Animal Crossing: New Horizons has taken over lives — nay, the world at large.
But part of what makes Animal Crossing so great (yet so frustrating) is that it doesn’t really tell you how to play it. That’s why elsewhere, you’ll find plenty of beginner guides helping players catch up to the decades-long knowledge that fans have accumulated.
This is not a guide for beginners, though. No, these are the tips, tricks, and hacks that even the most veteran and experienced Animal Crossing players might not know about New Horizons. From how to kick a villager out, island planners, and 100 percent accurate hybrid flower breeding guides, we’ve got you covered.
There’s never been a time when this many people were obsessively playing Animal Crossing at the same time, which has resulted in many fan-made tools and websites that will prove essential to making your island getaway a true escape.
1. All the turnip data you need to buy low, sell high
The turnip game seems to have gone through some serious inflation in New Horizons. People will barely get out of bed for anything under a 500 bell selling price. That might be because we’ve never had as many fan-made tools to both predict or even exchange the best turnip prices.
First, there’s Turnip Calculator, which gives a beautifully streamlined graph illustrating your guaranteed minimum, as well as predicting your island’s maximum that week. Note, however, that it maxes out around 400, so it doesn’t account for the acts of god that get people those high 500-600 prices. If you’re a betting woman, we’d suggest the Turnip Prophet though, which provides a similar service with much more granular details about probability.
When all else fails, though, try the Turnip Exchange. It’s where people with those incredible prices can set up queues to provide players with the Dodo Codes that grant them access to the lucky island. Note that many require tips and gifts, and are even using guards to ensure there’s no tomfoolery.
Will the Dow Joan’s turnip market ever recover from this kind of insider trading? Well if the GIF above is any indication, a certain Daisy Mae is making her distaste for it abundantly clear.
2. Don’t use the Amazon of Animal Crossing, except for this brilliant hack
Listen, IRL Amazon is evil and that’s becoming increasingly hard to ignore. While the reasons differ, we’re also against the new virtual version of the everything market, otherwise known as Nookazon. In it, you can find a catalog of every single piece of furniture and clothing in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, then find sellers and set up a transaction to exchange the goods.
It effectively ruins a huge chunk of the game’s fun.
However, there are exceptions to this rule. One fellow Mashable reporter used Nookazon because she needed specific items to recreate a date with her partner for his upcoming birthday. Then there’s also its use for outsmarting that sly fox who started showing up on your island with fake art.
Whether it’s a painting or a statue, simply look up whatever piece is in question by name on Nookazon. Compare it to what Redd’s selling on his boat, and only buy it if it’s an exact match. You may feel bad for cheating the system. But the only one really losing here is the scammer trying to con you out of your hard-earned bells, so forgive us for not having a lot of sympathy for Redd.
3. Only use data-mined guides, especially for hybrid flowers
If you thought Animal Crossing was a simple game about building a cute town, then you clearly have not ventured into the hell of breeding hybrid flowers in New Horizons. It’s gotten demonstrably harder in the new game. Far from being as easy as using the first how-to guide you googled, every walkthrough has different if not flat-out contradictory information.
Short of getting a degree in biology and genetics, though, your best bet for breeding those rare flowers will always come from guides that are based on information data-mined from the game’s coding (that means it was lifted from the coding itself). Specifically, we recommend this ultimate guide, as well as this Google Doc and Spreadsheet. (Though this has a good roundup of infographics.)
In this case, fans on Reddit will be more likely to get it right than most gaming media outlets. A good way to distinguish between a good guide and a misinformed one is whether or not it takes genotype (meaning the hereditary traits of said flower) into account. You may even want to even take a stab at some of the specific flower plots people post for the most efficient ways of getting there.
Now, that doesn’t solve all our problems. Due to constant updates and the variety of ways that rare hybrid flowers can be achieved, you’ll want to stay on the lookout for new guides or updates to the docs we listed above.
4. Talk to friends visiting your island through your IRL phone
Trying to communicate in Animal Crossing via chat on the Switch is a living nightmare. Which is why you should definitely download the Nintendo Switch Online app (on iPhone or Android) and connect it to your game via Nook Link (you’ll also need to do this to download custom QR codes patterns, which we’ll get into below).
