With the Animal Crossing: New Horizons 2.0 update out (early, even!) there is a ton of stuff to do and new features to explore. Before you get overwhelmed, we’ve figured out the best possible order of operations so you don’t waste any valuable time island time or miss out on anything.
This post first appeared on Kotaku Australia on November 6, 2021. It has been retimed as a weekend read.
Enact an ordinance
- Ordinances were a big part of the last Animal Crossing entry, New Leaf. It’s pretty much exactly the same this time around. There are four options:
- Beautiful Island Ordinance, which means fewer weeds and cockroaches, no fishing up trash, and more hybrid flowers
- Early Bird Ordinance, which makes shops open and earlier and villagers will wake up and go to sleep earlier
- Night Owl Ordinance, conversely makes shops open later and villagers will wake and sleep later
- Bell Boom Ordinance allows items to sell for more money, but things will cost more too
Oh, and enacting an ordinance will cost you 20,000 Bells. Choose wisely.
Redeem Nook Miles
Firstly, you’ll want to stop by the Resident Services building. Go to the Nook Stop terminal and start redeeming the Nook Miles you hopefully have saved up on all the cool new items. If you’re running a bit low or don’t want to spend everything so quickly, stick to the essentials for now. The must-have upgrades include the Pro Decorating Licence for 3,219 km, which allows you to change up your home even more with accent walls and ceiling designs.
There’s also the Be a Chef! DIY Recipes+ app upgrade for 3,219 km. This adds the cooking mechanism to your DIY recipes, allowing you to make all sorts of mouth-watering foods. However, rather than using a workshop to put together these tasty items, you’ll need a kitchen. Luckily, the app upgrade provides a DIY recipe for a stonework kitchen that only needs basic materials. You can also mooch off the kitchens and stovetops in your villagers’ homes. It also comes with cooking recipes for a smoothie of your island’s native fruit, sugar, flour, pancakes, grilled sea bass with herbs, tomato curry, a pumpkin bagel sandwich, and carrot potage.
But there’s so much more to this feature.
Head to Nook’s Cranny
Here, you can pick up a DIY recipe for a ladder set-up kit in the store cabinet for 2,000 Bells. Unlike the ladder you’re used to navigating your island with, this will let you prop up a ladder around your town permanently. It’s incredibly useful if you like having lots of hills and valleys and have run out of permanent bridge and stair slots, or if you’re tired of having to carry around a ladder yourself.
With that out of the way, grab the basic cooking recipes for 4,980. It will stand out among the other recipes, which have an acorn on a pink background. This recipe set is yellow with a whisk, making it clear this is for food and drink making. If you went out of order and stopped here first, you won’t be able to purchase the kit as you need the Recipes+ upgrade first.
At this point, you’ll have unlocked a new achievement: Writing a Cookbook? The first milestone is ticked off once you have 10 recipes in your collection. The next is 30 and another marker after that, so expect your cookbook to expand. For example, fishing up a horse mackerel unlocked an aji fry cooking recipe.
Have a group stretch
I was serious when I said there’s a lot to do. So take a break a have a relaxing group stretch. As Isabelle notes in her announcement upon booting up the game post-release, there is now a tape deck in front of the resident services building. Interact with it to start a group stretching session with your villagers. What’s interesting about this is that you can actually stretch in real life along with everyone by using your Joy-Con. However, there is also an option to use button controls for added accessibility or if you don’t have room to start moving around wherever you are.
For the guided movement session, I popped up my Switch on its kickstand. It takes about a minute, and there’s nothing too intense, but you get to see your entire village follow along. It’s like a really nice touch for some added quick movement.
The button pressing option still provides a relaxing mini-game, and it’s no less embarrassing if you mess up the rhythm whether moving IRL or pressing a button.
Speak to Blathers at the museum
Making a pit stop at the library to check on our resident owl may seem like an optional task that would merely get in the way of checking out all the new New Horizons 2.0 stuff. Well, you would be wrong. This is crucial, lest you have to wait an extra day or two for the beloved Brewster to visit your island.
When you walk into the museum, Blathers will be deep in thought (even during the day!). He’ll mention that the museum could use a refresh. One with a café specifically, and he wants you to find his ol’ pal Brewster who used to run a café in a museum with him. Blathers heavily hints that he’s checking out those new islands accessible by boat that Isabelle mentioned earlier. He’ll also give you a photo of Brewster that you can put up in your home to help identify him.
If you don’t speak with Blathers to take up this quest, your boat trip will be for naught, so don’t skip this step!
Take an island tour with Kapp’n
This bus and cab driver-turned island vacation host is back! You can visit Kapp’n on your island’s pier, the same one where rare fish wish spawn. His island tours work similarly to the ones you take at the airport, but you pay Kapp’n in 1,609 km directly. There’s none of this boarding pass nonsense. He’ll take you on just one island tour a day. But the cool thing is that he can take to you islands that weren’t in the game before, like ones covered in vines or perhaps one where the rocks shower you with star fragments. In rare cases, you may be able to collect valuable glowing moss, which can be used in recipes.
