Animal Crossing: New Horizons is out this Friday, and with so much hype surrounding the game, it makes sense that people are already planning out everything they’re going to do once it finally drops on March 20th.
The core premise of New Horizons is simple: Tom Nook – the raccoon owner of Nook Inc. – has given you an island of your very own, to do basically whatever you want with.
You’ll start off with a few basic resources like a tent and a NookPhone, before you’re let loose to explore, collect, and expand your island however you see fit.
With so many things to do and see in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, we thought it’d be fun to share some of the things we think you should do first!
Explore Your Island
Let’s start with something that’s fairly obvious, but is nevertheless fun to think about ahead of the game’s release. Tom Nook lets you choose an island based on several factors like whether you want it to be located in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere. However, there’s still a lot to learn about your island.
After you arrive and get through your orientation, you should take some time to explore your new digs and set up your tent. Note that at the start of the game, there will be places you won’t be able to go just yet.
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Fortunately, it shouldn’t be too hard to expand your island access as you play and progress through the game. In fact, the process of expanding your island can even be started while you explore for the first time.
For example, you can gather resources, track down key locations like the Airport and Resident Services center, and even take a few screenshots to use as “before” pics to help show how much work you’ve put into your island.
Meet Adorable Characters
While your island is peaceful and quiet, you’re not alone in Animal Crossing: New Horizons as there are a few residents for you to meet. You get to greet them and pick where their tents are set up. You’ll also find fun characters like Timmy at the Resident Services center which is open 24/7.
Additionally, there are locations like the Airport where you can take Island Tours that let you explore other, smaller islands. On these smaller islands, you may run into a few additional characters, including ones that are exclusive to New Horizons!
The destination and what you find there will always be a surprise, making Island Tours a great way to meet adorable new characters. As you expand your island, you’ll be given access to more characters as your buildings become more elaborate. Yes, you’ll even be able to meet up with Isabelle later on in the game, we promise.
Earn Bells and Nook Miles
Resources like wood and apples aren’t the only things you’ll want to snatch up in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. To get everything from items and tools, to Tickets that let you go on Island Tours, you’ll want to work on earning two forms of currency: Bells and Nook Miles.
Bells are very straightforward, especially if you’ve played other Animal Crossing games. For those that are new, Bells are the primary form of currency in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. After gathering things you may not want like clumps of weeds, you can head to the Resident Services center to sell them and earn Bells.
If you want to buy a cosmetic item like a new shirt, or piece of furniture for your house, you’ll need to spend Bells. Nook Miles are new to Animal Crossing: New Horizons. By completing challenges and earning achievements like catching a certain amount of bugs, you’ll earn Nook Miles which can be spent in a variety of different ways.
You can use your Nook Miles to buy a Ticket for an Island Tour, grab unique in-game rewards, or even pay off the cost of your island itself. As you get situated in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, it’s well worth it to start racking up as many Bells and Nook Miles as you possibly can!
It may take some time before you’re able to leave your tent for the comfort of a house, or unlock the Able Sisters shop in order to buy cool new cosmetics, but once those options become available to you… oh man, it’s going to be a blast.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons takes customization to a whole other level. Seriously, you can modify just about every aspect of your home, the furniture in it, and even the clothing you purchase from the aforementioned Able Sisters shop.
If you like, you can start out simple by picking some basic wallpaper and flooring for your home to get a feel for the decorative aspect of the game. As you get more comfortable – and as you expand and remodel the structure of your home – you’re free to go wild and customize everything you own down to the finest detail.
For example, you can rotate your furniture however is needed or decorate the walls with cute floral adornments which you can move to the exact spot you want them to be. You can even draw custom wallpaper patterns by hand if what you envisioned isn’t available for purchase!
The same goes for your character’s attire and style as you can do things like create your own unique t-shirt and hat designs. Even your island itself can be customized as you can remove land, put land in other places, create waterfalls, build bridges, and even lay down paths yourself to lead exactly where you want them to.
No matter what you want to make or how you want things to look, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is more than able to accommodate your creative side.
Play With Friends
Last, but certainly not least, you can play with your friends in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. With everything that’s going on in the world right now, having a little company – that isn’t of the NPC variety – can be a great way to improve your mood and be more efficient in activities like resource gathering.
In the game details provided by Nintendo, up to eight people can live on one island at a time, though there are limits to other aspects of co-op. For example, you can only invite a max of three other people to hang out and explore your island with you at once via Party Play.
To dabble in co-op, you’ll need to check out the Airport which, like the Resident Services center, is open 24/7. At the Airport, you’ll be able to invite people using the internet for long-distance pals, or a local connection should you want to play with family members at home.
You can also visit other people’s islands at the Airport, so if your friend wants to show you something cool they’ve made, you can visit them digitally! Cool, right? If no one is around to play a game with you when you’re online, you can send postcards to your friends from the Airport letting them know you’re thinking about them and wish to visit their island and hang out whenever they’re free.
The activities listed above are only a small glimpse at the things you can do in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. If there’s something you personally can’t wait to do that’s not listed above, feel free to share it with us in the comments below!
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Morgan is a writer, metalhead, horror lover, and indie game enthusiast. When it comes to games, they love nothing more than to wax poetic about all the latest and greatest indies to anyone who’ll listen. On a typical day, you’ll find Morgan perched in front of the computer like a gargoyle browsing through Steam’s new releases with a large cup of coffee. You can find them on Twitter@Author_MShaver