When the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct told us all about the new content coming in update 2.0, a lot of us wondered how to prepare our islands for all the new stuff. After all, for many of us, we hadn't visited the game in a long time. Wouldn't it just be easier to start fresh?
Well, yes and no. It's easier because you're not tied down to all the decisions you made a year ago... but it might also make your life a little more difficult. Or, at the very least, it'll keep you playing for a while longer, if you're a completionist.
As reported by Reddit user earlgreypowermakeup (excellent name), Kapp'n's boat tours — specifically the rare islands, which includes the Maple Leaf Island, Bamboo Island, Mushroom Island, and Cherry Blossom Island — are timelocked. These special islands give you the chance to find seasonal DIYs and obtain the materials to make them.
What this means is that you won't find any of the seasonal islands in your game until a certain amount of time passes from the beginning of that season in your game. In order to get all of the seasonal islands appearing on the boat tours, your account needs to be at least a year old.
If you're spending 1,000 Nook Miles on the boat tour, and your account is new, or less than a year old, be aware that you won't have the chance to visit some of these islands — they just won't be in the pool of potential islands that the game picks from.
Note that if you didn't restart your island, but you "missed" the season by not playing for a period of time, you'll still have the chance to see those seasonal islands — which makes it easier to catch up!
Here are the dates when each island unlocks for both Northern and Southern Hemispheres, which were revealed in the latest ACNH datamine:
NH: February 24th
SH: August 24th
Cherry Blossom Island
NH: April 10th
SH: October 10th
NH: May 31st
SH: November 30th
NH: June 15th
SH: December 15th
Summer Shell Island
NH: August 31st
SH: February 28th
Maple Leaf Island
NH: November 25th
SH: May 25th
NH: November 30th
SH: May 31st
Make sure to check out our Animal Crossing: New Horizons guides to keep up with all the new stuff — and the stuff you missed!
Did you reset your island over the last year? Do you regret it, or did it give your game new purpose? Let us know in the comments.
I sometimes take for granted how deep this game's mechanics are 🤯
So how does this interact with time travel? If someone can skip all this by setting the clock ahead a year the entire article becomes moot.
@Zebetite You can set your time to 2020, then reset your island, and it seems like it'll be okay. But from the Reddit thread, it seems like time travelling ahead a year won't work? It's all a bit confusing, tbh
Ah man, I just restarted my island about a week ago. Oh well, got lots to look forward to for the next year!
Glad I didn't restart then, not sure why so many others did.
@topangasophiee That's the way I see it. For a moment I thought ALL of these were locked unless your account was 1 year old until I realized these are meant to unlock after a player would have gone through a season, as a way to still have a chance to get the materials associated with that season without waiting a year.
So for example it's currently mushroom season, which ends in november which is THEN that mushroom island unlock. Meaning accounts created after will indeed have to wait a year but ultimately only because they won't have experienced mushroom season yet.
Meaning that if someone restarted an island specifically so they could experience the whole game and slow paced calendar fresh.... well
That shouldn't be an issue for them imo
@Tourtus to experience the whole thing fresh.
Some hadn't touched the game in month so sometimes playing on an island that's already overbuilt can leave one feeling directionless even with the new content. Restarting is a way to get that sense of direction again.
The wording of this article make it sound more alarming than it actually is though.
All it means is you can't visit special island until the end of the season that unlock them. Not that they will ONLY unlock only after a year.
Like, someone who just restarted now should actually still unlock the mushroom island because they'll have actually experienced mushroom season in the first place.
Like part of the appeal of this game is the slow paced real-time calendar so I'm pretty sure "actually getting to experience seasonal content fresh" is stuff people restarting their island were already planning for.
Glad I didn’t restart and chose to just mindlessly un-terraform my island.
@Ludovsky I guess it's just a personal thing with me, I'm able to play a game I've put down for a long, long time without any issues. Even if it's something heavily story based.
I still don't understand why someone would get rid of all of their work just to start over.