And, as Kapp’n serenades you with a song, you can clap along to the beat, express shock that you would be granted such a treasure, and even give him a round of applause when he’s done.
But this is where that crucial order comes in. You need to have spoken with Blathers at the museum before heading off, unless you want to delay your caffeinated joy.
As Blathers alludes, Brewster is, in fact, hunting for gyroids on the island. When you speak with him, he’ll agree to take up shop, though you’ll have to wait two days for it to actually open. He’s a magician with an espresso machine, ok? Not an actual magician. Brewster will also give you a gyroid fragment, which he says you can plant, water, and watch it grow into a full gyroid the next day. You’ll also likely be able to dig up another fragment on the island before you go.
Feel free to grab any resources before taking off again.
When you tell Blathers this wonderful news, he’ll note the museum will be closed for construction the next day, as expected, but that the new version, café and all will be open for business the day after that!
Get gyroid growing
Once you’re back on the island, take the gyroid fragment Brewster gave (and any other you may have picked up) and bury it. At first, it will look like any other star-shaped fossil or other buried item. But once you water it as Brewster advised, a small puff of smoke will appear. This will remain active, too, so you won’t accidentally dig it up thinking it’s a fossil later.
Figure out what’s going down on Harv’s Island
After listening to Isabelle’s announcements, you likely (hopefully) checked your mailbox. In it was a rare letter from Harv. He says he has something to tell you and that he’ll be waiting on his island.
As usual, head to the airport to fly over and see what’s up with this dog. Maybe with 100,000 Bells or so in hand. You know, just in case. When you take the path north of Harvey’s spot, you’ll quickly spot him speaking with Harriet, hair extraordinaire. Harriet is a longtime Animal Crossing NPC who runs Shampoodle (get it, because she’s a poodle), where you would normally change up your look as mirrors do now.
Here, Harv says he’s starting “a new collective,” which sounds a lot like cult to me, especially with Harriet dropping her normal look to mimic Harv’s. He’s also calling her “Hattie,” but only he can call her that. Weird vibes.
Start funding Harv’s co-op
Turns out it’s not a cult! Harv is starting a business co-op collective, and you’re going to fund it! Many of these co-ops consist of animals we’ve seen before: Redd’s art dealership, Leif’s plants, Sahara’s rugs and wallpaper, and Kicks’ accessory sales. We’ve also seen alpacas Cyrus and Reese for New Horizon’s wedding event, but here they will revive their New Leaf roles as a furniture-refurbishing team. Katrina will continue her fortune-telling gig, which has been in every game prior to New Horizons. And former mayor Tortimer will let you access your home storage. All of this for a cool 100,000 Bells…each. Yup. You’ll need to drop 700,000 Bells to access them all. You don’t have to pay all at once, fortunately. And for those who have long paid off their mortgage and expansions, this might come quite easily.
You can start paying for some visitors to set up shop now or come back later with more Bells.
However, I suggest unlocking Leif and Cyrus and Reese’s stalls first. All those recipes you unlocked earlier? Well, many of them require ingredients you haven’t seen before. Leif will have access to those. Maybe you were lucky enough to have Leif show up as your daily visitor. I wasn’t. And I wasn’t going to test my luck the next day either. So there my 100,000 Bells go.
By the way, you can only unlock one stall per day, and a fully-funded storefront won’t set up shop until the next day.
Look through new Nook Miles items
In addition to the decorating and cooking add-ons, there are a few other New Horizons 2.0 updates you can activate via Nook Miles. The Custom Fencing in a Flash option lets you, predictably, customise the fence options. And there are a couple new fences, too. If this sounds small, well, people used to hack their games just to get fences like these!
The Pro Camera app adds the handheld and tri-pod options to the existing photo taking method, which has already been a hit with players. The first-person camera in particula definitely helps see the world in a new light and makes the island shine.
You can also grab the Pro Decorating Patterns+ upgrade. This is really great to me because it unlocks the patterns you can use for cushions and sheets and whatnot but for clothing and other items. Game changer.
The New Reactions Notebook adds some more fun actions for your characters, and the Top 4 Fab Hairstyles is a nice addition. But the real hairdo fun comes from Harriet on Harv’s Island. Once things are in motion there, she’ll give you a free but totally random cut. This will add it to your repertoire if you even want to change it around or add it back.
Then there’s the somewhat confusing Island Life 101 Service app. It adds tips to your loading screen, which you can look back on through the app on your Nook Phone. But it feels like an odd choice for a game that’s been out for over a year. It’s only 400 Bells anyway.
There have always been lots of fun outdoor decor options you can buy only for Nook Miles, but this update added a ton more. I have to say, they look much nicer than the initial lots as well. My favourites are the pergola, the flower bed, the plaza merry-go-round, the topiaries, and the new park fountain. They all run about a few thousand Nook Miles, so I would highly recommend getting the essentials first.
