Animal Crossing: New Horizons Came Out and I’m Obsessed

If you’re into video games at all or owned a Nintendo DS when you were younger, you’ve probably heard that Nintendo released a brand new version of their cult favorite game: Animal Crossing for the Switch. Even though I didn’t grow up playing Animal Crossing, I literally counted down the days until the new version was released. This is mainly because I’d heard so much praise from friends and people online about how addictive, fun, and adorable the game is. 

After having played it for about a week since its release (for embarrassingly long amounts of time but hey what else can you do during Shelter in Place for an international pandemic!) I can officially say that I am OBSESSED! Even though I’m just a beginner, here are five tips to enhance your experience with the game!


1. If you don’t like the automatic setup of your island, you can reset the game until you get what you want!

I had no idea about this hack until after I was well into the game and read it on Twitter. If you aren’t familiar with Animal Crossing, each players’ island is completely randomized with a different layout, fruit trees, and villagers. Some players are very particular about all of these things, I even read a tweet where someone said they restarted eight times to get their perfect island. I personally love my villagers but am not super happy with my fruit (pears, ugh) but am too deep into the game to restart. So if you aren’t happy with your randomized setup, feel free to delete the data in settings through the menu of the game and find your perfect island!


2. Talk to and get to know your villagers!

Having very little background knowledge of the game, I wasn’t familiar with any of the possible villagers and didn’t have any in particular that I wanted (which was probably for the better). I got Cherry, a slightly emo but super sweet girl, and Hamlet, an exercise crazed hamster who has a nickname for me. They’re both absolutely adorable and interacting with them is one of my favorite things to do in the game. The more you talk to your villagers, the more likely they are to give you presents, and you can also unlock emotions and reactions by talking with them! If you don’t talk to your villagers every day, they will move out! 


3. Subscribe to the Nintendo Switch Online Membership

This is another awesome thing I was unaware of when I started playing, but signing up for Nintendo’s Online Membership (which is $20 a year, a bit expensive but they have a free trial or you can pay monthly) lets you visit your friends’ islands, swap items, and hang out together on the game! I’ve been visiting my best friend’s island on Animal Crossing and it’s a super fun way to hang out as we got separated because of the semester ending short. This membership isn’t exclusive to Animal Crossing and can be used for other games, and I highly recommend investing in it to spend quality time with your friends and explore their islands (and steal their fruit!). 


4. Unlock the Pro Designer app on your Nook Phone

This is maybe my strongest recommendation in this article, and is one of the most fun and rewarding aspects of the game. With the standard apps on your Nook Phone that you receive at the beginning of the game, there is an app where you can design patterns to make into little tank tops. On Twitter I saw people posting customized dresses, shirts, and other items of clothing and was desperate to find out where they came from. If you go into Tom Nook’s tent and redeem your Nook Miles on the green machine in the corner of the room, you can unlock the Pro Designs section of the design app. This lets you design custom clothing in many different styles and silhouettes that your character can wear. 

Another super cool part of the Nintendo Online subscription is that the corresponding app (on your real phone, not your Nook Phone) lets you scan QR codes for designs that other players create and post online. Through this I’ve been able to download album cover art I found on Twitter and display it in my house on the game.


5. Keep track of how other fans are playing the game on Twitter and Tik Tok

My Animal Crossing experience has been enriched by all of the hilarious memes, tips and tricks, and QR codes I’ve found on both Tik Tok and Twitter. The game is so much more enjoyable when you’re interacting with the fan base outside of it and seeing all of the cool or hilarious things that other players accomplish. One of my favorite types of content is the sharing of clothing designs that you can recreate yourself in the game. 


There you have it, five (hopefully) helpful tips and tricks so that you can enjoy your Animal Crossing experience even more!