Animal Crossing New Leaf Guide: 50 Essential Tips & Tricks You Must Know

Animal Crossing New Leaf Guide
A lovely day deep sea diving for a variety of sea critters!

Starting a new game can feel a bit overwhelming, here are 50 tips and tricks to your new favorite game, Animal Crossing New Leaf.

50. The Name Change

The Problem: You’ve been playing your game for a month now and you realize you hate your town name. So, how can you change it?

The Solution: You can’t! So, make sure you pick a town name or a player name you  absolutely love before beginning your save file.

How to Solve: When prompted at the start of your game for you and your towns name, pick something you can tolerate for years to come!

*NOTE* Your first character will be the mayor of your town and the only way to change the town name will be to delete your save file and to start again.

49. The Bad Map

The Problem: It’s time to farm for bells! But next thing you know, you find that you are running back and forth across your map from your house, to the beach, to Re-tail! It’s a mess! But, what can you do?

The Solution: Pick your map carefully at the beginning of your game.I personally prefer my Re-tail shop to be close to my beach ramps. Any farming from the beach and the island now will be an effortless task  to unload  those precious bells!

How to Solve: Simply pick a map at the beginning of your game that shows the little pink icon for Re-tail near your beach ramp. If out of the 4 maps, none of them have that option,  exit the game and restart. It may seem like a hassle, but I promise in the end, it will save you a bunch of time!

48. Popping Balloons without a Slingshot

The Problem: You are new to the game and see those pesky balloons flying just out of your reach. You don’t have access to a slingshot yet and just need to see what’s inside the present the balloon is holding.

The Solution: Pop it with your handy dandy shovel!

How to Solve: Wait for the balloon to float towards the edge of the cliff bordering your beach. Once the balloon reaches the edge, spam your shovel tool as close to the balloon as you can until you are able to pop the it! And, Bam! The balloon will pop, leaving your present on your beach.

47. Pitfall Seed Burial

The Problem: Every day you are happily playing in your lovely village, when all of a sudden, you fall into the ground and are stuck!! Thwarted by yet another pitfall seed!

The Solution: Keep the pitfall seed out of your way forever!

How to Solve: Before falling into the pitfall, dig it up with your shovel. Walk to a far corner of your town where you rarely ever walk and bury the seed in that corner. It will stay there indefinitely until you choose to dig it back up. Problem solved!

46. Island Shark Hunting

The Problem: Black Bass…again and again. That’s all you catch! And they are worth hardly any bells, such a waste. How do you catch mostly sharks, you wonder?

The Solution: Scaring off MOST of the fish shadows.

How to Solve: When you see a shadow that does not have a fin on top, run by it to scare it off. This forces a new fish to spawn on the island and eventually the spawn will be a shark.

45. Exotic fruits

The Problem: You’ve seen exotic fruits growing in other player’s towns, but you only seem to have one local fruit that grows. How do they get all these fancy fruit trees?

The Solution: The island has all the fruit you need! Going to the Island to gather exotic fruits is so easy and fun. You can really spice up your landscaping by gathering durians,lychee, mangos, coconuts and even bananas!.

How to Solve: Take a boat from your dock in town to the Island. If you would like to grow coconuts and bananas harvest those from the island itself. If you would like fruits that are local to other towns, I recommend taking a tour and instead of getting medals go ahead and fill your pockets with all the different fruit.

44. Stop that singing!

The Problem: If you can’t stand Cap’n serenading you EVERY. SINGLE. TIME , then I might have the solution for you!

The Solution: What if I told you there was a way you can skip his creepy singing on the way to the island?!

How to Solve: Right before he starts singing press A or B to skip over it. If he has already burst into song, then repeatedly tap on the bottom touch screen and he will stop! Thank goodness!

43. Out of Storage

The Problem: Well, you are out of storage. You have collected wayyy too much stuff and now have nowhere to put it!

The solution: Make a new character and use their home to store furniture and items.

How to Solve: Upon starting up your game you have the option to create a new character…or four. You can fill up their home with items and if you give them a dresser you may fill up 4 pages of space with your treasures  as well.

42. It’s Not the Bee’s Knees

The Problem: Here you are shaking trees, in search of bells, and here come the bees to attack you! Next thing you know, your face is swollen from bee stings, and no one likes that!

