Animal crossing new horizons: 55 tips for new& returning players

How do I get iron ore? How to get across the river? How do I earn Sternis? We answer all these questions in our beginner’s guide.

In the beginning, there may be a few questions to answer in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

If you have just bought Animal Crossing: New Horizons, there is a lot to do on your first day on the island. We have summarized for you what is most worthwhile on day 1, but also what you should look out for afterwards.

If you want to know before which island is the right one, we recommend you to use our Island guide:

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Update in December 2021:
I’m sure many of you are now starting over with Animal Crossing as a Christmas gift. We have expanded the following tips to include all the new elements of the game that have been added over the year. Among them are many new features from update 2.0, which was released in November. So even newcomers get an overview of everything they can do now.

Day 1: Where do I place my tent??

When you get to the island, you have your tent under your arm, so you have to find a place for it. How about a house on the beach, for example?? Or at the river? For the game feeling there is no "bad" one Place for your tent, but we would recommend not to put it directly at the sandy place near the service center. There grows a village square and then you have no place for outdoor decoration.

Just put it where you like it best, and don’t worry: If you’re not satisfied later, Tom Nook will let you move your house. Against Sternis, of course.

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There is a river

On your island you will find a few rivers, which cut off parts of the island from the rest. Don’t worry about it at the beginning. To cross the river you need a jumping stick, which you can craft later in the game. Once again later comes the possibility to build bridges.

You can’t get up a plateau like the one on the left without a ladder.

There is a mountain

Even the mountains (or plateaus) can’t be climbed from the start. For this you need a ladder, which will also be unlocked in the course of the game. Here you can build staircases during your island career, which will allow your inhabitants to get there as well.

Attention: Your inhabitants have neither ladders nor jumping sticks and therefore can’t get everywhere if you don’t build them a bridge.

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Learn to craft

Once you’ve built your tent, be sure to visit Tom Nook at the Service Center. There you can register for a crafting course, which is nothing else than the crafting tutorial.

When you complete this, you will not only have your first fishing rod, but you will also receive instructions for making an axe, a landing net and a shovel. At the beginning you have to craft your stuff at Tom Nook’s tent, but later you can build your own workbench and put it in your house. In fact, we recommend it, because you can store raw materials in the house, so it’s not too far to go when you need materials.

As soon as you’ve earned some money and miles (we’ll get to the miles below), you should visit Nepp und Schlepp. They sell you building instructions for other tools that you wouldn’t get that way.

Not all building instructions are useful, some are just beautiful.

New building plans can also be found in bottle mail on the beach as well as at your residents home. Just visit them and talk to them when they are working at their workbench. Then you get a guide to whatever is currently being made on them.

Go fishing and pull weeds

Once you have your tools, you can set out and exploit what your island has to offer right now. Fishing is recommended, just like catching insects later on, because you can sell your catches at Nepp and Schlepp. Especially at the beginning you will get a lot of staris.

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Insects and fish you can later bring first to Tom Nook and then to the owl Eugen, who with enough new species in the bag see the need to build a museum. So you have an educational mission.

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What can I farm?

At the beginning, you have a limited amount of farmable resources on your island:

  • Branches (lying around but can also be shaken out of a tree with A)
  • Wood (with an axe from the tree)
  • Weeds (on the ground)
  • Fish (with a fishing rod in the river or sea)
  • Insects (with the landing net on the way)
  • Clay, stones and iron ore (hit a stone with a shovel)
  • Fruit (can be shaken off the tree with A)
  • Flowers and vegetables (can be picked with Y, grow back)

You can find new flowers, fruits or fish on other islands or in the service center store.

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How to get iron ore?

With the simple wiggle shovel you still have your problems with the material production. However, once you have the stronger shovel, you can simply hit a rock with it, which will then drop iron ore, clay, stone and sometimes saris. You can also find a particularly good technique in our iron ore guide:

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Plant star trees

When you see a golden bill on the ground of your island, grab a shovel and dig it up. Because this is a sack full of staris that is just waiting to be … bagged by you.

