Cheapest Animal Crossing: New Horizons – from £43 delivered, £39 downloaded via cashback

Animal Crossing: New Horizons for the Nintendo Switch console is out this Friday (20 March), and it's a game I and many others have been waiting for. Pre-ordering new games is never cheap, but if you want it upon release I've looked at the cheapest options left to get the most for your money, whether you want it digitally delivered to your Switch, or physically to your door.

If you’ve never played Animal Crossing, it’s a Nintendo video game and it’s lovely (not just my opinion – ask anyone who’s played). You play as a human and you’re Mayor of a village of cute and friendly animals. You collect things like shells, fruit and fish, and trade them or sell them to purchase fun items, like, err, a mortgage, on your own in-game house built by a racoon called Tom Nook. Or giant lamps shaped like ice cream, whatever takes your fancy!

There have been seven games in the series before this one, so if you’ve an older Nintendo console you may want to try one of the previous versions (you can pick them up cheap second-hand), to see if it’s your kind of game before you invest. There’s also a free Animal Crossing game for mobile – for more on this, plus others, see MSE Sarah's 31 free iPhone/Android games blog. Now for where’s selling the latest game cheapest…

Where’s cheapest to get it delivered?

Most places that sell Animal Crossing: New Horizons are selling it at very similar prices, so the only real difference is some are offering exclusive freebies, and there are some where you can claim a small amount of cashback (though it’s currently cheaper overall to buy from the retailers that aren’t offering cashback).

Here’s a summary of what I found when I last checked on Tuesday 17 March (including the cashback rates from the two biggest third-party sites Quidco and Topcashback):

Shop Price Cashback and/or freebie? Price after cashback
Simplygames £42.85 No cashback, Isabelle keyring 🟢 £42.85
ShopTo* £42.85 No cashback, no freebie 🟡 £42.85
Amazon* £44.99 2% via Topcashback* or Quidco, no freebie 🟠 £44.09
Argos* £44.99 No cashback, no freebie 🟠 £44.99
Currys* £44.99 1% via Topcashback* or Quidco, no freebie 🟠 £44.54
Game* £49.99 2% via Topcashback* or Quidco, no freebie 🔴 £48.99

Even if you factor in cashback - which is never guaranteed (see our Cashback Sites guide) - the cheapest place I found to pre-order a physical copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons this close to release is Simplygames. You'll also get the bonus of a cute, free keyring, a nice extra.

However, if you've vouchers or loyalty points to use up with one of other retailers, then of course it’s probably worth using them to bring the price down.

Where’s cheapest for download only?

Downloading games is handy if you can’t leave the house, but it's worth remembering if you buy direct from the e-shop on your Switch console you're buying straight from Nintendo – usually paying top whack for each game, especially for pre-orders.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is currently available to pre-order from Nintendo for £49.99. When you pre-order, the game is downloaded to your Switch, but won’t be playable until midnight on the date of release, in this case, Friday 20 March.

There are also websites selling download codes for Nintendo Switch games for less.* is currently selling game keys (codes to download games) cheaper than other retailers – and a code for Animal Crossing: New Horizons is £40.99. If you go via Topcashback*, you could get it for £38.92.

CDKeys says codes for pre-ordered games will be emailed one day before release, and the site has a Trustpilot score of 4.4 out of 5, and a Google rating of 97% positive. Though I've personally never used it before.

The next cheapest I found is £39.85 from ShopTo*, useful if you don't want to use cashback.

Before you download, consider the pros and cons…

The big advantage of downloading is you get the game immediately, and you don't need to leave your house (handy if you’re currently self-isolating). However, as with any digital game, there’s no physical cartridge you can sell on or lend to anyone else as it's locked to your Nintendo account and your Switch.

Will you be buying the new Animal Crossing game? What's the best price on a pre-order you've seen? Let me know in the comments below, or on Twitter.