Twenty minutes of a Nintendo Direct is usually about four to ten big things, but the Animal Crossing Direct was more jam-packed than a sticky child's lunchbox. So much so, in fact, that we've had to split up our usual "everything" round-up into two parts: The free stuff, and the paid stuff.
Here's everything you can find in update 2.0 for Animal Crossing: New Horizons without paying for it:
- It's all free, obviously
- The update will be available to download from the 5th November
- The version number is 2.0
- It's the last "major free content update" — we still could get more minor updates, or major paid updates
The Big Stuff
We've split all the new additions into "big stuff" and "quality of life updates", but you may disagree with us on what counts as "big"! All the same, here's the stuff we consider to be massive changes to Animal Crossing: New Horizons:
Returning and Upgraded Special Characters
You can read the full list here, but a fair few beloved NPCs are coming to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, with Brewster taking over The Roost, and tons more (Tortimer, Harriet, Reese and Cyrus) being available on Harv's Island.
New Special Characters And Villagers
Niko and Wardell both have something to do with the Happy Home Paradise expansion, and we'd guess that Wardell is somehow related to Wendell the Walrus from previous games.
But look closer at the amiibo cards and you'll se a staggering amount of new villagers, including Cephalobot the robot octopus, Ione the galactic chipmunk, and Frett the creepy dad-dog. It's not entirely clear how many of these new villagers will be Happy Home Paradise-only yet.
Harv's Island Expansion
Harv's Island will now be even more useful, with a shopping-themed expansion out the back. It seems to work a bit like a campsite, and sellers that usually come into town on occasion, like Kicks, Saharah, and Leif, can set up small shops with a caravan, while returning favourites like Tortimer, Katrina, and Harriet will offer new services.
You'll have to raise enough money to invite each one individually, through a ruggedly handsome version of Lloid that has a moustache.
Froggy Chair is back, baby. And it's customisable, too.
Who could have predicted that Animal Crossing would get a cooking mechanic? US, THAT'S WHO. But, our prescience aside, the new cooking crafting menu — which appears to be accessible via an oven — will give you the chance to turn various fruits, vegetables, and more into delicious and decorative plates. But where will we get all the vegetables?
...By growing them, of course! Farming was previously sort of in the game, with the addition of pumpkins, but now that's been expanded to tomatoes, wheat, sugarcane, and many more crops that you can grow from scratch.
Kapp'n returns after his role in New Leaf as ferryman to Tortimer's Island, and this time, he'll take you to a new place that only he knows. Take a ride on his boat (and listen to his sea shanties) to get access to new islands, which can have different weather, times of day, and even seasons to your main island, making bug and fish catching much more accessible year-round. There will also be new types of flora, like vines that let you climb cliffs, just like a ladder.
We all knew it was coming, thanks to the Nintendo Direct in September, but it's lovely to see the new and upgraded Roost that will open in the Museum.
Staffed solely by Brewster the bird barista, The Roost is a dimly-lit and very cosy little café where patrons can drink coffee any time of the day. You'll be able to see visiting characters and villagers in here, as well as having the option to invite friends and sit down for a cup of joe — just hold the pigeon milk, please.
It's exactly what it sounds like: Nine new fences, including Block Fencing, Lattice Fencing, Log-Wall Fencing, Corrugated Iron Fencing and more. There's also the ability to customise fences, too.
11 new hairstyles are available, including some that you'll have to learn from Harriet the stylist poodle on Harv's Island. There's a side-braid, a middle parting floppy-haired boyband look, and waves, dreads, and cornrows, too.
11 new reactions are coming, including:
- Double Wave
- Bounce To Music
- Listening Ears
- Say Cheese
New KK Slider Songs
KK has been hard at work in the studio, and we'll be getting 12 new songs as a result, including:
- KK Bashment
- KK Break
- KK Chorinho
- KK Dub
- KK Fuge
- KK Hip Hop
- KK Lovers
- KK Polka
First-Person Camera & Tripod
The camera app on the Nook Phone now lets you switch to a first-person mode, or tripod mode, which will let you take photos that you're actually in.
