The following page of our Animal Crossing New Horizons guide is a collection of the best tips that should be useful at every stage of the game.
- Take your time and play at your own pace
- Build your house near Resident Services
- Sneak around to catch insects
- Run, but be smart!
- Shake the trees
- Get prepared before hitting rocks
- Immediately buy upgrades available in the Nook Stop
- Collect everything you see
- Don't sell everything
- Build a house quickly
- Don't know what to do? Talk to Nook
- Remember to change camera settings
- Talk to everyone
- Explore the entire island every day
- Build a museum quickly
- Spend Nook Miles wisely
Take your time and play at your own pace
Animal Crossing is a series of games that fans play for months, if not years. The seasons and day/night cycle mechanics encourage such approach. The flow of time in the game is the same as in real life. Because of that:
- some species of fish or insects cannot be caught during spring, and others during winter;
- the same applies to certain plants or mushrooms;
What does that mean in practice? If you want to fill the collection in your local museum, you must catch all the fish and insects (as the game is developed, new updated add new species to collect). In order to catch them all, you must return to the game during the whole year. Because of that, there is no need to rush playing the game.
In Animal Crossing, sometimes you must wait a day or two (yes, real-life days) for a building or upgrade to be completed.
So, as you can see, AC is not a series focused on completing its storymode (more about the time required for "beating" the game can be found here), but simply on having fun. Sometimes there won't be anything left to do on the day. In that case, it is better to let go - what's the point of rushing a game that is specifically telling you not to do it?
You can gain the greatest satisfaction by playing the game on your own terms and focusing on what you like the most. If you want to, you can spend the whole week catching butterflies. Or filling your house with the most beautiful furniture. Set your own objectives and do whatever you like!
Build your house near Resident Services
In Animal Crossing you will often run around your house, Resident Services or a shop, so it's worth reducing this time by simply building your home near the central square of the island. After some time, you'll also have to choose a spot for a shop - just don't construct it too far away.
Later in the game, you will be able to move your house somewhere else (for an extra charge), so don't worry if the current place is not perfect.
Sneak around to catch insects
Many insects can be easily frightened. Some will run away after you walk near them, but others may run away even if you approach them silently. So if you want to catch such a careful specimen you have to sneak in.
To sneak around, you have to equip the butterfly net and press the A button. Then your character moves quietly and can get close to the insect you want to catch. When the insect will be in range of the butterfly net release the A button. After few seconds, you will have a bug in your inventory.
Run, but be smart!
By pressing the B button while moving, you will make your character run faster. Although the character never gets tired, it isn't the best possible way of exploring.
Remember that Animal Crossing is a game in which you shouldn't rush yourself. Your house will be expanded tomorrow anyway. The number of fossils you can collect during a single day is limited, so you won't find anymore until tomorrow. In other words, running everywhere is not necessary.
Furthermore, by running you scare away some nearby fish and insects (this doesn't apply to butterflies). Why is that a problem? Well, you might lose a chance for catching a valuable specimen, selling which will give you plenty of bells (although remember not to sell the first specimens but to deliver them to the museum). It is also easy to miss a tarantula hiding in bushes - and catching such a specimen is very profitable. By running, we also destroy flowers - they will regenerate the next day, but why devastate the plants?
Run, then, but do it smart. If you know a spot in which valuable insects or fish appear frequently, slow down there - maybe you'll catch a valuable specimen while taking care of some other business?
Shake the trees
This is especially important early in the game - later you won't need to do it as the profits will become less important. Walk towards a tree and press A. Your character will shake the tree and something might fall from it.
Most often you will gain branches that are useful in crafting. Remember that you can shake a single tree many times and gain more resources. You should easily get at least five of them in this way.
Sometimes furniture also drop from trees (they have a green apple icon when they lie on the ground or in the inventory - it's a tradition for Animal Crossing series). You will gain Nook Miles for finding them, so there are additional profits in it.
However, sometimes a wasp nest might fall on your head as well. They might bite you, but if you quickly run to a building, you should avoid them. More about it can be found in a separate page of our FAQ.
Get prepared before hitting rocks
Stones can drop up to eight different raw materials - stones, iron, gold and even bells.
Unfortunately, if you hit a stone with a shovel, your character moves back. So you need to correct the position of your character which takes valuable time. Why is it valuable? Because in order to be successful and gain eight resources, you have to do it in a short period of time. By improving hero's position we waste valuable seconds and as a result we gain less raw materials.
It's best to simply prepare yourself by digging two holes - we present this method in the picture above. This way you don't have to worry about getting pushed back - you take a proper position once and then press the "A" button a dozen times.
Immediately buy upgrades available in the Nook Stop
Resident Services has a Nook Stop ATM where you can spend Nook Miles, buy new items or DIY recipes. Remember to buy out all backpack upgrades that you can find there, because it's a lot more fun to play.
You will also find some recipes of improved tools, because these basic ones (flimsy items) break down terribly fast and you can waste a lot of time on their continuous crafting. You'll also get more recipes from other characters as you make progress in the main story. Also, you can buy them in the store of Nook Brothers (initially they'll be in Resident Services and then in their own building).
Collect everything you see
At the start of the game you will lack almost everything. You will lack backpack space, resources, furniture - you won't even have a house but a tent instead. What's worse, for a while you will have to use worse (flimsy) tools that break very quickly. And to create better ones, you will need resources.
