Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Play Like a Pro (A Beginner's Guide)

 By Theresa

This past Sunday marked the 2 year anniversary of Animal Crossing: New Horizon's release on the Nintendo Switch. Though the game has been out for a couple of years, the creators are constantly adding new updates and content. Want to learn more? Read this guide, and you'll be customizing your own island in no time!

Are you sick of all the intense games that you play, and you just need a break to relax but still play video games? Then Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the game for you. Animal Crossing: New Horizons came out for the Nintendo Switch on March 20, 2020. Animal Crossing New Horizons is the fifth game in the Animal Crossing series and so far has sold 31 million copies. A lot of people think Animal Crossing is for kids, but they're wrong. Animal Crossing is a fun and easy game for all ages. Animal Crossing can also be educational. There are so many hidden secrets which are really fun to crack. The game can be hard at times, but that doesn’t mean you need to quit. If needed, take a break, but don’t give up on something you like doing.

Getting Started

Getting started can be a little hard when it comes to Animal Crossing. When you first start the game, you will show up at an airport with Timmy and Tommy. Timmy and Tommy are brothers that are both a big help throughout the game. At the airport, you will create your character, and plus you will also put your real name into the game or make something up. The best part about the beginning in the airport is picking the shape of your island, but you only get four choices to choose from. After Timmy and Tommy are done explaining what you have to do, when you get to your island, you're off. When you get to your new island Timmy and Tommy will lead you to the plaza with two randomized villagers. The beginning characters are always randomized, but you can get many others in the future.

Characters and Building Up

There are too many characters to go over them all, but I will go over the most important characters that will help build your island up. In Animal Crossing there are exactly three hundred ninety seven villagers in total. When you first start the game, you get two characters that are randomized. The villagers that you get will always have the same personality meaning any female villager that you get will have a sisterly personality and a male villager will have a jock personality. These personalities can be found in many villagers, but there are also many more personalities.

Now after you got to your island and met Tom Nook and your villagers, you're wondering how you get the museum or the Able Sisters shop, right? To get the museum all you have to do is catch at least five bugs or fish with a net or a fishing rod. After you catch at least five creatures you give them to Tom Nook, and then he will call his old friend, Blathers. At first Blathers will just have a tent, but if you catch a good amount of creatures and collect some fossils he will tell you that he wants a museum. Blathers will also give you a few helpful DIY recipes.

The next shop that you’re going to want is Nook’s Cranny. Nook’s Cranny is a shop where you buy furniture for your house or the outdoors. Nook’s Cranny will also sell fruit, wallpaper, flooring, DIY recipes, and more. To get this shop you have to buy a few things from Timmy, and he is located in the Resident Services tent. After he wants to build a shop you have to collect thirty soft wood, hard wood, and wood, plus you have to give him thirty iron nuggets. At first this shop will feel cramped, but don’t worry--after a while, Nook’s Cranny will expand.

The last major shop is the Able Sisters. The Able Sisters is a clothing shop run by, you guessed it, two sisters. Mable and Sable make a great team running the shop together. Ok, so to get this shop you have to wait until Mable comes to your island. Mable will set up a little cart in the plaza where she will sell a few clothing products. In my game, I had to wait two to three times before I got the shop, but for my sister Mable only had to come once. The number of times Mable comes must be different for everyone. After you get the shop you have more options for clothing now. Mable will talk more than Sable at first, but if you keep talking to Sable she will warm up to you.

The last building I will tell you about is the upgraded Resident Services building. When you get this building on your island, Tom Nook will introduce you to Isabelle. Isabelle is a very nice character who loves to help. She talks a lot, but she does care about what you have to say. When trying to build up your island rating you can ask Isabelle for advice, but the advice that she gives could be confusing or just annoying. These buildings are really good to have on your island. Also there are more shops but that would be too many to go over.

