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A Player’s Review of the New Features from the New Animal Crossing Update

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

One thing that has steadily become more and more a fixture in my life this past year is the game Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I absolutely have fallen in love with its charm, as many people around the world have. Like many others, I excitedly awaited the “2.0.0” update release that was scheduled for November 5th, 2021. However, to the world’s surprise, Nintendo released the update early, and I began to indulge in my updated adventures on my island, ‘A’ali’i, on November 3rd. After spending about a week playing the game with its new and updated features, I decided to give my thoughts about the update and some tips for players who haven’t played the updated version yet!

Disclaimers and Prerequisites

Just as a disclaimer, I am not sponsored by any company to review this game, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, or the update to the game. I played through the week without doing any “time travel”, so the entire review of the update and its features are done on a playthrough completed in real-time. This review is only a review of the free content offered with the Animal Crossing: New Horizons 2.0 Update, not the DLC content.

I have definitely not discovered all of the features of the game, nor have I figured out what all of the prerequisites are since I already had an existing island with about 150 hours of gameplay on it.

There are some prerequisites that players must achieve to get the full benefits from the update. There are certain aspects of the update I have not gotten to experience yet, such as the Nook ABD machine and the storage shed. These are unlocked once the player has fully expanded their home and fully expanded their home storage. Other prerequisites for the update include having a museum building, an updated Resident Services building, and a 3-Star island rating.

New Items

I am such a fan of the new items in the game. The new items can be found in Nook’s Cranny, Nook Shopping, NookMiles Exchange, and balloon gifts. One of my favorites so far has been the Pergola, from the NookMiles Exchange. It’s a really pretty addition to my outdoor space, and you can pay Cyrus to customize it (more on that later!). Rumor has it that you’ll need exactly 89,200 NookMiles to buy all of the new items in the update, but since there are new NookMiles Achievements, it is easy to obtain the things you want. There is also the cool, new addition of ceiling items! Be sure to look out for cool new light fixtures to decorate your home with!

New DIYs and Recipes

The new update has included so many new DIY items and we can now cook! The new DIYs and recipes can be collected just the same as before: through message bottles, balloons, your villagers, and through Nook’s Cranny. I have been enjoying using my kitchen to create new food items, such as the gnocchi. If you don’t have any kitchen items that you can cook with (such as the gas range, system kitchen, or kitchen island), with the update, you can buy some recipe packs from Nook’s Cranny and the NookMiles exchange and get a DIY for a stone kitchen and use that!

Kapp’n and Boat Tours

I love this new feature. Kapp’n is a character that has been featured in previous Animal Crossing games, and he is back with the new update! For the price of 1,000 NookMiles, you can take a tour to a remote, uninhabited island accessible only by boat, once a day. This is a feature you will definitely want to take advantage of. Not only does Kapp’n sing you songs on the way there and back (which you can react to using the A, X, or Y button), but he takes you to islands that are different from the ones you can access via Dodo Airlines. Kapp’n boat trips can take you to exciting islands with crops, glowing moss, different seasons, and even different weather! I honestly prefer Kapp’n’s trips to the trips you can take on Dodo Airlines because they are half the cost, a great way to resource farm, and there is greater potential for me to see something new and different! I will say that I have heard on various Animal Crossing YouTube channels, such as SwitchForce, that Kapp’n will only take you to islands with conditions that you have experienced in the game. If you want to go to an island with snow, you won’t be able to until your home island has experienced snow.

Museum

The museum gets a few little updates! Firstly, we have the introduction of posters! For every museum gallery you complete, you can buy a poster of that gallery. I only have one completed gallery, the fossils gallery, so I was able to purchase a poster. Secondly, Blathers will gift you a photo of a character called Brewster, who players have been hoping to see make a return in New Horizons. Once you are gifted this photo, Blathers will talk about searching for Blathers and something called “gyroids” on islands you explore on Kapp’n’s boat trips. I highly recommend going to the museum first thing after you update your game, so you can find Brewster right away, which will unlock a super cool new feature: The Roost Café.

