Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the newest and most successful entry in the mainline Animal Crossing series. The game has retained the basic premise of the main character sailing to a deserted island after purchasing a holiday package from a raccoon called Tom Nook. The game has plenty of customization and design features. There’s also plenty of activities to do on and off the island. Since its release in March 2020, Animal Crossing: New Horizons has garnered highly positive reviews and is well-loved by millions of players.
What Is Animal Crossing?
The storyline of Animal Crossing follows a human character who is sent to an island. The island is relatively uninhabited except for a few anthropomorphic animals. At the onset, the main character is provided a loan for a house, which he/she needs to pay back with no interest. To pay off the loan and upgrade to a bigger house, the character must take on odd jobs. And when we say jobs, it usually means fishing, bug catching, and fossil hunting.
Compensation is in the form of bells. These can be exchanged for new items that may be used to customize his/her dwelling. Customization also extends to certain locations on the island as the game progresses. Over time, the character gets to meet other villagers with their own identities. They can engage other characters in conversation, and send and receive letters from them. They can also barter with the villagers or even play hide and seek.
Unlike other video games, Animal Crossing makes for a very casual and relaxed gameplay. There is no real, pressing objective in the game. Your time is spent lying on the beach, growing plants, and fishing. Other activities include crafting items and decorating your house. There are also plenty of opportunities to converse with your neighbors and help them out with tasks. Moreover, the game doesn’t have violence or any dark themes that most video games have. For these reasons, Animal Crossing is ideal for all ages and all genders alike.
How Did Animal Crossing: New Horizons Come About?
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the newest entry in the mainline Animal Crossing series. It was released almost eight years after the third installment. The release of New Horizons was originally set mid-year of 2019. But, Nintendo announced that they needed to postpone the release date until March 20, 2020 to make the game as excellent as possible. They also wanted to avoid overworking the employees of Nintendo.
The release date of Animal Crossing: New Horizons turned out to be an advantage for Nintendo. The game was considered to have the biggest launch weekend of any Nintendo Switch game. In less than a month after its release, New Horizons had garnered up to 5 million digital sales. It has surpassed the sales of the three previous releases combined.
How Does Animal Crossing: New Horizons Work?
At the beginning of the game, the player is asked to choose between four islands. The game player can also customize his/her appearance at the start of the game. The player can also furnish, decorate, and later expand his home. They can also freely explore the island and customize it in any way they want. And they don’t have to work on it alone. Up to eight of your family and friends can join you on the island. They can help you customize it and create your own unique vision. The online multiplayer feature allows family members to play together through couch co-op. Just a reminder about online multiplayer though — you’ll need to have a steady internet speed for smooth online gaming.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons has seen a significant improvement in terms of customization and design. The colors, textures, and amount of detail have seen a significant improvement. The entire game is in HD animation. It uses vibrant colors and excellent lighting schemes. The villagers also have more diverse clothing depending on the season. Special visitors may come to your island on any given day. The environment has also been modified to mimic that of real life. Autumn leaves float through the air and sakura blossoms float in the river. Raindrops create ripples on the water and flowers can grow in stages. These are just some of the small details that reflect just how much work was put into this game.
Where Can You Play Animal Crossing: New Horizons?
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is exclusive to the Nintendo Switch gaming console. The console happens to be the most updated version that can manage the advanced features of the game. Users will also need a Nintendo Switch Online membership to play online.
Meanwhile, earlier versions of Animal Crossing can be played on other Nintendo consoles. This includes the Nintendo 64, GameCube, Nintendo DS, Wii, and Nintendo 3DS. If the assignment of games and consoles confuses you, you can read this comprehensive guide on your Nintendo Switch. This should give you information about the history and specs of the Nintendo Switch. It also includes a list of exciting games created by Nintendo for your gaming pleasure.
Connecting online also entitles you to gain rewards points. This falls under the My Nintendo rewards program. This is practically a reward system for those who patronize the products of Nintendo. Learn more about Nintendo points and rewards through this article.
What are Alternatives to Animal Crossing: New Horizons?
