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12 essential Animal Crossing: New Horizons tips for starting out

animal crossing new horizons
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Island life can be tough in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, especially when you’re being chased by wasps, running low on Nook Miles or desperate for some materials. No worries: we’ve got a handful of Animal Crossing: New Horizons tips to make your journey way easier. 

Save your Nook Miles

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Nook Miles are an unconventional currency introduced in New Horizons that can be exchanged for all sorts of goods. Because you rack miles up at a fast pace, you might feel a strong desire to purchase random stuff on a whim. However, you should save your Nook Miles until Resident Services transforms from a tent to a building. Once this shift happens, the number of items purchasable with this currency increases exponentially. The only things you should worry about before that change occurs are the expanded inventory, tool ring, plane tickets, hairstyles and paying Tom Nook for your tent. 

Change your looks 

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If you’ve quickly scurried through character creation and made a series of awful cosmetic decisions, don’t panic. Once you’re in game, simply craft a mirror using three pieces of wood and one iron nugget. Drop it at home and interact with it, and you’ll be able to fix whatever mistakes you’ve made. 

Visit Nook Stop everyday 

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If you’re looking for easy Nook Miles, be sure to check in at Nook Stop every day. With each subsequent visit, you’ll earn an increased number of Nook Miles, capping at 300 from 7-plus days in a row. 

Catch tarantulas  

If you’re desperate for Bells, wait until night time and search around for tarantulas to catch. They’re an incredible source of currency, providing 8,000 Bells per sale. Be careful though, as they’re also quite feisty and quick to pounce if you make a wrong move. They spawn frequently, so it’s all up to the player to not mess up when trying to catch one. 

Hit every rock and tree 

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Sometimes Tom Nook will suddenly inform the player about an arduous project they must begin working on. This typically involves a ton of materials, including lots of iron, stone, clay and wood. To avoid the pain of having to haphazardly scramble these together last minute, be sure to hit every rock and tree you can find on the island with a stone axe. As long as you don’t destroy the source, these resources will replenish at the start of each day. 

Run inside to escape wasps 

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If you’re hitting or shaking trees, a honeycomb might drop down and wasps will emerge to sting you. If you see one, be sure to turn tail and run inside a house, tent or any old building. This is the only way to escape them — though if you do get stung, you can craft medicine using a honeycomb and some weeds. 

Get more reactions 

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New Horizons boasts 44 emotes, so be sure to talk with your neighbors each day. Sometimes they’ll chat about how they learned to do something cool and will pass that knowledge onto your character. Typically, they’ll provide new reactions, allowing you to emote in a handful of adorable ways. 

Beach recipes 

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The easiest ways to find new recipes is to run around your island’s beaches and look for little bottles. Open these up and you’ll see a cute letter attached to a brand new recipe, allowing you to learn how to make new furniture or clothing. 

Sell old fossils  

Digging up fossils is an incredibly important part of building a diverse museum, but if you’ve assessed one with Blathers that’s already part of your collection, then be sure to sell it. Fossils can go for thousands of Bells, making them a pretty good source for quick currency. 

Fly elsewhere 

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Taking trips to other islands not only provides access to additional resources, but you’ll also find new characters hanging around. Be sure to keep chatting with them until you see a prompt about inviting them to your island. Within a few days, Tom Nook will inform you that a handful of houses will need to be built in order to accommodate new visitors.

However, once you’ve built the Campsite, characters can no longer be found on other islands. Instead, you’ll have to convince them inside the Campsite itself.

You can move buildings later 

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If you’re like me and foolishly placed Nook’s Cranny right behind the town square, don’t worry. Once Resident Services is upgraded, you can talk with Tom Nook about where you’d like to move any misplaced establishments. However, the cost for this is steep — it set me back 50,000 bells to move my shop to a more desirable location. 

Progression provides new features 

If you’re confused as to why you can’t use ladders, vaulting poles, or edit the island in-depth, keep in mind that progressing through the game is the best way to unlock these things. If you’re unsure of how to do this, go to Resident Services and select the dialogue option “What should I do” while talking to Tom Nook. He’ll let you know how to progress.