Animal Crossing Tips: 30 Things You Need to Know!

See 30 tips for getting started in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

A 2020 release that won awards and is giving the talk is Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The title is only available for Nintendo Switch, and it can be said that it was and remains a commercial success. After all, in this pandemic, there is nothing more liberating than having your own island to explore freely, meet new people, see your animal friends and get rid of a debt with a loan shark raccoon without leaving your home.

If you just started playing, or are thinking about starting the adventure, in this text you will find Animal Crossing tips to make your gameplay simpler and more profitable. These are tips that you can follow in the order you want and do everything in your own time, after all, the game is there for you to relax. Follow the article!

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons trailer

Animal Crossing

Before starting Animal Crossing tips, it is always good to know a little more about the game. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is part of a series that already has eight games and started in 2001, with the launch of Animal Crossing for Nintendo 64.

Although Animal Crossing: New Horizons (the game this article is about) is only available for Nintendo Switch, among the eight existing games in the series it is possible to find a mobile version (Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp), two versions for 3DS ( Happy Home Designer and New Leaf), and three other versions for Wii and Wii U (Wild World, initially released for DS, City Folk and Amiibo Festival). Want to play Animal Crossing on PC? Well, there is still no game in the franchise released specifically for PC, but it is possible to play on the computer using an emulator.

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The game is based on a real-life simulation. Nintendo (the series' developer) classifies it as a “communication game”. Without major difficulties, Animal Crossing's main objective is to live your life, taking care of your properties and tasks, and making friends. The game doesn't have a great story, nor a brilliant development, just the days go by and you adapt to the environment, such as changes in the seasons.

In Animal Crossing, the player is the main character (name and appearance chosen by you), who goes to Tom Nook's company and buys an island paradise. Travel done, you arrived on your island, then leave to start building your life on it. The game progression is non-linear, meaning the player is free to explore and choose their tasks in the game, not having a specific order of things to do. It's a very quiet and bucolic game, with a very smooth soundtrack, ideal to escape the stress of today.

In the game, it is possible to create crops, build things, fish and explore freely, with one or another mission given by visitors from time to time. The success of New Horizons was so great that the game became the second best-selling game in the history of Nintendo Switch games. The game also scored 90 out of 100 on the Metacritic website, a rating considered to be very good.

Unfortunately, the game is only available in English and there is no translation yet. But it's a good chance for you to practice the language! Now that you know a little bit about the game, let's go to Animal Crossing: New Horizons tips.

Animal crossing tips: new horizons home screen
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the second best-selling game for Nintendo Switch

Animal Crossing Tips

Because it is a game that gives a lot of freedom to the player, there is often that doubt of “what should I do first?”, “Where do I go now?”, And things like that. To solve these doubts, here are some tips:

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1 - Timetable

First of all, what you NEED to know is that the progression in the game takes place according to the real times of the player in question. That is, if it is two o'clock at home, it will also be two o'clock in the game, and time progresses even if you are not playing, so always follow your watch.

It is interesting to play at different times and notice what can be done in each one, for example, what kind of animals circulate around the island at each time, and how long other characters appear around. Always pay attention to the schedule, as it is very important depending on what you want to do.

2 - Choice of Map

One of your first choices in the game will be the map of the island you will inhabit. It is important to choose with awareness, as in the beginning not the entire island will be accessible to you. For example, at first you will not be able to cross the river, as you need to build a pole to accomplish the feat. So it's important to choose an island that has a large open area around the river so that you have room to explore initially.

You will be given a few map options for you, but you don't have to choose right away. You can restart the game and check new options until you find something you like. If you're sharing the game with someone, be sure to listen to the other person's opinions as well, as although multiple people can settle through the same console, the island is the same for everyone.

3 - Names

Also at the beginning, you will be able to choose the name of your character (and date of birth) and the name of the island that will be inhabited. Choose wisely because these names CANNOT be changed during the game.

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As for the location of your home (which at the beginning is just a tent), it can be changed later. But the main tip for this is: choose the location you like best.

4 - Catch fish and insects

Right at the start of the second day (the first day being the in-game tutorial), you will receive a fishing pole and a net to catch insects. The fish present themselves as shadows in the river, you should throw your fishing pole towards them and wait for them to take the bait. You will only know what type of fish you have caught after the catch is complete. Different fish appear at different times of the day so keeping an eye on the time can be a good tip for finding rarer fish.