There is also a mobile version of Animal Crossing called Pocket Camp. This is the only version of the game that can be played on Android and iOS. If you don’t have a Nintendo controller, this is a great alternative to Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Pocket Camp works on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad devices running on IOS 9.0 and later. It also works on Android OS 4.2 or later.
Some users have claimed that Animal Crossing: New Horizons can be played on PC. However, this is only possible with the help of emulator software. We don’t recommend this path as it would be much harder to mobilize your character using a keypad. We hate to say this, but there’s really no direct way to play Animal Crossing on your PC. But if single-player PC games happen to be what you want, there are plenty of options available.
Fans of the community simulation genre might also want to check out the Stardew Valley. It’s a PS4 multiplayer game with a parallel concept to Animal Crossing. The difference is that you’re re-building a rundown farm instead of building an island from the ground up. Some players have commented that it’s not as advanced as Animal Crossing, but you can find that out for yourself.
20 Animal Crossing: New Horizons Tips and Tricks for Optimized Gameplay
There are a few tricks you can use to improve your life on the island. This might be a helpful read for current players and prospective players alike. These tips include those that professional Animal Crossing gamers swear by. Mastering these tricks will help make the gameplay smoother and more rewarding. Here are some examples:
1. How to Catch Tarantulas
Catching tarantulas is a dangerous activity that can get you coins pretty fast. However, tarantulas are very aggressive creatures that tend to run after you. They don’t actually hurt you, but being chased by one can be an uncomfortable experience. But if you happen to see a tarantula before it starts chasing you, you can do the following:
- Equip your net.
- Slowly approach the tarantula by holding down the A button while all of its legs are on the ground.
- Immediately stop if the tarantula rises on its back legs.
- When it puts all legs back on the ground, continue to slowly approach by holding down A.
- Repeat until you get close enough.
- When it’s within reach, quickly tap the A button to swing your net.
2. How to Get Villagers to Leave Your Island
At this point, you probably have favorite villagers, and on the other side of the spectrum, villagers you just don’t like. Some players have tried to make the villagers they don’t like move out of the island using tactics of annoyance. This includes smacking them with nets or running into them on purpose. However, no actual proof exists that these tactics will work.
One of the best ways to get the point across is to ignore them. Don’t talk to them, don’t fulfill any tasks for them, or don’t even ask them what they’re building. Just pretend they don’t even exist. You also need to avoid accidentally interacting with them. To do this, you could try enforcing distancing by creating a fence around their home.
However, if you see them wandering around with a thought bubble, or if they run up to you, you might want to engage them. They might be starting to develop a dilemma, in which case you can encourage them to leave.
3. How to Make Fish Bait
If you want to make your fishing adventures in Animal Crossings: New Horizons more efficient, you’ll have to learn how to use fish bait. Before you can craft your fish bait, you will need to get some clams from the beach. Here’s how:
- Head to the local beach and slowly walk along the shoreline. Keep your eyes on the sand and you should periodically see water spray out from beneath the surface. A tiny, circular watermark will be left behind, which marks the Manila clam.
- Dig up the clam with a shovel. Head to the nearest workbench and select “Let’s Craft!” You’ll see that Fish Bait is now available as a craftable item. Select “Craft it!” for each clam that you got.
- After crafting the fish bait, head to the nearest fishing spot. Pull out your inventory and select “Fish Bait.” Scatter the bait on the water.
4. How to Catch Fish
Fishing is one of the most relaxing activities on Animal Crossing. But before you can catch a fish, you will need to craft your won fishing rod. It’s also important to note that certain fish are only available in certain locations. More exotic fish are also available only during specific months. You can research the long list of species that are available in different areas. But the general rule of fishing is that you’ll need to be patient and have the proper timing to catch a fish. Here’s how:
- Open your inventory and select the fishing rod.
- Select the option to hold on to it.
- With fishing rod in hand, head over to a watery area and look for the shadow of a fish. You can also use fishing bait if there is no fish near you.
- Cast a line in front of the fish by pressing the A button. Wait for the fish to start nibbling. The line has to be in front of the fish or it won’t notice it.
- If the fish doesn’t notice, you can reel back by pressing A again. You can also cast the rod to a different spot.
