Animal Crossing: New Horizons took the world by storm and many of you will no doubt have landed and taken up residence on your new island already. While there's a focus on crafting in the Switch entry in the series, you'll still find yourself needing Bells, the main currency in Animal Crossing. So what are the best, fastest ways to get Bells?
This guide details multiple ways to make money fast in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Make bells quickly, become independently wealthy and live out your dreams of tycoon island living. Whether you're saving up for a project, a natty outfit or just enjoy having a bulging wallet, the Bell-making tips below should help put a few extra zeroes on your Bell balance sooner rather than later.
So, let's take a look at the best way to make the big Bells in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
How to make money fast in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
First up, it's important to note that 'fast' is a relative term. Animal Crossing is a 'slow-life' game, and while all of the tips below will certainly bring in the dough, these things still take time. So don't expect to be swimming in cash immediately! That said, there are a variety of tried and tested ways to get more bells in New Horizons, from catching and selling rare fish to hitting rocks with a shovel.
Sell fruit and shells
At the start of the game, the easiest way to earn Bells is to sell the native fruit that grows on your island. There are five types of fruit in New Horizons; apples, pears, oranges, cherries and peaches. A single piece of native fruit (the fruit your island is randomly assigned at the start of the game) sells for 100 Bells, while foreign fruit (collected from other player’s islands) lands you a cool 500 Bells apiece. Plant plenty of non-native trees around your island, upgrade your inventory so you can pocket them all without making multiple trips to the store, and you can make a lot of money simply selling fruit (and and there are Nook Mile achievements for doing so).
Eventually, some of your native fruit trees will produce perfect variants, which can be identified visually through their golden sheen. Perfect variants will net you 600 Bells apiece, but it’s worth planting one to get a perfect fruit producing tree – think of it as an investment. Finally, non-native perfect fruit from other islands will garner you a whopping 3000 Bells apiece! You’ll be a Bellionaire in no time!
Shells also was up on the shore and Timmy and Tommy will buy them, too. You won't get rich selling shells from the sea shore, but in the early game they're a free and plentiful resource that could make the difference between being able to buy that hat or getting a cold head. We'd hoover 'em up if we were you.
Each day new fossils will appear on your island, marked by a tell-tale crack in the dirt. Dig up these prehistoric objects with your shovel and then take them to the Museum. There, Blathers will identify and then display them. However, any duplicates you find can be sold for a hefty sum of Bells, so head to Nook’s Cranny to cash in your finds.
Different types of fossils will grant you different profits. As an example, a Quetzal Torso, Right Petra Wing and Plesio Tail will all sell for 4,500 Bells, but a Tricera Torso will net you a tasty 5,000 Bells! Check out our complete fossil list to find what's missing from your collection.
Sell fish and bugs
Your tropical island paradise is home to much more than quirky villagers and money-hungry racoons. Look for shadows lurking near the water's edge or head towards thickets of flowers to hunt for fish and bugs. Equip either your fishing rod or net, capture a few critters and you’ll be able to sell the local wildlife at Nook’s Cranny.
Similar to fossils, different critter species will earn you different amounts of Bells. A Sea Bass will sell for 400 Bells, whilst a super-rare Oarfish will garner 9,000 Bells! Bug-wise, a Common Butterfly will get you 160 bells and a Mantis will earn you 430 Bells. Some eight-legged beasties go for much more (harvesting tarantulas can be a great way to make cash fast - more on that later).
In Animal Crossing trees play an important role in island life. Not only do they provide fruit, but you’ll also be able to source essential DIY materials from them. Swing your axe at a trunk to find different types of wood which are ued to craft items but can also be sold. Alternatively, simply give a tree a shake. Shaking trees that bear no fruit is always a gamble (you run the risk of aggravating wasps), but sometimes items you can sell will drop down from the branches.
Additionally, dotted across the island are a number of trees that randomly contain Bells. Shaking tress for money isn’t the fastest way to top up your Bell balance, or the safest, but if you’ve exhausted all other options shaking trees is worth a go.
Whack a rock with your shovel or an axe and it will produce smaller rocks, ore like iron nuggets and clay. These items can all be used in crafting or be sold for small amounts of Bells. On rare occasions you may even find a gold nugget which can be sold for lots of Bells!