Insects, on the other hand, you can see them before you catch them. Just get close (walking, not running, otherwise you'll scare them away) and use the net to catch. After capturing a fish or insect, show it to Tom Nook, in order to build your museum, go showing everything and doing the given missions to get other materials as well, such as an axe. You can then sell your acquisitions, or donate to the museum.

In addition to insects and fish, fossils can also be donated to the museum. To find them, you have to dig holes and dig them up.

5 - Money tree

If you find a bright spot on the ground, don't let it get away – you can dig and plant money (Bells) in the spot, where a money tree will grow! From that tree, three times the value planted will be born, so choose wisely!

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Various characters on the beach
Over time, new neighbors will arrive on your island

6 - Taking milk from stone

Whether with a shovel or an axe, hitting stones can yield good materials. But beware! The number of resources available on a stone will be equivalent to the speed you hit. The trick is to dig two holes behind your character before starting. That way, you won't be taken too far when you strike, and you'll be able to hit faster. The maximum you can get from one stone a day is eight materials.

Rocks also have a respawn of only one per day, so it's no use destroying all your stones around the island, because they will take a while to reappear, and you may run out of resources. It is also possible to get Bells from one stone a day. It always changes so it's important to check it every day so you don't lose money.

7 - Paying your debts

Another striking feature of the Animal Crossing series is the debts that the main character acquires with Tom Nook. Not long after you start, you will already need to pay your tent's debt, for that you will need to earn many Nook Miles.

To acquire Nook Miles, just complete some missions that will be listed on your NookPhone. Focus on paying your initial debt, as doing so will unlock more daily missions, which will pay more Miles (Nook Miles +). With these Miles, you will be able to buy some upgrades, and travel to other islands.

8 - Chat

Defined by Nintendo itself as a communication game, it could not be left out of the list of Animal Crossing tips. Chat with as many NPCs as you can, every day, as they can give you items, discover new locations, or even create quests for you.

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From time to time, new visitors show up on the island, so it is important to take some time out of your game to look for them and talk to them. These visitors disappear after a while (according to the time), so be quick!

9 - Visiting other islands

With the use of two thousand Nook Miles, it will be possible to travel to other islands and explore them. This is very important because another island has a different environment, and you may come across different resources that will earn you more money, or even some fruits that you can plant on your own island.

It is also important to visit other islands after you have explored all of your own and resources are lacking to build something or fulfill a mission. Also talk to the NPCs there, after all communication is always important.

Important! Each island can only be visited ONE TIME, so explore as much as you can and get all possible resources out of there, as you won't be coming back.

10 - Nook's Cranny

In the very early days, you could also build a store – Nook's Cranny. Through it, you will be able to sell the collected resources to earn money to pay your debts – which will only grow as you pay them. Every day, there is a “hot item” (literal translation: hot item), which will sell for a higher price than usual. Always keep an eye on what the hot item of the day will be, and explore it to earn more money.

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Another important part of Nook's Cranny is the purchase and sale of Turnips. Every Sunday, a visitor, Daisy Mae, will appear on the island and she will sell turnips. You can buy these turnips and resell them during the week at Nook's Cranny. Keep an eye on prices every day, to earn as much profit as possible on top of that.

After Nook's Cranny closes, it will still be possible to sell items - but at a lower price than normal. Just leave them in a box at the door of the store.

Night on the island. Character sitting on a log with a telescope on the side
Animal Crossing time passes according to your own time

11 - Everything can be used

Timmy and Tommy will be ready to pay you for anything you can get on the island. And, if you are unable to sell the item, it may eventually be used for some purpose. So, if you happen to fish for an old boot instead of a fish, don't throw it away! It may prove to be useful in the future.

12 - Items in the pocket

You can, as you explore, keep some items in your pockets. But they are not infinite, on the contrary! Always pay attention to the space available in your pockets, and don't leave things moldy there without being used – you may need this space to store another, more useful item. Never walk without room in your pockets, especially if you are visiting another island. You may regret it.

13 - Tools

The first tools you can create are more fragile, so they break easily. Always have spare materials, especially if you are visiting another island - you never know if your ax will withstand all exploration, or if it will break in the middle of the road.