- When you feel your Joy-cons give a distinct rumble, that means that the fish has pulled the bait. Press A to reel it in.
5. How to Make KK Slider Sing Your Songs
KK Slider is a musician and celebrity who can play songs for your town every Saturday night. There’s a lot of groundwork involved before you can invite KK Slider to your island. You need to pay off the Deserted Island Getaway Package, build Nook’s Cranny, and also build a bridge. Tom Nook will also give you the task of building and furnishing three houses for incoming villagers. There’s also the Resident Services building that needs your help to turn into an actual building. And lastly, you need to build a camping ground.
If you can still manage after all that, you’ll still need to garner a 3-Star rating on your island. This is done by making sure that the island is presentable. This is done by taking out weeds and planting flowers all over the island. You could also add fences and other presentable furniture around the island. You will also need to talk to Isabelle a few times to check on your island status. Expect KK Slider to appear one day after your island reaches 3-Star status.
KK Slider will sing random songs before 6 PM. But after that, a player can request that he play a specific song, a song to fit a certain mood, or a song at random. To get him to play a specific song, select “Gimme that one song” from the options when he asks you what to play. Type in the name of the song. KK Slider will sing it and even give you a copy for your playlist. Note: This feature is limited to once per day.
6. How to Visit Your Friends’ Islands
Visiting a friend’s house is a new feature made possible through Animal Crossing: New Horizons. However, this would require the purchase of the Nintendo Online Service. It would also require actions from both the person visiting and the person that owns the island. Also, you need to have a subscription to Nintendo Online to do this. Start visiting friends’ islands with the following steps:
- Visit the Dodo Airport on your island. You will go through a series of prompts. This should explain safety and expected behavior while playing online.
- As a visitor, you need to select “To visit a friend” when asked about your purpose. The party hosting the visit should then select “I want visitors” on their end. After your friend does this, select “Find a friend’s island.” You can then depart and after a short loading period, will find yourself on the island of your friend.
- When on the island, you need to ask permission from your friend to take anything. With permission, you can grab resources, trade items, and interact with villagers. Other than having to ask for permission, you can act normally as you would your own island.
7. How to Create Hybrid Flowers
Like fruits, you’ll also have a certain number of flowers native to your island. However, you have the option to cross-breed your blooms. This is to produce unique color variations. If you want more variety in your flowers, you can get new varieties from your friends’ islands. After that, you need to plant them and hope they result in beautiful cross-breeds.
Creating hybrid flowers isn’t straightforward though. There’s no assurance that an actual hybrid will appear. There’s also no telling if you will get the color combination you were hoping for. This is interesting because the game takes into account real-life flower genetics. This means that for every pair of colors, you have a 50/50 chance of getting a dominant and recessive expression. But although you can’t control the outcome, you can increase your chances of getting a hybrid with the following steps:
- Plant your flowers on a checkerboard pattern. Place the flowers you want to breed close to each other but with enough space. This gives them space to cross-pollinate and do some flower breeding. You can then expect the hybrid flowers to grow in between.
- Make sure that your flowers are well-hydrated, Water them each day or let the rain do the job. Just make sure to check that your flowers have been watered by their sparkle.
8. How to Get Cherry Blossom Petals
Cherry blossom petals usually appear during the beginning of April. This is considered the beginning of the cherry blossom season for the island. Catching the petals is not an easy task. But if you do manage to catch them, the petals are quite useful for DIY recipes for April. Get cherry blossom petals into your inventory with these steps:
- Roam around the island and keep an eye out for the pink petals floating through the air.
- Take out your net. Press A to walk up to the petals very slowly. Be careful not to run through them or turn around as this can cause them to vanish. Mind your depth of field as the petals might be further away than they look.
- Catch them with your net.
9. How to Customize Furniture
The ability to design your own living space is one of the best features of Animal Crossing. Granted, you can purchase new furniture from Residence Services or Nook’s Cranny at any time. Unlocking this ability allows you to take anything to a crafting station to customize it. But like most features on Animal Crossing, there are prerequisites for customizing furniture. The first task is getting three new villagers to move to your island. You also need to attend the customization workshop that Tom invites you to. Customize your things with the following steps:
- Purchase the customization kit from the Nook’s cranny.
