Animal Crossing: New Horizons Tips And Tricks

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons is released now and people are flocking to play it. I’ve used a good amount of time with this huge game over the last few weeks, and while that may not be sufficient to truly understand the whole of what the game has to offer, I do have a few tips for people looking to make the most out of the first days on their private island.

Here’s a guide to help you out.


Put The house near Resident Services.

The greatest thing you’ll do after landing on your island is to choose a place for your home. Tom Nook, the affable tanuki to whom your life now belongs, hands you a little tent and propels you off into the wilderness with your friends to find room for your temporary shelter.

You won’t have a lot of real estate to play with at first—the island is cut off by rivers at the start—but I would recommend placing your tent somewhere near the area where Nook has built his own camp. This will eventually become Resident Services, the primary feature of the island where you’ll plan enhancements to your home and island, order things from the Nook Terminal, and finally visit Isabelle just to say hi. Your fellow villagers will also meet in this area often, making it easier to find them while they roam around the island.

If you don’t like this initial spot, you’ll finally be able to move your house anywhere on the island, so don’t sweat it.


Buy upgrades from the Nook Terminal early in the game.

Speaking of the Nook Terminal, you’re going to need to revisit this ATM-looking machine regularly. It’s where you’ll spend your Nook Miles, pay off your loans, and check out your catalog.

One of the most valuable items you’ll find at the Nook Terminal early on is pocket organization guides, which is just a superior way of saying inventory upgrades. At first, you won’t have much space to take things around, but your pockets will improve unbelievably great once you take these guides. They appear regularly in the early days of your island adventure, so keep checking out Nook Terminal and take them as soon as possible.

Just like pocket organization guides, you’re going to want to check in on the Nook Terminal frequently for advanced tool recipes. While the poor tools you start with are easy to make with a few simple resources, upgraded tools have better strength. Many of these methods will involve joining flimsy tools with iron ore, which you can find from breaking rocks with your shovel, so stock more frequently.

I’m unsure if these upgrades are tied to days spent on the island or progression, but it’s smart to visit the Nook Terminal at least once a day anyways to check out its latest offerings and collect a few free Nook Miles for your dedication.


Keep checking the cabinet in Nook’s Cranny.

Finally, Nook’s twin sons Timmy and Tommy will start their very own shop rather than trading stuff bootleg out of their dad’s tent. Nook’s Cranny operates much as it has in past games by acting as the main place to trade items, but they also offer recipes via a closet in the back. At first, these will just be recipes for poor tools, which you should have, but over time they’ll begin to stock various types of flowers and recipe books full of DIY plans.

These recipe books don’t come with anything necessary, and you probably won’t be able to quickly make several of the items within because of the stuff they require, but they do help fill out your recipe bank for just a few Bells. If you’re stuck on how to enhance your house, grab a couple of these recipe books and see how they will help you out in your plans.

Plan smartly to avoid frustrating tool stability problems.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons isn’t a huge open-world adventure or a survival game, but it’s great to plan in advance before your outings on the island. Nothing will make you madder than being in the middle of digging up fossils and shovel got broken, forcing you to leave a big, nasty hole behind as you run back to a workbench to create a new one.

Take inventory of what you hope to achieve after leaving the house. Do you need to provide your supply of clay? How about fishing? You should be fishing and always! Depending on your aims, you should carry many of the same tools so you can exchange it with a fresh axe or fishing rod when the need occurs. They disintegrate faster than you anticipate.

This is very important when going to other islands. By buying a ticket at the Nook Terminal, the airport will fly you to a random island packed of resources. The pilot that takes you off offers poor tools for a few Nook Miles, but updating them can be tiresome if you didn’t bring materials with you. Once your inventory has been upgraded, it shouldn’t be a problem to take two or even three of your chosen tools with you in order to reduce interruptions.


Everything moves in real-time.

The most important draw of Animal Crossing, at least in my viewpoint, is its determined world. Time moves at the same speed in New Horizons as it does in real life, so the game will pull the time and date from you Change before getting started to make sure it resembles the real world. Naturally, this implies certain events will only happen at particular times or dates.

You’ll want to check in on Animal Crossing for a bit every day, but when it is completely dependent on what you want to do. The general and clothing stores—both of which open at 8 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., respectively—have schedules of their own, as do the bugs and fish you’ll encounter. Check the Critterpedia, a sort of encyclopedia for the island’s wildlife, for more details on when you can find several species.