Gyroids are not only back, but they're EXTRA cool and EXTRA weird now. Dig up Gyroid fragments, and plant them again to get them growing. Once they've soaked up water, they'll grow into big Gyroids, which you can then dig up again to find out which kind of Gyroid it is!
Each one has a different design and a different noise, and they look a lot cooler and varied than the old, more similar ones. You can even customise them to match your house's aesthetic, and like in past games, they sing along in tune and in time with whatever music is playing.
Previously, there has been a limit to how many Gyroids you can have in one room — it was 4 in New Leaf, and 8 in City Folk. It looks like the limit will be at least 7 this time, and you'll also be able to display the Fragments.
We doubt anyone could have predicted this, but now you can have stretching sessions in the plaza, along with your villagers and special NPCs like Brewster. Er, do birds need to stretch?
You can even join in with your pals online, and you can do the stretches in real life using your Joy-Con. It's basically a much more sedate Ring Fit where no one yells at you.
Quality of Life Updates
Villager House Visits
We've been wondering if the villagers hated us and/or our home decor, but now we can finally visit each other's houses properly instead of just barging in while they're doing DIYs. You can invite them over, and they can invite you over — and, if New Horizons is anything like previous games, maybe they can also just invite themselves over.
Scooting Between Furniture
Honestly, we thought this was already in the game, because it was in New Leaf, but no — we haven't been able to scoot this entire time! When gaps between furniture are too small, the only way your character can get through is to turn sideways and do a little sidle. Finally, it's back, and now we can smush all our furniture together again.
Outdoor storage is HERE. The Storage Shed will let you store things without having to traipse all the way back to your house.
Visit the Nook shop to grab a Ladder kit, and set up permanent ladders wherever you want. If you're tired of having to switch over to your Ladder any time you want to go up, then this is a great solution — it's space-saving, much smaller than an incline, and it comes in different designs, too!
Your Own ABD
The Automatic Bell Dispenser is usually located inside the Resident Services building, which means having to walk in, wait for the loading screen, then access the machine itself, then go back outside... it's very tedious. Now, you can put the ABD wherever you want, so you can access your cash without having to rely on the Town Hall. Hooray!
Island Life 101 App
This is a lifesaver for anyone who feels like they missed out on the pandemic ACNH craze, or is joining an island where everything is already set up. The Island Life 101 App on the in-game NookPhone will tell you how everything works in the game, so it won't take too long to get up to speed. It's basically a tutorial, without having to go through the "we just landed on a deserted island" tutorial.
A feature that's been often requested, Island Ordinances can let you set up a rule to make your game suit your playstyle. There are four, and based on New Leaf we can guess what they do: Beautiful Island will probably stop weeds growing and plants dying, so you can rest assured that your island stays pretty if you can't visit every day; Early Bird and Night Owl will change the times that villagers and shops stay open; Bell Boom will likely make things sell for more, or make it so that it's easier to make money somehow, like increasing the Bells you find in rocks.
More House Exteriors
Make your house match the aesthetic of your island with the new options for house exteriors!
Three New Storage Expansions
The home storage will now be able to hold up to 5,000 items.
Just like in Happy Home Designer, you will be able to put certain furniture — lights, security cameras, dangly things — on the ceiling. That'll free up some room on your walls for more stuff!
If you want wallpaper on just one (or two, or three) of your walls, then now you can do exactly that — just select "set as accent wall".
Patterns For Furniture Can Be Worn Or Used As Wallpaper
This will make it much easier to design cute houses!
Bridges & Inclines Increased To 10 Each
Previously, it was 8 each, which was an irritating artificial limit. With this and the permanent ladder, there will now be plenty more ways to navigate the island!
If you want to find out more about the Happy Home Paradise features, we'll have a separate article up for that, too — including the Series 5 amiibo cards.
What's your favourite new feature? Let us know in the comments below!
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.