The Solution: Prevent the mean bees from spawning at all! Or avoid them!

How to Solve: If you don’t mind leaving your gate open while you shake your trees, the bees will not spawn while they are open. If you do not want to leave the gate open, I suggest that when the bees start to swarm, quickly press the start button and save/continue. After the save is finished, the bees will be gone!

41. Money Trees

The problem: You could just use some more dang bells!

The Solution: Money grows on trees! Duh!

How to Solve: If you plant between 1k-50k bells, you will have a chance to grow a money tree. 1k bells will give you a 1% chance all the way up to 50k giving you a 50% chance. This can be done multiple times and when the tree grows the bells may be harvested like fruit. I don’t recommend planting more than 50k because the money tree only produces 90k.

40. The money rock

Problem: You could STILL use some more bells!

The Solution: Bang on your town’s rocks.

How to Solve: Once a day a rock will spawn in your town that is not usually there. Hit the rock with your shovel over and over. The rock will produce either 8 coins/bags of bells or 8 gems to be sold. Note that while hitting the rock your character will move further and further away from the rock. And, if you take too long of a pause from hitting it, the rock will stop producing bells/gems. So be quick!

39. Natural Paths

The Problem: The paths you find on Pinterest are just not to your liking and you are no good at making QR codes yourself. What you really like are the natural paths you have seen in other towns. But, how do you create them?

The Solution: Believe it or not, running!

How to Solve: So, your grass in your town will deteriorate if you run on it. So, plan where you would like your paths and run repeatedly over the area. It won’t happen right away, it may take a few in game days and it WILL take time. But, over time you will have created a natural dirt path. I like to lay down QR designs to the side of where I want my paths so I don’t wear out the wrong area.

38. Changing Skin Color

The Problem: Your character’s complexion is not the shade you would like them. You are either too light or too tan.

The Solution: Stay away from the sun/Go into the sun!

How to Solve: If you are too tan, I suggest investing in an umbrella or a wide brimmed hat. This will protect you from the sun and in a matter of days your complexion will become lighter. If you want to tan, I suggest going to the island and sunbathing for a bit! You can take off any hat/wig/glasses and float in the ocean. I find that’s the quickest way. Who would have thought it would be such a commonsense fix!

37. Forcing the Sale

Problem: You want to sell your items in Re-tail but no one seems to buy them!

Solution: FORCE your villagers to purchase your stuff!

How to Solve: Now, this will seem a little mean BUT it has always worked for me. Mark your item up about 2-3 times the normal selling price (anything more this won’t work). When another villager is visiting Re-tail at the same time as you, gently nudge them in front of the item you’d like to sell. Eventually, they will ping you, asking if they should by the item.

36. Bushes/trees dying

Problem: Your bushes and trees you plant keep dying!

Solution: You may only plant 12 bushes/trees together.

How to Solve: When landscaping, you may only plant 12 bushes/trees/bamboo/stumps together. This means only 12 may be side by side, vertical, or horizontal together. If you would like more, I suggest planting 12 and then making a space between that can be filled in with flowers.

35. Breeding Flowers

The Problem: You would like new color variations of your flowers so your town can look even more beautiful!

The Solution: Learn the patterns and combos to breed a variety of different flower colors.

How to Solve: This is an extremely in-depth project that takes time! Here is a guide that I love to use! I recommend turning on your Beautiful Town ordinance so you won’t have to water all your breeding flowers.


The easiest guide you will ever follow!

34.  All your stats

The Problem: Not sure how many hours you’ve put into your town? Want to see when your town was first founded? There is a way!

The Solution: Visit your town tree!

How to Solve: In the Plaza you will find your town tree. Surrounding it is a brick ledge. Have your character sit on the ledge and after a little while your stats will start to scroll up on your screen. Ta-da!

33. Getting QR Codes

The Problem: You would like to start making your own paths or would like to scan in a new QR code for a cute outfit you found but don’t know how.

The Solution: Keep on  bothering Sable!

How to Solve: Every in-game day go to the Able Sisters shop and try and talk to Sable (she works on the sewing machine). She will brush you off for several days and sometimes even be a bit rude. After a number of days, she will eventually give in and lend you her sewing machine! This machine will give you access to being able to scan in QR codes.

