[Top 25 Tips] Animal Crossing: New Horizons Beginner’s Guide

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Beginner’Guide
Enjoy some island life this summer in the immersive game of Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

If you’ve never played previous games in the Animal Crossing series, diving into New Horizons can seem kind of intimidating.

There are so many things to do on your island that it can seem a little overwhelming at first.

New things happen on the island every day, and each season has its own unique items and events to participate in.

Whether you’ve been playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons for one day or one year, there are always new things to learn.

In this guide, I’ve compiled a list of 25 tips to help you get the most out of your playing experience and clear up any confusion you may have about the world of Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

25. Visit other player’s islands to complete your fruit collection.

When you first start out in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you will only have access to one type of fruit plus coconuts.

Once you are able to visit Mystery islands, you will have the chance to discover your island’s “sister fruit.”

You might also get a letter from Mom with this sister fruit.

To get the fruits you are missing, you will have to visit other player’s islands and either purchase the fruit from their Nooks Cranny shop, or ask for permission to shake their fruit trees.

Simply take the fruit back to your island and plant it to get a tree that grows that fruit type.

24. Running over flowers will cause their petals to fall off.

Be aware when running through flowers that there is a chance you will damage the flower and cause the petals to fall off.

While this doesn’t look nice, it doesn’t do any permanent damage to the flower and the petals will usually grow back the next day.

If you pick a flower by accident, the petals will take three days to grow back.

Take care when visiting someone else’s island so you do not accidentally ruin their flowers.

23. If you destroy a rock, it will re-spawn in a new spot.

Sometimes, it may be necessary to destroy a rock because it’s in the way or you might accidentally do it after eating a piece of fruit.

There’s no need to worry, the rock will re-spawn in a new area of your island the next day.

Note that only one rock will re-spawn per day, so if you destroy all six rocks on your island, it will take six days for all of them to re-spawn.

Also note that rocks will only spawn in a blank area, so if you are trying to get the rocks to spawn in a specific area, simply fill all of the other spaces on the island until the rock spawns. There are some great tutorials on the internet that show you exactly how to do this.

22. Every island has its own specific colors for certain items.

You may notice when you are shopping that you always get items in the same range of colors.

From the start of every new island, there are colors assigned to certain items, with the most notable being your airport.

You have a chance for your airport and seaplane to be any of the pre-set colors including orange, blue, green, and yellow. The color of your airport will predict the color family your items will range from.

Certain items available through the Nook Miles program and the Nook's Cranny shop will also be in a certain set of colors. If you are looking for a specific color for an item, you will have to trade with another player.

21. Balloons spawn around every 5 minutes.

If you want a chance to get unique items from different color sets, new DIYs, and bells, keep an eye (and ear) out for a balloon floating overhead.

Be sure to avoid shooting a balloon down near water, flowers, or other placed objects, as you will lose the prize the balloon was carrying.

Balloons spawn from one side of your island for most of the day, and then between 6 and 7 p.m. the balloons will spawn from the opposite side of your island.

While balloons generally appear on your shore five minutes apart, there is no guarantee a balloon will spawn every five minutes. However, if you are farming for balloons, stalking your shore will definitely allow you to shoot more of them down.

20. Find new villagers on Mystery islands.

If you have an empty lot or one of your villagers is in the process of moving out, you will be able to find random villagers on Mystery islands.

After speaking with the villager, you will be able to ask them to move to your island.

You might have to visit several Mystery islands until you come across a villager, and one will only appear if you have the space for them.

19. Pascal will visit you when you find your first scallop for the day.

Once you are able to dive in the water, you will be able to find all different types of sea creatures.

When you find your first scallop of the day, a friendly otter named Pascal will pop up and ask you for it.

If you give Pascal your scallop, he will share some words of wisdom and give you a gift of either a DIY from the Mermaid collection, a piece of Mermaid clothing, or a pearl.

Pascal will only visit once per day, and be sure to keep an eye on your pockets because if they are full when you find the scallop he will not pop up.

18. Exchange your birthday cupcakes for birthday-themed items.

On your birthday in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the villager hosting your birthday party will give you some cupcakes as you are leaving the party.

Be sure to give these cupcakes out to all of your villagers who were not at the party. In return, each villager will give you a birthday-themed item.

These items range from furnishings such as a birthday table, wall, and floor, to clothing items like a birthday hat and glasses.

You can only get these items on your birthday, and if you give your villagers the cupcakes on any other day, they will treat it as a normal food item.

17. Keep an eye out for lost items.

Occasionally, you will come across a lost book or pouch on your island.

Once you pick it up, you will be able to find out who it belongs to by speaking to your villagers.

The item usually belongs to whichever villager is wandering nearby, but if it doesn’t, the first villager you talk to will be able to tell you who they think the lost item belongs to.

