It was 9th April when I bought Animal Crossing New Horizons. I had never played it before and thought I may as well see what all the fuss is about. 1 month later I’ve ploughed 125+ hours in to it.
It’s fab game and I thought I’d share 50 tips and pieces of advice to get you started on your journey to island ownership – because let’s be honest, you’ll be the only one on the island doing any actual work!
1 – You have to pay for everything.
I mean I don’t know who Tom ‘Bad Boy’ Nook thinks he is, but he don’t do shit! I pay for my own house, I pay for other people’s houses, the campsite, any island refurb including inclines and bridges.
He’s all about the lulling you in with exciting new things for the island and then lumping you with the bill. I’m pretty sure Timmy and Tommy (AKA the Nook twins) are his muscle he will send round if you get too slack on payments to rough you up a bit and then you have to spend the whole day telling your islanders you got ‘stung by a wasp’. Or, I could have thought too much about it?
Now bridges and inclines are not demanding money from me, but anyone, resident or not, can donate. Well the cheapest one is 98k bells, and after a day my residents had clubbed together about 468 bells – gee thanks! – so was left to muggins here to cough up the rest if I want my island to be in ship shape sometime before the end of lockdown.
2 – You will not like all your residents
Word on the street is you can get residents you don’t like to move out by either hitting them constantly with a net, or by just plain ignoring them.
These have not worked for me. The little turdbag (Chester) I want to leave my island, just forgives me every time I whack him with my net.
I did have a previous resident I didn’t like (Olaf…does anyone???!) and I didn’t hit him with a net nor did I particularly ignore him yet he decided one day he wanted to check out other islands to live on. So I let him and he moved out the next day.
Some people say that if you have a full island (10 residents) and an Animal Crossing amiibo card you can chose the resident which gets booted out in replacement of the amiibo card character.
If you have a camper visit your campsite, you can ask them to move in as well, but you don’t get to choose who leaves, so one of your faves could go.
Another bit of advice I read, is just keep an eye on when they have the little thought cloud above their head. Go and speak to them as sometimes they have something on their mind. Sometimes they will give you gifts, and sometimes they will mention about leaving the island.
3 – Buy pocket expansion ASAP
As soon as you have enough, go to the Resident Services machine and buy the pocket organiser expansion (both of them). You will start with 20 spaces to carry items. After spending 5000 Nook Miles on Pocket Organization Guide this will increase to 30.
Believe me when I say, this will soon not be enough, so save up 8,000 Nook Miles and then buy Ultimate Pocket Stuffing Guide. You will now have 40 spaces, the most you can have (at least, it is at the time of writing!)
This is incredibly helpful when visiting islands, and also just general maintaining and ‘fannying’ about on your own island, catching, shaking and hitting everything soon does fill up your pockets.
4 – Selling fruit. Native = 100 bells, non-native =500
When you first move on your island, look around to what fruit trees you have. These will be fruit which is native to your island. If you sell this fruit on your island you will get 100 bells each. Other fruit will get 500 bells each (except coconuts, which will fetch 250 each).
Apples are native to my island (Nugget WSY), so I save them up and once in a while I go to my friend’s island whose native fruit is pears and I sell my apples on his island. That way I get 500 bells per apple. It certainly helps in paying off debt!
5 – Move to island & DEBT straight away
Speaking of debt. You will think that paying 5k for your first house (well..tent!) is a bit steep. Oh how I wish that was my debt right now! You will clear your debt and then get in more and more..but it’s okay getting 100-200k in a day is more than do-able. Possibly even more so if you keep an eye out on island visitors where you can sell specialised stuff such as weeds, bugs and fish too.
I’m sure Tom Nook is some Animal Crossing Mafia.
Also turnips. Turnips will be your life!
6 – You will spend hours weeding. And enjoy it
After about 6 or 7 hours of gameplay I decided to start tidying up my island. 6 or 7 hours seems a lot, but considering I then spend about 1.5 hours just on weeding alone, you can see how easy it is to get caught up in such mundane tasks. After which, you will do a lap of honour to bask in your wonderful work at making the island so clean and lovely.
7 – Buy turnnips every Sunday AM
One of the island visitors is Daisy Mae. She arrives on your island every Sunday morning and offers to sell you turnips and will give you a price she’ll sell them to you for.
