Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a game all about kicking back, hanging with your friends and exploring an island you’ve decided to start a new life on, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. The series has been known to sneak in plenty of extra features and ways to get things done and since the game doesn’t always outwardly explain some of these tricks, we decided to put our heads together to round up a few tips that could make your life on the island bit more fruitful, if you will. Most of these tips will be covering earlier parts of the game to keep it as spoiler-free as possible as well.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons Tips & Tricks
In previous Animal Crossing games, eating a piece of fruit was just something novel to do, it merely removed a spot in your inventory and looked cute. However, in New Horizons munching on some of nature's bounty will add to a little fruit counter that pops up in the corner of the screen. Which then allows you to break rocks and uproot trees with the shovel! It’s pretty cool how you can now sort of hulk out from eating an apple. But if you happen to eat a piece of fruit on accident and don’t want this power, the only way we found to remove the ability is to either dig up a tree and replant it, break a rock, or if you have a toilet, you can take a poop!
At the beginning of the game, you’re going to need specific resources to open up different amenities in your town (like Nook's Cranny and more homes) and after you’ve built a few places, you may think it’s fine to sell off your leftover iron nuggets and wood, but just wait for a second! After a few days of playing, you’ll quickly find out that may not be such a good idea as new DIY crafts will require many of those essential ingredients. So don’t be afraid to hoard every piece of hardwood and stone you find. You’ll be happy you did.
Shaking trees has been a key feature of the Animal Crossing series since it got it starts back in 2001, and over the years it hasn’t really evolved too much beyond for gathering fruit, nabbing the occasional bells that are somehow stuck in there, or getting lucky and finding a piece of furniture. But now in New Horizons, you can shake trees to also gather tree branches, which are used to craft a number of essential items.
The cool part, however, is that trees are an infinite resource for branches. You can keep shaking, and they’ll keep falling. Branches will fall opposite of the side you’re shaking and you’ll also want to make sure there isn’t anything on the ground that could get in the way of the branches landing spot. It’s a good idea to pluck weeds and keep flowers away from trees if you’re planning to shake them often.
Speaking of shaking trees, a nest of nasty wasps can still fall out of a tree whether you're shaking it or whacking it with an axe, but these hornets aren’t as bad as you may remember. They seem to be a bit slower this time around, giving you more time to make an escape. Before starting to harvest wood, we recommend to either shake your trees while holding a net, that way if a nest falls out (if you’re positioned right) you can catch it the instant it falls, or, you can try running up the map a bit, equip your net and it'll turn you around to the correct direction of the hornets and should still give you enough time to catch it. Good luck.
Now this may not be the number one money-making tip in New Horizons, but you know that glowing spot on the ground (veterans of the series will know where we're going) that you see every so often on your island? You can dig it up with a shovel and you’ll find 1,000 Bells, which is pretty amazing in itself, but you can actually take those same bells and bury them back in the ground and a little sprout will start to grow. Give it a few days and you’ll have yourself a good ol’ fashioned money tree with three bags of bells hanging from its branches. Supposedly each bag will match the original amount of bells you first planted. So if you bury 10K bells, you’ll end up getting 30K bells from the tree. Each money tree can also only produce bells once, then after it will become just a standard old tree. It's okay tree, we still love you.
Maximizing Your Rocks
Rocks are an excellent resource for mining minerals like stone, clay, and iron, but did you know that they can be struck a total of eight times? If you can find some way to brace yourself before swinging with either a few well-placed holes, a tree or some piece of furniture, that should be enough to hold you in place to maximize the rocks output. And just like with the trees, make sure to pick any nearby objects that could get in the way of the rocks precious resources. If you decide to break a rock with your fruit powers, they’ll take a few days to come back and won’t spawn in the same locations as before. So it’s best to only break a rock if you don’t like it’s location, as from what we could tell you only get a single resource from breaking one.
Gotta Go Fast
If you’re on a bit of a time crunch and want to speed things up a bit, we’ve got a few tips for that too. When you’re crafting items, you can tap the A button to make your hammer swing faster. When speaking to a villager (or even just Blathers) you can speed by their dialogue by holding the B button and when you’re on the Nook Miles screen, if you tap the right stick down it will zip you straight to the Nook Miles points reward you’re looking for.
The quality of your tools in New Horizons is still somewhat of a mysterious thing for us. In past games, items like the golden shovel or golden axe had special abilities over the standard fare. From what we could tell, the quality of your fishing rod won’t raise your chances of catching a rare fish and a better axe won’t net you any more rewards, but they will last longer than the lower grade tools, but the watering can does increase its range and output when upgraded. Also, to our knowledge, the vaulting pole and ladder thankfully won’t ever break either.
Nook Miles Galore
New Horizons rewards you with Nook Miles for nearly everything you do. From fishing to weeding to accidentally landing a balloon present in a body of water, New Horizons is constantly finding ways to reward you. So with that said, make sure to try things you might not normally do like designing a custom t-shirt or even sending someone a letter. You never know when you'll be rewarded.
Spend Nook Miles on the Essentials
In the early parts of the game, you’ll be racking up Nook Miles like crazy, and there are quite a few different ways you can spend them. You can buy a plane ticket to a random deserted island, can nab some exclusive Nook merchandise, or you can spend them on an inventory upgrade or a DIY upgrade kit for your tools. The longer your tools last and the more inventory space you have will definitely allow you to get more things done and before you know it, you’ll have more Nook Miles than you know what to do with.
Check Beach Daily Bottle Message
Just about every day, you should be able to find a bottle washed ashore with a DIY recipe inside. You can also occasionally find them on the random deserted islands that you can travel to with your Nook Miles. Sometimes you may find a recipe that you already have, in which you can either sell it or hold onto it to try and trade with a friend for one that you don’t have.
Talking Too Much?
Sometimes a villager moves into your town and you just know that you have to become best friends with them. You want the kind of friendship that can only be proven by receiving a letter in the mail with their headshot, right? Well, you’ll need to make sure to take it slow if you want to get on that level. We’ve found that if you talk to a villager more than five times, they’ll get burnt out and won’t want to talk to you for a bit. You don’t want to seem clingy, so make sure to restrain yourself a bit. But whenever you do swing by their place, if you happen to catch them crafting at their workbench, chances are that they’ll toss you a new DIY recipe if you chat them up.
Inviting Villagers Early
Occasionally when you’re off visiting a mysterious island through the Nook Miles program, you’ll run into another random villager who just so happens to be exploring the same island as you. And if you talk to them a couple of times you’ll be given the option to invite them to move to your village. But they won’t move in until Tom Nooks give you the go-ahead to create more housing plots in your town. So if you happen to invite a villager before you’re given that option, don’t sweat it. The villagers will remember your invite and will move in after you secure some space for them.
Have any tips of your own to share with our readers? Drop them down in that fancy bulletin board-esque box 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 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!