Beginner Basics for Animal Crossing Beginner Basics for Animal Crossing

your new life starts here

Greetings, and thank you for stopping by! This is the editorial team of “GameWith,” a Japanese game information website.

Are you thinking of trying out Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch? Well, you've come to the right place! This article contains a step-by-step guide designed to help newcomers like you find the best way to chill during island life.

Of course, while the information here is geared toward beginners, veterans may also find it useful for recalling fond memories of your first time on the island or finding new ideas that will be useful on your next trip back.

Starting your dream life on a deserted island

At the start of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you decide to move to a beautiful but uninhabited island by applying for the Deserted Island Getaway Package offered by Nook Inc.

Naturally, you'll have to sign up for the program first. Timmy and Tommy will guide you through the process, so it'll be a breeze even if it's your first time.

After signing up, you'll immediately hop on an airplane that takes you to your dream island. A video that showcases all that island life has to offer starts playing, and this is a great time for you to think about the kind of island life you personally intend to build!

Have you arrived at the island? Good! Now take note of these key points that will help you make the most of your deserted island getaway right away.

Ideal island life pointer: Where to place your tent

Your first task as a budding resident of this new island is to find somewhere to pitch a tent.
This is where your base will be, at least for a while, so you might feel a bit uneasy about it. See if the following tips can make it easier for you!

Vacation vibe: Along beaches or rivers

You'll be encountering plenty of flora and fauna as you explore the island. Camping near a body of water allows you to wake up every morning and jump right into fishing.

Nothing says vacation quite like a room with a view of the sea, so set up a beach chair next to your tent along the beach to make your dream island life come true.

Wanderlust friendly: Right next to the airport

The airport on the island can take you to other islands. Pick a spot near the airport if you're the type to just pick up and go to other places.

Maximum convenience: Next to Resident Services

You'll be visiting Resident Services quite often before getting used to island life, so staying nearby will make life a bit easier in the interim.

If you can't make up your mind, I'd recommend setting up base in a spacious area within a forest.

Whatever location you eventually settle on, once your tent is up and running, it's time to explore the island and meet a few residents who may be having trouble deciding where to set up their own tents as well. Don't hesitate to give them some suggestions if they ask for it!

After everyone has decided where to set up camp, you'll start your new island life by preparing for a large bonfire together.
Tom Nook will give you a list of materials to collect for this event. Once everything is ready, the bonfire begins.

How time flies when you're having fun! Your first proper day on the island starts the next day, though, so head back to your tent to get in a full night's rest.

The next time you open your eyes, time will flow as it does in the real world, adding to the realism of the experience.

Ideal island life pointer: How to build your own house

Tom Nook will give you a NookPhone, which is an indispensable tool to your island life. You'll also receive a reminder that you haven't finished paying off your move-in fees yet. Don't worry, it's not what you may imagine! Instead of using cold, hard cash, you'll be paying this fee off by accumulating Nook Miles via the Nook Mileage Program.

The best part about Nook Miles is that they stack up naturally as you go about your daily life on the island. Here are some things you can do to speed things up.

Greedy weeders reap what they do not sow

You've probably noticed by now that the island is overrun by weeds. Go ahead and pull them out one by one! You'll gain Nook Miles by beautifying the island. After that, you can also sell the clumps of weeds for currency used on the island.

The perfect angler has perfect hand-ear coordination

The island's bodies of water are brimming with life. If you see the silhouette of a fish, cautiously approach it, cast your fishing rod, and wait a little. Once the lure sinks and you hear a plopping sound, it's time to reel it in!

Catching 10 fish will net you Nook Miles. Rare fish tend to slip away easily, so practice your timing by trying to snag all the fish you spot!

Sometimes you may fish up an empty can instead, but that's all right, because it counts as beautifying the island too!

Tom Nook is interested in the creatures dwelling on the island as well, so be sure to show him your haul.

You've got the bug, as in literally

What's a proper island without a bug or ten, right? These little critters will hop, leap, or fly away if you just run toward them. You'll want to inch closer with a net in hand to catch one.

Bug-catching is fun and fulfilling on an island rich in nature, and you'll get Nook Miles after catching 10. Some bugs are easy to find in the open, some are hidden in trees that you'll have to shake. There are even some that produce noise. If you hear something, try looking for where the noise is coming from.

However, do note that not all creatures on the island are friendly…
Shaking a tree, for example, may disturb a wasp nest and send a swarm of wasps after you!

If that happens, run for your life! Or if you're feeling brave enough, take a swing at the swarm with your net and you may catch a wasp if your timing is good enough.