Customise your house
With the latest update, there are not only new home customisation options, but it’s also cheaper to switch things up. Visit Tom Nook at Resident Services to see all the new designs, including exterior changes.
It’s also cheaper to move your house entirely if that’s a thing you’ve been mulling over.
Maybe pick up an outdoor storage shed
If your home is already fully upgraded, paid off, and even has some extra storage, you can unlock the special storage shed touted in last month’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons 2.0 Direct. There are two actually, a plain “storage shed” and a “wooden storage shed.” Both items work the same, but the wooden version is a DIY recipe you can redeem for 9,656 km, and the regular storage shed is just an item that will be shipped to you.
The sheds will allow you to access your home storage throughout the island, but it won’t upgrade your capacity any further.
Pick up a portable ABD machine
This will only apply if your home is entirely paid off, expansions and all, but the new update allows you to buy a portable ABD machine, allowing you to access your bank account from anywhere on the island. It costs 9,900 Nook Miles.
If you haven’t paid up to Tom Nook yet, don’t feel bad. The full upgrade is only, checks notes, about 5.7 million Bells.
Spend time and home and wait for visitors
Appointment scheduling is so Animal Crossing 1.0. In New Horizons 2.0, villagers can drop by unannounced to hang out or play games. Seems a bit rude to me, but I suppose I do this to them all the time. Previously, they would agree on a time to arrive and get very upset if you weren’t there when you were meant to be. Plus, players are reporting that the villagers have learned new tricks!
Store those unwanted DIY recipes
As a wonderful quality of life update, you can now store any unwanted DIY recipes. As many players know, once you start getting duplicates of recipes, they turn into a nuisance. Maybe I want to save a couple for a friend. But where? Previously, you could only place them somewhere or throw them away. The storage options are a small but highly welcome change. They will be relegated to the “other” section.
Get produce items for cooking from Leif’s shop
The next day, if you’ve paid the necessary 100,000 bells, Leif’s stall will be open for business. He, and the other travellers, will still visit your island, but you won’t have to wait around for him anymore. He’ll immediately have two produce starts. I bought the carrot and sugarcane starts in bulk.
It’s unclear how often this changes over because when I went back the next day (yes, I said the next day. I time travelled for you, dear reader), the same starters were for sale.
This also unlocks an ABD on Harv’s Island, so you have access to your bank account. On top of that, Wilbur can directly ship things to your home storage if you don’t want to carry it around or “liquidate” any items you want to sell. They’ll go for the same 80 per cent rate as the Nook’s Cranny drop-box.
Unlock Reese and Cyrus’s stall
This is an easy next choice. Cyrus will let you customise any furniture with swatches, whether you’ve unlocked or bought those versions already. It’ll cost you a couple Bells, but it’s so worth it. This also works on those Nook Miles items. Hate the lighthouse colour you were stuck with? Want that pergola but in a different wood? See Reese.
Dig up those gyroids
Those gyroid fragments you buried? The smoke will have cleared and they will emerge a full-formed gyroid once you dig them up. There are all different types, and they come with their own achievements. There’s the Nice to Meet You, Gyroid badge you’ll unlock after digging up your first and another as your collect all different kinds.
Gyroids can be placed on the ground, a surface, or hung up on a wall with their own little shelves. They’re also customisable, so you can make them fit your room aesthetic much easier.
Visit the Roost
By now, it’s day three. You’ve made it this far in New Horizons 2.0. The museum and its new café are open once again. I also got a Nook Miles+ bonus for visiting, so why not? With a careful eye, you can spot Brewster’s collection of gyroids in the back. Seems Blathers wasn’t lying when he said our pigeon friend is a fan.
If you’ve got any amiibo, pull them out so those characters can sip a cup of coffee with you as well!
Head back to Harv’s Island to see Reese and Cyrus
I recommend bringing along some items you like but might want in a different colour and pay Reese and Cyrus a visit on Harv’s Island. I finally got swatches of some furniture items I never managed to come across, and in some cases, it was just nice to see what options there were.
Keep funding Harv’s co-op
The rest of the bunch don’t feel as urgent to unlock as Leif and Reese and Cyrus. I went with Redd because my art collection isn’t fleshed out enough yet. Regardless, having all these folks around will be a boon to your island living. I can also see how Tortimer’s ability to move through space and time to bring your home storage items to Harv’s Island can be useful, especially when it comes to tapping Cyrus customisation skills.
How much will it cost to unlock the entire update?
All in all, it will take eight days, 731,380 Bells, and 31,600 Nook Miles to unlock every aspect entire update. This includes the time and cost of unlocked Harv’s entire co-op, every feature upgrade offered via the terminal, a home renovation, enacting an ordinance, buying every new recipe, a storage shed, a portable ABD machine, and purchasing one start each of the new produce items.
That does even cover all the new items you might want to buy with Nook Miles or how much you’ll drop customising items with Cyrus.