Quick Tricks That Animal Crossing: New Horizons Is Too Chill To Tell You About

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Quick Tricks That Animal Crossing: New Horizons Is Too Chill To Tell You About
Screenshot: Nintendo

Face it: Animal Crossing: New Horizons is an annoying game.

There. I said it. I’m sorry, but it’s true. Yes, you’re the de facto overlord of a private island brimming with adorable talkative animals. On paper, it’s a dream come true.

But, in reality, Nintendo’s life simulator is a maddening nightmare. Every minute spent with New Horizons is an exercise in patience. The inventory always fills up. The resources always dry up. And seriously, how many more times can you read the line “I caught a sea bass! No, wait—it’s at least a C+!” without losing your mind? (Answer: zero.)

But there are a few ways to make the game marginally less annoying. To some players, these little tricks might be no-brainers. To others, maybe not. New Horizons doesn’t exactly do a great job at explaining its various intricacies.

For instance, did you know that you can tap A to speed up crafting? Also, when it comes to covering up holes in the ground, you needn’t equip your shovel. Just press Y and your villager will kick some dirt over them. The B button, meanwhile, has two hidden uses. You can press it to speed up dialogue (New Horizons text moves at the slow cadence of island life). Or you can hold it down to run around your little cay.

Then there are the vexingly unexplained systems. Tree-planting is a big one. When it comes to growing a grove, you can’t place down roots right next to each other. But New Horizons won’t tell you this (unless I hit B too fast and skipped that text). It’ll let you place two saplings adjacently. It might take a day or two before you realise your trees aren’t growing. Then you have to uproot half of them and replant the saplings so each one has at least one spot of “free space” to grow. Kotaku’s Ethan Gach likened Animal Crossing to “work.” Worse. This is straight-up busywork.

Bug bites are also irritating, if less impactful on actual gameplay. When you get attacked by your island’s native insects—say, a horde of wasps—your face will puff up. This doesn’t prevent you from doing your Animal Crossing chores, but it does make you look kind of silly. There’s only one cure: medicine. Thing is, you don’t initially start with the recipe for it. And you can’t source it in the Resident Services tent. Rather, you can find the recipe by talking to one of your island’s starter residents while you’re suffering a bug bite. (Before learning this, my workaround was sartorial: I’d just wear the Tom Nook eye mask to cover up any inflammation.) If you’re not a gregarious member of your island’s citizenry, sorry. Good luck with those bites!

If you have any other tricks up your sleeve, do let me know. I’d like to enjoy this dream, please.

Comments

  • you can’t place down roots right next to each other. But New Horizons won’t tell you this (unless I hit B too fast and skipped that text)
    You did, to a degree. It says you can’t place trees too close to another object or they won’t grow. Granted, what is too close is left undisclosed, but it shouldn’t take too much effort to work out that one space in every direction must surround your tree.

    you can find the recipe by talking to one of your island’s starter residents while you’re suffering a bug bite
    Almost like how in every other game if you want to know what to do, or find out information, you talk to the NPCs?

    Sharing helpful, little-to-unexplained tips like this is great. It helps foster a community which is what Animal Crossing is all about. Framing them as a complaint is a weird choice though, especially when these are the grievances.

    • You did, to a degree. It says you can’t place trees too close to another object or they won’t grow. Granted, what is too close is left undisclosed, but it shouldn’t take too much effort to work out that one space in every direction must surround your tree.Which part was that at? I’m a fair way in and at least had tree growing come up in the nook miles, but don’t remember there being any talk about growing trees.

      Almost like how in every other game if you want to know what to do, or find out information, you talk to the NPCs? For all the other information though it comes from the Nooks, so it’s fair to expect that it’d come from them if you weren’t particularly fussed about your villagers.

      • Which part was that at? I’m a fair way in and at least had tree growing come up in the nook miles, but don’t remember there being any talk about growing trees.

        Couldn’t say how or when the dialogue popped up but it absolutely does. This is my first animal crossing game and I knew you couldn’t out trees near each other, granted it doesn’t explain exactly how close they can be.

        All the tips in this article are explained in the game, some not so well, but as a newbie to the series I’ve been reading most of the tips and dialogue and all this does get explained.

      • Which part was that in?
        Can’t remember if it was the Nooks or a villager. It was 100% on day one though. I specifically remember reading it and wishing they’d let me play because I already knew that. I wanna say someone asks you to plant a tree and they say that? Because I planted a cedar so that I could reach one earlier than with the ladder because they told me to plant a tree.

  • Oh dear, here we go, another ‘Gita Jackson’ writing for Kotaku.
    Or maybe you’re Gita Jackson writing under different name?

  • These complaints make it obvious that you are an animal crossing N00B.

    Another tip, pressing left and right on the d pad cycles through your tools in the order that they are in your inventory. Quicker than using the wheel if you’re doing repetitive tasks with multiple tools.

    Animal crossing is not a game you are really meant to play 8 hours of straight. It’s supposed to be chill, you do a bit of this, a bit of that and then you put it down until tomorrow’s chores.

    • Another tip, pressing left and right on the d pad cycles through your tools in the order that they are in your inventory.

      Thank you. I knew they would cycle, but had no idea what was effecting the order.

    • So true. I read another article on here yesterday which was just a guy crying he doesn’t like Animal Crossing and how everyone who likes it is wrong. No idea why these people are coming out of woodwork to cover a game they dislike/know nothing about. Next time they’ll be crying no one told them they can dig out grown trees if they eat fruit first, that they can bury bells in the glowing holes to grow money trees, or that they can play stock market with turnips…

  • c’mon, people in the comments are just mean. I get the feeling of being slightly frustrated by AC, more so used to other games (and competing with my sis for profit). Recoil in this game from hitting rocks with the shovel seems worse than before, IMO, remember to put holes or smth behind you to avoid it and get everything they have hitting quickly.

  • Resources never run out, what are you talking about? There’s this thing called ‘mystery islands’ where you can go if you need more materials. Each has plenty of wood and 4 rocks to hit. I have so much wood/metal/stone stored in my house I don’t know what to do with it, and that’s just from logging in 3 times a day for about 20 minutes a session. You’re meant to play the game in short bursts, not sit down and grind.

  • Is anyone else playing with no time skip and getting frustrated when they go to an island and see stuff that they didn’t want to see -_-

    Should split the time skippers and non time skippers into different groups to prevent that from happening.

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