32. Emotes

The Problem: You have seen other players emote and you can’t seem to figure out how to unlock them! I don’t blame you, this was one of the last things I figured out myself!

The Solution: Give gifts to Dr. Shrunk.

How to Solve: After unlocking Club LOL on Main Street, visit Dr. Shrunk after 12pm before club hours to offer him gifts of fruit. It does not matter which fruit you give him and can even be the ever-abundant bamboo shoot. He will then tell you a joke and following that he will give you a new emote. Every day you have an opportunity to gain a new emote so don’t forget him!

31. Villager Outfits

The Problem: You can’t stand what your villager is wearing. Yeah, we’re talking to you Apollo and Charlise.

The Solution: Give them new clothes!

How to Solve: Mail the village you would like to change clothes for a letter and attach a shirt you would prefer them to wear. This is not a sure-fire way, but your suggestion is the only way they will change clothes. So, do not give up! Keep mailing new outfits until one takes.

30. Filling your art gallery

The Problem: Like me you didn’t understand how to get art to fill up your art gallery in the museum.

The Solution: Purchase REAL art from Crazy Redd

How to Solve:  Crazy Redd will show up about once a week at random and will sell art in his tent near the Plaza. BEWARE! 3 out of 4 of his paintings/sculptures are fake!! I suggest looking up the real pieces of art online to see what they really look like. Three will have something different than the real work of art and one will be an exact replica. Buy the replica and he will mail it to you the next day. Take the piece of art to Blathers and he will accept the art if it is the real deal.

29. The Fortune Shop

The Problem: You realize you have an empty shop on Main Street and don’t know how to unlock it!

The Solution: Get your fortune told a bunch by Katrina.

How to Solve: Once a week Katrina the fortune teller will visit near the plaza. If you have her tell your fortune 20 separate times, she will move a fortune teller shop into your town!

28.  Even MORE Storage Space

The Problem: After filling up your 4 character’s homes with all your valuable treasures you find you are yet AGAIN out of space.

The Solution: Store it at the post office!

How to Solve: First purchase a bunch of stationary, which is extremely cheap! Then go to the post office on Main Street and create letters with items attached. Instead of sending them, select “save mail”. This will give you an additional 18 pages of storage!

27. Unwanted Villagers

The Problem: A terrible villager has moved in (Rasher) and you just need them to leave. They are pretty much ruining everything.

The Solution: Ignore them. That’s it! Simple as that!

How to Solve: Now, people speculate that there are many different ways to get rid of villagers. 1. To talk to them a lot 2. To hit them with a net repeatedly or 3. To Ignore them. After much research, I have figured that ignoring them takes the least amount of time to get rid of the villager. First, when they move in, you will need to introduce yourself JUST ONCE. After that, avoid them like the plague. After one week they will ping you to notify you that they will be moving. Be sure to say yes you want them out!

26. Home Placement

The Problem: You have just made your mayor and Tom Nook is already forcing you into making decisions. Where should you build your home? Once you build it, you can’t move it, so choose wisely!

So, what is the ideal spot for your home?

The Solution: It is totally up to you, but I recommend building it somewhere convenient! Not, just aesthetically pleasing.

How to Solve: When you are asked where you would like to put your tent (your first home) I recommend putting it close to Re-tail. I made the mistake of building my home on the opposite end of Re-tail and I find myself constantly regretting it. I must run back and forth to sell items and it is just a pain! Learn from my mistake people!

*Note that your other character homes can be placed somewhere nice. Your mayor will most likely be your main character, who will be doing most of the bell farming.

25. MEOW Coupons

The Problem: You can’t get enough of those amazing MEOW Coupons

The Solution: If you have done all the daily tasks given by the MEOW machine, use a handy dandy amiibo!

How to Solve: If you have any of the Animal Crossing New Leaf/Sanrio ACNL/Legend of Zelda amiibos, then go ahead and scan them in via the magic lamp once a day. Every time you scan in an amiibo you will receive 5 MEOW coupons!

24. Sell for Extra Bells

The Problem: You just can’t get enough bells.

The Solution: Enact/Change your towns ordinance.

How to Solve: If you have 100% approval rating from your villagers you may go to your town hall and sit in the leather chair behind the desk. Isabelle will ask what you would like to do. Select the Bell Boom ordinance and all the items you sell will go up in price! Keep in mind that you should not buy items while you have this ordinance because the prices are higher on the seller’s end as well.