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14 - Recipes

Animal Crossing: New Horizons creations are made using DIY (do it yourself, or do it yourself in Portuguese). In order to build or create certain things, for example the medicine against wasp stings (very useful by the way!), It will be necessary to obtain so-called recipes.

The recipes can be purchased with NPC, or even in bottles that appear on the beach. They can also be purchased with Tom Nook. The tip here is to keep an eye on the smoke coming out of the neighbors' houses - it can indicate a recipe to be shared.

A final way to earn revenue is through gifts. Eventually, floating gift boxes will appear, held by a balloon on your island. You must use the slingshot to pierce the balloon, causing the box to fall and you can check the gift. They will be able to give you money, items or recipes.

Watch out! Do not pop the balloon over the water, or your gift will sink.

15 - Think about the tent locations

The tents inserted on the island will later give space to larger buildings. That is why it is important to plan well for this when placing each tent. Leave them well spaced, and not too high on the water, so you can change them later.

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Character sitting on a log
In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the character acquires an island paradise to develop

16 - Explore

Realize how well your island works. A new day starts at 5 am, so take your time studying the trees, flowers, insects, fish, neighbors, what appears at each time, and what the respawn time is. You will always need new features, so it’s important to explore and get the most out of your island each day.

For example, if your tree bears new fruit every day, not harvesting it in one day will cause the resources that this tree could offer you to decrease. Try to explore your island to the fullest every day, and collect as many resources as possible.

And how do I harvest fruit? Simple, just shake it and they will fall.

The same goes for neighboring islands. These are impossible to calculate which time would be best for the visit, but remove everything you can from there on your visit. New features will ALWAYS be needed, so collect everything you can.

17 - Expansion of the inventory

In Tom Nook's tent, an item called Pocket Organization Guide will be available for purchase. It costs five thousand miles, but it is worth the investment, as it will expand the space of your inventory, which will be very useful for you who will make many different resources per day.

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18 - Talk to Tom Nook

In the tutorial (first day), after completing the first missions, building the fire and naming the island, you will need to talk to Tom Nook, and this is very important because he will give you a place to sleep. After talking to him and getting his camping cop, go to his tent and position him on either side. After sleeping for the first time, the second day and the game itself will begin (end of the tutorial).

Always try to talk to Tom Nook when you can, as he will give you a guide of what you need to do to follow the “story” (as I said at the beginning of the text, the game is not very loaded by the story itself, but there are some important points), such as the arrival of new neighbors, or new missions, or even a new loan.

19 - Check the mail

Outside your tent and eventually your home, you can find a small mailbox. Always check it for new messages or gifts. When you have a new delivery in the mail, a blue icon will appear in the box. Deliveries can be gifts from other users or NPCs, or even purchases you made in the game store.

20 - Daily Miles

In Tom Nook's tent there will be a terminal. That's where you can purchase items such as expanding your inventory, for example. But another very interesting thing there are the daily Miles. Daily, you earn a number of Miles for free, and the value increases as you collect more days in a row. Don't forget to stop by every day, free money!!

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Join other endivi… players!

21 – Enjoy the features

Don't waste anything on the game. Every morning the features are renewed. Trees give new fruit and wood, rocks can be broken to give rocks, clay and even iron when you hit them with the pickaxe. Do this every morning in order not to miss the renewal cycle and enjoy everything the game has to offer. Even though you won't be using it at that time, it's possible to store, sell or build some stuff later.

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22 – Go swimming

The latest Animal Crossing update allows players to jump into the water around their island and dive below the surface to investigate bubbles. In the same way that you can find unique fish and insects around your island, you can now catch a variety of marine creatures from the sea – whether you want to donate them to Blathers at the museum or sell them for a quick buck.

23 – Beware of fake art

Animal Crossing introduced Redd, the fox that handles art with which fans of the series should already be familiar, a few months after the game's release. Redd sells paintings that you can hang in his museum's new wing, but he also tries to ship fake copies to unsuspecting players.

When you ask to inspect a painting before purchasing it, compare it with guides to see if you should keep the money or keep the bells in your pocket. Alternatively, if you don't want a guide to identifying fakes, you can use Google Lens to identify paintings and then make your own attempt to find discrepancies.

24 – Cross flowers

Creating new flower varieties is a slow but rewarding process in Animal Crossing. When you water the flowers, they reproduce. But if you water adjacent flowers of the same type but different colors, they will reproduce with mixed colors. So if you're looking to discover new colors, plant the same varieties next to each other, but leave room for them to spread out.