- Go to any workbench on the map and choose the option, “Customize something.” This list should generate a list of customizable items that you have.
- Select an item and begin toggling right to left to select the design. Click on “Customize” and then “Yeah” to save changes.
10. How to Build a Second Floor for Your House
The addition of a second floor is actually quite an advanced step in Animal Crossing. This adds a complete second-floor room to your home. Not to mention, 400 storage slots, totaling 800 storage slots in your house. Unfortunately, this is the kind of upgrade you can’t purchase on demand. You have to wait for Tom Nook to offer you an update of 1.5 million bells for the second floor. The actual cost of having a second floor done is approximately 1.248 million bells. You can prompt Tom Nook to offer you the loan by updating your house as many times as necessary. You can also create significant improvements to your home interiors. Just to note, all your subsequent home loans and payments will be made with bells. And like all infrastructure loans in this game, you need to pay off this loan before you can get a basement upgrade.
11. How to Landscape Your Island
You can start talking to Tom Nook about modifying landscapes once you’ve upgraded the RS hall. Modifying landscapes is called terraforming in the Animal Crossing lingo. Unlocking this feature allows you to move buildings, build bridges, and add inclines. This can be done both for practical purposes and to improve the aesthetics of your island. Using the correct permits, you can build designated areas for housing and fishing. You can even create an elaborate entrance to your island. Or if you want, customize the island to fit a certain theme.
You will need to have a Nook Phone app called Island Designer to start landscaping. But there are a few requirements you need to meet before you can access the app. This includes getting a 3-Star island rating. After getting this rating, Tom Nook will greet you at your house to install the Island Designer app. After getting the app, you can begin to purchase a variety of permits from the Nook Stop. The two most popular terraforming passes are waterscaping and cliff construction. Each permit costs 6,000 Nook miles each.
12. How to Upgrade Nook’s Cranny
Nook’s Cranny is the island’s main source of decorations, furniture, and do-it-yourself (DIY) recipes. At the start of the game, Nook’s Cranny is just a small set-up shared with the Resident Services tent. A full-blown store would have a better design and more products to offer. If you want to convert it to a full-blown store, you’ll need to make a couple of sacrifices. This includes assisting Timmy with gathering materials and talking with Tom Nook.
To be eligible for this upgrade, you need to have been a resident on the island for at least thirty days. You also need to have bought or sold a combined total of 200,000 bells worth of items in the Nook’s Cranny store. The Resident Services shall have also been upgraded to a Town Hall. The Able Sisters store must also have been set up on the island by this point. These upgrades are supposed to happen naturally if you’ve been playing your part for a set number of hours.
Once these are out of the way, expect to see Timmy talking with Tom Nook about upgrading his store. Speak to Timmy about the materials that he needs. Afterward, you will need to help Timmy get 30 units each of wood, softwood, hardwood, and iron nuggets. Once you’ve gathered the items and given them all to Timmy, he’ll let you choose the location of the store. It’s also worthy of note that Nook’s Cranny will be closed for an entire day during renovations. Isabelle will make the announcement so you can prepare.
13. How to Increase Your Inventory Space
Crafting is one of the major features of the game, and you need to store items in your pockets for DIY later on. Unfortunately, the default inventory only has 20 slots. Luckily, there’s a feature allowing you to expand the inventory space twice. The first is available right at the beginning of the game and costs 5,000 Nook Miles. Meanwhile, the second upgrade costs 8,000 Nook Miles. This will only be available after the Resident Services has been upgraded into a town hall. Upgrade your inventory space with the following steps:
- Go to the Resident Services tent and access the Automatic Bells Dispenser (ABD).
- There’s an option to buy a Pocket Organization Guide on it for 5,000 Nook Miles. Make the purchase and you will instantly have ten more inventory slots, bringing the total to 30.
- For the second upgrade, you’ll need to make sure that the Resident Services is already a building. Check if it has been upgraded.
- After confirming, get inside Resident Services and visit the ABD section again. Select “Redeem Nook Miles.” A list of new upgrades will appear. This includes the Ultimate Pocket Stuffing Guide for 8,000 Nook Miles. Make the purchase and you will instantly have ten more inventory slots, bringing the total to 40.