What to Do When You're Bored

Bored? Well, have no fear. I am here to help! Did you already build your island up to a five star rating, or are you just bored with Animal Crossing? Getting bored on Animal Crossing is very easy, but there are a lot of things that you can do to fill the time. I know a lot of people get tired of filling their museum with fossils, fish, or bugs, but it’s a perfect way to spend your time. Plus, there are pretty cool prizes when you finish your museum. Personally, to me, one of the best ways to fill my time is either to go to work or go visit Harv’s Plaza. Animal Crossing was just updated not so long ago, and plus, it was a huge update. The update included a coffee shop, boat rides, having a job, and more! I just know you're dying to hear about the job that I've been going on and on about. To be able to get this job you sadly have to pay twenty five dollars for the expansion pack. If you buy this pack you will meet up with the company owner and Tom Nook in the airport. Before you can meet up with Lottie you need an upgraded Resident Services building. When or if you end up going to work, you will be greeted with your coworkers, but they like to call themselves a team.  Do you want to know what you do at your job? At your job you will decorate vacation houses for one of the many villagers in the game. If you want you could also bring one of the villagers from your island to work. The money that they use at work is different from the money you would use on your island. At work you would use Poki, and of course you would use Bells on your island.

In my opinion, going to work is really fun, and it takes up hours of my time. Now, moving on to Harv’s Plaza. At first, Harv’s Island is a place where you go and take pictures in his house. If you're wondering, Harvey turned his house into a photoshop. With the new update, Harv added a little plaza behind his house. In the plaza, there are seven little shops. Each and everyone of them cost one hundred thousand bells to make. I know it’s a lot to have to pay eight hundred bells just for a few shops, but it’s all worth it in the end. Some of my favorite things to do at Harv’s Plaza are to visit Redd’s Raffle, buy new crops from Leif, and ask Katrina my luck for the day. Animal Crossing is not what it used to be. The game has so many more features than it used to have when it first came out.

Speaking of crops, that’s another thing you could do to kill time. On my island, I have a huge garden with all the crops I need to cook meals. Eating is optional in Animal Crossing. If you're still trying to build up your island, taking care of the wildlife is helpful, and doing this takes up a lot of time. If you're still bored after all of this, I got nothing else.

All Ages

Most people think Animal Crossing is for little kids. Well, they are completely wrong. Animal Crossing isn’t just for little kids--it’s for all ages. The game is meant to be for anyone who just needs a fantasy island or a relaxing game. It doesn’t really matter how old you are to play the game. I mean, I guess little kids might not be able to read what the characters say. Still, the game is rated E for everyone. Also another big thing is that you don’t need to make fun of someone or be rude to them just for playing Animal Crossing. Why should you even care about what games people play or don’t play, and as long as you're a nice person you're good. Sorry, getting off track... Animal Crossing can be a little challenging at times, but for the most part it’s pretty easy. Animal Crossing isn’t just for babies, it’s for anyone who wants to play.

Tips and Tricks

Stuck? Well, I have a few tricks up my sleeve. Animal Crossing is full of secrets and tricks. Here’s the first tip, when crafting at a DIY workbench you can press the A button to make the crafting speed up. I have many tips for building up your island. Just so you know I still have a three star rating. I used to have four, but then my island rating went down. Enough about me, so something I find helpful when building up your island is to either get a boat ride or a Nook Miles ticket to go to a random island. When you get to this random island just start taking any supplies you can! What I mean is take tree branches, wood, and anything else you think would be helpful. The materials can be used to craft furniture, which then you can put on your island to get more points towards a five star rating. Also the more inclines or bridges you have, the more points you will have, too. Here is just a fact, don’t waste your miles on tickets looking for the Hello Kitty Sanrio villagers. You can only get these villagers with Amiibo cards. When you first get your campsite, you need to invite the villager to live on your island no matter what, or the villager will stay at your campsite forever. There are so many more tips and tricks, but if I told you all of them we would probably be here all day.

Final Thoughts

Animal Crossing is a game anyone can play. The game also has a lot of interesting facts on fossils, fish, bugs, art, and a few other things. The game is not just some baby game. Decorating your island to achieve a five star rating can be really difficult at times. When I play Animal Crossing, I feel like I’m in a different world where I can just relax. If you play Animal Crossing, I hope the game is fun and relaxing for you too. I really hope this article was helpful. There are so many tips and tricks on everything I wrote. Getting started can be tricky, but once you know the characters and how to build up your island, it’s pretty easy. Animal Crossing New Horizons is a fun and easy game for all ages. This game can be really relaxing if you just start playing like a pro.