Animal Crossing is one of Nintendo’s most unassuming series. It’s quaint and relaxing, with no clear-cut goals, and it doesn’t feature the company’s most iconic characters like Mario or Link. But it has also become one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises, growing from a Japan-only release on the N64 to a tentpole title gracing most Nintendo platforms and even expanding to smartphones. New Horizons for the Switch is the biggest entry to date, one that promises to expand with regular, seasonal updates. You can keep track of everything you need to know about the game with the stories below.
Oct 15, 2021
Nintendo just wrapped up a huge Direct presentation focused on new content coming to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, including the game’s major 2.0 update and a significant paid DLC expansion. Both will be available on November 5th.Read Article >
Let’s start first with the free update, which brings back a lot of familiar faces for longtime Animal Crossing fans. You’ll be able to visit Brewster in his coffee shop, The Roost, Kapp’n will be able to whisk you away to mysterious islands (while serenading you along the way), Katrina the fortune-teller will appear on Harv’s Island, and the odd, noise-making Gyroids have returned.
Mar 16, 2021
Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ already robust design tools are getting some improvements with a free update hitting March 18th. One new addition is a big upgrade to the NookPhone’s design app that will let you customize umbrellas, small flags, uchiwa fans, and photo stands.Read Article >
The app already let you make designs for shirts, dresses, and hats, so with the upgrade, you’ll be able to tailor an even more custom look (and make a fun photo stand while you’re at it). The upgraded app will also add 50 design slots to both the normal and Pro custom design modes, allowing you to create and save even more designs than before.
Mar 15, 2021
It might be hard to believe, but Animal Crossing: New Horizons celebrates its first anniversary this week. Ahead of the game’s launch last March, producer Hisashi Nogami told The Verge that he hoped players would be able to “use this as an escape.” And in a year filled with challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, New Horizons’ colorful island and charming animal friends proved to be exactly that, offering a much-needed respite from the difficulties of the real world.Read Article >
The game wasn’t only fun on day one, though. Nintendo has continually added new content and events to the game, and the community gave birth to a number of fun, hilarious, and even political moments throughout the year. For many players, New Horizons became more of a place than a game.
Sep 3, 2020
If you can host a popular talk show in Animal Crossing, why not stage an official music video there? Particularly when, as you’ll see in Sylvan Esso’s official “Ferris Wheel” music video, the results are excellent. It’s a delightful shot of summery goodness, even if it’s a little on the nose here and there.Read Article >
Don’t have time for the full vid? Here’s a Twitter sample:
May 14, 2020
Gary Whitta is seated behind a thick wooden desk, hair perfectly coiffed, wearing a suit and a smile that curls upward like a macaroni noodle. He’s halfway through introducing his next guest, Greg Miller, when a beachball-sized head bobs into view. Whitta starts to yell. “Greg! I — goddamn you. Get back up the stairs. What is he doing?” Bandleader and video editor Adam Nickerson giggles behind his drumset.Read Article >
Miller has blown his cue and arrived onstage too early. While the beleaguered host declares, “This is not what I wanted,” Miller plants himself in the center of the set and strikes a thoughtful pose. He’s typing. After several seconds, a small bubble appears above his head with his long-awaited message: “y chat yell at me.”
May 8, 2020
All 32 NFL teams unveiled their schedules for the 2020 season yesterday. However, the Detroit Lions got a little more creative in how they did it, announcing their entire schedule through Animal Crossing: New Horizons.Read Article >
The team posted a seven-minute video on Twitter last night that kicks off with a daily announcement from Tom Nook. Throughout the video, the Lions unveiled which opponents they will face throughout the 2020 season in a variety of hilarious ways, like burying a stuffed bear in a hole to signify they will play the Chicago Bears in their season opener, hitting a Green Bay Packers fan with bug nets, and having Blathers freak out at the sight of Washington Redskins tickets.
May 7, 2020
Nintendo Switch sales were up 34 percent year-on-year last quarter as the company moved 3.29 million units, despite acknowledging that production has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Animal Crossing: New Horizons was a big sales driver, with 11.77 million units sold as of the end of March 31st.Read Article >
That’s enough to make it the seventh-best-selling Switch title yet even with only ten days worth of sales data accounted for. Nintendo adds that New Horizons actually sold 13.41 million copies in its first six weeks, though, which likely takes it past Pokémon Let’s Go! into sixth place.