On the other hand, if you want more specimens of a rare variety that has sprung up, separate them from the other flowers and water them daily. It will take some time, but others will soon sprout.

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25 – Time travel

Time travel is a hot topic of conversation in the Animal Crossing community, and it's controversial as well. As the game takes place in real time, you really have to wait a real day for buildings to be built and plants to grow. And Animal Crossing: New Horizons starts off slow. So if you want a faster start, consider switching your Nintendo Switch clock 7-10 days back. That way, as you play, you can increase a day every few hours to cover some of the earlier parts of the slower-developing game more quickly.

By setting the clock before you start, rather than advancing later, you'll also have a chance to get back to real time. That way, you can pretend you've never cheated (but deep down you'll always know…)

26 – Don't delay payments

Tom Nook, the agio…rich raccoon who finances your adventure and constantly pressures you to spend more money than you have, puts you in what appears to be deep debt the first day. It takes a little time to accumulate Nook Miles – an achievement-based currency – at the start of the game, but work to earn them quickly and pay off the first debt as quickly as possible.

The faster you pay off your first loan, the faster Tom will build you a house and, more importantly, provide the extra storage you need for whatever you're about to start collecting.

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27 – Find the fruits

The first fruit you find on your island sells for 100 bells each. But as you get more “imported fruit”, you can sell them for up to 500 bells each. Trouble is, finding those fruit trees can be a challenge, even if you spend all your Nook miles traveling to other islands in search.

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As each player starts with different fruits on their island, one of the easiest ways to make all six types of trees grow at home is to share. If you have friends playing, you can travel to their island. otherwise you always you can search on Reddit by strangers sharing public codes so you can get some new fruit to grow. And remember, if you don't have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, you can always get a 7-day free trial to find what you need, then cancel before you're billed.

28 – Fruits give you powers

If you eat fruit, you will see a counter in the upper left corner of the screen. This indicator shows how many fruits you ate (up to 10) and for each one you can perform a super feat, such as breaking a stone or digging an entire tree. Digging up trees helps make it easier to harvest orchards, and when you visit other islands, it helps to transplant new fruit trees without having to wait for them to grow. That said, DON'T BREAK ROCKS! In fact…


Iron, clay and stone are all useful resources at the beginning of the game, but they are hard to find. When you hit a rock with an ax or shovel, it spits out one of these three resources. But you only have a handful. “So,” you're thinking, “let me eat some fruit and hit a rock. Then I'll get all the resources, right?” Wrong!

When you break a boulder, you'll get a single resource and have to wait for another boulder to appear elsewhere on the island (which, remember, takes days in real time). The two exceptions are if you are trying to make room for another building or if you are destroying rocks to make them grow closer to your home for easier harvesting. Other than that… DON'T BREAK THE ROCKS!

30 – Plant Money

Fruit trees are a great way to earn income early in the game, and once you get a shovel, planting a pear or apple tree is easy and quickly pays off. Another semi-secret form of income: money trees!

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Around the island, golden rays occasionally shine from the ground. Dig them up and you'll find a bag of bells (the island's main currency). Instead of pocketing the bells and covering the hole, you can plant the bag to grow a money tree.

In fact, if you select the bells in your inventory and distribute a bag of 10.000, you can grow a tree that drops bags of 10.000 bells when it grows. If you do this once a day, you should maintain a consistent income of 20.000 bells a day between planting and harvesting your money bags.

Bonus - Multiplayer Game

An important thing to talk about when it comes to Animal Crossing is that there are two multiplayer modes in the game. In multiplayer, one of the players will be chosen as "leader", and the others will be the "followers".

Online Multiplayer

The first mode is via an online connection, when you go to other players' islands or receive visitors on your own island. Up to eight people can play together this way. Nintendo Switch Online subscription is required to play in this mode. It also requires other players to be on your Nintendo Switch friends list or share a Dodo Code. To play, follow the instructions:

Visiting Other People

To visit other people's islands and play together, just do the following:

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  1. Go to the airport and talk to Dodo;
  2. Select the options “I wanna fly!”, “I wanna visit someone”, “via online play”, and then “Roger!”;
  3. You will then search for a friend (search for a friend) in your Switch friends list, or, if you have someone else's Dodo Code, you will inform them (search via Dodo Code);
  4. Finally, select “let's fly” to start your visit.