Each day a new rock on your island will be designated as the money rock. Finding it can result in you boosting your balance by a massive 8,000 Bells. In order to collect the bounties that this special rock offers, you’ll need to stand close by and continuously strike the stone until there are no more bags of Bells to collect. You need to get a rhythm going to maximise Bell production, so be careful not to miss a hit or you’ll break the money chain.
Fortunately there's the old rock trick from previous games that works just as well in New Horizons and guarantees getting maximum resources from bashing rocks - give it a try.
Weeds on your island signal neglect and, for many players, their first act in the game will be de-weeding their island. Once you’ve collected a load of weeds you’ll be left with clumps of weeds in your inventory made up of 99 individual plants.
Take these to the shop and you’ll be able to bring in 990 bells for each clump of 99. While this isn’t a huge profit, you’ll be able to kill two birds with one stone by cleaning up your island and earning some Bells while you do it.
As suggested in the comments (thanks Bisylizzie), later in the game you'll have the option to craft weeds into Hay beds which will not only sell for more (x20 weeds makes a Hay bed that sells for 400 Bells as opposed to 200 Bells for the weeds in their uncrafted state), but also nets you Nook Miles for the crafting.
If Leif's Garden Shop is in town on the main plaza, make sure you take the opportunity to sell weeds to him - he'll pay twice what Timmy and Tommy give you for weeds.
You know it makes sense. This time next year we'll be Bellionaires!
Plant money trees
Money doesn’t grow on trees you know! Oh, wait…
As you wander through your island home you might come across glowing golden lights beneath the same dirt cracks that yield fossils. Uncover these treasures with a shovel and you’ll find 1,000 Bells! However, if you opt to rebury the Bells, in a few days’ time your island will become home to a highly desirable money tree.
Money trees don’t spawn Bells as often as fruit trees produce fruit, but they do provide a tasty 3,000 Bells with every harvest!
And as the old saying goes, you've got to spend money to make money. When you've accumulated enough cash, try burying 10,000 Bells - or even 99,000! - instead of simply reburying the 1,000 you dig up. It might be tough to go without that cash for a few days, but the satisfaction of shaking a tree and pocketing nearly 300,000 bells is immense.
HOWEVER! According to the Animal Crossing Wiki, when burying 99,000 Bells (or any amount of Bells over 10,000) there is a 70% chance you'll only get 3x 10,000 Bells once the tree grows and blooms. That means only a 30% of hitting it big by burying 99,000 Bells in a glowing hole. Dang! There goes our sure-fire way to guarantee 297,000 Bells every single day.
Statistically, the best return on investment over a year is to plant nothing but 10,000 money trees. Again, according to the AC wiki, this guarantees you the most possible profit over an extended period. You may not get to shake nigh-on 300K Bells from a tree, but slow and steady wins the race, so they say.
Exchange a Bell voucher (500 Nook Miles) for 3,000 Bells
At a certain point in the game you’ll be able to redeem Bell Vouchers from the Nook Stop inside Resident Services by using Nook Miles. Bell Vouchers cost 500 Nook Miles and can be exchanged at Nook’s Cranny for 3,000 Bells.
There’s no limit to the amount of Bell Vouchers you can purchase in one day and you’ll receive the ticket immediately. This is a great option for later in the game when you need a quick lump sum of cash.
Harvest tarantulas on a Nook Miles island
If you don't suffer from arachnophobia, harvesting tarantulas is reportedly a fantastic way to build cast quantities of Bells. It involves visiting random islands using your Nook Miles and either landing randomly on the 'Tarantula Island' template, or gaming the system and transforming any old Mystery Island to cause tarantulas to spawn in vast quantities.
Despite Nintendo changing bug spawn rates, you can head to a Nook Miles island at night and, with a little elbow grease, create a horde of the furry arachnids by ridding the island of virtually everything except a few flowers. This works thanks to the way the game generates the ecosystems of the smaller islands. Having tried ourselves we can confirm it works just fine, and after half an hour's work we had an island of Tarantulas (and Wharf Roaches and Tiger Beetles) to ourselves.
