[Guide] ACNH How To Get 3 Stars Fast (7 Easy Steps)

Tom Nook, everyone's favorite trash panda, wants you to have a 3 star island.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH) is an open-ended social simulation game where you live a peaceful, tranquil life in an island village with adorable animal neighbors.

Starting out, it may feel like there’s no real goal, and some tasks can be confusing. But, there are a few things you should focus on completing first so you can fully enjoy developing and living on your island without roadblocks. Your first goal is to bring ACNH superstar K.K. Slider to perform on your island. Completing this activity opens new game mechanics like terraforming and attracting more villagers.

And the only way to get his famous butt to play on your island is with a 3-star island rating. Though achieving a 3-star rating requires some strategic planning and prioritization, if you follow this step-by-step guide, you’ll reach your goal lickety-split.


Expand Resident Services & Unlock Island Evaluations

This will be you, happily celebrating your 3-star island evaluation! 

Before receiving any stars for your island, you must upgrade your Resident Services from a tent to a full-fledged building. This will allow Isabelle to join your island. She is in charge of evaluations and will provide you with hints on how to improve. Upgrading Resident Services will take most of our 7 easy steps.

Home is where the heart is. Ditch that tent for your new abode! 


1. Upgrade Your Tent To A House (Pay Off Initial Loan from Tom Nook):

  • Upon your arrival to the island, the island mayor, Tom Nook, graciously offered you a loan of 5,000 Nook Miles so you could purchase a tent to live in. (A pretty pricy tent, if you ask me.) 
  • You can do this easily by grinding your daily tasks for Nook Miles. 
  • To access these tasks, press ZL to open your phone and then select the Nook Miles app. Then, you’ll press (+) to see what the tasks are. 
  • The first five tasks will be worth twice the points, but the app will generate new tasks when you complete the first ones. 
  • After you pay off the 5,000 Nook Miles, Tom will offer you a 98,000 bell loan to upgrade your tent to a house. Just accept his greedy terms…you’ll be able to earn those bells in no time.

Now, your trash Panda Nooklings will have a forever home. 


2. Build Nook’s Cranny

  • After moving into your house, Timmy will approach you about building a shop, “Nook’s Cranny.”
  • To help him, you must gather the materials he requests: 30 each of wood, hardwood, softwood, and iron nuggets.
  • Once you provide the materials, you’ll select a location for Nook’s Cranny. The shop will open the next day. 
  • You can upgrade the shop later, but you’ll need to have the store in order to proceed.

Why are bridges so expensive? It's all overhead. 


3. Build Two Bridges & Two Inclines

  • Once Nook’s Cranny has been established, Tom will discuss the idea of inviting more villagers to the island. However, you’ll need to build a bridge to access other parts of the island and make room for them. 
  • Tom will give you a DIY recipe for a bridge construction kit. Craft the bridge by collecting the required materials: 4 log stakes, 4 clay, and 4 stones. 12 wood is necessary to construct the 4 stakes. 
  • Find a river and lay that baby down. It will be completed by the next day. 
  • After the first bridge, you’ll return to Tom and select “Let’s talk infrastructure” to place another bridge or incline. 
  • Each incline or bridge has different costs based on the type.
  • Tom will give you the item you decide to build. 
  • When you place it where you want it, Lloyd will appear, and you’ll start donating to the project. 
  • Once you’ve forked over the necessary bells, you’ll have your new bridge or incline!
  • With the 2.0 update, you can now have 10 bridges and 10 inclines. 

Oh, the animals you will befriend! 


4. Invite More Villagers 

  • Now that you have a bridge and access to more of your island, Tom will task you with setting plots for new homes. 
  • Purchase and place 3 housing kits from him. You’ll have to furnish each plot with specific interior and exterior items. The materials and items required are listed outside each plot on a signpost. 
  • Once finished, villagers will move in over the next few days. You can invite villagers you meet on Mystery Island, or they’ll move in randomly. 
  • You can purchase plots for 10,000 bells each when your housing kit task is finished. You won’t have to make furniture for them. 
  • You can place them anywhere on the island, but beware, you must pay 50,000 bells if you want to move them later. 
  • When they’ve all moved in, speak to Isabelle. You may already have a 3-star island, depending on how much you were doing alongside the beginner tasks. 
  • You need at least 7 villagers for that coveted 3-star rating.

Today, I want to show my appreciation for Isabelle. The most adorable residential administrator EVER!


5. Resident Services Expands 

  • After the first three new villagers have moved in, Resident Services will be closed for an entire day for renovations. 
  • You will not have access to Resident Services during this time. 
  • The next day, the tent will be replaced by a beautiful brick building housing both Tom and Isabelle.

The only tent I want to see on my island is the campsite tent. 


6. Build The Campground & Unlock Island Evaluations 

  • When Resident Services is built, Tom will ask you to build a campground so new villagers can visit the island. 
  • Building the campground will unlock Island Evaluations you can ask Isabelle about in Resident Services.
  • You’ll also be able to invite visiting villagers to join your island from the campground. 
  • Tom will give you the campsite kit much like he did with the housing kits, and you’ll find a place to put it. 
  • It’ll be ready the next day.

A beautiful fountain scene to aspire to! 


7. Beautification 

  • Ensure you’ve cleared your island of garbage, weeds, and other objects
  • You will need to place 27 different pieces of furniture (preferably DIY) around your island. 
  • Fencing is important too! Place 50 pieces of fencing
  • Finally, plant at least 50 trees and 100 flowers on your island. 

When those 7 easy steps are completed, remember to ask Isabelle to evaluate the island. Once you get that 3-star island rating, K.K. Slider will come to the island that day and perform the New Horizons song for his first concert. Now, following these steps should fast-track your journey to a 3-star rating. But don’t forget, while speed is your focus here, the game’s essence is about personal expression and relaxation. Enjoy the journey as much as the destination! If you enjoyed this article, you may also be interested in: 


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Nikki is an honorary graduate of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She considers cheese a main food group. Her life revolves around gaming, writing and being rather awesome.
Gamer Since: 1995
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
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