Animal Crossing: New Horizons 25 Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Animal Crossing New Horizons Tips and Tricks
Read up on some nifty tips and tricks for all you beginners!

Hey, you there! Congratulations on the purchase of your very own Island! Paradise awaits along with wild and entertaining villagers. I hope your imagination is running on full tank, here the possibilities for creativity are endless. Before you whip out those crafting tools, let me slip you some little tips that turn out to be pretty significant!

1.) Complete Tasks to Upgrade Resident Services

Resident Services is the place to go with any questions or assistance 

Upon starting your island life, I recommend upgrading Resident Services as quickly as possible. The game will instruct you on the tasks you need to perform. 

Building a bridge, opening Nooks Cranny, moving in three residents, and moving Blathers into his museum are the requirements to develop Resident Services! This grants you easy access to Tom Nook's workbench and Isabelle’s secretary services. 

These two are your main alibis in the rest of the game. Speaking to them is key on what steps and tasks to do next in order to industrialize your town. If you’re a little stuck or unsure of what to do next, stop by their office and they’ll instruct you carefully. 


2.) Keep Certain Items on Hand at all Times

Always keep basic tools in your backpack for easy access

Sticks, Stones, Iron Nuggets, Clay, and Wood pieces are essential starting materials to craft items. These are always accessible by shaking and chopping trees and hitting rocks. These materials are the base for pretty much all DIY recipes. 

Basic tools can be crafted by merely slapping together sticks and wood. Smacking rocks will give you 6 stones, iron nuggets, or clay. Sometimes, a shiny gold nugget will pop out. Gold nuggets can be stored for DIY crafts or sold for an abundance of bells. 

You can also drop these materials on the ground or set them on a furniture piece if your pockets become too full. Don’t forget to pick them up as leaving objects on the ground damages your overall rating. 


3.) Sturdy Tools make Life Easier

Upgrade your flimsy tools to maximize its length of use

Progression through the game can only be done by crafting and developing your island. Flimsy tools such as a flimsy shovel and flimsy net must first be crafted, but there are recipes to make them more durable to last longer. 

This will maximize your ability to chop trees, catch bugs, go fishing, and smack rocks. Tools are sold in Nooks Cranny as well.

Slingshots can not be crafted at the workbench and must be purchased in the shop. If you don’t feel like collecting materials and crafting an item, stop in the shop and cash in your Bells for appliances. 


4.) Inventory Space

You can maximize your inventory space by redeeming your Nook Miles at Resident Services

Beginning your journey, your inventory will let you hold a certain amount of objects. Rack up some Nook Miles to redeem the pocket organizer to add more slots to carry items. This way you don’t always have to visit the shop and your home to drop off unwanted material. 

Home inventory works the same way. At first, a certain amount of slots can be filled with items. With each home loan paid off and expansion built, your inventory will get bigger allowing you to store more objects and free up your pocket space. 

You can use your Nook Miles to redeem the “Ultimate Pocket Stuffing,” recipe and maximize your inventory space fully. Doing this as quickly as early as you can will be super useful when further discovering and expanding your town.


5.) Watch out for Wasps!

Careful shaking trees! There could be a loaded wasp nests perching in it

This one is definitely a game changer. Wasp nests will occasionally fall from trees when they are shaken causing them to attack you. One of your characters eyes will swell up and can be patched up by purchasing medicine from the store. 

This can get pretty annoying as you never know your next encounter with a wasp nest will be. 

If you don’t take medicine right away and are stung a second time, you will pass out and be transported to your front door. Luckily you can catch the wasps before they release their wrath. Just make sure to be holding your net while shaking trees. 


6.) An Apple a Day Keeps your Muscles at Play!

Eat delicious fruit and build up strength to perform difficult labor

Characters can shake trees and collect crisp fruit. You can either sell the fruit for some bells or bite into it for some extra strength. After eating a fruit, you can now dig up trees and smash rocks completely.  

Collect the fallen fruit and open your inventory. Munching on this sweet treat will raise your health level. You can now use your shovel to completely dig up a tree and either re-plant or dispose of it. If you want to get rid of the placement of a rock, gobble up a cherry and power smash it to bits!


7.) Control Yourself!

Slowly approach certain bugs so you don't scare them away!

Players can walk, run, swim, and sneak up on insects during gameplay. Certain insects won’t disappear if you run by them, but some bugs will if they are approached too quickly or swung at by your net and missed. 