Apr 28, 2020
Last week, German techwear firm Acronym released a new version of its iconic J1A-GT jacket, one based on Hideo Kojima’s PS4 game Death Stranding. Like most Acronym gear, the jacket was both rare and expensive: it sold out almost immediately, despite a price tag of just under $2,000. But in another seemingly unconnected corner of the internet, fans managed to get their hands on it for free. At the subreddit ACNHstreetwear, a space dedicated to streetwear enthusiasts playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons, one user re-created the jacket in-game with astonishing fidelity, before uploading a creator code so anyone could add it to their game. “Thank you!” replied one user. “I can’t afford it in real life, but at least I have this.”Read Article >
Fashion has become a big part of the New Horizons experience. While many players enjoy decorating their home or tracking down every last fish and fossil, others have used the Nintendo Switch game as a way to express themselves through clothing. The game has a huge range of style options to choose from, including plenty of sneakers, jackets, and jerseys that fit snugly into the streetwear aesthetic. “I do love putting cool sneakers in my games,” New Horizons producer Hisashi Nogami told me last month. (Nogami also worked on the similarly stylish Splatoon series.)
Apr 21, 2020
The Nintendo Switch sold more than double the number of consoles in March 2020 in the US than in March 2019, according to data from The NPD Group, showing that the Switch continues to be a hit more than three years after its 2017 launch (via VentureBeat). PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sales in the US were up as well, growing 25 percent year over year, reports NPD.Read Article >
The increased sales of all of the consoles show that people are turning to video games for entertainment while they’re stuck at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But March also featured the launch Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which was likely a significant contributor to the increased number of Switch sales.
Apr 21, 2020
This week, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is getting a big update that adds a number of welcome features, including two new businesses and a slate of upcoming seasonal events. The most notable additions are the return of two familiar characters from past games: Leif and Redd. After the update goes live, both characters will regularly show up on players’ island, hocking their wares.Read Article >
For Leif, that means a traveling garden shop where he sells things like flower seeds and shrubs. Redd, meanwhile, will continue his tradition of selling art that may or may not be authentic. Here’s how Nintendo explains it:
Apr 14, 2020
Slack was designed to be a place for co-workers to collaborate productively, but now, it’s been converted into a turnip forum. Tom Riley, a customer service employee at a fintech startup, participates regularly in his company’s growing Animal Crossing: New Horizons turnip channel on Slack, which has 34 people in it this week. It’s become a place to, obviously, discuss turnips, but ideally, also get everyone rich.Read Article >
To explain turnips simply: they’re the closest thing New Horizons, a new Nintendo Switch game, has to gambling. Players can buy turnips every Sunday for a varying price with the goal of selling them for a high return throughout the week. All turnips have to be sold by the following Sunday, or else they rot and become worthless. It’s a potentially effective way to make fast cash (or bells, as money is called in the game), which can be used to upgrade homes on players’ islands, buy new clothes, or build bridges — that is, so long as people sell them for a higher price than they bought the crops. That’s not guaranteed.
Apr 9, 2020
Shortly after noon on a Tuesday, I popped into Animal Crossing: New Horizons to check on turnip prices. Today’s number? A tasty 439 bells, four times the price I picked them up for. I turned a profit worth hundreds of thousands, invited friends to come by, and then decided to go one step further: offer access to my island via a shareable code, which I broadcasted on Twitter. It was instant chaos.Read Article >
One of the riskier ways to turn a profit in New Horizons involves playing the “stalk” market — buying turnips on Sundays before noon and then figuring out what day is your best chance to sell them. Wait too long (or attempt to cheat by changing your Switch’s date settings to time-travel), and they’ll rot. Prices change twice a day, every day. It’s the gambler’s dilemma: hold out for a higher price point and better profits, or quit while you’re ahead. Anyone with an island boasting high prices is, for a short period of time, a golden goose.
Apr 8, 2020
With much of the world stuck inside due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are turning to Animal Crossing: New Horizons to recapture the feeling of interacting with the outside world by spending time on the game’s virtual islands and their anthropomorphic animal residents. But the game’s easy-to-use multiplayer that lets you host up to seven guests on an island has also become a popular way to throw real-world events like birthday parties and even weddings.Read Article >
If you want to host your own party, we’ve put together a guide right here. We’ll offer some ideas on what you can do with your visitors to give you some inspiration and walk through some of the mechanics of hosting the party so that it runs smoothly.