@KateGray @Zebetite Even if you could time travel ahead a year to do it from now and it worked, it's not moot. It's not like it's just a simple in-game option. It requires the use of an exploit that many won't do and this information is useful to them because it might impact whether or not they start over.
Admittedly, it would have been more helpful a few weeks ago, but you can hardly blame Nintendo Life for not knowing about it before the content was even available. And I'm sure there are still countless players on the fence about it.
@Ludovsky @Tourtus For me personally, I started over for a lot of reasons. I stopped back in June 2020 because I felt like I'd finished the game. I'd unlocked all the content I wanted, I'd done all the challenges I was interested in, collected pictures from my villagers, finished my house completely and meticulously decorated each room to my satisfaction, decorated the whole island to my satisfaction, collected all the fossils, fish and bugs I wanted, collected all the clothing/items I wanted, etc. I didn't feel like there was anything left to do that I was interested in, so I packed it in.
But.. the early part of the game, the first month or two where you have limited tools and the island is a wilderness, you're just meeting new villagers and helping build/decorate their houses, exploring Nook Miles islands, having new things happen ever day with resident services and in the town, building bridges and inclines, building up the museum, shopping for new clothes and items, etc.. all that was so fun to me and there was none of that any more. I also felt very disconnected mentally and to a degree, emotionally, from my island and all of my stuff, so starting over felt highly rewarding.
I also have gotten to see a ton of villagers I'd never seen before, decorate and wear clothes with stuff I didn't use before because I was set in my style, lay things out on my island totally differently. Well, in theory. Still a work in progress. I only have one bridge and 5 villagers so far, but I'm having a blast each day and I think the full experience will feel great with all the new stuff. I'm already enjoying the ladder kits, some of the new items, the diving and deep sea creatures (which I hadn't messed with last year), etc.
Same as always wait for the natural progression for certain items, or time travel if you can't wait.
I haven't restarted the game, but I have only started playing it in late August. And since I don't want to time travel, I was really excited about this new feature, because it might have given me the chance to experience some seasons ahead of time...
But no, you already have to live an entire year through the game to unlock all those islands? Thanks for absolutely nothing, Nintendo. What's even the point?
@TourianTourist these are very minor additions to the game. If you started in August, you've got 8-9 months of events ahead of you that these additional islands would kind of spoil. The new feature is still there, you just won't go to these islands.
Oh man good thing I didn't restart.
I restarted my game the end of September. The game had ceased to be fun for me. Restarting made it fun again. Luckily I had a 4 star island before the dlc hit so Brewster etc were immediately available.
I had a ton of hours in on my first island and loved it. But it wasn't a shrine.
Like many things in life the journey is the key, not the destination.
@k8sMum @Lyricana I understand that the game got dull for you two (it got dull for me as well) and starting fresh renewed your interests but would you have gone and restarted if this game never got this big update? For me, if this update never came I'd probably would have quit.
@Tourtus I would have. I just wouldn't have done it right now. I've thought about it for a time and knew I wanted to eventually, but this clinched it.
Yep, these look like it's intended to work as 'each type only turns up after the season has completed once on your island'.
I restarted my game before I knew about the update, which became icing on the cake.
Once i had an idea what was coming I did some grinding for Nook Miles. Just restarting made me enjoy playing again, tho.
Disgusting, worst animal crossing game ever.
Clearly watered down junk, compare the hairdresser and your see it's just a rug and chair.
You can't even have coffee with your villagers that you invite by amiibo card, all you can do is watch them drink.
Everyone is just sold on graphics and the ability to decorate externally, while most the games features are missing.
How interesting. I'm not really sure what the "Star Island" is for, but this is cool. Makes sense.
@Chibi_Manny Star fragments maybe.
@Princessmadllama are you serious? I honestly can’t tell.
As someone who’s played the original, the DS and the Wii one, New Horizons feels amazing in comparison. Especially after the update.
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