You can buy from Daisy Mae on other islands, so always check with your friend’s how much she is selling on their island for. You may get a better deal.
She is only there in the mornings though, so make sure you don’t miss out.
8 – Check prices twice a day
You can sell your turnips Mon-Sat, not on Sunday, from the Nook’s Cranny (Timmy and Tommy). They will offer you two prices, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. These prices will differ for every person and be different every day.
It’s a gamble as to whether you try to hold out another day for a higher price, or if you take the plunge. Remember, you can sell at friend’s islands so always check their prices too.
Last week I bought nearly 600 turnips for 91 bells each, and sold them for 425 bells each. I also had 4 friends come over to my island to sell their turnips at a nice tidy profit too.
9 – Check friend’s turnip prices as you can buy and sell on their island
As mentioned, every Sunday Daisy-Mae will rock up on your island to sell you turnips. These prices will differ for everyone, so it would be worth while checking with your friends what Daisy-Mae is selling for on their island as if their prices are cheaper then you can pop over and buy from her on their island.
Daisy-Mae will give you a price per turnip, but will only sell in batches of 10, so you’ll want to bear that in mind.
10 – Can’t hoarde turnips to following week
Unfortunately, if you do not sell your turnips within the week they will rot and become unsalable. So there is no hoarding your ‘nips!
11 – If you get stung by wasps, speak to residents
If you get stung by wasps (and you will), you can pick up the wasps nest and some weeds and craft some medicine. But, that isn’t always easy – especially if you have been particularly busy and sold off all your weeds.
Speaking to residents is always good, you find out if you like them or not, and if you speak to them once you’ve been stung, they will all gasp at the vileness of your face but if you’re lucky one of them will just so happen to be carrying some medicine and will give it to you.
12 – Hold net while shaking trees
ALWAYS hold a net when shaking trees. The most important reason for this, is that if a wasps nest falls out of the tree you have a split second’s reaction time. Turn and face the nest and start whacking that net. You will be able to catch the wasp (and sell it) and not get stung.
Other animals can ‘fall out’ of the tree, such as bagworm and spiders. These spiders stay attached to the tree and do not chase after you.
13 – Always speak to residents,
Aside from medicine, the more you chat to the residents, the more you build a friendship with them. They will sometimes give you gifts, just randomly. Also if you give them a gift (anything from a fish to an outfit and more) they will sometimes give you something back in return.
Some of them are incredibly peculiar gifts. I gave Gwen a vanity mirror and in an excitable outburst of appreciation she gave me a diner table in return.
Then I gave Deena the Diner table and she then gifted me a thread worn sweater (thanks?!) – but Deena is the cutest duck in the world and I shan’t hear anything against her.
That thread worn sweater was then gifted to Tammi who loved it and wore it straight away.
That said, I have been given some rather lovely stuff, some jazzy clothes, hats, decorations etc. It’s always fun to get a gift anyway.
14 – Visit them in their homes too.
Your residents won’t always be out and about, sometimes they will be in their homes. It is worth checking for them here (you can see the light on in their house if they are in). If they are busying away doing DIY in the corner, still speak to them. They will give you the DIY recipe to whatever they are making.
15 – The longer you play, the more fun it becomes
While there is a lot to do to begin with, it can feel quite limited compared to what other people can do. However, the more you play the more becomes available to you and the more fun it becomes. The addiction has well set in by this point!
16 – You can visit AI islands with Nook Miles tickets or Friends’ islands with their Dodo code
If you have a Nook Miles ticket (2,000 bells at the ABD Machine in resident’s services) you can visit another island. This will be an in game island, and not a real person’s island. So you can do as much stealing, collecting, damage and destruction as your heart desires.
If you wish to visit a real person’s island they will need to open their gates to allow you access. You can’t just turn up without them wanting visitors. If you are not friends on Switch or Animal Crossing they can give you a Dodo code, which you enter at the airport and allows you access to their island.
It is good form and manners, to not be a little sod on other people’s islands. Don’t go running through their flowers, stealing their fruit or destroying their trees.
17 – Eat fruit and get super strength
If there were bananas this would be a perfect Bananaman/Eric reference. But there isn’t. The comparison still works though. When you eat any fruit (max 10 at a time) you get super strength so can chop down trees and dig up trees, and destroy stones – HULK SMASH!
18 – Dig up trees and plant them.
