I don’t think Nintendo could have released Animal Crossing: New Horizons at a better time for myself and anyone for that matter. I have been stuck at home on self-quarantine with my family for over a month now and thankfully have this super cute island life simulator to enjoy. My husband really questions how long I can play this game each day but I think he tends to forget home many hours he has logged in Minecraft, but you don’t see me bringing that up. In the beginning you are pretty limited to what you are able to do but once you get access to all of your tools and the ability to visit friends and mystery islands the world really expands. So I have put together a pretty handy list of things you can do everything in Animal Crossing: New Horizons in case you aren’t sure what to do next!

Visit and Chat With Fellow Visitors

Like other games in the franchise Animal Crossing: New Horizons has a boatload of cute villagers you can add to your island. Two will move to the island with you, one comes from your campsite, and finding the rest of your villagers is up to you. Take too much time and Tom Nook will sell a lot off to some random villager and you may luck out or you may end up like me. It is important to talk with them all every day as there is a nook miles achievement to unluck but they also give you things along the way. Villagers in their homes might be crafting and are more than willing to share their DIYs with you.

While running around the island some may run up to you just to hand over a present or share new emotions with you. If you gift them items they can sometimes give you back bells (the in-game currency) or other times I got an item in return as well. The more you chat and help them out when they lose items, the more they will like you and eventually become best friends. I get letters all the time from Snake telling me just how awesome I am. There is some evidence that if you don’t like a visitor you can ignore them and they will eventually decide to want to leave. I am testing this out currently with Angus and will keep my Twitter update with how well it works.

Me chatting with Maddie and learn how far the moon is from the Earth in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Me chatting with Maddie and learning how far the moon is from the Earth.

Do Some Shopping

Once you have progressed in the game a bit and built the Nook’s Cranny shop run by Timmy and Tommy you will get Mabel as a visitor. Spend 5,000 bells on items from her and she will want to build her own shop. I visit this shop every single day. The clothing items rotate so you can pick up new shirts, pants, shorts, dresses, shoes and other fun stuff. You can also share your own designs in the store and friends can pick up the pattern that way or villagers can be found wearing your stuff. It’s also important to visit Timmy and Tommy every day to check out their Turnip prices, what they are selling in the shop and figure out what the hot selling item is. This item will always sell for double the price on that day and sometimes totally worth crafting a bunch of and other ones not so much.

Don’t forget to check out the terminal in the Resident Services each day to see what they are selling. They have a catalog that will allow you to order any non-craftable item that you have picked up at one point or another. You don’t have to currently own the item either which means if you accidentally sell or gift something you can always reorder another one. The terminal is also where you can access your bells account to pay off your loan or withdraw or deposit extra bells. The Nook Shopping is also located in here until you are able to unlock the app on your phone. This is where you can buy DIY items, Nook mystery island tickets and even a ticket that can be traded in for 3,000 bells at Nook’s Cranny. Just logging in every day will also give you additional miles to use.

Fish Up Some Funny Puns

One of my favorite things to do in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is to fish. I tend to find it really relaxing in the real world and it feels just the same in this digital paradise. If I am not searching for anything fish in particular I tend to just roam around the island catching any fish that pop up. And they are mostly sea bass. But it’s fine because it makes me happy. A great fishing day is when CJ, the fish-fluencer Beaver is on the island. He always has a fun sea sports challenge for you to do which has you catch three of the same size fish in a row or just catch five fish in a row, it varies from visit to visit. But after that he will purchase your fish from you for 1.5x that amount Tommy and Timmy will which makes it a good day to make some extra bells.

I caught an oarfish in ACNH.

I caught an oarfish.

RELATED: F2P Friday: Tiny Bunny

Catch Some Buggy Bugs

I don’t spend nearly enough time catching bugs on my island but that is really because I love to see butterflies and bees buzzing around. It really makes it feel like I am outside. However, on days that Flick, the bug enthusiast lizard, I tend to spend most of my day doing just that. Like his partner CJ, Flick will purchase your bug friends for 1.5x the normal rate that Timmy and Tommy will. The best part is he doesn’t require you to do any sort of challenge in order to start selling. The other great thing Flick does, and you can do through CJ with fish, is donate Flick three of one bug and he will send you a model in the mail. They make really cute things to decorate your house or gift to your villagers.

