Lovely Bells
Image: Nintendo Life

If Animal Crossing: New Horizons is your first experience of Nintendo's sedate life-sim series, you may be struggling to find materials you need to craft essential tools. Hitting rocks is one way to gather valuable resources like iron nuggets, clay, stones, several bugs and even Bells.

If you get the timing right, it's possible to maximise the number of goodies that pop out (or off) of the rock, although each strike with an axe or a shovel will propel you backwards meaning you're ever more likely to miss the rock completely — and therefore miss out on materials!

However, there is a way to 100% guarantee getting every last resource from rocks. Veterans of the Animal Crossing series will no doubt have tried the time-honoured trick which enables you to bag the maximum number of resources from hitting rocks. It involves having something behind you that prevents each strike pushing you away from the stone.

Here we'll show you the quickest way to harvest resources from rocks around your Animal Crossing island.

How to get 8 things from rocks in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

First up, notice that the entire island has a grid system layout and each rock is surrounded by 8 squares. These squares must be empty so that the goodies coming out of the rock have a place to land. So, follow the steps below:

  • Rid the spaces around the rocks of any weeds or other items
  • Head to one of the corner spaces surrounding the rock - we've head to the north-eastern space in the pic below. From here use a shovel to dig a hole to the top and to the right of your current position. Feel free to dig additional holes and really 'block yourself in', but once you've done it a few times you'll only need two.
    Image: Nintendo Life
  • Now face the rock and start hammering the 'A' button. You'll strike the rock multiple times and it will continue pinging out goodies to a maximum of eight.
  • Now vacuum up all the resources by pressing 'Y' and and fill those holes back in. Alternatively, leave them there and they'll be refilled magically overnight.

And that's it! This trick is especially valuable for extracting the maximum number of Bells from the 'money rock' which will manifest in a different rock each day. Using this trick you can guarantee a total of 13,000 Bells every day just by bashing an old rock. Lovely!

Image: Nintendo Life

Of course, judicious planting of trees and placement of items around rocks means you can avoid the time-intensive method of digging altogether and get straight to harvesting resources from rocks.

Help! I accidentally destroyed my rock by eating fruit before hitting it! How do I get the rock back? Do rocks respawn in Animal Crossing?

Calm down, calm down! If you accidentally destroy a rock in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (by eating fruit before bashing it and increasing your strength to Popeye-esque proportions) all you have to do is wait until tomorrow and the rock fairies will magically return it to its former glory somewhere else on your island, enabling you to once again bash it for all it's worth. Yes, rocks respawn overnight, so no need to worry. Phew!

It's worth bearing in mind that only one rock will respawn per night. Destroy one by accident and you'll be fine, but destroying every rock on your island in a fit of shovel-based violence will leave you with fewer rocks to harvest materials from for several days, so be careful.

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 bugs, 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 (unless you visit Kapp'n's Boat Tour islands, of course!).

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.

If it's new content you're looking for help with, we can help you find gyroids, unlock Brewster's café, use the new Pro Camera App for selfies, enact new ordinances, get the beloved Froggy Chair, and even learn How to Cook.

And finally, Where to Buy Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Nintendo Switch, if for some reason you haven't yet picked up the game, and How To Buy The Happy Home Paradise DLC, too!