Start building your private hoard right inside the tent

Live your island life to the fullest by placing furniture inside your tent, which grants you Nook Miles as well. Decorate with the furniture you've received or bought, or make items using DIY recipes to create a space to call your own.

Or if you're trying to save up money for your dream home, go to the recycle box in Resident Services to retrieve a cardboard box and recreate that homemade atmosphere in the most economical way.

Custom designer in the making

The Custom Design app in the NookPhone you were given by Tom Nook allows you to create your own designs to be used on clothing, furniture, flags, and other things.

You'll receive Nook Miles when you create a custom design for the first time. It's simpler than it sounds, really. Just use your favorite color to draw a circle or square side by side and you'll be pleasantly surprised by how good that looks! Wearing a piece of personally designed clothing is a great way to express your individuality during your island stay.

A home to finally call your own

By the time you've gotten used to island life, you should have naturally accumulated more than enough Nook Miles to pay your move-in fees in full. Once the Deserted Island Getaway Package is all paid for, you can finally put in an order for constructing your Dream House.

The house will be completed by the next day. It's a lot more spacious than a tent, that's for sure!
With so much space to spare for placing furniture, feel free to redecorate it with new DIY-ed items or reshuffling the existing ones to fit into your brand-new layout.

Your pockets will probably be full of things by this time. You can use your home as a place to store items and materials that you won't be needing immediately.

With your Dream House built, you can now ease into a carefree and chill life that's just how you want it.
Wander into Resident Services to see what needs to be done next and Timmy will let you know that he's looking for people to help him with the next stage of island development.

Other tips: How to enjoy the island by improving your quality of life

However you want to spend your life on the island is entirely up to you, so go ahead and make a lot of great memories unique to your preferences and experiences!
That said, there are so many things to do that you may wonder what your next step should be. Fret not! Here's a list of island lifestyles for you to review and see which one is best suited for you.

Community lover lifestyle

If interacting with residents all day long is the life you've always wanted, then have daily chats with those who moved to the island with you! They love exchanging letters and presents as much as you do.

As you get to know them better, they may even ask you for a favor or two.
Each island resident lives in a house with decor that reflects their personality. Visit them at their homes for pleasant surprises. And if you catch them at the right time, they may share a DIY recipe with you.

Hard worker lifestyle

What's that? You love the feeling of accomplishment after a hard day's work? Then take some time each day to work hard at tasks little by little. By following this lifestyle, you may suddenly realize one day that you've accumulated enough Bells or Nook Miles to buy or make anything your heart desires.

To begin with, start pulling up the weeds growing around the island and cutting down trees. Picking up fallen tree branches and collecting shells will count toward beautifying the island, and these materials can also be used to make DIY items.
You could also relocate flowers and trees into more apt locations. Eating a fruit fills you with enough strength to dig out an entire tree using a shovel.

As you walk around the island, you may find cracks on the ground that you can dig up for surprises. Use your slingshot to pop balloons floating above and see what happens! There are exciting things to discover on your new island of residence every day.

Nature lover lifestyle

The island has four seasons. Each change of time and season allows you to encounter new creatures. Some of them will only appear during a certain timeframe as well, so catch them all before they're gone! You can also wear a wet suit to dive into the sea for even more discoveries.

A change of environment will help you find new plants and critters as well. A Nook Miles Ticket allows you to travel to another random deserted island for a visit. These tickets are bought with Nook Miles.

Definitely take a look at any one of these faraway islands once your own island life is a little more settled.

Satisfaction seeker lifestyle

Everything from your furniture, clothing, home exterior, and home location can be controlled down to the minute details. If finding satisfaction in owning your space is important to you, treasure each encounter you have with the ever-changing lineup of furniture and clothing and collect all that catches your fancy.

Making your own furniture is another great way to make sure you're satisfied with your life here.
Pro tip: The snowflakes that float down during winter can be used as DIY materials for island decorations!
Revamp your island every season to match it, such as building a snowman using large snowballs during winter.

There are also rumors of furniture dropping from trees when shaken and message bottles washing up on the beach. Keep a lookout for these items whenever you're out exploring.

Final thoughts

In review, we've covered the steps you can take to start your new island life and some tips on how best to enjoy it. Doing whatever's available to be done at that point of time naturally opens up other activities that you may enjoy. I highly recommend doing that!

As a reminder, the tips in this article are for the starting part of your long, new life on the deserted island. After building your home, more shops and facilities will pop up. These will open up new options to you and make the island much more livable than before.
Those topics will be covered in a future article, so keep your eyes peeled!

There's a deserted island out there with your name on it, waiting for you to drop by and begin a new carefree and chill life. The residents are always there, ready to welcome you into their fold, whether you're just starting your new journey or picking up where you left off.