Super strength helps mostly when wanting to sort your trees out in to orchards (because, believe me…you will want to..) and general island gardening. You are able to dig a hole and plant the fruit and wait for the tree to grow, but it’s easy and quick to just pop some apples down your gullet and heave-ho those trees to where you want them to go.
19 – ‘B’ Button speeds up to run
The normal speed at which you meander about somewhat faster than a walk. Which is fine. Until you figure out pressing and holding the B button speeds this up quite nicely and you can get to where you are going at least 1 second quicker
20 – ‘A’ button speeds up crafting
Same goes for crafting. It only takes a few moments to see the little chappy hitting and working to craft your creation, but tapping that ‘A’ button makes it go that little bit quicker. You will be crafting a lot, this will be useful to know.
21 – ‘B’ button speeds up conversations
Orville the Dodo and Blathers the Owl don’t half know how to waffle on. Thank goodness for ‘B’ button speeding up the conversation. It works on any convo you have, but these guys do rabbit on a bit too much.
22 – Keep an eye on nook miles rewards
Make sure to always check the Nook mile rewards app on your phone (in game not IRL!) . You can spend these at the ABD machine in the resident services on items for the island, Dodo airlines ticket and such like.
When the Nook mikes + becomes active, keep an eye on them too. You get a max of 5 small tasks to do and when you do one a new one appears. It’s a good way to clock up those nook miles.
23 – Water plants in friends’ gardens
When you visit your friend’s islands, try to remember to take a watering can to water their flowers (and vise versa). It highers the chances of them/you getting cross pollination and new flower colours.
24 – Plant different colour flowers near each other
Planet flowers near each other but leaving a gap and make sure they are watered daily (via watering can, or rain). This should lead to cross pollination and new colour flowers to grow.
25 – Get Slingshot ASAP
I spent a silly amount of time wondering “How do I get those gifts from the balloon down” – Answer: Slingshot. I got my recipe from Timmy and the Nook’s cranny store. You need this. Gifts from balloons can provide clothes decorations or even money!
26 – Need money? Fish & sell!
In a bit of a bind as to what to do and need to clock up some quick money to pay off bad boy Nook? Go fish! Fish for anything and everything and go and sell to Timmy and Tommy at the Nook’s Cranny (or in the resident services tent). This will soon add up nicely.
27 – Collect weeds
Collecting weeds is dull, but it can be useful. Collect and sell so many and you get Nook Mile rewards. Selling doesn’t really bring in lots of cash, but money is still money. And if you have Leif on your island sell to him. He offers 20 bells per clump rather than the Nook twins’ 10.
28 – Check ABD machine daily
The ABD machine (or the ATM looking machine in the corner of he resident’s services) should be checked out every day, whether you buy anything or not. This gets you up to 300 free nook miles a day. Everyone loves a Brucey bonus, right?!
29 – Take shovel, fishing rod, pole, ladder, stone axe and net on island visits
When traveling to islands, take shovel, fishing rod, pole, ladder, stone axe and a net. Don’t worry about anything else, it takes up valuable space in your pockets. If any of your items break you can usually get the parts required on the island to craft another (there will always be a DIY crafting station) – or you can go back to Wilbur at the plane and buy a flimsy one for 100 nook miles each.
30 – Tarantulas are really scary! and super fast
The most scariest things in the world are the tarantulas in Animal Crossing. They are fast. Very fast. They are sneaky little buggers with a vendetta against you. They are scary and you cannot out run them once they’ve started their chase, but you can trap them!
If you see a tarantula (and god forbid you land on tarantula island) here are some tips for catching it
1 – Squeak in horror at seeing it
2 – Whisper to whoever you are with to let them know how brave you are about to be without letting the arachnid hear you
3 – Get your net out and press ‘A’ to and slowly stalk the beast
4 – When you see it raise it’s front two legs stop. Then when it lowers them creep forward slowly again. Until you are close enough and than THWACK with your net
5 – Laugh manically for having outwitted this spawn of Satan.
This also is valid for scorpions, but I don’t find them as evil as the tarantulas
31 – When the story ends, the gameplay continues
Once you have hit the main goal of the story, to get K K Slider to perform on your island, don’t be disheartened. There is so much more enjoyable game play and objectives left to do.
A whole new world of terraforming awaits you!
