Animal Crossing: New Horizons isn’t like other Animal Crossing games. Rather than starting players out with an immediate grind in unfamiliar territory, the bulk of New Horizons‘ gameplay unfolds over the course of several days. Players are tasked with building many of the major shops, houses and utilities for their islands, making the game more involving than ever before. While you don’t have to stick to this guide, these are the major tasks you should undertake in the first days of your Animal Crossing adventure.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Day 1
The first day of Animal Crossing: New Horizons is all about familiarising yourself with your new home. You’ll arrive on your island, meeting a whole bunch of villagers and set them up with tents for lodgings.
You’ll also get into a whole lot of debt — 5,000 Nook Miles worth.
Luckily, Nook Miles are fairly easy to come by on your first day because every new action or activity gives you a lot Miles. These activities include picking fruit, crafting and catching bugs or insects, talking to your fellow villagers and other milestones.
You can pay (and should) pay off your first Nook Miles debt on the first day. This ensures you can wake up to a brand new house to live in on your second day.
If you have spare Miles, you should also look at purchasing the Tool Ring which lets you easily cycle through your available tools, and the Pocket Organisation Guide which doubles your available pocket space.
You’ll also want to catch at least five bugs or fish to give to Tom Nook before the end of the day. This will let Blathers enter your town on day 2.
For any excess fish or bugs you catch, feel free to place them anywhere in your tent or around town for safekeeping — keep one of each kind so that you can donate them to the museum when it opens on day four.
Other than that, your first day should be spent collecting resources, fishing, bug catching and crafting for the future. While you won’t have the shovel yet, you can use a flimsy axe to hit rocks for iron nuggets.
Make sure not to sell any of these yet.
- Pay off your 5,000 Nook Miles debt
- Donate five fish or bugs to Tom Nook
- Optional: Buy helpful tools with Nook Miles
Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Day 2
On day 2, you’ll wake up to a brand new house where your tent was. The bad news is that you’re now in more debt — 98,000 bells worth. This cannot be paid off in Nook Miles, so you’ll have to work hard to pay it off.
Luckily, there’s plenty of fish, bugs and fruit you can sell to Timmy or Tommy for bells. You should be able to pay this debt off on day 2, but never feel pressured to rush your Animal Crossing experience.
There’ll be a new visitor to your town today. Blathers, the town historian, will have set up shop on your island with the aim of opening a museum. To do this, you’ll need to donate 15 bugs or fish to Blathers on day 2. After this, he won’t accept any more donations and you’ll have to stockpile your remaining creatures.
By day 2, your town will likely be covered in fish tanks and bug farms. That’s very normal, so don’t worry too much about it. They’ll likely be there until day four when the museum opens.
Once you chat to Blathers, you’ll gain the recipe for the shovel which can be used to dig up fossils. You’ll also be able to craft the vaulting pole, which will give you access to more of your island.
Your second big task for day 2 is helping Timmy and Tommy open their shop, Nook’s Cranny. To do that, you’ll need 30 hardwood, 30 softwood, 30 wood and 30 iron nuggets. Wood is easily found by hitting your island’s trees with an axe, but the iron nuggets are more complicated. While it will be hard, you can collect all 30 iron nuggets on day 2 with careful planning.
Iron nuggets are worth their weight in gold in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. You need 30 nuggets to open Timmy and Tommy's corner shop on day 2, and they're also the only way to strengthen your tools. But iron nuggets can be hard to find, and the game doesn't tell you exactly where to look, either. Here's how you can get iron nuggets in the game.Read more
Since the airport opens on day 2, you can take advantage of the free Nook Ticket given by Tom Nook to travel to a Mystery Island and raid it for more resources. You can also visit the islands of any of your friends currently playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons. On their islands, you may be able to pick up foreign fruit and befriend villagers.
If you can befriend three villagers on Mystery Islands, you can invite them to your town.
Your final major task for day 2 is purchasing the Pretty Good Tool Recipe for 3,000 Nook Miles. This means you can upgrade your tools to become more durable.
- Donate 15 bugs or fish to Blathers
- Donate materials to complete the shop
- Pay off your 98,000 bell debt
- Improve your tools
- Visit a Mystery Island
- Invite three villagers to live with you
Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Day 3
By day 3, you can open up Nook’s Cranny, which expands Timmy and Tommy’s business ventures into a fully-fledged shop and you might now live in a large house. Great job! But the fun doesn’t stop there. Day 3 isn’t nearly as packed as the first two days of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but you’re not quite off the hook yet for daily tasks.
Your debt on day 3 will have skyrocketed to 198,000 and will be a bit more difficult to pay off in a single day. If you’re determined, you can still get it done but it’ll require intensive fishing and foraging.
The museum will be completely shut on day 3 while it undergoes construction, but there’s plenty for you to do in the meantime — and you’ll even be able to craft a new ladder tool to aid island exploration.
To help your new animal friends settle, you’ll need to build them houses and a bridge for crossing streams. To complete housing construction, you’ll need to construct three new homes and furnish them. All the required furniture is constructed from items that are easily accessible, and you should be able to complete construction of all three houses on your third day.
By day four, these houses and the bridge will be ready for new occupants.
Other than that, day 3 is yours to explore as you wish!
- Pay off your 198,000 bell debt
- Construct houses and a bridge
- Visit the new shop
- Keep catching fish and bugs
How is your Animal Crossing adventure going? Tell us about it in the comments below, and feel free to drop any hints or tips to your fellow Kotaku readers!