You can add the star sack to your fortune, and in the beginning it will be very tempting for sure. But you can also just bury the bag where you found it. There, within five days, a tree will grow which, with a certain probability, will bear staris instead of fruit. You can harvest them just like fruit and make more profit than with the one, plain sack.

The fact that the tree becomes a star tree can be seen, among other things, by the fact that the inhabitants will also talk to you about it.

This is what a fully grown sterni tree looks like.

Participate in the turnip market

To really make a lot of Sternis in a short time, you should speculate at the turnip market. Every Sunday you can invest in the white root vegetable at Yorna the turnip pig. Until Saturday of the following week, you can resell the turnips at Nepp and Schlepp for fluctuating prices up to over 750 Sternis per turnip. So you can speculate a bit prepared, there is a way to predict the prices:

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Activate the Nook miles

At the beginning Tom Nook explains how you can pay off your debts with miles. Which is very handy, because almost everything you do in the beginning earns you miles. To do this, you must first activate the miles by opening the app. There you will also see what you can earn miles for, among other things.

From then on we recommend you to collect a lot of miles. Because then you can exchange them in the service center for gameplay improvements and cool items. Apart from decorative items or clothes, these are among other things at the beginning:

  • New hairstyles and hair colors
  • A larger inventory
  • A tool quick selection
  • Longer lasting tools
  • Mileage tickets (for traveling to other islands)

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Buy mileage tickets

Later in the game, the airport opens and you can fly to new randomly generated islands with your mileage tickets. This not only makes the two dodos who own the airport happy, but also gives you advantages in the game.

More resources

If you have already checked all the trees and stones on your island, you can find fresh, unused trees and stones here.

When the dodos take you to a new island, take everything with you that can be packed.

New fruits and flowers

One type of fruit grows on your island, but there are more in total. You can find them on other islands, just like other types of wood such as bamboo. Dig up their offspring (or in the case of the flower, the whole flower), pack them up, and plant them at home.

So that you also know which flowers you get and how to plant them correctly, we have just the right guide for you here:

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K.K. get to your island

The big goal of Animal Crossing in the early days will be to get the musician dog K.K. Slider to get to the island. For this you will need a 3-star rating from Melinda. How to get it and what to do K.K. ultimately brings:

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New residents

On the islands wander also again and again inhabitants. If you like them, talk to them a few times and you can convince them to move to your island. A guide with all the inhabitants you can have at the start on your island, we have of course also for you.

So for the first few days can be noted:

  • Collect miles
  • Pluck weeds
  • Craftet tools
  • Harvest fruit
  • Catch fish

Earn Sternis and Nook miles for it again.

If you bring back lost items to your residents, they will be very happy and your friendship will grow.

If you want to know how to get rid of residents, we have broken down for you what you need to do:

Buy your diving suit and catch sea creatures

Once you have Nook’s store, you will have the opportunity to buy a diving suit from them. This you can then put on and swim in the sea. On the seabed are also shadows to see. If you press the A-key while swimming, your character will dive down. If you have done this directly over the shadows, you catch one of over 40 sea creatures:

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Breeds pumpkins

Since autumn, there are pumpkins in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. These are the offspring of Gerd, the gardener sloth. You can plant these in the ground and thus pick them after three days at the latest and use them for special crafting instructions:

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Collect paintings from Reiner

After a few days you will encounter Reiner for the first time. The cunning fox roams over your island and wants to sell you a painting. How to unlock it, you can see here:

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If you have unlocked Reiner, he will come by regularly with his treasure cutter. In this he sells you one of four paintings. But be careful, because Reiner is a fence and also has counterfeit goods with him. To make sure you buy the original, you can check out our guide:

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What else you can do in winter 2020/2021

If you start the game around Christmas, you will get almost all the experience of the winter event. Because except for the Christmas event (Toy Day), all other events will take place at least until the 6th day. January 2021 instead of. What you have to do for it, you can find in our preparation for the toy day. But also beyond that, December offers some new features:

