animal crossing, animal crossing hacks
[Photo via Nintendo]

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is intended to be a relaxing, non-competitive game, yet players are discovering some hidden tricks and resources that can make island getaway life all the more efficient and enjoyable.

While the game is set in real time and the only skill really needed is luck, some players become a bit frustrated waiting for their long-awaited DIY recipe to wash ashore or to catch a rare fish. Nearly a year after the game’s release, fans have scouted out a collection of tips, tricks and even fan-made websites that make island living all the more enticing. 

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Nookazon: your one-stop-shop for furniture, clothes, villagers and more

There are a ton of different ways to find items such as clothing, furniture and DIY recipes in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but relying on the game’s natural spawning system could take ages. Whether you’re looking for a couple of players to water your hybrid farm or are trying to get your hands on that rare DIY recipe, Nookazon is your go-to place. Nookazon is a website that’s basically the Animal Crossing version of Amazon or eBay. Players can list specific items and services they have for sale, while other players are able to make offers for them. It’s the perfect place to buy, sell or even trade items and recipes you couldn’t get your hands on otherwise. The website even features a messaging system for convenient communication between players and also allows you to leave reviews after transactions.

Make the most out of custom designs

Don’t get us wrong, the Able Sisters sells super-cute clothes, but sometimes you just want something you can design yourself. One easy way to upload custom designs into Animal Crossing: New Horizons is through the website ACPatterns. This website lets players upload pictures from their phone or computer onto the site, which then transforms the image into a design compatible with the game’s custom design portal. To get the design into the game itself, you’ll need to download the Nintendo Switch app, as we explain in No. 11 on this list. Once you’ve scanned the QR code from the app, click “save” and then open your Nook Phone and click on the custom designs icon. Then, press the (+) button and then press “download.” Once the image downloads, you can then choose a save slot for the custom design. 

You can also display your favorite artwork in Animal Crossing: New Horizons or even wear it as a sweatshirt through the Animal Crossing Art Generator developed by the J. Paul Getty Museum. You can search through the museum’s open-access collection or import artwork from another museum. The site guides you through the conversion process in three simple steps. Once you have the QR code for the artwork, just follow the same steps as you would for ACPatterns.

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If you’re looking for a wide collection of custom designs you can download through the custom design portal located in Able Sisters, try browsing through ACNH Custom Designs on Tumblr. This Tumblr page has a massive amount of custom designs created by other players, from bedding to paths to even facepaint. This page is also organized and easy to navigate with its selection of themes and categories.

Happy Island Designer

animal crossing
[Photo via CrossingCharm]
If you’re particular about your island layout but don’t want to commit to relocating buildings and terraforming just yet, try Happy Island Designer. This website lets you design your island from the view of your map and also lets you edit your island’s topography, buildings, homes and even tree placement. By planning your island out on Happy Island Designer first, you’ll hopefully eliminate the pain of relocating buildings and endless terraforming.

Toss your unwanted items

animal crossing
[Photo via Nintendo]
Eating fruit in Animal Crossing: New Horizons gives you extra strength to uproot trees and smash rocks, but sometimes you overestimate how much fruit you need and find yourself with excess energy. If you’re looking to get rid of any unwanted fruit energy, simply hop on a toilet and your unwanted energy will be gone in seconds. Another challenge players come across is limited inventory space. Instead of dropping or placing unwanted items on the ground and crowding your island, press the (A) button while standing in front of a trash can to throw away your unwanted items. You can also use the drop-off box outside Nook’s Cranny any time of day to earn extra bells for your tossed items.

Speed through the DIY crafting process

animal crossing
[Photo via Nintendo]
There’s no getting around the tedious DIY crafting in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. From tools to furniture, almost every essential item in the game requires finding a DIY bench and sitting through what seems like an eternity to craft a wooden shovel. However, smashing the (A) button while your character crafts will cut the crafting time in half. This is especially useful when you have to craft items in bulk, such as fish bait.

Scam Jolly Redd with an inventory refresh

Jolly Redd is one of the most sought-after NPCs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but his inventory might not be what you’re looking for that week. Whether the artwork you want is fake or you already own the art he’s selling, there’s a simple trick to refresh his inventory. Simply change your timezone or date in the system settings on your Nintendo Switch back one day. Open Animal Crossing: New Horizons, then immediately save and quit the game once you exit your house. Then, once the game is closed, go back into your Switch’s settings and set the date and time back to the current day. Start the game again and you’ll find Redd’s inventory to be completely different.

Get more bang for your bell with money trees

animal crossing
[Photo via Nintendo]
Turns out money does grow on trees when you’re playing Animal Crossing. But instead of simply reburying the 1,000 bells you dig up each day, take 10,000 bells out of your savings and bury that instead. Then, your money tree will produce three 10,000 bell bags instead of three 1,000 bell bags—a solid 30,000 bells each day. While burying any amount between 1,000 and 10,000 bells is guaranteed to yield three times the amount you buried, use caution when burying anything more than 10,000 bells. While some players have reported getting three 99,000 bell bags after burying one 99,000 bell bag, that won’t always be the case. We recommend burying an excessive amount of bells at your own risk. 