32 – You will get in to routines with it
Every day, when I load up Animal Crossing I have my routine of things I have to do before I do anything else:
1 – Go to the Nooks Cranny and find out turnip prices and what the hot item is
2 – See what threads the Able Sisters have got to offer me
Then I go round the whole island and pick up all weeds and tree branches, shake all trees, collect all shells, collect all fruit, hit all stones and dig up all fossils.
Once this is done, I get my fossils assessed and sell what I can and then, and only then, can I go about whatever else I have to do
33 – Have fun with friends
Visiting friends’ islands is fun, you can meet and chat to their residents, sell your fruit at their Nooks Cranny shop, buy from their Able Sisters shop, and if you/they have been playing long enough to accumulate lots of stuffs, then you/they can create various games to play.
I did this recently on a friend’s island. She hosted a games night, we won prizes, and had to do shots as forfeit it was loads of fun. (FYI I won!)
We even had a fancy dress theme and are going to do the same next week too.
34 – Able Sister’s shop = Game changer
The moment the Able Sisters move their shop on your island you will suddenly be all about sacking off paying Bad Boy Nook and spending your hard earned cash on some incredibly necessary and fashionable items such as: Night vision goggles, mohawk wig, vampire costume and much much more. Before you know it your wardrobe will be full of a million different outfits for all occasions.
35 – Always check beaches
It is really useful to check across the full length of your beaches numerous times a day not just to pick up shells, but sometimes you will find a message in a bottle. These will be a DIY recipe, and fingers crossed a good ‘un.
You will sometimes bump in to a marooned gull called….Gulliver. Here you will be grateful for knowing ‘b’ speeds up conversations, he’s a chatterer! – He’ll give you a little task and once completed he’ll send you a gift in the post the next day.
Spoiler: Don’t get too excited about the gifts!
Another thing you can find on beaches are star fragments, you will find one on the beach the next day, for each time you made a wish on a shooting star.
36 – Don’t pop balloons over water, flowers or rocks
Keep your eyes peeled for when you see gifts floating by attached to balloons. You can pop these with your slingshot, but be warned if it pops and the present drops in water it’s lost. Also if it falls in flowers it will bounce out, but if it falls in a solid block of flowers it will also be lost.
37 – Drop off box will only give you 80%
Nook’s Cranny is open from 8am-10pm. If you want to sell anything out side of these hours you can use the drop off box at the front of the store. I would use this sparingly though, and if you can put the items in storage until the following day as you will only get 80% of the cost.
So you could be losing out on some money on big value items.
38 – Design codes for Able sisters’ shop
There is the design terminal in the shop. If you do some good googling you can find people who have designed some amazing items. You can then enter their designer ID at this terminal and get that item for yourself.
39 – Press and hold ‘A’ with net to creep
When it comes to catching tarantulas and scorpions this is something you need to know. It also helps with catching various bugs and such.
40 – Scorpions 7pm-4am May-Oct and then Tarantulas
If you chose Northern Hemisphere when creating your account you will see the tarantulas from 7pm – 4am November – April and scorpions May – October between the same time. If you chose Southern Hemisphere, it will be the other way round.
41 – Leave tree stumps, and rubbish for bugs
When you chop down trees, leave a couple of tree stumps as some good bugs land on them. This is the same for leaving rubbish out (boot, rotten turnips etc) after a few days you’ll get some ants.
42 – Plant money
If you see a little gold shine in the ground, dig it up. You will find 1,000 bells. Even better though, if you bury it back in the same hole, over the next few days it will grow in to a money tree and you’ll get 3 x the amount. It won’t grow anymore after this so you can chop the tree down after you’ve collected your money.
43 – Create scorpion island
Okay, I heard about this and gave it a go and it worked. But you will need patience, time and a side dish of nerves. There may be other variations of how to do this, but the below worked for me.
When you use your Nook Miles ticket and land on a bamboo island after 7pm :
1 – Chop down all the trees and dig up all the stumps
2 – Pick up all weeds and flowers
3 – Destroy all rocks
4 – Ditch all the extra items apart from a net in to some corner of the island, out of the way
5 – Run around like a loon, making sure to scare off the water roaches and bugs
6 – Bide your time. When I did this I think 1 scorpion spawned every 3-5 minutes on average.
It was worth it though, as I had flick on my island, so went back with 39 scorpions and clocked up a sweet 468k bells.