Donate New Fish, Bugs, and Fossils to Your Island Museum

One major part of Animal Crossing: New Horizons is filling out your museum run by the owl Blathers. This is done by collecting fish, bugs and fossils that can be found on your island, friend’s islands and mystery islands. I spend each day digging up all the fossils that pop up on my island at the very least and getting them identified. If you have already had them then you can seel them to Timmy and Tommy or trade them with friends. Like a particular fossil set? You can also place them in your home or on your island to show off! This is the same with fish and bugs as well! I spent the first couple of days in March and April catching all of the new fish and bigs to donate though I still have a few I need to nab before the month is out.

Me visiting my island museum's fossil section in ACNH.

Me visiting my island museum’s fossil section.

Visit Friends or Have Them Visit You

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is more than just spending time with the villagers on your island. It also encourages you to hang out with your friends from the real world. I visit a few of my friends almost every day in order to check out what items are selling in their shops (if you can’t tell I really like to buy things in both online games and in real life) or to trade items with them. Every other week I take inventory of the things I have sitting in my storage and pass on any items to friends currently looking for them before selling off the extra to make room. It is also helpful to take all of your native fruit to an island with a different native fruit to sell. That Nook’s Cranny will purchase their non-native fruit for 500 bells a piece. That is a 400 bell profit on each one and it totally worth the hop skip and jump over to a friend’s island.

You can also catalog items from their island too by just picking up noncraftable items and dropping it back down onto the ground. Once you have it in your catalog register you can return home and purchase it at any time through the terminal or phone app if you have it unlocked. You also might be able to find turnip purchasing and selling prices to be higher or lower on friend’s islands to help make more bells, because honestly, that is probably the biggest part of the game. Making bells and getting Tom Nook of your back. There are groups on both Facebook and Discord dedicated to turnip prices alone and can help you find really great selling prices to make the best profit.

Shake and Chop Your Trees and Ring Those Rocks

Something I stand by doing every day no matter how long it seems to take it harvesting my trees and rocks on the island. There will always be five rocks present on your island that you can use a shovel to hit in order to get resources. There is a really cool technique that has you dig two holes behind you that keeps you in the same place so you can successfully hit the rock 8 times in a row and collect the max amount of resources. Of the five rocks one will always drop bells that increase in size with each hit. It is a great way to get free bells so I always remember to do it.

As for trees, a lot of the DIY recipes include one of the three types of wood or tree branches to build so I always make sure I am stocked up on those. Shaking trees can sometimes drop bells or furniture so it is a great way to pick up new stuff. Just always remember to be holding a bug net when doing so because sometimes a hornet’s nest will drop and if you don’t act quickly enough there is a chance you can get stung and that is no beuno. The nest itself can be used to craft medicine to cure the bite but I use mine to craft beekeeper’s hives to decorate my island with.

I hit the rock next to my memory garden in ACNH.

Me hitting the rock next to my memory garden.

RELATED: Getting to Know the Stardew Valley Villagers is Worth the Gift Grind

Visit Mystery Islands

Using Nook Miles in Animal Crossing: New Horizons you can purchase a Nook Miles Ticket to redeem at the Dodo Airport in order to visit random islands. The Animal Crossing: New Horizons Fandom page has a list they keep updating with the islands and the percentage it is to get that exact one. Each island will include a workbench to craft things if you need to as well as trees, rocks, rivers, ponds and the ocean that can generate. I tend to visit these when I am running low on materials and have gotten everything from my island already. But the islands also make great places to go tarantula farming or if you are lucky enough to spawn on big fish island you can catch some pretty expensive fish.

I suggest crafting all the tools you will need and bring them along with you. If something breaks you can always purchase a new one from Wilbur but it will cost you Nook Miles. You can also just use the items you collected on the island to craft some more which seems to be the better option to me. The mystery island will also always contain your fruit or your sister fruit which can net you some pretty bells when collecting. Just remember that pocket space is limited so you can’t leave with everything and anything left behind is lost forever.