All new content from Update 2.0

Animal Crossing has received a huge update in November 2021, adding new free content as well as a paid DLC. You can read everything important about Animal Crossing: Happy Home Paradise here:

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The Cafe

The museum has received an expansion and now gives you the opportunity to achieve a new cafe. But first you have to find the barista pigeon Kofi. How to do this and what you can then do in the Cafe Dovecote, you can find here:

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Captain’s new mile islands

If you have too many Nook miles and don’t want to visit the normal mile islands anymore, there is a new possibility now. Because the sailor Captain sets anchor at your pier and makes a daily boat trip with you for 1000 Nook miles to new islands, which you could not visit so before. On these you will also find new resources such as luminescent moss and vines.

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Growing vegetables and cooking recipes

Update 2.0 finally expands the farming in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. In addition to pumpkins, you can grow five other vegetables such as carrots, potatoes or tomatoes. You can only get the seedlings from a special dealer:

Once the vegetables are planted, you can not only enjoy the harvest, but also use it. For this there are completely new recipes, which you can cook for example at kitchenettes in your house. You can either eat the dishes and get energy for them or use them as decoration objects. All the cooking recipes are here:

More guides and tips from Update 2.0:

  • Unlock all stores on Harveys Plaza
  • Get the storage cabinet and ATM
  • All ordinances and what they bring
  • All gyroids and how to find them
  • All rewards from Kofi
  • How to unlock all the new house and camp expansions

More tips and tricks

Of course there are many little tips and tricks, which we don’t want to overwhelm you with at the beginning. However, if you still have questions, you may find an answer here:

  • What you have to pay attention to when catching insects
  • How to fish properly?
  • How to get eyebrows and freckles
  • Here you can get free furniture and clothes
  • This is what your Amiibo bring you
  • Christmas season: All you can collect now

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What you should do every day

Later in the game there are a few things you should check regularly because they will get you staris, miles and friends. Many of these mechanics will be unlocked as you progress through the game.

  • Talk to the inhabitants (and give them something as soon as you can, so you become friends)
  • Visit the inhabitants at home (so you can get crafting instructions or help them with medicine if they are sick)
  • Find the money stone (always a stone on the island brings you Sternis instead of minerals. This is always a different one each day, so check them all)
  • Dig up fossils (You can recognize the fossils by the small craters in the ground). Have Eugen appraise them, donate new fossils to the museum, and sell everything the museum already has to the Nooks. They give a lot of staris.)
  • Talk to Tom Nook (a conversation with Tom Nook sometimes unlocks new mechanics)
  • Catch fish, insects and sea creatures
  • Search for Message in a Bottle (it contains building instructions)
  • Talk to visitors (Aziza has carpets, Buhuu gives you facilities and Gulliver is also grateful if you wake him up. Poke him for it a few times in a row.)
  • Collect Nook miles (If you have unlocked Nook Miles Plus, complete the first five objectives each day to earn miles)
  • Report to the vending machine in the service center, that also gives miles every day
  • Check the Nook store for the purchase of the day, for this you will get a lot of moneyL
  • Upgrade the island (if you are in the process of upgrading your island, ask Melinda about the island’s image, this will update the island’s rating)
  • John the Otter – Here you can find everything about scallops, pearls and mermaid furniture
  • Gulliver& Gullivarrr – We show you everything you need to know about the stranded Moew and his Pirate Counterfeit.
  • Buhu and his rewards – Sometimes you can meet the ghost Buhu at night. These are his rewards.
  • Eufemia and the shooting stars – on a clear evening you can see shooting stars on your island. You can’t miss these rewards.
  • Lormeus, the fish fluencer – sell your fish for more money or turn them into a decorative model at the fish fluencer.
  • Carlson, the insect lover – sell your insects at the chameleon for a higher price or turn them into a decorative model.
  • All songs from K.K. – Once you have unlocked the musical dog, he will come to your island every Saturday and hold a concert for you in the evening.

These were our tips for the first days on the island. What helped you? Where you might have trouble? Write us the answer in the comments.

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