23.  Sleepy Cyrus

TThe Problem: Cyrus is always asleep at his workstation in Re-tail and you are always told not to bother him by Reese. But, then why is he there? How do you wake him up?

The Solution: Sell more items to Re-tail!

How to Solve: All you’ll have to do is  sell 100,000 bells worth of items to Reese in Re-tail. The next time you visit Re-tail a cut scene with Cyrus will begin!

22. Customize Furniture

The Problem: How do you make that cute pillowcase you’ve seen on Pinterest? How did they get that different color ice cream lamp?

The Solution: Bring customizable furniture to Cyrus in Re-tail. He will prompt you by asking you how you would like to change the furniture. Some furniture you may even upload a design or QR code you have previously saved to make the furniture even more customizable!

21. Mini Dinosaur Replica

The Problem: You just want a tiny freaking dinosaur in your house!

The Solution: Have Cyrus make you one!

How to Solve: Once you have dug up all the fossils you need to create one whole dinosaur and have had them appraised, keep them in your pocket! I repeat, DO NOT DONATE THEM. Bring all the pieces of the dinosaur to Cyrus and he will ask if you would like a miniature model of the dinosaur. And, of course you do! They are adorable!

20. Where to Sell

The Problem: Should you sell at Re-tail or Nookling Junction?

The Solution: Sell at Re-tail!

How to Solve: You will earn more bells selling to Re-tail so, that’s where you should sell! I use Nookling Junction for my buying needs only.

19.  Premium Items

The Problem: You are missing out on extra bells!

The Solution: Check the chalk board outside of Re-tail daily.

How to Solve: Outside of Re-tail there is a green chalk board and every day it will list a new premium item they are seeking. If you bring that item the same day, you will receive even more bells than usual! (If you have Bell Boom ordinance in play you will have 2 premium items daily instead of just the 1)

18. Furniture Rut

The Problem: You just seem to keep getting the same furniture items in Nookling Junction and the campsite. You know there is other furniture to be had but you just don’t know how to access it.

The Solution: Visit friend’s towns!

How to Solve: Chances are your other friends that play ACNL are receiving different furniture in their town than what you have. Ask to visit their town and make sure it is ok if you buy the furniture on Main Street. If you are like me and don’t have many friends that play, there are many groups online and on Facebook that would love to help! Some groups even have an “item service” where you will give them a list of furniture you want, and they will “hack” the items into their town for you to grab! Neat huh?

17. Mushrooms

The Problem: You would like to have forest-y mushrooms grow in your town!

The solution: Chop down some trees!

How to Solve: Using a silver or gold ax, cut down some trees in your town. If the stump has a special design in the center, it is considered a special stump. Do not dig up the stump, leave it and everyday a mushroom should grow by it.

16. Bickering Villagers

The Problem: Are you tired of coming outside and seeing your adorable little villager arguing!? Here is how to stop them.

The Solution: Get villagers whose personalities don’t clash.

How to Solve: Some villagers are more likely to get along than others. Here is an in-depth chart on villagers that are less likely to argue than others! Let’s keep the peace people!


15. Kick’s Shoe Shop

The Problem: You need more shoes, obviously!

The Solution: Acquire Kick’s Shoe Shop

How to Solve: Spend a minimum of 8k bells inside of the Able Sister’s store. You must have played at least10 days before Kick’s will begin its construction.

14. The Roost

The Problem: Your town has everything you might need, besides somewhere to eat!

The Solution: Building the Roost Café.

How to Solve: First you must donate at least 50 items to the museum on Main Street. One in each of the categories (Fossils, Art, and Aquarium). After that, Blathers will ask you to build The Roost as a PWP. Voila!

13. A Job

The Problem: You aren’t busy enough running the entire town as mayor,you need another job!

The Solution: Get hired at The Roost.

How to Solve: For a week, purchase a coffee every day. After the week is up Brewster will offer you a job as a barista! A fun little mini-game where you can earn presents for serving villagers and NPC’s their favorite coffee!

12. Fashion Check

The Problem: Passing Gracie’s fashion check seems impossible!

The Solution: Many people have their own opinions on how to pass the fashion check, but I always recommend using a fool proof guide.

How to Solve: Here is the guide I prefer to use to pass all my checks! 

