26 Surprising Tips to Master ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’


I’ve been an Animal Crossing fan for 19 years, so you can say things are pretty serious. New Horizons for the Nintendo Switch is, in my opinion, the best version of the game yet.

With my extensive (OK, obsessive) knowledge of the series, I’m always fielding questions about the newest game. So I decided to compile tips (some from my colleagues, too!) and answers to questions even I had to look up. Here’s how to make the most of your island vacation.

Updated on May 21: We added four more tips and a few more links to our existing advice.

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1. Craft Faster

When you’re making DIY recipes, it can get annoying to wait through the animations every time you create something new. Speed the process up drastically by pressing the A button a few times in quick succession once your character starts crafting. (In case you didn’t know, repeatedly pressing B will make animals talk faster too.)

2. Optimize Your Inventory

Use your Nook Miles and the NookStop to unlock the maximum inventory capacity of 40 item slots to get more room in your pockets. I like to keep certain crafting items on me at all times so I can make a new bug-catching net or fishing rod at a moment’s notice. Aside from tools, I always have iron nuggets, wood, softwood, hardwood, stones, and tree branches on hand. Several items stack, but once you get 30 pieces of something like wood, it will automatically start using a new inventory slot.

3. Move Carefully

Pressing B while you move will make you run. This scares off bugs and fish, and it can ruin freshly planted flowers, so be careful. Pressing A while you move with a net in hand will make you sneak. Letting go of A while sneaking immediately swings the net down. This is the best way to creep up on skittish insects like moths, and it’s the only way to efficiently catch tarantulas and scorpions. Slowly walk toward them with your net up and stop as soon as their legs start shaking. When they stop, proceed, and rinse and repeat.

4. Shake Every Tree on Mystery Island Tours

When you head to a mystery island, shake every single tree. There’s always a piece of furniture hiding in one of them. You’ll want to make sure you have your net out though, as there’s at least one wasp nest that will fall too. Oh yeah, you can catch those wasps before they attack. Just quickly tap A as soon as they pop out (facing them).

5. Wish Upon a Star

Sometimes, during the morning announcements, Isabelle will let you know that a Meteor Shower is on the way that night. The timing, it seems, is completely random. With more than 170 hours in the game, I haven’t had an official Meteor Shower yet, though I have met Celeste. She’s Blathers’ sister, and she’ll occasionally hook you up with a special zodiac-themed DIY recipe. (Looking around various forums, it appears this may be a bug; some players haven’t seen Celeste, but have had Meteor Showers, and others have seen Celeste, but not a shooting star, and so on.)

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