Animal Crossing: New Horizons arrived at, well, a time when people have plenty of opportunities to play it. (As of May 18, 2020, I have clocked 250 hours.) Given that, it is entirely possible people have already paid off all 5,696,000 bells (5,000 Nook Miles!) necessary to own their own home, collected all the fossils for Blathers’ museum, built up an extensive wardrobe, and started to burn out on the game. Well, that’s where I hopefully come in with an Animal Crossing: New Horizons guide to things that you can still do after, well, it seems like you’ve done it all.
1. Build up your Animal Crossing villager friendships.
This is one people might not realize is an option, because the Nook Miles reward for it kicks in once you get characters to the “good friend” statuses with True Friends rewards for befriending one, two, and three neighbors.
Every Animal Crossing: New Horizons villager has a friendship stat. This is built up by talking to people once each day, giving them a gift each day, taking on quests they might have for you, or selling them items. As you get closer to characters, new things can happen. Like they can ask you to change their catchphrase or greeting or you might even receive a framed photo of them to display in your home.
There’s a lot to it, which this guide by Ooraloo#0360 and @yuecrossing goes over rather well, that can provide an incentive to visit every day.
2. Find all your Animal Crossing: New Horizons DIY recipes and Reactions.
There are a lot of recipes for crafting items in Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Reactions for emoting when around other people. The thing is, you can’t quickly breeze through and collect them all. Instead, the game doles them out in ways that keep you coming back each day. Like the Animal Crossing villager friendships, both provide an incentive to stop by each day.
Let’s start with the Animal Crossing: New Horizons recipes. Initially, you’ll start out by typically getting at least one recipe in a message in a bottle on your beach each day. (Early on, you might even find one in the morning and one in the evening!) You can also find these DIYs in bottles on random Nook Miles islands sometimes. But the most reliable means of learning to craft is by visiting villagers. There won’t always be someone building something, but if you have 10 neighbors in your town, there is a good chance someone will be crafting. If you get something you already have from them, you could check with a friend or head to a site like Nookazon to swap it for one you need.
As for Reactions, they’re also random. There’s a chance each day that one of your villagers could approach you with a new emote. There are over 40 in the game right now and you’re not “guaranteed” to have an animal approach you with a new one each day. This means popping by and walking around characters is a good idea in case they do want to teach you something.
3. Decorate yourself and your island.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is pretty much the most customizable entry in the series. With terraforming, the ability to place items anywhere inside and out, and the editor that lets you create custom outfits or designs you can place on your island, there’s a lot you can do. For example, a friend of mine recreated the Dragon Ball Z Yamcha crater on his island, as well as made it look like a Super Mario mushroom if you viewed the whole map.
People can use the Animal Crossing Pattern Tool website, from Thulinma, Damsenviet, and Myumi, to start crafting. This allows you to upload images and turn them into single or multi-tile images. There are designs there to browse, and the J. Paul Getty Museum used it to help create in-game suggestions.
You could also start creating your own clothing. The in-game editor is pretty comprehensive. Crystal Dynamics shared Tomb Raider designs, designers Marc Jacobs and Valentino have released outfits, and Siliconera itself has been putting together game-inspired clothing from series like NieR, Castlevania, Final Fantasy VII Remake, and Persona 5.
4. Take a Break and Wait for new Animal Crossing: New Horizons Events.
While there is always the worry about weeds overrunning your island or villagers deciding to move away while you’re gone, taking a pause is always an option with Animal Crossing: New Horizons. If you feel yourself starting to burn out, walk away for a bit. Then, stop by when notable hallmarks occur.
For example, it is always a good idea to pop in a few times the first few days and last few days of a month. That’s because bugs and fish are always cycling in and out of the game. For example, tarantulas left on April 30, 2020 in the Northern Hemisphere and entered the Southern Hemisphere on May 1, 2020.
Nintendo has also committed to more regular Animal Crossing: New Horizons events. The Museum Day Stamp Rally is on until May 31, 2020, for example. The Cyrus and Reese wedding event is coming in June 2020. There will likely be Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Toy Day events in the coming months too, not to mention seasonal activities that give you chances to earn things like mushroom furniture. It is fine to kick back and take your time.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available for the Nintendo Switch.