11. Shampoodle

The Problem: You would like to change your hairstyle or eye color but don’t have a hair salon yet.

The Solution: Acquire and build Shampoodle!

How to Solve: After Kick’s shoe store is open you will then need to spend a total of 10k bells in either Kick’s or the Able Sister’s shops. After that, Shampoodle will begin construction!

10. Hair and Eye Changes

The Problem: How do you change your hair cut and eye color?

The Solution: Visit Shampoodle for some well-deserved pampering!

How to Solve: Visit the shop upstairs and sit in one of the salon chairs. How to change your appearance is a bit cryptic so here is a chart of how to achieve the look you want!


9. Bird feed

The Problem: You just want to hang out with Harvey and feed the birds!

The Solution: Keep bothering him!

How to Solve: When you see Harvey at the campsite feeding the birds, continue to bother him by talking to him selecting the “Heya Harv” option. Eventually, he will give you bird seed to throw as well!

8. Records

The Problem: You have a radio/record player but no records to play.

The Solution: Attend a K.K Slider concert!

How to Solve: Go to Club LOL on a Saturday night and sit in a seat to hear K.K Slider play guitar live. The next day you will receive a record in the mail! *Note to stay until the end of his song to receive the record. You may request certain songs, or he will pick one at random. There are plenty of songs to acquire in-game!

7. Music box

The Problem: You just wish you had a cute little seashell music box.

The Solution: Have Cyrus make you one!

How to Solve: After you have woken up Cyrus, you can bring him a seashell and a K.K Slider song and he will combine the two items into a cute little music box! This will cost you bells though.

6. Campsite Tent

 The Problem: You don’t have any amiibos but you would like to move in new characters!

The Solution: Build the PWP campsite!

How to Solve: If you build the campsite tent, every once in a while a new villager will visit your town for a day. If you HAVE SPACE and continue to bother them, they eventually ask if you would like them to move into town. The maximum villagers you can have is 10, so you must have 9 or less for them to move in.

5.  Lost and Found

The Problem: An item was left about town and now it is gone!

The Solution: If you build the PWP Police Station, an item that has disappeared from around town will end up in the lost and found here! Good ol’ Booker and Copper!

4.  The Island?

The Problem: You have heard me go on about the island, but you have no way to get to the island yet!

The Solution: Pay off your first loan!

How to Solve: After earning enough bells to pay off your first home upgrade, take it to Tom Nook on Main Street. You will then get pinged by Cap’n to come down to the docks and visit him. And, Voila! Access to the island.

3.  Not so Lucky Duck

The Problem: You are having an off day,You keep tripping and bees/mosquitos keep coming after you!  You are having what’s considered a “bad luck” day.

The Solution: Change your own luck!

How to Solve: If Katrina is in town for that day, have your fortune told and she will tell you your “lucky item” for the day. If you wear the lucky item, it will change your luck for the day! If she is not in your town however, but you own the pink lovely phone, you may call and get your fortune for the day and that will also provide you your lucky item.

2. Elusive Snails

The Problem: You are trying to complete your bug Journal and are like me and cannot seem to find that dang snail anywhere!

The Solution: Landscape with bushes FIRST!

How to Solve: If you have not landscaped your town yet, and have no bushes, the chances of catching a snail are not likely. I found the most success I had was by planting a bush and hunting for the snails while it rained. Snails galore!

1. Creativity rut

The Problem: You are in a rut. You don’t know what you want to do with your town or how to decorate your multiple homes. You have rooms in your museum that need to be decorated as well and you just don’t have any ideas!

The Solution: Pinterest!

How to Solve: I have had this problem sooooo often! And, I often visit Pinterest pages to get inspiration and ideas on what style I like and what I can do with the furniture I already own. You would be surprised at all the different combinations the furniture you already have can make! And, lastly Just have fun! This game is meant to relax and let your imagination flow! So, lay back, relax, and let the comforting music take your ideas to a whole new level!


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Avorie Alvarez is a part time Twitch streamer where you can often find her playing her favorite villagers in Animal Crossing or being a stealthy rogue pick-pocketing the Horde! For the Alliance!!
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth
Top 3 Favorite Games:Stardew Valley Bachelor Ratings (All Stardew Bachelors Ranked Worst To Best), Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons, World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor