Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a fun and relaxing game, but there's also a lot of hidden challenges you might not be aware of. If you speak to Isabelle at the Town Hall, you can ask for an island evaluation to get a score out of five. Most towns sit in the two to three star range — and you'll have to put in work to earn the elusive five stars.
Why do you need five stars, you might ask? This is the only way to get the golden watering can item — a near-unbreakable tool that lets you water as many flowers as your heart desires.
There's some simple things you can do to get started on your five-star journey.
Terraform Your Island
Terraforming is unlocked after you complete Tom Nook's initial island requests — including building the museum, establishing the store and inviting more villagers into your town. This tool lets you build paths, rivers and mountains.
Generally, your island home will start off with three even layers — a larger main island surrounded by water and two additional levels. Don't feel like you have to stick to this layout — once you gain the terraforming ability, you can pave over your entire island and start from scratch if you choose. This will let you reshape and reimagine your island however you choose.
Variety is key here — make sure you experiment with multiple elevations, as well as creating more waterfalls and rivers for more diverse scenery.
Building inclines and bridges to help traverse your new island will also help you build your stars.
Add Lots Of Outdoor Furniture To Your Island
Furniture appears to be weighted more heavily when it comes to your review score — the majority of feedback I got on the way to five stars was that residents wanted the town to be more decorated.
This means adding in as much furniture as possible, wherever possible. Expensive items are likely to give you more points, as are items bought off the Nook Miles shopping system.
You can find more furniture to decorate your island at Nook's store, in balloons that float overhead, via finding more DIY recipes and through your friends.
Add Lots Of Fences To Your Island
Fences count towards your overall island score — and they also help make houses look neat and tidy. You can build fences around just about anything, including your home, residents' houses and your island stores.
If you don't have a fence that you like the look of, keep checking the Nook Miles shopping app — every day the two fence recipes available are refreshed.
Keep Your Town Tidy
Make sure you don't have a lot of weeds, branches or garbage lying around — this can impact your overall score and enable bad feedback for your island. While it is a pain picking up every single weed in your town, it does have a solid reward — not only will your town be tidy, your villagers will be happy, too.
Note that if you choose to time travel – particularly years back – your town will be overrun by weeds and your overall score will drop.
Get Inspired Online
There's plenty of resources online for you to get inspired. If you're looking for unique signs, clothing, artwork or designs, visit Nook's Island, where you can find a veritable treasure trove of Animal Crossing goodies.
You can also visit Reddit, where there's a heap of gorgeous and creative ideas.
You might like to build a public pool in your town:
Or even a café/restaurant:
The possibilities are endless, and we wish you luck on your journey.