14. How to Distinguish Real from Fake Art
Animal Crossing: New Horizons also introduced a new character, Redd. Redd is the art-dealing fox in the Animal Crossing universe. He sells paintings and statues that you can give as a donation to the museum. He appears after you’ve donated approximately 60 items to the museum (fish, bugs, or fossils). Isabelle will also warn you of shady art dealers during her announcements.
Redd sells both common paintings and famous paintings. Unfortunately, he also occasionally attempts to sell fake paintings. The museum does not accept fake paintings. So you will have to keep a keen eye. Keep in mind that there are no fakes among the common paintings. On the other hand, there are plenty of fakes among famous paintings.
To get an idea of whether a painting is fake or not, you will need to inspect the painting for any inconsistencies. You’ll need to juggle up your memory of famous paintings for this one.
Inspect the colors, features, and clothing. Any addition or modification from the original painting makes it fake. If you spot a slightly elevated eyebrow on the Mona Lisa or a star earring on the Girl with the Pearl Earring, it’s presumably fake.
15. How to Travel Back or Forwards in Time
All the events that take place within your village rely on the system clock. Shops follow regular store hours. Different creatures also appear at different times of the day. Visits from guests and the availability of turnips are examples. Switching up time helps you to be able to experience those things on any day you choose.
It also works for avoiding tedious moments and skip ahead to the stuff you really like. You can experience daytime events at night and shop at any time. You can even gather resources for a week in just a day by messing with the clock. And the best way, if not the only way, is to change your Nintendo Switch date and time. Here’s how to do it:
- Select “System Settings.”
- Look for and click on the “System” button at the bottom.
- Select “Date and Time.”
- Make sure that the “Synchronize via Internet” is turned off.
- Change the Date and Time to whatever you want.
16. How to Get Superpowers with Fruits
Eating more than ten fruits at a time gives your character superpower-like abilities. For each fruit that you eat, you can do either of two tasks. You can break a large rock or dig up a full tree. The ability to pick up trees enables you to move it to another spot without losing it. It also helps you mine for iron nuggets to craft more tools. Take note though, you need to pull out your shovel for any of these tasks.
The type of fruit also doesn’t matter as they have the same effect. You can eat cherry, orange, peach, or pear. You can see how much fruit is in your system in the upper-left-hand corner. The fruit count decreases for each rock broken or tree transplanted. If you happen to not want to do anything physically heavy, you can even opt to sit on your toilet and poop out the fruits. (Yes, this is a new feature).
17. How to Plant Every Type of Fruit
There are six types of fruits available in animal crossing. These include apple, cherry, peach, pear, orange, and coconut. Since you only get one native fruit, you need to get the other five to have the full set. And while it’s perfectly okay to live on just native fruits, foreign fruits cost five times more upon sale.
There are two ways you can get foreign fruits. You can travel to another island to get them or wait for Timmy or Tommy to present you with a foreign fruit. If you choose to be proactive, book a flight through Resident Services to visit a deserted island to get new fruits. Be warned though that the location is completely random. This means you could end up on an island with the same native fruit. You can also visit a friend’s island to get fruits but you need an online multiplayer for that.
- Find a tree with fruits. Shake the tree by pressing on the A button. Press the Y button to collect the fruits that fall to the ground. Keep them in your inventory. Remember that you’ll need to save at least one fruit of each type for planting.
- Take the fruits back to your home island for planting.
- Visit other islands to collect the types of fruits you are missing.
Planting A Fruit Tree:
- Pick a spot with an open space around it. There needs to be enough space for the tree to grow and breathe. Otherwise, you’ll lose the tree and have nothing to harvest later.
- Dig a hole with a shovel and stand in front of the hole.
- Select a fruit from your inventory. Click on Plant 1.
- Repeat the process for other fruits.
18. How to Maximize Turnip Profits Using Key Stalk Market Tools
Daisy Mae sells turnips each Sunday for anywhere between 90 to 110 bells. You can resell the turnips to Nook’s Cranny or sell them on someone else’s island. The key to maximizing profit is to ensure that the current price is the peak return on your investment. The second key is selling the turnips when the timing is right. You can also use the Turnip Exchange or the Nook app called Turnip Prophet. These are very helpful tools to help you get the most out of your own island’s turnips.