After you give the item back to the correct villager, they will thank you by giving you an item reward, and your friendship rank will also increase.

16. One rock on your island will have bells every day.

Rocks are an excellent resource for the gold, iron, stone, and clay needed for many DIY recipes, but did you know that rocks are also a source for daily income?

Every day, one of the rocks on your island will produce bells instead of DIY supplies.

The bells increase in amount from 100 bells all the way to 8,000 bells if you manage to land all 8 hits to the rock.

If there is more than one player on an island, each player will have their own bell rock every day.

15. Make fish disappear by running near them.

Are you frustrated because you are trying to catch a large fish but the only ones in the water are small?

You can make the fish re-spawn by running past the small fish shadows to make them disappear, and then making a loop around your island or entering a building to refresh the scenery and re-spawn new fish.

Simply repeat this process until you see the size of fish you are looking for.

This is especially helpful during one of C.J.’s fishing challenges.

14. Boost your island rating.

Once you get your Resident Services building up and running, Isabelle will start an ongoing evaluation system for your island.

The ratings are based on how many weeds, trees, flowers, and other items are on your island. Keeping your island free of weeds and carefully planning flower and tree placement will help your rating go up.

When you are first starting out, you will need to raise your island rating to 3 stars in order for K.K. Slider to start showing up and performing weekly concerts on your island. After K.K. visits, you will be able to terraform your island by constructing land and water features.

Higher ratings also allow you to have more villagers on your island, up to 10.

Once you reach a 5-star rating, random Lily-of-the-Valleys will start to appear on your island. There is no limit to how many of these lilies you can have on your island, but you will need to maintain a 5-star rating in order for new ones to appear.

13. Wrapping villager gifts automatically adds 1 friendship point.

Giving your villagers gifts every day is a good way to increase your friendship points with that villager.

Once you gain enough friendship points with a villager by giving them things they like, writing them letters, and talking to them, the villager will give you their photograph.

These photographs are nice keepsakes to have, especially if the villager moves out later.

By interacting with the photo, you will learn the villager’s birthdate and read a quote from them.

Simply wrapping the gift before you give it to your villager will automatically add 1 friendship point to that interaction.

Wrapping paper can be bought in an array of colors at Nook’s Cranny.

12. Don’t shake trees or pick flowers when you are visiting another player’s island.

It is considered very bad etiquette to shake trees or pick flowers when you go to someone else’s island.

If you are trying to get a specific type of fruit or flower, use the chat feature to ask the host for permission first. You could also buy the fruit from their Nook’s Cranny store, as it will feature that island’s native fruit.

It is very important to be respectful when visiting another player’s island, and you should also take care not to trample their flowers or steal items.

11. There will be at least 4 fossils on your island per day.

If you are trying to complete your museum, you will need to search your island for fossils every day.

There will be 4 dig sites for fossils on your island at the start of each new day.

If you do not dig up all 4 fossil sites in one day, they will appear the next day. However, it should be noted that there can only be a maximum of 6 fossils on your island every day, so try not to get too behind.

Even if you have already completed the fossil section of your museum, the fossils are still worth digging up for the bells they are worth. Be sure to have Blathers inspect the fossils before taking them to Nook’s Cranny, or the twins won’t give you very many bells for them.

10. Mystery islands will usually have a message in a bottle or a furniture item.

If you are looking for unique items, but don’t have time to visit someone else’s island, you might be able to find something new on a Mystery Island.

As long as an island has plain hardwood or cedar trees, you will usually be able to shake them and find a furniture item.

Be sure to search the edges of the beach on the Mystery Island, as they might have a message in a bottle with a unique DIY.

Not every island will have both a bottle and a furniture item, but the odds are good that an island will have at least one or the other.

9. Tarantulas and scorpions will attack you if you approach them too fast.

Catching insects on the island is usually no big deal, and you are usually not in danger.

Tarantulas and scorpions are much different, however, and they will actively bite and sting you if you approach them too quickly.

Both of these insects give you a subtle warning sign that you should stop coming towards them. If you ignore this warning, or you miss with the swing of your net, prepare to be attacked.

If a tarantula or scorpion attacks you, the screen will go black and you will wake up at your house or the dock if you are at a Mystery Island.

8. Turnips will rot if you don’t sell them after one week.

It can be tempting to hang on to those turnips for one more day if the buying price just isn’t high enough.

Don’t keep your turnips past Sunday if you wish to get any value at all from them though.

After one week, the turnips will rot and become worthless, and you will not be able to sell them back to Nook’s Cranny.

The turnips will also attract flies and ants, so if you are trying to catch those insects it may be worth keeping a turnip or two around.

7. If you can’t find a villager, try looking in a shop or the museum.

Nothing is more frustrating when you are trying to give a villager a gift than going to their house and they are not home.