Two DIYs in one day

animal crossing
[Photo via Nintendo]
Like the shiny money tree spot, a DIY in a bottle will wash ashore your island every morning as well. Yet, few know that the beach DIY will respawn every 11 hours. So, it’s wise to check your beaches early in the morning to get one DIY recipe and then again 11-12 hours later to get another one the same day. To receive another extra DIY, purchase some Nook Miles tickets and go island hopping. Some of their shores will have DIYs in bottles as well.

Always shake non-fruit trees

animal crossing
[Photo via Nintendo]
Be sure to always shake trees that don’t produce fruit (cedar trees, plain regular trees) every day on and off your island. Each day, one item of furniture should fall from a non-fruit-bearing tree on each island—and yes, that includes mystery islands as well. But that’s not all that’s hidden in the trees. Additionally, money will fall from these trees as well as five wasps nests per day. Catch the wasps to avoid being stung and sell them to Nook’s Cranny for a solid 2,500 bells. Although, wasps are present on islands year-round, so it’s always best to go tree shaking with a net in your hand!

Keep talking to Sable

animal crossing
[Photo via Nintendo]
While Mabel the hedgehog will happily greet you every time you enter Able Sisters, you might feel a bit hesitant to talk to the quieter sister working away in the corner, Sable. While Sable might not say much to you the first couple of times you talk to her, be sure to keep talking to her once a day, every day. Not only will she warm up to you and you’ll have a new island friend, but she’ll also gift you her own special fabric patterns that can be used to customize furniture as well. 

Use NookLink to make chatting a breeze

animal crossing
[Photo via Nintendo]
Chatting with other players in Animal Crossing: New Horizons can be a bit tedious when using your Nintendo Switch. To make chatting much easier, simply download the Nintendo Switch Online app, which you’ll need a Nintendo Online membership to use. 

Before you download the app, you’ll want to make sure NookLink is activated in your Animal Crossing: New Horizons game. To do so, open Animal Crossing: New Horizons to the title screen and press the (—) button. Then select “NookLink settings,” then “yes please.”

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Next, download the Nintendo Switch Online app from your Apple or Android device. Make sure you sign into the app with the same Nintendo Online membership you’re using for Animal Crossing: New Horizons on your Switch. Open the app and under the “Game-Specific Services” option, select Animal Crossing: New Horizons

And voila! Now you can use your phone to chat with friends in-game through the app’s chat option or through their voice chat system. You can also use the app to scan QR codes for custom designs as well. Once you’ve scanned a code, open your NookPhone in the game to save it into your custom designs.

Catch rare fish when it’s raining

While finding rare fish in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is hard to begin with, one fish will only spawn in the rain. That’s right: The blast from the past coelacanth lurks in the sea year-round and isn’t constricted to being active during certain times of the day, just when it’s raining. So, any time it’s raining on your island, head to the beaches and see if you can scout a large fish shadow. When you do catch a coelacanth, you can sell it to Nook’s Cranny for a whopping 15,000 bells or store it for CJ and earn 22,500 bells instead.

Navigate the stalk market like a pro

animal crossing
[Photo via Nintendo]
A simple way to earn bells in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is by buying and selling turnips. Every Sunday between 5 a.m.-noon, Daisy Mae will wander your island selling turnips for a designated price, usually between 80 and 110 bells per turnip. Buy the turnips and sell them to Nook’s Cranny for a higher price than you bought them to earn a profit. Monday through Saturday, Timmy and Tommy will let you know the day’s turnip prices. However, there will be two selling prices, one in the morning and one afternoon. So, always check back in at Nook’s Cranny to see the afternoon prices as well.

While your selling period for turnips is limited, a great tool to find your island’s peak selling price is by using ACNH: Turnip Calculator. Simply input your buying price and daily a.m. and p.m. selling prices. Then the website will give you a rough estimate of the shop’s peak selling prices and what day to expect them. This way, you won’t have to guess when to sell or risk spoiling your turnips.

Attract bugs with garbage

While Blathers may despise bugs, many Animal Crossing: New Horizons players are still determined to complete their museum. Yet, some bugs are harder to come by than others. Thankfully, there are a few tricks to catch those pesky bugs you just can’t seem to find. For starters, the mole cricket is active from November through May. But you won’t be able to spot one because these critters have to be dug up. Mole crickets can be caught any time of day, so whenever you hear crickets chirping, try to find a location where the chirping is the loudest and start digging. This will definitely take some trial and error, so don’t expect to catch one on your first try. 

Some other bugs that are hard to catch are flies and ants. These can spawn by attracting them with trash or spoiled turnips. Sometimes when you’re fishing, you’ll catch an empty can, a tire or an old boot. Set these trash items out anywhere on your island and wait for the ants and flies to appear.

Did any of these hacks work for you? Let us know in the comments below!