Buy turnips and play the Stalk Market
Every Sunday a young turnip seller called Daisy-Mae will come to your island between the hours of 5am and 12 midday selling her wares in bunches of 10. Throughout the week you are able to sell the turnips back to Timmy & Tommy and (hopefully) make a vast profit in the process.
However, investment doesn't come without risk. Firstly, the buying price fluctuates daily so you'll have to ask the raccoons and check how much they are buying for every day if you're going to sell at the best possible time. Secondly, you only have until the next Sunday to sell the turnips before they spoil and become worthless fodder for ants and flies. If it gets to the following Saturday and the price hasn't risen over what you paid for them, it's best to sell and swallow the loss. Note that Timmy & Tommy do not buy turnips on a Sunday, and you can't leave them in the drop-off box either: 9.59pm on Saturday evening is your last chance to sell them before Timmy & Tommy close up shop.
Making a killing on the stalk market can be one of the most lucrative money-makers in the game, just be sure to keep an eye on your investment and get out when the time is right. There are even online portals and methods to visit other people's islands where turnip prices rise to over 500 Bells-a-piece! The experience can get a bit cold and transactional, with people charging entry and long queues forming, but given the time investment required to host visitors, it may well be worth it if you're looking to pay off that lovable swine Tom Nook. Remember to leave a tip!
So, what are Nook Miles and how do I get them?
Nook Miles are a secondary type of currency in Animal Crossing New Horizons. Similar to Air Miles and MEOW coupons from New Leaf, these tokens are awarded to players for the completion of various tasks around the island. With multiple Nook Miles to collect and unique rewards to exchange them for at the Nook Stop, it’s well worth paying attention to these stamps. You can use Nook Miles to travel to randomly generated Mystery Islands, for example, or purchase exclusive items.
How to get Nook Miles
Upon landing on your deserted island as part of your Island Getaway Package you’ll immediately begin to earn Nook Miles. In fact, at the start of the game, these coupons will act as your currency to pay off the costs of your flight.
By accessing the Nook Phone with ZL you’ll be able to see the various tasks that will grant you Nook Miles. Most of these mini checkpoints drive you to explore the island to the fullest and create a home and thriving town. Change the island flag for example or post a note to the bulletin board and you’ll immediately begin to rake in the Nook Mile rewards.
Nook Miles +
Once you’ve paid off your first mortgage and adjusted to life in a house rather than a tent you’ll be able to access the Nook Miles + programme. As well as general targets to hit in your day to day adventures, Nook Miles + grants the player five tasks to complete to earn rewards on the spot.
These rewards are more specific than the general tasks and will see you catching certain types of fish or bugs, selling specific items for Bells and interaction with a set number of villagers. Once you complete a Nook Miles + task, a new one takes its place, meaning that there are endless amounts of fun to be had with the aid of this new feature.
Not exactly get rich quick schemes, but they'll certainly help you get rich faster in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Remember: don't work hard, work smart.
This article is part of our Animal Crossing: New Horizons walkthrough, which includes a Complete Fish List, Complete Bug List and Complete Sea Creatures List. If you're looking for specific fish or bug, we can tell you how to catch the elusive Coelacanth, Mahi-Mahi, Giant Trevally, Stringfish, Golden Trout and all the Sharks and Beetles, along with a full list of Critters leaving at the end of the month. We've also compiled a Complete Villager List and a Complete List of K.K. Slider Songs, as well as the Best Custom Design Codes and Islands we've found so far, and the best islands to visit using Dream Address Codes.
We can also help with How to Spot Redd's Fake Paintings and Statues, How to Make Bells Fast, How to Breed Flowers, How to Get more DIY Recipes, How to Upgrade Nook's Cranny, where and when to find special characters like Gulliver, Sable, Label, Wisp, Celeste, Pirate Gulliver and Jack, plus tips on using the Star Wand, Tool Ring, Rock Trick, Cutting Down and Moving Trees, using amiibo on Harv's Island, How to Back Up Your Island Data, How to Time Travel, How to Get a 5-Star Island Rating and a whole lot more.
And finally Where to Buy Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Nintendo Switch if for some reason you haven't yet picked up the game.