You can sneak up on targets by holding your net and pressing down the “A” button. Get close, but not too close, then release the button and capture your prey! Hold down the “B” button when crafting materials or speaking with villagers to speed things up as well. 

Be courteous when running by your fellow residents. If you run into villagers too many times they’ll become irritated and angry at you lowering friendship scores. 


8.) Decor Movement and Layout

Place any item you want, anywhere you want and watch your island prosper!

When placing wonderful furniture crafts outside, you can move and turn them to your preference. Holding “A” and sliding the joystick left or right will move the item. Swiping the joystick up or down rotates the item. 

Inside your home design mode is a bit different. The D-pad opens a mode that makes it much simpler to place your crafts precisely. Using the joystick, you can pick up furniture and adjust it in the exact position you want. You can open home and pocket storage and select items from both of them. 

Change your island and home decor as many times as you please! There’s always new and shiny DIY crafts to replace older ones. Let your creativity and imagination run rampant!


9.) Flowers and Trees Galore!

Cover your island in trees and flowers- it helps build up your rating!

Flowers and shrubbery are an overlooked component in New Horizons. By scattering seeds around your island, wonderful flora will bloom which highly boosts your overall rating. 

Plus, growing the same breed of flowers next to each other increases the chance of a new colored flower species to form. New plant colors and species will attract new and rare bugs, so plant away!

Tree saplings can be planted which expands the possibility of random gifts and coins falling from them. It adds ambience too which attracts new villagers and overall star rating. 


10.) Island Rating

You're island star rating will increase based on completion of tasks as well as island development

Gamers will want to continue completing tasks and developing their island with vegetation and decor as much as they can. By upgrading Nook Miles, helping other villagers, and placing furniture items on your island- your overall island rating increases. 

Each star that is gained opens new characters and possibilities. After a three star rating, an Island Designer app is added to your phone permitting you to transform the terrain of your island. Three stars also grants the musician known as “K.K. Slider to hold concerts in your town plaza. 

Once five stars are achieved, a DIY recipe for a Golden Watering Can awards you for all the hard work. A five star rating requires lots of time and dedication, but there's no hurry at all!


11.) Love your Neighbor as Yourself

Gift your residents with items and build up your friendships and rapport!

Villagers are a big part of the game. Interacting with them daily increases the likelihood of them giving you gifts. Occasionally they will ask for your help in finding a certain fish or delivering a gift to another villager. In addition, they can be visited in their homes. 

Once you’ve initiated a conversation, they’ll ask you to play simple card games. If you guess the correct color or number of the card, your furry friend will reward you with some sort of gift. If you fancy one of their house items, walk up to it and click A. The resident will either ask if you want to buy it or brag about the piece of furniture. 

Surprising your villagers with gifts that fit their essence helps build your rating. It creates a better chance for them to randomly shower you in presents too. 


12.) Daily Nook Miles Tasks

Complete daily Nook Miles Tasks to earn Nook Miles that can be redeemed for items and rewards!

Once unlocked, players will have daily nook miles tasks when they open their phone. There are five daily tasks at the top of the Nook Miles app that give you anywhere from 100-300 miles. After one is completed, a new task will pop up. 

Don’t underestimate Nook Miles. Various materials and items that are essential for upgrading your town require a good chunk of currency. Fishing, catching bugs, chopping wood, and even saying hello to your fellow villagers earn you some Miles. 

These daily tasks are usually very simple and don't call for a huge amount of effort. Essentially you can spend all day building up Nook Miles to use for rewards, items, and more! 


13.) Simple Tasks to do Each Day

Catch bugs, fish, and dig for fossils for daily rewards!

Each day the island replenishes itself with fossils, fruits, hidden items and DIY recipes. You can hunt for new fossils and either donate them to the museum and tick off your critterpedia app, or you can sell them at the shop for some major cash. Eventually all the fossils will be discovered, but they still sell for a ton of bells.

Shake your trees and hit your rocks everyday. At least one to two items will float down from the foliage when shaken. Bugs and gold nuggets are likely to appear when clashing your ax with a rock. So, keep up the hard work!


14.) ABD (Automatic Bell Dispenser) 

Save up your Bells and shop for items at the ABD machine located in Resident Services

Inside Resident Services is a cool gadget called the Nook Stop Terminal where nook shopping, redemption of nook miles, and ABD can be accessed. When you reach a certain amount of Bells your pockets will start to fill up. Save up your bells by placing them in your savings account by selecting the ABD option. 