Apr 7, 2020
The most popular games on Twitch don’t exactly scream “relaxation.” Instead, it’s action-heavy, competitive games like Fortnite and League of Legends that typically dominate the streaming charts. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is in many ways the antithesis to those experiences; it’s a laid-back life sim that moves at a glacial pace. Yet despite this — or maybe because of it — the game has accumulated a sizable audience on Twitch. Everyone from stars like Imane “Pokimane” Anys to actor Jordan Fisher to the Monterey Bay Aquarium has streamed the game. Thousands of people are watching these personalities catch fish, chop down trees, and get really excited about new outfits at the island’s clothing store.Read Article >
With much of the population stuck at home, Animal Crossing has exploded in popularity, and when it comes to streaming, it offers a more communal and subdued experience compared to other big games. “New Horizons is unlike anything else on Twitch right now,” says streamer Miabyte. “It’s incredibly wholesome.”
Apr 6, 2020
Apparel drops from 100 Thieves, a lifestyle and esports organization, are notoriously hard to get in on. Whenever the company releases a new hoodie or jersey, it sells out almost immediately. But there’s a new way to get some 100 Thieves gear, and it’s not only easy, but cheap: download it in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.Read Article >
Today, the company released virtual versions of every single piece they’ve released to date, spanning three years. As with all user-created items in New Horizons, you can download the designs for free by entering the proper creator code; the codes for all the gear can be found here, organized by the year the items were first released in the real world.
Apr 6, 2020
A new patch has been released for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and according to the patch notes it adjusts the amount of eggs that appear as part of the game’s Bunny Day event. Polygon reports that the amount of sky eggs appearing in the game seem to have fallen as a result of the patch, but that the amount of water eggs appear to be unchanged. Still, it’s great news for anyone being driven insane by the constant whooshing of eggs floating overhead.Read Article >
For the benefit of anyone who’s not currently playing Animal Crossing (read: my editor), the game is currently in the midst of its in-game “Bunny Day” event. It started on April 1st, and runs until Easter Sunday on April 12th. As part of the event, eggs are randomly appearing in the game, which you can use to craft charming in-game items. The problem is that they’re appearing way too much. It’s impossible to fish without constantly catching water eggs, or to go mining without finding dozens of rock eggs. It’s eggscruciating. [Ed. note: Jon.]
Mar 26, 2020
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is on track to become one of the best-selling video games of all time in Japan, according to sales figures released by Famitsu. The game managed to sell 1.88 million physical copies in its opening three days in Nintendo’s home market, a number far bigger than any other Switch game or Animal Crossing title to date. Famitsu doesn’t track digital sales, so the actual total will be significantly higher.Read Article >
The game’s launch also propelled Switch hardware sales to new heights, despite Nintendo’s prior warning that the coronavirus pandemic would affect hardware production and shipments. More than 392,000 consoles were sold in Japan last week, the highest seven-day total ever for the Switch, and one that means it’s now sold more than the Wii in Japan. (The Switch is still far behind the Wii in global sales, however — the latest official total was 52.48 million units sold worldwide as of the end of 2019, while the Wii reached 101.63 million in its lifetime.)
Mar 25, 2020
In my first weekend playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons, I had grand designs to pay off my initial mortgage and plant a robust orchard of fruit — but I didn’t expect my proudest accomplishment to be picking more than 6,250 weeds. I was driven to complete that herculean feat because I was rewarded with Nook Miles, a new currency in the series that I’ve become obsessed with collecting.Read Article >
In New Horizons, you earn Nook Miles for doing just about anything on your island, such as traveling to other islands, talking to villagers, plucking weeds, or fishing. If, for example, you catch 100 fish, you’ll get a stamp on your fishing card, a few hundred Nook Miles, and a new fish-catching goal to shoot for.
Mar 24, 2020
It’s impossible to play Animal Crossing: New Horizons wrong, but occasionally, you can miss crucial steps that will open up your island’s capabilities. If you’re finding yourself stuck — whether it’s a missing recipe or a location you can’t seem to reach — there’s an easier solution than tearing through your new home: invite some pals over or take a trip to one of their islands.Read Article >
Like past games, New Horizons encourages players to spend some time with friends. It’s an easy way to hang with friends you can’t see in person right now and snag some new fruits, clothes, and other items for your island. People you spend time with online can also gift you items or make you tools, a handy trick that can help you speed past the game’s natural gates to get what you want or where you want to be sooner. A pole vault, for example, will allow you to get across rivers and into new territories, while a ladder will let you scale cliffs. Craftable items from friends can help you complete island projects or spruce up your home. Friends with excess resources can also save you the wait of a full day or the trip to a random island via precious Nook Miles.