Turnip Exchange is an online island-hopping sharing service. It has a collection of currently active islands. Each island would pay a different price for the tulips, which is also indicated. Some islands’ Nook’s Crannies would even pay up to 500 bells per turnip!
To get into the Turnip Exchange, simply jump in line and wait for your turn. Don’t forget to stuff as many turnips into your pockets as possible before you get in line. When your number gets called, head over to the island and fly to the locale using the Dodo code. Be warned though, the waiting times for islands with high demand for turnips can be longer. If you don’t want to wait too long, you can select an island offering a slightly lower price. This should decrease your waiting time and still lead to a reasonable profit.
There’s also a Nook Phone app called Turnip Prophet. This is like the stock market repository but for your turnips. The program collects statistics such as market prices and trends. You can also track what the Nook brothers pay for their turnips within the week.
19. How to Invite New Villagers Into Your Island
Animal Crossing: New Horizons drops you into an island with two other villagers. But if you want your island to become a buzzing paradise, you will probably want to invite other villagers to move in and become your neighbors. Note that each island can occupy as many as ten villagers at once.
As you unlock more features on the island, Tom Nook will have you build and furnish three houses for incoming villagers. Once you’ve built and placed all the furniture for one house, check in with Tom Nook. Afterward, you’ll see a “SOLD” sign on the property along with the name of the incoming villager. To prepare for this event, you need to talk to new characters during your off-island trips. There’s no other place to meet new villagers than other islands, so this is important. During your trip, get to know other villagers and invite them to your island. There’s a big chance they will be the ones to reserve a spot on your island.
Another opportunity will arise when Tom Nook unlocks the amiibo functionality. This allows you to summon any villager from an amiibo card. You can talk to your chosen character and convince them to stay. If you’ve convinced an amiibo character to come, they will need a reserved slot to move into. You can talk to Tom Nook to reserve a plot of land for 10,000 bells. However, other villagers might take over the plot you reserved. It’s, therefore, best to hold off building a plot until you know that your selected villager is ready to move in.
20. How to Customize Your Character’s Appearance
Character customization is a well-loved feature in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. There are plenty of hairstyles, skin tones, outfits, eye colors to choose from. You can even change your gender. What you need to do is to build a mirror and place it in your house. You’ll need one Iron Nugget and five pieces of wood. The crafting recipe for the mirror will wash up on your shore. Here’s how you can get the materials and craft your mirror:
- To get five pieces of wood: Head out to the island. Bring out your ax and hit a tree with it. You can strike a tree three times and it will drop either Wood, Softwood or Hardwood. Be careful not to break your ax. Pick up the pieces and save them to your inventory.
- To get the Iron Nugget: Approach any large rock and start bashing it with the ax. Be careful not to break your ax. Pick up the iron nugget and save it to your inventory.
- Crafting the mirror: Return to the DIY station. Open your inventory and select the mirror. Click on “Craft it!” Keep the mirror in your inventory and find a place for it in your house.
- Change your appearance: You can change your appearance at any time. To do this, simply stand in front of the mirror and select, “I want to change my look!” You can now customize your appearance. Click on the Plus button to save changes.
Final Thoughts on Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is cozy, creatively empowering, and impossibly casual. And the mere fact that players of all ages can play this game only adds to its charm. The series has seen over a hundred improvements in total. This is both in terms of detail and design. The series has come a long way from the very first release of Animal Crossing. Perhaps it’s also justified to say that it is the result of 20 years of refinement. It’s also very clear that plenty of work and research went into this game, a fact that many fans appreciate.
One of the best aspects of the game is the sheer flurry of interactions between players. It’s rare to see a game with a very inclusive atmosphere and a warm and welcoming community. The game is also very respectful of the time and effort of the people who play it. Sometimes it can feel like kindness is in short supply on the internet. This game is just a shining example of how games can be a positive influence. Animal Crossing: New Horizon has surpassed all expectations. This is not only for having advanced features but also for having a heart.