The message on the door is always something vague, such as “out for snacks” or simple “not home,” and it leaves no clue as to the villager’s whereabouts.

If you’ve walked over your entire island and can’t find your villager anywhere, check out the Able Sisters or Nook’s Cranny. Sometimes villagers can be found casually browsing in these shops, and they may even give clues about their likes and dislikes according to the comments they make about an item.

If the villager doesn’t turn up in the shops or the great outdoors, your best bet is to check the museum.

I most often find villagers in the insect and fish sections, but they occasionally browse the fossils and art, if you have any.

6. Sometimes, a camper can force another villager to move.

Every once in a while, you get a villager in your campsite that you would love to have as a resident, but your island is full.

Even if your island is full, you might still be able to get the camping villager to move in.

If you ask the camper to move to your island, usually the camper will challenge you to a game where you will have to pick the correct suit or color of card they are about to draw.

If you win the game, the camper will then say they will speak to Resident Services about the big move.

If your island is full, the camper will suggest a villager to move out. If you decide not to move that villager out, the camper will not move to your island. You do not get to pick who moves out, only decide on the option given to you.

5. For convenience, save 3 of each type of insect or fish.

Every once in a while, Flick or C.J. will visit your island with bug catching or fishing challenges. Each character will also offer to have a statue made for you.

In order to have a replica statue made from an insect or fish, you will need to have 3 of that particular type of animal.

If you are willing to give up the precious storage space, you can store 3 of each insect or fish that you wish to have statues made from.

Then, when Flick or C.J. shows up on your island, you don’t have to scramble to catch 3 of the same animal. This is especially helpful when getting statues made from hard-to-get animals such as a tuna or scorpion.

4. Beware of buying fake art from Jolly Redd’s.

There’s a reason Redd is offering such a great deal on priceless works of art from DaVinci and Picasso.

Some of the art is fake, and you will not be able to sell or donate it to the museum once you own it.

The best way to spot fake art is to closely inspect each piece before you buy it.

Sometimes it can be difficult to spot the defect in the art that makes it a fake, so an internet search or gaming guide will come in very handy. You could also attempt to sell it at Nook’s Cranny. If the art is fake, the twins will tell you so. Just be sure to not accidentally sell the real deal if that’s not your plan.

3. Get 2 Mysterious Floors and 2 Mysterious Wallpapers from Sahara on the same day.

Sahara will show up on your island every week or so with new Mysterious Floors and Wallpapers that are unique and usually more detailed than the floors and wallpapers sold at Nook’s Cranny.

However, when you try to buy two Mysterious Floors or two Mysterious Wallpapers on the same day, Sahara will simply not allow it.

The fix? Every time you buy a rug from Sahara, she will give you exchange tickets that you can exchange for a Mysterious Floor or Wallpaper.

When you first speak to her, start by buying a Mysterious Wallpaper and a Mysterious Floor.

Then, proceed to buy rugs until you collect 5 exchange tickets, and Sahara will ask if you want your Mysterious Floor or Wallpaper.

Choose one, and continue to buy rugs until you collect 5 more exchange tickets. At this point, Sahara will allow you to purchase either a Mysterious Floor or Wallpaper based on what you got the last time.

2. When you speak to Wisp, choose “something new.”

Sometimes, at night, a friendly spirit will visit your island. If you approach him to speak, he will be startled and 5 pieces of him will fly all over the island.

He will then task you with finding all of his missing pieces and putting him back together.

Once you complete the task, Wisp will thank you and offer you a reward of either “something you don’t own” or “something expensive.”

It turns out, Wisp doesn’t really understand the concept of money, so if you choose something expensive, the item you receive will likely not be expensive, and it is probably something you already own.

Choosing something you don’t own won’t necessarily get you something expensive, but it is always a possibility, and the item will definitely be something that you do not currently own.

1. Don’t stress about island design.

Browsing the internet, you will find hundreds of pictures of rooms created by Animal Crossing: New Horizons players that look like they could be in an interior design magazine.

Don’t get frustrated if you can’t make your island look like it was created by an experienced designer and landscape artist.

It can be fun to get inspiration from looking at other player’s islands and houses, but don’t stress if you feel like your island isn’t “perfect.”

The game is meant to be fun, so just relax and enjoy it without worrying about how your island looks.

Everyone has their own unique take on furniture and landscaping in New Horizons, and the possibilities are endless.

Finding inspiration can be fun, just remember to actually play and enjoy the game.

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In 1986, two plumbers changed my life forever. Since then, I have fought and plundered, from the forests of Hyrule to the swamps of Velen, always seeking new treasures and faraway lands.
Gamer Since: 1986
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Top 3 Favorite Games:Borderlands 2, Mad Max, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

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