Animal Crossing: New Horizons intermediate tips and tricks

Last week we shared some Animal Crossing: New Horizons tips for players just starting out. This week, we’ve got some tips for more seasoned players. Even if you’ve been playing for hundreds of hours, there might still be a couple of new things in here for you!

Image provided by Valshen from Normandee

Talk to Sable every day to get a reward. I won’t spoil it for you, but it’s worth it! At first, she won’t have much to say but she’ll eventually warm up to you. And, keep talking to her for a few days after she gives you the initial reward. Make sure you don’t have your gates open or visitors on your island when you attempt this, however.

Pressing Y near a custom pattern on the ground will remove the pattern. This includes custom patterns you’ve placed.

Flowers and trees can be planted in the ‘dirt’ path types. Flowers can be planted on the beach, but they won’t grow or breed. 

You can interact and shop with most visitors to your friends’ islands. Their shops and vendors will have different stock from your island. However, you cannot sell fish/bugs to CJ or Flick on another island. 

Image provided by Kitana from Osperia

Anything ‘dropped’ on your island or in your house will count negatively towards their ratings. This includes items ‘dropped’ onto tables and other surfaces. 

Time travel is a point of contention in the community, but the only real ‘danger’ is if you have turnips. Travelling backwards in time, or travelling past the next Sunday, will rot your turnips. You may wish to do this to attract and catch ants, though!


Replacing villagers you don’t like is tricky. At this point, we don’t have clear data on how the process works. However, it is possible with patience. Whether you’re friendly with them, or you ignore them entirely, eventually they may get a thought bubble above their head. Talk to them, and they may tell you they’re thinking about leaving, and you can tell them to stay or go at that point. They’ll be gone in a day or two. You can also use this to stop your favourite villager from leaving!

It seems like the ‘wants to leave’ thought bubble can transfer to a different villager the next day, if you don’t interact with the initial villager with the thought bubble.

Villagers will sometimes get other types of thought bubbles above their heads. This can mean they have something to give you or ask you. Other times they may run up to you, calling your name. Often this is when they’ll teach you a new reaction. 

Image provided by Valshen from Normandee

Getting new villagers: you have a short window when a villager moves out before the game will assign you a new villager. First, the departing villager will pack up their furniture into boxes – you have to enter their house to see this, and Isabelle usually mentions it’s their last day during her morning report. The next day, their house will show as an empty building space. That’s the day when you can visit mystery islands and find new villagers there.

It’s worth noting that you can get repeat villagers this way – not villagers that you already have, but villagers that you’ve already seen on a mystery island that same day. This is also the day when you can visit your friends’ islands and invite villagers who are in the process of leaving (their belongings will be packed into boxes). Just check with your friend if it’s okay to invite their villager! It’s worth noting that if you attempt to invite a friend’s villager when you have no empty houses, your invite will get rejected. 

Incidentally, if a friend has a villager who is moving out, and you have an available home, and you haven’t found a replacement, there’s a chance that villager will move onto your island, and they’ll even tell you which island they came from! 

Image provided by Valshen from Normandee

Another way to replace villagers is via the campsite. Talk to the camper and eventually you’ll get the option to invite them. If your island is full, then they’ll ask if they can replace someone. If they don’t choose the villager you want, immediately close the game and try again. The game shouldn’t have time to save the choice, so they should choose someone else next time. 

Some campers will offer to play a game with you before you can invite them to stay. Even if you lose that game, you should still be able to continue talking to the camper and then invite them again. This can get quite tedious, but some cute villagers are worth it!

Your villagers love gifts, but they love wrapped gifts even more! The higher the value of your gift, the more likely you are to receive something nice in return. 

Gamer, geek, LEGO fanatic. I also love Pathfinder RPG, The Sims, cross stitching, crochet, and sci-fi and fantasy movies, games & books. And animals.

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