That said, if your fishing excursions run late, you can leave items you wish to sell in the general store’s dropbox for 80% of the entire price. The money will be placed in your bank account the following morning. Prior games allowed you to twitch the time of day shops were open.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Spend time everyday gathering resources.

Crafting is completely new to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which involves many longtime players will have to come to terms with the system earlier in the game. As such, I discovered it helpful to spend the first few days going around and harvesting my land of as many resources as I can. This means slapping rocks, whacking trees, and taking whatever manages to fall on the ground.

Early in the game, you won’t have a lot to use these supplies on, but once you start to create out your recipe book, you’ll be glad you have rocks and wood in reserve.


Use the rock trick for more rewards.

A good plan to use while hunting for these resources is the “rock trick.”

Once you crack a rock with your shovel, you’ll have a short amount of time to continue beating the rock before it stops dropping resources. That said, every hit will push you further away from the rock, which suggests you’ll have to spend valuable time walking forward every few hits. Optimal shovel blows will net you 7 items, but with the rock trick, you can push that up to 8.

Setting up the rock trick is easy: Before striking a rock, dig two holes corner ways near it in such a way that, when you hit it, the holes will keep you from being driven away. It’s hard to explain the positioning with words.

This is helpful when you find the rock that has been selected as your island’s money rock for the day. Money rocks drop, you guessed it correctly, money instead of stuff. Bells are dropped in growing denominations, making the distinction between 7 and 8 hits a huge 8,000 Bells. And you want those Bells!

Trying to dig the holes after you understand you’ve hit gold takes too long and breaks the trick. I use the rock trick on every rock I hit just in case I end up getting the money rock.


Upgrading your house which gives you more storage space.

Storage space is a concern in Animal Crossing, but New Horizons is brilliant about giving players a place to put all their junk. Once you upgrade from a tent to a decent house by paying off your first loan, you’ll be able to store hundreds of items. Storage also doubles as the house gets bigger. I’m a hoarder, and I’ve never found myself without room to save many materials and furniture.

You can’t manually adjust on the storage screen, unfortunately, but there are ways to sort items alphabetically, by the time they were added, and by type. Even if something doesn’t seem valuable, like trash from the ocean or a beehive, it’s smart to keep a few in storage since recipes might call for them in the game afterward.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Get sneaky while catching bugs.

Experienced Animal Crossing players already know, but you can hold the A button while using your net to ready the tool and sneak up on skittish bugs. Finding bugs seems a lot more forgiving in New Horizons, but I have found a few that will vanish as soon as you get close. Use this simple trick to get the jump on them.


Clams, fish bait, ???, profit.

While talking along the beaches in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you may notice small spouts of water squirt up from the sand every so often. This shows the presence of a manila clam, and mining it up will give you an easy recipe for fish bait. One clam is one portion of bait, which can then be thrown into any body of water to quickly draw a fish to that area.

I still fancy walking along the beach and searching my island’s rivers on fishing excursions, but when you’re after some severe Bells, I highly recommend making up a few stacks of fish bait and going to the pier. That’s where you’ll discover rare, pricey fish like blue marlin and tuna, which sell for thousands of Bells apiece. Even more modest fish like barred knifejaw and red snapper can increase your dough.

It can take some time before you find anything valuable but keep at it and you’ll have a fair amount of Bells soon.


Take it all in slowly.

These tips give you the impression that New Horizons is a grind, but the game is really what you make of it. I sped through certain aspects in order to see as much as I could before the review ban, but it’s actually meant to be performed for at least a year to endure everything. This is a life simulator, after all. You can take it as slowly as you want or go hard on paying off loans and renovating your home.

My overall advice for New Horizons is to have fun with it. Check-in on your villagers, send letters, take tips from Nook on public projects, spend time talking with Isabelle, and really just do what interests you the most on any day. If you miss anything, like a special visitor or event, there’s a good bet they’ll roll around again in a few weeks’ time anyhow. A short everyday check-in should be sufficient to gauge what’s occurring on your island and whether or not you need to do anything.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is treated as a withdrawal from the real world, especially in these times in which we’re currently living. Don’t emphasize about upgrading your house because Nook is a very lenient landlord. The island doesn’t need bridges at once because the villagers seem to teleport everywhere. Hoarding resources aren’t necessary because they’re rich and constantly renewing. Take some time to listen to the ocean and think about what life could be like if the world was a bit more like Animal Crossing.

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