rumors
Source: Nash Weedle

New Open-World Animal Crossing Game Rumoured for 2026

Rumors are flying with information that a new open-world Animal Crossing game might be coming in 2026.

If these rumors are true, it will turn the tried and tested gameplay formula of the previous Animal Crossing titles on their head. Below, we discuss the leaked gameplay elements players may see in an open-world version of Animal Crossing in 2026.

Rumored Open-World Animal Crossing Gameplay Details

Animal Crossing is one of the gaming industry’s biggest and most loved cozy games, so it would certainly be a big change for developers to move towards open-world gameplay. There have been several leaked concepts that suggest that the newest game in the franchise will be in an open-world format. This does, however, seem quite unlikely as Animal Crossing: New Horizons was a smash hit, selling tens of millions of copies worldwide, but hey, change is as good as a holiday.

According to Nash Needle on X, the first of the speculated game concepts is the introduction of a new town setting not seen so far. This comes in the form of large cities with skyscrapers, leaving a lot to the imagination. Will players still be farming out of town on their islands or rather from their balconies in their city apartments? I know where I would be able to grow more turnips. Perhaps you’ll be able to have a nice mix between the two, where you can farm throughout the day and then head into the city to sell your crops or enjoy some new and fun city activities.

Animal Crossing New Horizons
Animal Crossing: New Horizons Key Art

This cityscape setting speculation also suggests players will have the ability to move around by driving vehicles, which would be a great addition to an open-world Animal Crossing game, depending on the amount of freedom you’re afforded with travel. There is also mention of a larger focus on collaborative multiplayer, which, combined with the vehicles above, could be a fun way to get around with friends.

The last and arguably most welcomed change on the list would be the inclusion of adventure missions, puzzles, and mini-games. It seems like the perfect addition to the already amazing Animal Crossing format. We personally would love to see this come to fruition.

Open-World Animal Crossing or Go-Go Town?

Go-Go Town is feeling very familiar after thinking more about these rumored changes coming to Animal Crossing in 2026. For those unaware, these new gameplay elements appear similar to the format Australian-based developers Prideful Sloth have put together with their incredibly fun-looking game Go-Go Town, to be released in 2024.

Go-Go Town In Game Screenshot
Go-Go Town In-Game Screenshot

Go-Go Town tasks you with breathing life back into a rundown town by rebuilding shops, farming for resources, managing staff, and deliveries around town with the goal of attracting tourists. To do this, you’ll be able to jump in your car, tricycle, or even your go-cart to get around your city, engage in four-player local or remote split-screen multiplayer, and tackle tricky timed challenges as you rebuild your city.

Anyone thinking about how the proposed and rumored changes would affect Animal Crossing’s gameplay, we strongly suggest checking out Go-Go Town rather than waiting for more details to come to light in the years leading up to 2026. For now, though, that’s all the information we have on the rumored Open-World Animal Crossing.