44 – Terraforming
When this becomes available to you, you’ll start building cliffs and waterfalls everywhere, just because you can. Then you’ll start to think about some designs and put some more effort in to it. Then you’ll wish you had done it differently, or on a different part of the island.
In short, you will spend all night doing an area, love it, then a couple of days later (or even straight away, in some of my cases) wish something different for it, and re-do it.
But, when you get it how you want it, IT’S SO COOL and SO MUCH FUN!
45 – Catch, hit and shake everything
Shake all trees. Aside from wasps/spiders, they will sometimes drop an item that you can pick up and do with as you so wish.
Hit all rocks. Hit with a shovel / stone axe and you will get clay, stone, iron nuggets, gold nuggets, bugs and sometimes even cash. If you use a proper axe or have bananaman-style-super-strength then the rock will smash. Keep these as you’ll always need them for DIY recipes.
Catch everything. Fish, butterflies, moths, insects, spiders, scorpions – everything. Donate the first one caught of each species to blathers at the museum, and from then on in sell them all to the Nook twins.
Collect everything. Fruit, flowers, weeds, branches. Branches are always useful to keep and some weeds, for DIY recipes. Other than that, sell sell sell! every bell counts.
46 – Homes can be moved at a later date
If you start plopping homes down willy nilly and then wish you hadn’t put them there, don’t worry. These can be moved at a later date. But don’t think Bad Boy Nook will do it for free, you’ll have to pay 50k bells for the privilege.
When you get to this stage though, it’s not particularly hard to clock up 50k, but if you can think about where you are putting them originally that is an extra 50k you can spend on other necessities.
47 – Wish on shooting stars
Sometimes at night if the sky is clear and you can see the stars, keep looking and you may see some shooting stars. If you do, make sure you don’t have anything in your hands and press ‘A’. You will then wish upon this star. Do this as many times as you so desire when you see them.
48 – Check out island visitors
Daisy-Mae visits every Sunday. All other visitors are random. Below are who you can expect and what their dealio is:
CJ – He will give you a fishing challenge and you should sell any fish caught to him, he will give you more than the Nook Twins
Flick – Sell your insects/bugs to him. Again, he will give you more money than the nook twins. FYI scorpions/tarantulas normally go for 8k bells each at the Nook Twins shop, Flick will give you 12k each. Always worth hanging on to these until Flick is on your island.
Leif – He’s a cute little sloth that sells shrubs, flowers and also will buy your weeds (20 bells each, as opposed to Nook Twins’ offer of 10)
Kicks – As surprise may have it, sells footwear and bags.
Redd – This proper little Delboy will try to sell you works of art. Some will be fake, some will be real. You will not know until you’ve bought one and had Blathers check it out.
Saharah – A camel selling wallpaper and rugs. Obviously. There are some seriously jazzy designs going on here though
Label – Another sibling of the Able Sisters. She will ask you to do a fashion show and give you a gift
49 – Fences
In order to get KK Slider to visit your island you have to get a 3 star rating, Isabelle will tell you what your rating is. Putting stuff all around your island, planting flowers, trees and such will all help in getting your rating up. As will fences. For some reason Isabelle can’t get enough of fences. I swear she has a fence fetish.
“Oh aren’t you doing well, island looks spiffing, not quite enough fencing though..”
Not an actual quote, but ya know, the general gist of it. So go segregate and separate sections of your island
50 – No rush, enjoy it
It isn’t a competition to get to a certain part of the game as quick as possible, to have your island looking as swishy as your friends’ or to do anything within a particular time frame.
It’s your game, you do what you want at your own pace and enjoy it. It’s a game that I find relaxing to play, and if I spend a whole night not doing anything to my house or island because I’ve been chatting to the residents and catching bugs, then that’s fine. You’re in it for the long haul, may as well enjoy the ride.
And thus concludes 50 tips and pieces of advice I learned the hard way about Animal Crossing New Horizons.
Feel free to leave any comments below of any tips you may have, your thoughts on Tom Nook’s possible gang related activities or just what you thought of this post.
Also, feel free to share with anyone you feel may benefit from these Animal Crossing tips.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see I post daily pictures of what outfit I’m wearing – so you can see that I am the height of fashion both in reality and in game.
Have fun, stay safe
Love, Ray x