So collect everything you find. As soon as you build a house with a large storage, you will be able to stock all resources there.
After some time, you will collect a large supply of branches - and then you can stop collecting them. The same will happen with other raw materials, but remember that some decorative items may require, for example, 90 pieces of stone, so it's worth to store lots of those.
It is a good idea to stock even 10 or 20 pieces of fruits as you might need them for crafting - and it might happen they will grow the next day or after two days (after collecting, fruits regrow after three days, so if you sell all of them, you will have to travel to a different island with Nook Miles Ticket or to wait for a long time).
Don't sell everything
To earn bells, you must sell what you catch, collect, or mine. But there are things that you shouldn't sell, especially early in the game.
- resources like stone, sticks, or wood are useful in crafting and their value when selling is small;
- you should take the first specimens of fish or insects to the museum. Why? Because supporting the culture is a good thing!
- the same goes for fossils - it's better to take them to the museum and sell only the ones you have already delivered there. You can also use the surplus to decorate the house or its surroundings;
- you should also keep various furniture or house decorations that you find at various occasions. You will gradually gain more rooms to fill - at some point even a weird drawer might prove to be useful.
Read more about it here.
Build a house quickly
You'll start playing Animal Crossing in a tent. Try to quickly build a real house. Otherwise you will have trouble with surplus of items or resources. In the house, you will find a storage area in which you can stock all items you don't need right now - they might become useful in the future.
How to build a house? Talk to Tom Nook, he'll help you with that. Once you gather enough Nook Miles (5000), you will be able to move to a real house during the second day of playing the game.
Don't know what to do? Talk to Nook
If you don't know how to push the story forward - and you need it, for example, to gain useful tool or build a house, ask Tom Nook for help. He is sitting in Resident Services. Ask him this philosophical question:
- What should I do?
Once you do it, Tom should explain to you, what is the next step in your islander career.
Remember to change camera settings
You can't freely manipulate the camera in Animal Crossing New Horizons. Well, actually, you can, but only inside buildings. What can you do, when you can't see something important because it is hidden behind some objects? Use the right analog stick.
With the right analog stick, you can change the camera setting. Two camera settings can be used for playing. The third one is used for sky observation (in order to "catch" the stars or take screenshots) and it remains active until you move the character. If you can't see something because it is hidden behind, for example, a tree, then change the camera setting. It should help.
Sometimes, when the camera is closest to the ground, the third camera view is especially useful. In that case, many objects in front of the protagonist might disappear, allowing you to see, for example, what is hidden in the shadow of a larger building.
Talk to everyone
Since the beginning of the game, you will find other people on your island. As the island expands, even more people will appear on it (up to 10 - excluding the shopkeepers or administration). You should talk to your neighbors - this will give you Nook Miles and sometimes a new furniture, clothes, DIY Recipies, or even a challenge or a small competition.
You should also visit your neighbors in their houses. Sometimes they will work at their workbenches. If you talk to them during that activity, they will eagerly share a recipe with you.
- When talking to people, press the "B" button on the controller, not the "A" button. This will cause their conversations to appear on the screen faster. You will learn to appreciate this advice ;)
Explore the entire island every day
There are things that you should do every day because they have daily limitations. It's best to start the day on the island with them.
What exactly do I mean? The fruits grow back three to six days days after we harvest them. If we don't gather them the same day they grow back, the next ones (and profits they provide) will appear one day later.
Once a day you will also gain resources from each rock on the island - you should make a routine round with a shovel and gain stone, clay, iron, and gold needed in crafting.
Each day, you can also find four fossils on the island and one bottle with a DIY Recipe that will enable you to create a piece of furniture or new clothes. If you don't find these items during the day, then they are lost to you. If you want to gather a nice collection of dinosaur bones in the museum, look for fossils every day.
Build a museum quickly
In every installment of Animal Crossing, one of the coolest things is the museum. You can donate fish and insect specimens to it, and fossils as well. Then, you can watch your gifts while walking among display cases. In New Horizons, the developers polished the presentation of the treasures of the island. Because of that, it is a wise thing to quickly build a museum and donate the first specimens to it.
How to build a museum? You must speak to Tom Nook from Resident Services. First, he will ask you to deliver some first specimens to him. Once you deliver them, he will invite Blathers, museum's curator, to the island. At first, he will live in a tent. Once you deliver 15 specimens to him, he will create a beautiful building.
Expanding the museum is also important because Blathers will give you a vaulting pole that can be used for crossing rivers. This item will enable you to explore the rest of the island.
Spend Nook Miles wisely
Nook Miles are points that you receive for almost all activities. You even gain them for... gathering Nook Miles. They serve the role of achievements, they encourage you to participate in various activities. They also serve as currency. You can read more about this on this page of the guide.
You should spend Nook Miles wisely, they are more useful than you might think in the beginning of the game. First and foremost you can buy more equipment space for them (5000 NM). This makes playing the game much more enjoyable.
It is a good idea, especially early in the game, to buy Nook Miles Ticket. They enable you to fly to random generated islands. There, you will obtain useful resources and sometimes a new fruit tree (it's very important). You might also encounter animals and convince them to come live on your island.
Save Nook Miles and don't spend them all at once - sometimes you will be lacking resources and Nook Miles will be very needed for flying to another island or for increasing the size of the backpack.