Breed Hybrid Flowers

In the last few weeks, I have taken to planting and breeding flowers. The game comes with 8 different breeds of flowers you can purchase and plant around your island. Now your Nook’s Cranny may only have a few to offer so it is important to visit and trade with friends to get them all. By planting and watering them, they will begin to grow new ones. But the fun really begins when you start getting the hybrid flowers. For instance planting and watering two red roses next to each other can produce a black rose. The possibilities aren’t endless but it does take a lot of work to get all of the ones currently available.

Normally as I visit the island stores and my fellow villagers I will bring along two watering cans and water all of my island flowers. I also have started to create a much larger area to breed that is outside of my little town so people don’t accidentally run through it or take any. As things grow there I transplant them to different flower beds into town to help bring more color. My ultimate goal is to eventually be able to get the gold watering can (by getting to 5 star rating on my island) and breeding the gold roses to plant right in front of my house.

Me showing off my hybrid pink,orange and black tulips in ACNH.

Me showing off my hybrid pink, orange and black tulips.

Terraform, Decorate and Redecorate with DIY Crafts

Once you have hosted K.K. Slider, the Dog musician, you can obtain the ability to terraform your island from Tom Nook. This gives you an endless number of possibilities on how to decorate your island. You can spend Nook Miles to drop paths from house to house and your main island hub or create ponds around the island. Right now I am spending a lot of my in-game time flattening land and moving around trees to create fruit orchards to make collecting a bit easier on me. As you terraform and design your island you can use the DIYs you have collected and will continue to collect from messages in bottles, balloons and fellow villagers to craft items to place around your island to give it whatever homey feel you are going for.

Once you hit a certain part in the home expansion you will also get the opportunity to finally change up your house. You can adjust the color of the siding, the door, the roof, and the mailbox to fit whatever style you are going for. You can’t change your fellow villagers’ houses but that’s okay. You are able to move where the houses and buildings are located in case you aren’t happy with where you originally placed them. I have slowly been working on creating little front patios for each of my villagers with flower beds along the side. This takes up most of my time in-game and I usually watch TV with the family or YouTube videos to get ideas while doing this.

Complete Achievements for Nook Miles

Honestly by doing everything above, you will most likely unlock all of the Nook Miles achievements along the way. One really easy one is to weed your island and sell the weeds for bells and boom Nook Miles are yours. Once you have swapped to a house from your tent you have access to the daily challenges known as Nook Miles Plus. These range from hitting a rock five times to crafting three DIY items. You even have one that tells you to use your Nook phone to take a picture! They will reward anywhere from 100 to 400 miles based on the specific task and won’t have you do anything you haven’t already done.

The first 5 will always have some kind of multiplier and as you finish and collect the miles it will repopulate. The new ones won’t have a multiplier on them but still worth completing as you go along your daily tasks. These Nook Miles come in handy as they are spent on Mystery Island tickets, new hairstyles and colors, clothing, paths for terraforming and so much more. If you plan on spending a lot of time farming mystery islands I suggest spending your days completing whatever Nook Miles Plus dailies that pop up. By the time night falls (and the best time to visit some of the more rare islands so I have heard) you will have more than enough!

Just Chill out and Enjoy Your Time on an Island

Things are pretty hectic in the real world these days and Animal Crossing: New Horizons has provided a way to just relax and zone out for however long you want to play each day. Now that I have unlocked K.K. Slider concerts every Saturday I log in just before six and hang out with my villagers and request some of my favorite music from him and listen to while just relaxing and doing other stuff. Sometimes at night before I get ready to head to sleep I log in and plop my character somewhere really relaxing and just enjoy the music and the atmosphere while doing my nightly routine. When I placed my tent the very first day, I made sure it was right near the ocean so when I log in and walk outside of my house I can hear the winds coming off the waves which as a New Jersey native I never thought I would miss until now.

Me sitting and relaxing on a beach chair listening to the waves in ACNH.

Me sitting and relaxing on a beach chair listening to the waves.

Whichever way you decide to enjoy Nintendo’s Animal Crossing is perfect. As long as you aren’t destroying people’s work, being rude or stealing of course. It is all about carving out your own little perfect world on your own deserted island. And paying off your loans to the real villain in-game, Tom Nook. Let us know in the comments below and on social media how you like to spend your time in-game!

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available to play now on the Nintendo Switch.

RELATED: April’s Most Anticipated Video Games




This article was originally published 4/19/20



Julia Roth
Catch Me