animal crossing new horizons guide

How to Unlock Different Animal Crossing: New Horizons Buildings and Services

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons has arrived and there are a lot of tasks to accomplish. When players arrive on the island, the only building there is the Dodo Airlines airport and a campground for Residential Services. It is up to you to unlock Animal Crossing New Horizons buildings and services for yourself. However, we’re here to help with the first steps.

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animal crossing new horizons house

How Do You Build Your First Home?

First, you need to pay 5,000 Nook Miles to Tom Nook by accomplishing chores around the island. Doing a lot of things for the first time can unlock about 300 miles at a time.

After you pay off the 5,000 Nook Miles, you’ll be asked if you want an actual home. Tom Nook will start building, and the next day you will have a house and 98,000 bell loan to pay off. This upgrades your living quarters and improves your Nook Miles app to Nook Miles+, which also gives you five quests at a time that ask you to do things like catch certain creatures or perform certain tasks.

animal crossing new horizons museum

How Do You Unlock the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Museum?

Once you move to your new island, Tom Nook will say he is accepting donations. Collect five bugs or fish and give it to him. He will then say he’ll have his friend Blathers come to the island. You’ll be given a tent to place.

The next day, Blathers will be in town in his tent. In addition to giving you a shovel and vaulting pole recipe, he’ll be accepting the first few donations. You need to give him 15 bugs or fish to trigger the full museum upgrade.

Blathers will then take a day to upgrade to the full museum. After that, you can donate multiple items at once and have fossils identified.

animal crossing new horizons nooks cranny

How Do You Build Nook’s Cranny?

After getting settled in and reaching the second day, visit the Residential Services tent and speak with Tommy. Tommy will ask you for materials so he and Timmy can build their own store. You will need 30 iron nuggets, 30 wood, 30 softwood, and 30 hardwood.

Once you give him all of those items, you will be able to place Nook’s Cranny. After waiting for it to be built a day, you’ll be able to begin shopping there.

animal crossing new horizons bridge

What Do You Need for the First Animal Crossing: New Horizons Bridge?

Once you have gotten three prospective villagers for your island, Tom Nook will give you a recipe for a bridge. This will require four pieces of clay, four stones, and four log stakes. (To make the four log stakes, you will need 12 pieces of wood.)

animal crossing new horizons villager

How Do You Get New Villagers and Villager Homes?

Your first two villagers move to the island with you. They give you their tents, which you can set up wherever you would like.

Your next three villagers will be recruited by visiting islands with Nook Miles Tickets. These cost 2,000 Nook Miles each and allow you to visit randomly generated islands. These can have a potential villager visiting there.

Once you convince three people to move to your island, Tom Nook will ask you to set up houses for them. This means finding places for them to live and building the necessary indoor and outdoor DIY furniture for them. (Each house requires three indoor pieces and three outdoor pieces.)

After you have five villagers, you will need to wait for Residential Services for more. From there, you can spend 10,000 bells to reserve land for new neighbors. You don’t need to build or gather furniture for them.

animal crossing new horizons photopia

How Do You Unlock Harvey’s Island and Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ Photopia?

Once you convince three people to move to your island and get their homes fully set up, Harvey will show up on your island.

Speaking to Harv will result in him inviting you to his island. Go to Dodo Airlines, tell Orville that you want to fly, and select Harvey’s Island. You’ll then head to Photopia, where you can scan amiibo cards and figures to take pictures with characters.

Scanning amiibo figures and cards will not only bring characters in for photos. It will also give you a chance to get posters of different people for your home, even the ones who can’t appear in photos i Photopia. Each poster costs 1,000 bells.

animal crossing new horizons able sisters

How Do You Unlock the Able Sisters?

After Nook’s Cranny opens on your island, you will see Sable visiting Timmy and Tommy. The next day, she will appear in the Residential Services Plaza. She’ll have a small number of clothing items. If you buy from her two days in a row, she’ll then provide you the necessary item to help her set up her family’s shop. You can then place it wherever you’d like. After a brief wait (and no additional material costs), Mable and Sable will arrive.

How Do I Make My Town Useful for Others?

Check out Siliconera’s other guide, “How to Win Friends and Influence People in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.”

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available for the Nintendo Switch. It is already selling in large numbers in countries like Japan and the UK.

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Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.