The Roost

The Roost is where players can interact with Brewster and other NPCs, as well as friends visiting their island. You may also use the telephone service in the café to call a villager to have coffee with you using an Amiibo card. The Roost sells coffee for 200 bells a cup, and once you unlock the take-out option, you can get coffee-to-go for 300 bells. The Roost has a really nice “coffeeshop” design with really nice attention to detail. I really like the inclusion of the gyroid collection in the back and the photos of Brewster and his friends on the wall.

Gyroids

Gyroids are super fun. On islands that Kapp’n takes you to, you can dig up gyroid fragments, usually one per island, and plant them in the ground once you get home. You will have to water them for them to grow into their completed form. There are over 30 gyroids you can collect. When it rains on your home island, or on a boat tour island, you may be able to dig up “fully-grown” gyroids from the ground. You can display your gyroids on the ground or on the walls of your home, and you can also customize them to change their color. The gyroids will interact with each other and music you may have playing to create a choir of fun noises to accompany songs! My favorite songs to play with my gyroids are K.K. House and K.K. Disco.

Resident Services

Resident Services got a bit of an update as well. Players are given an option to create Ordinances, but they are 20,000 bells apiece. I personally haven’t enacted any ordinances yet, but for players who find themselves playing very late at night or very early in the morning, these might be helpful to you. Tom Nook also now offers full home customization options, which I am a big fan of. The exterior of my home didn’t use to match the vibe of my island, but I am so glad I was able to change it to fit my island vibe a bit better! Definitely take advantage of the updated NookMiles Exchange items. You will find so many exciting items, item packs, and more available to you!

Reactions

There are so many new reactions offered in this update! My favorite one is definitely “Say Cheese!”.

Home Decorating

The new ceiling items and accent wall features are super cool. My home has never looked better! Definitely a fan of the new light fixtures.

Plaza

Your plaza got one cute little update: a tape deck. This tape deck is used for group stretching, a fun way to get yourself moving after vegging out on the couch playing Animal Crossing all day! I am definitely a fan of this short little movement break, and it is now a part of my daily game routine.

Camera

The camera has a bunch of new features, including filters and camera modes! I love the handheld mode because I am able to see so many little details of the game that I never would have noticed had I not been able to get all up close and personal with it! I also love how the villagers react to being on camera and getting their pictures taken!

Home Visits

Now your villagers can go and visit you at home! Sometimes you will talk to a villager and they will ask to hang out at your place, and other times they will just show up at your door and come in! It is definitely a cute feature, but it does come with some minor inconveniences while your villager is visiting. When you have company over, you can’t clean up, drop items, or redecorate. Your villager can go into all of the rooms in your house (at least on the first floor), and they can play games with you, much like the visitors at the campsite do.

Harv’s Island

This is definitely one of the best new features of the game. Harv creates a co-op behind his photo studio, where different vendors can set up shop! Harriet makes her return to give you a few new hairstyles in the co-op, which can be undone if you don’t like them. Each co-op spot costs 100,000 bells to set up, and you can only fund one per day. Some of the spots will receive donations, so you aren’t responsible for all of the money needed for the co-op. I highly recommend funding the “botany expert”, or Leif’s, co-op spot first, as he carries some produce starts that will be necessary for the new cooking recipes you’ll get. The other vendors include Reese and Cyrus (customization), Kicks (shoes, socks, and bags), Redd (art and raffle), Tortimer (storage access), Saharah (rugs, wallpaper, and flooring), and Katrina (daily fortunes and purification). The vendors at the co-op that made appearances on your island will still stop by from time to time, but you can mostly find them at Harv’s Island.

Final Thoughts

I have definitely enjoyed the new additions to the game with the 2.0 update. It is sad to know that Nintendo has said that the update and the DLC will be the last major content update for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but they sure gave us so many new things to explore. Overall, I definitely can give the update a very positive review, and I can’t wait to discover new hidden secrets that have yet to be discovered!

Shae Walker

Hawaii '23

Shae currently studies at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa and is a Campus Correspondent for the Her Campus chapter in Hawaii. When she isn't writing, Shae can be found hiking, listening to music, and reading tarot cards.
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