Putting Bells away gives you a huge head start on the game. Selling various island items and saving the Bells puts you in a great position to pay off loans later in the game. You’ll be glad you did whenever you need some extra cash down the road for a task or project. 

Once your home loans are all paid off, the Nook Stop sells an ABD machine for 9,900 Nook Miles so you can place it anywhere on your island!


15.) Bridges, Cliffs, and Path- Oh My!


Build bridges, cliffs, and paths using the "Island Designer" app on your Nook Phone!

Keep trucking along! Eventually a new app called, "Island Designer," will give you access to terraform your island. You can purchase different design patterns and custom paths, cliffs, and bridges. You’ll want to do this as it makes it much easier to cross streams and climb from platform to platform. 

Your ladder and vaulting pole will never break, so you can use those to get from place to place. Crafting bridges and pathways add ease to your daily life and build up your rating!


16.) Boat Tours and Dodo Airlines

Travel to exotic islands by visiting Dodo Airlines and riding on a boat tour!

Kapp’n can be found on your island by the pier. Once a day you can pay 1,000 Nook Miles and take an excursion on the boat tour. It will take you to a distant island where anything is possible. 

The foreign land could bear new fruit, vegetation life, and awesome DIY recipes. It’s possible for winter, summer, fall, or spring to occur upon arriving. Snowflakes, cherry blossom flowers, acorns, mushrooms, and more goodies await to be collected. 

From time to time you’ll dock onto a night time land. Here you can find star fragments and wish on shooting stars further using the materials for rare DIY crafts. 

Dodo Airlines offers a plane ride to an unknown island for 2,000 Nook Miles. These islands can be repetitive and don’t have as much variety as boat tours. Frequently, DIY recipes, good nuggets, and items hidden in trees transpire. 


17.) Put on your Chef Hat!

By harvesting crops and catching certain fish, you can cook up some yummy recipes!

A delicious feature of the game are good DIY recipes. Resident Services offers the “Be a Chef! DIY Recipes,” for 2,000 Nook Miles. At Nook's Cranny, the “Basic Cooking Recipes” book is up for sale for 4,989 Bells. This puts the whisk in your hand as a multitude of DIY creations for food are in stock. 

You’ll need specific material such as flour and sugar to whip up something good. Crops must be acquired and planted for further crafting. These can be purchased from Leif. He visits on random days to your island and also has a tent set up on Harvs Island. Wheat, sugarcane, potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkin, and carrots can be harvested. 

Fish are needed for certain recipes as well. Once your crops are in hand, you’re ready to skip on down to your kitchen area and bake up something tasty!


18.) Plant Bells to Grow Money Trees!

Planting Bells in the ground will grow trees that produce bags of Bells!

Have you stumbled across a random shiny spot on your island floor? Get out that shovel and dig it up! 1,000 bells are lurking under the ground everyday in your town. You can place this cash in your pocket or plant them in the ground. 

Planting Bells will enable a money tree to grow. It takes a bit of time for bags of Bells to appear on the trees. As long as you water them daily and keep up with it, the reward will be worth it. Either 3,000, 30,000, or three times the amount of initial bells buried will grow from the tree. 

Another little trick is that shaking your island trees can sometimes shed some Bells for you to collect. 


19.) Deep Sea Plunge!

Snorkel in the ocean and search for rare and vibrant sea animals!

Purchasing a snorkel and wetsuit is a must. One suited up, you can dive into the ocean and seek out creatures on the ocean floor. Dark spots followed by bubbles let you know where there’s an ocean critter. Some are faster than others and take a bit of chasing to capture. Hitting “A” paddles your character faster while “Y” sends you under the waves to grab the unknown creature.

Crabs, snails, anemone, clams, octopus, and more can be hiding under the waves! Rare ones are worth major cash and are more difficult and tedious to capture. 

On rare occasions gamers will come in contact with a scallop. A quirky otter called Pascal will surface and ask if he can have your scallop. Say yes! Often there are pearls inside the shell that DIY recipes require to be constructed. Nook's Cranny will take them off your hand for a fortune too. 


20.) Good Ol’ Harvs Island

Move in all the vendors at Harv's Island to unlock awesome items and shopping tents!

Dodo Airlines has a lot of cool options. Take a break on Harvs Island when you get a chance. At your pace, you can invite vendors and unlock shops in his plaza. Lloids are scattered around Harv's Island awaiting a payment of 100,000 Bells to move in a shop owner. 