Now, you’ll be able to text like you normally would and have it pop up above your head as speech in the game.
5. Up your custom designs with these tools and websites
Getting custom design patterns for clothes, paintings, or floor patterns can really bring some personality to your island (for free!) And there are a ton of tools to take advantage of that.
AC Patterns is a one-stop-shop for most of your custom design needs. You can browse or upload your own patterns to its expansive collection. AC Patterns’ editor even lets you convert literally any image on your computer into a QR code that you can then upload into the game.
There’s also treasure troves to be found in the subreddits (there’s the general r/AnimalCrossing, but also r/AnimalCrossingDesign and r/ACNHqrcodes) as well as a curated Instagram page.
6. Data-mined guides to Mystery Islands help you know what to look for
Once again, the data-mining fans come through for the rescue. This time, it’s for trustworthy guides for the Mystery Islands you can fly to with your Nook Mile ticket.
This entire website (built by Ash Wolf and Ninji) provides interactive maps for each island, along with data-mined information on what you can get from each. Again, this always comes with a caveat that the game is undergoing constant updates — and certain bugs and fish can only be caught in certain months or time of day. So if there are changes or new islands added, we’ll need new guides for 100 percent accuracy.
Here’s a visualization someone made with the info from the site above, though.
7. Carry around a workbench in your pocket at all times
We’ve all been there. Whether you’re rearranging the trees on a far-off part of your island or finally found the scorpion Mystery Island, inevitably the tool you need in that exact moment will break.
But this trick will always save you no matter what.
Just be sure to carry a DIY Workbench and some of the basic materials you need for said tools in your pocket at all times. It’ll save you a lot of time and effort.
8. You can actually catch a forecast on TV for your island’s weather
This one might be more of an awesome detail rather than a life-changing hack. It has limited utility, mostly useful for those looking to breed hybrid flowers or find certain fish and bugs that only come out in the rain.
But it’s still rad as hell.
If you have a TV, you can actually catch an accurate weather forecast for your island broadcast at 6:15 a.m., 7:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 6:30 p.m., and 10:45 p.m. (for funsies, one Redditor also suggests checking out what’s playing at 3:33 a.m. on Saturdays). That comes directly from the official Animal Crossing: New Horizon’s Nintendo guidebook, so you know it’s legit.
9. Use an island planner before you terraform
Terraforming in Animal Crossing is a tedious job, but can produce banger results. Spare yourself some of the grief, though, by avoiding hours spent on an idea you ultimately decide you hate or realize is impossible. Use some of the island planning tools that fans are making instead.
There’s the Happy Island Planner browser game, which you can use to map out a very top-down map view of your island. But there’s also something more detailed in the works.
This one by bubble wand games is still an early build. But it’s destined for great things, and free to download on Mac and Windows.
10. The best trick for getting a villager to move out fast
The phenomenon of evicting ugly villagers from your island or even villager hunting for the most coveted ones is pretty unique to Animal Crossing: New Horizons. But Nintendo has a bigger heart than most of its players, so there’s no streamlined way to guarantee your most-hated villagers will take the hint and GTFO.
Guides suggest everything from torturing them with nets, ignoring them, or trapping them inside their houses. Other have resorted to reporting these villagers to Isabelle at Resident Services, but all that does is reset them.
TikTok user Meowiko actually found one of the faster methods, though it still takes trial and error. Be warned, it also involves time traveling, so it’s not for you if you’ve taken a moral stance against that.
The truth is that neglect is in fact the key, but takes too long to be effective on a day-to-day basis.
So here’s the hack: Start by talking to all the villagers you like and want to keep on your island. Do not talk to the ones you want to leave. Now, time travel (meaning save, close the game application, go to system settings on your Switch, and turn off syncing with your time zone) by setting the clock exactly one month into the future. Reboot the game and check to see if any of your villagers have a thought bubble above their heads, an indicator that they’re considering moving out. If it’s a villager you want to stay, make sure to dissuade them.
If none of the villagers you want to leave have thought bubbles, skip another day ahead (again, talking to the villagers you want to stay and ignoring the ones you don’t). Rinse and repeat until the deed is done and your island is rid of uggos.
Even if you can’t kick out all the uggos from your island, though, at least these hacks will ensure it’s bursting with rare flowers and terraformed to perfection.