Mar 24, 2020
In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the customization options appear endless. You can make your tools pink, change your bedsheets, and remix your villager’s style with fresh haircuts and clothes. But while dozens of animal villagers have rocked sets of eyebrows for years, the series’s developers have yet to include them as a default customization option for your own character. In the latest installment, the new face painting feature is filling that void.Read Article >
In order to create your own eyebrow pattern, you’ll need to open up the Custom Designs app on your NookPhone. Don’t worry if you’re not that far into the game; you won’t need to purchase the Design Pro upgrade for this.
Mar 20, 2020
Animal Crossing: New Horizons, like past games, allows you to invite friends to your island when you’re ready. It’s a great way to grab new items, share things you’ve made, and meet other residents you might one day like on your island.Read Article >
It’s also an easy way to anger your friends, colleagues, and anyone else sweet enough to let you in. Rather than being a plague of locusts, intentionally or not, it’s a good time to check your worst instincts at the door. Because that’s easier said than done, we’ve put together a helpful list of dos and don’ts for when you finally arrive on your pal’s shiny new island. Be good, everyone.
Mar 20, 2020
Most Animal Crossing games start the same. You, a cherubic human, move into a quaint town full of talking animals. In some games, you’re simply a resident; in others, you’re the mayor. But in the latest release, Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch, things are different. You first arrive at an almost completely deserted island; there’s an airport, a small service tent, and two animals ready to start a new life alongside you. The goal is to turn an uninhabited piece of land into a thriving community.Read Article >
According to New Horizons director Aya Kyogoku, the change was designed as a way to shake things up for the long-running franchise. She particularly wanted to shift the way players interact with the world. “When we thought about changing those relationships between the user and the animals, we thought, ‘Well, what if we take away the village?’ Putting the player on a deserted island is the solution we came up with,” she tells The Verge.
Mar 19, 2020
Mornings have always been a blur in my house: a family of four rushing about, trying to get ready for a day of school or work, the chaos of half-eaten bowls of cereal and unzipped jackets. Lately, though, there’s been a different kind of rush with everyone trying to be the first to play Animal Crossing: New Horizons.Read Article >
Like most games in the series, New Horizons is meant to be a social experience. You live a virtual life on an island full of talking animals, but you can also bring friends along. For people in the same household, they can set up plots of land on the same island and live alongside each other. As someone tasked with reviewing the game, I thought a great way to test this feature would be to play with my entire family, including my wife and our two young daughters. I regret this decision.
Video games have become a powerful coping tool as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to spread. Developers are making their games free or cheap, Pokémon Go was made easier to play indoors, and Twitch is skyrocketing in popularity. Animal Crossing: New Horizons seems almost ideally suited for this scenario.Read Article >
It’s a game where players can live a relaxed life in the outdoors, and safely meet up with friends online. It’s cute and charming, and the desperate circumstances have made the anticipation around an already popular game even greater. A cursory glance at Twitter reveals fans begging Nintendo to release New Horizons early or counting down the days until it comes out. It’s not a situation Nintendo could’ve planned for, but the game’s creators are hoping the new game can help players in some way.
In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, just like in past games in the series, players are indebted to a raccoon named Tom Nook. In order to get ahead in the game and expand your house, you’ll need to pay off ever-increasing loans, which can skyrocket to huge sums. This premise has earned Nook something of a reputation as being greedy and focused only on money. There are countless memes and wiki posts to this effect. But the creators behind the latest game in the series think the business-minded raccoon is actually misunderstood. “We think Tom Nook is a very caring, really great guy,” New Horizons producer Hisashi Nogami tells The Verge.Read Article >
For Nogami, Nook isn’t necessarily greedy. Instead, he believes the character’s money-centric nature is a sign of responsibility. “He’s an adult,” he says, “so he’s very careful with money.” More important, according to Nogami, is that Nook’s existence is the backbone of the entire Animal Crossing experience. If players didn’t have those huge loans to pay off, they wouldn’t spend so much time fishing, catching bugs, and doing other things to earn cash. “It’s one of the biggest motivations that users have to continue playing Animal Crossing, and Tom Nook is the man behind that motivation,” he explains.