The owner of the island visited will be the leader, and you (and anyone else visiting the island as well) will be a follower. To return, just go to the airport again and select “I want to go home”.

Receiving Visitors

To receive other people on your island, just follow these steps:

  1. Go to the airport and talk to Dodo;
  2. Select "I want visitors" and "via online play";
  3. If this is your first time in this mode, select “I understand”, if not, just skip this step;
  4. You will then decide how your friends will come, in “all my friends!” you open your island to all your friends on the Switch, in “invite via Dodo Code” you will generate a code so that people who are not on your list can access the island;
  5. Wait for your friends to arrive! You will be notified when this happens.

In this mode, you will be the leader, and your visitors will be the followers. The first time you use this function, the Best Friends List application will be added to your Nook Phone, and you will be able to add the other players (best friends can perform actions such as digging holes and hitting rocks on your island, things that ordinary visitors cannot do ).

To stop receiving visitors, go back to the Dodo and select “please close the gate” so that no one else can enter. Tired of the visitors? You can press the button - and select “end session”, everyone will then be sent back to their islands.

Local Multiplayer

The second mode would be locally via the same console. In this case, a maximum of four people can play at the same time, in two ways: the co-op mode with inhabitants of the same island, or with people from other islands. The explanation is as follows:

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  • Inhabitants of the same island: This is called “Party Play”. Up to 8 people can live on the same island on the same console, but only 4 can play this mode at the same time.

At Party Play, followers will have to follow the leader wherever he goes (the screen is not split). Only the leader can enter into constructions, have access to the complete inventory and pick up materials. Followers can fish and catch insects, and these will be deposited in the recycling box at Resident Services for later retrieval. To start Party Play just follow the steps:

  1. Access your Nook Phone (ZL);
  2. Select the “Call Resident” option (it will only be available if at least two people live on the same island);
  3. Choose who you want to play with and confirm;
  4. Choose the type of control of the other players (one or two Joy-Con or Pro Controller)
  5. Read the information on the screen and start playing!

The player who makes the call (call) will be the leader. To end the Party Play mode, simply access the Nook Phone and go to the Call Resident option again to end the session.

  • Inhabitants of other islands: As in the online mode, it is possible to visit other islands or receive visitors locally. Your friends must be on consoles close to yours (or vice versa), so that they are connected locally.

In this case, the step-by-step is the same as described in online mode, but instead of “online play”, select “local play”.

Quick FAQ

What is the rarest character from Animal Crossing, New Horizons?

Octopuses are the rarest villagers in ACNH. As this list makes clear, octopuses are the rarest species in Animal Crossing: New Horizons with just three representatives: Marina, Octavian, and Zucker.

Can you finish Animal Crossing: New Horizons?

There really isn't such a thing as 'finishing' Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Part of the game's appeal is that players can potentially play hundreds and thousands of hours on their Nintendo Switch and still have more to do as the game expands and evolves, and they move across their island.

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What do you do after building 3 Animal Crossing houses?

Once the three housing lots have been placed, and the proper furniture/decor has been provided, you have to play the waiting game. Only one villager will be moving per day, so you'll need to let three real-world days pass.

How do you scare villagers in ACNH?

Villagers who have candy change, so you won't be collecting candy in the same houses all night long. The best way to get Candy is to scare the villagers by wearing the Pumpkin costume (which includes Jack's head and Jack's cloak). This trick will work on everyone on your island at least once.

Can you get married in Animal Crossing?

No. At the moment, marriages are restricted to Reese and Cyrus only and there is no way for players to perform marriages in the game. For now, they'll have to be content with watching Cyrus and Reese enjoy their newlywed status.

Can you have a pet in Animal Crossing?

Unfortunately, at the moment, there is no real way to get a pet in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Enjoy having fun with your friends and family

With these tips, you're ready to go! So, what did you think of the article? Was he helpful to you, or are you a veteran and do you have any other tips that you think are important for newcomers to Animal Crossing: New Horizons? I hope I have piqued your curiosity about this game! Comment there what you think!

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Paulo Fabris is a journalist, writer, RPG player, gamer, cosplayer, nerd and fan of anime since the time of TV Manchete.