It’s quite a bit of cash, but can be paid off little by little with the help of villager donations. An ABD machine is set up already allowing you to easily access your saved Bells to pay off the loan. Once 100,000 Bells are donated, a new vendor is set up to move in!

Seven possible spots for shops can be unlocked:

  • Katrina- Fortune Teller
  • Saharah- Wallpapers and Flooring
  • Tortimer- Storage
  • Reese and Cyrus- Paint Customizations
  • Leif- Plant Shop
  • Redd- Paintings and Statues 
  • Kicks- Shoes, Bags, Accessories 


21.) Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!


Save old can and tires fished out of the sea, they can be crafted into DIY items!

When fishing, cans, boots, and tires can be caught. Recycling and selling these items are an option, but some DIY recipes call for these waste products. Walls and flooring can be plastered together with these items. 

A garbage heap wall and flooring, various tire crafts, shoes, and even a rare Lunar Rover can be evolved from these items. 

Check up on the bin in the Resident Service building daily. Cardboard boxes, boots, and miscellaneous items can be claimed for free. DIY recipes exist for the cardboard boxes, so put them to good use! 


22.) Holidays and Seasons


Holidays and seasons call for special DIY recipes and awesome seasonal items!

Who doesn’t love the holidays? During times such as Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and Thanksgiving, your town transforms into a magical paradise. 

Special DIY crafts are available only during these events. Each holiday uniquely offers crafts that can only be obtained and made during that specific holiday. Once the festivities have reached an end, the option to create the recipes go away. 

The whole holiday month will send you on hours of extra adventures in search of colorful items and prizes. Special food recipes for cookies and candies can be prepared as well as dazzling fashion items. New DIY wallpapers, furniture, tools, and much more can be discovered. 

Seasons change along with your time zone. Certain materials like snowflakes, acorns, and cherry blossom leaves appear everywhere! 


23.) Boost at The Roost!


Warm up your insides with a steaming cup of coffee at The Roost!

After a three star rating, you’ll be able to open a cafe called “The Roost,” inside the museum. Blathers request a message be relayed to Brewster proposing an offer for him to open a cafe. 

Players are instructed to hop on a boat tour to a mysterious island. Once there, Brewster is found inhabiting the foreign land. Your characters will pass on the message from Blathers, thus moving Brewster into the cafe. 

Gamers can sip coffee at their leisure. Not only is it a nice little break, but you can also redeem Nook Miles by visiting the Roost numerous times. Daily Nook Miles tasks require players to visit the Roost and gain some points! 

In addition, Brewster offers you a gift to show appreciation for your customer support. So, bottoms up and toast to some Nook Miles and a free present!


 24.) Gyroids?


Collect all the hidden gyroids that are scattered randomly throughout islands!

After moving Brewster in, he will give you a gyroid fragment. These fragments will now appear randomly throughout the rest of your game. Whether you're sprinting on your home island or exploring a new one, a gyroid will usually always be visible. 

The fragments need to be buried and watered to produce a full gyroid. It’s simple! Dig a hole and bury the fragment in your town, watering it with your can. The next day it can be dug up to reveal a super cool dancing object. 

They come in all different colors, shapes, and sizes. Place them next to radios or music making machines and watch them away from side to side. Their oddball tunes can be heard by setting them in your home. There are 36 types of gyroids that can all be color customized, adding some spunk to your village. 


25.) Have Fun Experimenting!


Have fun submerging yourself into a land of free will and endless possibilities!

The most important tip overall is to take advantage of everything the island has to offer. There is zero rush as there’s really no “end” to the game even after a 5 star rating is achieved. 

New crafts, items, and species linger around awaiting your discovery. Nook's Cranny changes everyday, so it’s more than likely there is something you do not yet own. Coming across an island with rare items or a different season doesn’t happen often, so you’ll have to ride the boat and fly on Dodo airlines daily. 

Like our strange reality is always changing, so are your islands. Anticipation for holidays and season changes make for a never ending game. This is YOUR world, the sky and beyond is your limit! 


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Am I an expert on the knowledge of algorithms and geometrical equations? Ha! Of course not. BUT I can create a 10 hour long presentation about my love and skills for video games easily. Play on!
Gamer Since: 2010
Currently Playing: Animal crossing, Mario rabbids, Kirby and the forgotten land
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