Staying Sane with Animal Crossing: New Horizons


Platform: Nintendo Switch

Rating: E for everyone

Genre: Social simulation game

First Released: March 20, 2020

Part of a Series? Yes, but you don’t need to play any of the others in the series to understand the game. It is a standalone game.

Brief Synopsis

“Escape to a deserted island and create your own paradise as you explore, create and customize in the Animal Crossing: New Horizons game. Your island getaway has a wealth of natural resources that can be used to craft everything from tools to creature comforts. You can hunt down insects at the crack of dawn, decorate your paradise throughout the day or enjoy a sunset on the beach while fishing in the ocean. The time of day and season match real life, so each day on your island is a chance to check-in and find new surprises all year round.”


Sit back and relax, because we have a lot to tell you about Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons came out on the Nintendo Switch on March 20, and since then, my friends and I have been playing every day. In Animal Crossing, you have your very own island and home that you get to design and landscape to your heart’s desire. It might seem overwhelming at first, but in AC:NH, you set the pace. Don’t want to upgrade your house to be ginormous? Don’t have to! Want a little garden of tulips? Plant it! Only want to spend your time fishing? Cast that line! The game is all about enjoyment, and there’s no wrong way to play. It’s so wholesome that it almost hurts my heart. Just a little bit.

New Features

Custom Design App

New Horizons features the design tool we all know and love from previous games, but this time it’s called the Custom Design App! You can design your very own patterns to wear, walk on or share with friends and villagers! The only downside is that players are still unable to add patterns to pants or skirts. But we’ll take what we can get!

The Able Sisters

Once players have upgraded their tents to homes and Nook’s Cranny has been built, Mabel can be found talking to Timmy and Tommy inside their new store. This leads to Mabel setting-up shop right in front of Resident Services and selling clothing on Saturdays and Sundays. Each time she will have a different selection of clothing to choose from, but it isn’t a lot.

Don’t worry, the best is coming! If you spend 5,000 bells at her shop or buy 5 things in two visits, Mabel will tell you she’d like to open a shop on your island! The Able sisters will open their shop once the construction kit has been placed in the desired location. Now players have the entire back wall of Able Sisters to display and share designs!

Nook Mileage Point System

Custom designing has been around since the GameCube days of Animal Crossing, but a feature in New Horizons that hasn’t been seen on a console before is the Nook Mileage Point System. This is a brand new tracking system that monitors how often players water flowers, plant trees and tons of other achievements that heed rewards.

The rewards are Nook Miles, which are points that can be traded in for things like furniture, clothing, DIY recipes and Nook Miles Tickets! These are the tickets that allow players to take DoDo Airlines to a random island for resources and potential new neighbors!

The quickest way to earn Nook Miles is by taking advantage of Nook Miles+, which can be accessed through your character’s phone (ZL). The “plus” goals are quick and easy to complete for a good chunk of points! A Nook Miles Ticket only costs 2,000 miles, so if you’re anything like me, you’ll be hooked on earning miles for hours.

More Than a Game

However, right now, New Horizons is more than just a game. It’s a community coming together to create joy, wholesome content, memes and a reprieve from our solitude of isolation.

Animal Crossing gives us all something to bond over and talk about! Who has what kind of fruits and flowers on their islands? How many Bells (a currency in the game) do you have? Did you expand your inventory yet? How many times have you upgraded your house? And so many other discussions spawn from this game!

Tips & Tricks

The best conversations we have are sharing tips and tricks with each other. Below is the best of the best of what we’ve learned.

  • If you hit a rock with an ax and have two holes dug behind you, it lets you get all 8 consecutive hits without bumping you away.
  • If you continuously shake a tree that drops a branch, you can keep shaking it over and over, and it’ll continue to drop branches.
  • Use [Y] to cover up holes to prolong the life of your shovel.
  • Use the Directional Pad to switch through tools if you don’t want to redeem nook miles for the tool ring.
  • Eating fruit allows you to break rocks with the ax and dig up whole trees with the shovel
  • Your native fruit will sell for 500 Bells on a friend’s island, and their native fruit will sell for 500 on your island.
  • You can move your house and other buildings once the Resident Services Tent has been upgraded.
  • One rock every day will spit out Bells when you hit it.
  • Plant Bells in the glowing spot on the ground to grow a money tree!
  • You can dig up flowers and saplings (baby trees) and move them around as much as you like.
  • Plucked flowers can be worn or used as materials for crafting.

For more tips and tricks like these, visit IGN for their beginner’s guide if you need further help!

Before we go…

On a final note, these are some of our favorite memes from the community we’d like to share with you.

Staying Sane with Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Staying Sane with Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Staying Sane with Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Happy playing! We’ll see you on the island!

— Ashe, Becca and Jenna