12 Rules for Animal Crossing: New Horizons

This post is more for myself, really, but I decided to post this anyway. You have to learn a lot of lessons on the fly so I thought that maybe this simple set of “rules” can help someone else!

Before New Horizons, I had never touched a single Animal Crossing game before. But now… I haven’t really played anything else. #NoShame

This list is by no means comprehensive, but I think these are probably the most important things one should keep in mind while playing the game.

So, without further ado… Here are the 12 rules to remember when playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

1. If you don’t succeed…plant another seed.



Ha! It rhymes!

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is an incredibly detailed game. Each seed you plant has its own genetic sequence. That means not all seeds will end up giving you hybrid flowers, which are needed for the cool colours.

So if you don’t get the outcome you want, you may have to start from scratch and plant new seeds. And throw anything that you’ve heard about 5×5 grids out the window, there are more effective ways to get hybrid flowers.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to getting the hybrid flowers you want!

2. Stone over Iron, unless you want a neat stool!

This Rule only applies to the Axe!

If you want to gather Wood for crafting, I would highly recommend using the Stone Axe over the regular Axe (made with Iron Nuggets). Once you’ve hit a tree three times with an Axe… Bye-bye tree!

While this may get you a neat stool to sit on (I have a bunch surrounding a campfire), you won’t be able to harvest Wood from it anymore and would have to plant another tree. So unless a stool is your goal…

3. Don’t try to outsmart the tarantula!


This rule applies to scorpions and wasps too!

As soon as you see a tarantula or scorpion in your vision, STOP running. If you want to catch it, slowly walk up to it and once it takes notice of you (by getting defensive), press and hold down A to slow down further.

Don’t move when it’s in its defensive position – when it has its front legs up. When it has all its legs back on the floor, then continue your crawl and when you think you’re close enough, release the A button.

4. Get up early on Sundays, dammit!

You can’t play the Stalk Market without turnips. And you can’t get turnips without Daisy Mae!

Daisy Mae only visits your island between 5AM to 12PM every Sunday. If you’re a time-traveller, this wouldn’t be a barrier for you. But if you’re like me and you’re not keen on time-travelling… Try to get up at 11am on Sundays at the most.

Then you can go back to sleep.

5. Always have a net when shaking trees.


…Lest you suffer the wrath of the wasp!

Tbh, I never learn my lesson with this. There was one time where each and every tree I shook had wasps in them. Half the time I had put away my net… So… Yeah.

If you need wood, you should most definitely shake the tree with a net in hand before using your axe. You’ll thank me later!

6. Don’t eat the fruit without a plan.

As we all know, eating fruit in Animal Crossing grants us superhuman strength. We can pick up trees and break rocks and…well, that’s about it, really!

If you want to knock your rocks to get crafting materials or find Bells, make sure you haven’t eaten any fruit. If you have, you can either waste it by picking up a tree, or you could use a toilet.

That’s right, you can poop on-command in Animal Crossing! I wish it was more hilarious than it sounds.

7. All you need is bait…and a lot of patience.


I was a bit late to the party with this little tip and I have no idea how many fish I’ve actually missed out on. The best way to catch the fish you need is by using Fish Bait at the respective fish’s catch location.

For example, say you want to catch a Coelacanth. If your island is experiencing some rain (or snow!), you can go to any patch of the ocean and throw in some Bait until the correct shadow size appears.

Spend a bit of time every day scooping up Manila clams all over your beach and get crafting. Always craft in advance, its a lot less frustrating that way. I do hope that we’ll be able to craft in bulk soon, though… Manila isn’t my favourite flavour of clam anymore…

8. Never bury more than 10,000…

You know that glowing spot in the ground where you get 1,000 Bells? Did you know that you can plant Bells in that exact spot to grow a money tree?

Money Trees provide significant returns on investment – they’ll provide you with 3 bags of 1,000 Bells. But you can make a whole lot more Bells this way! The perfect amount of Bells to plant is 10,000. Nothing more, nothing less. 10,000 Bells will always guarantee a return of 30,000 Bells, so planting any more may always put you in a loss.

Shame that Money Trees only yield one round of money bags. Handy to keep around though!

9. …and remember where you planted it!

Lots of people seem to forget where they’ve planted their Money Trees. So I thought this was a fair Rule to make. I’m looking at you, Dylan!

One simple remedy is to have a specific location where you want your Money Trees to be. Once you’ve planted your Bells, you can immediately pick it up with your shovel (without the need for Fruit!) and plant it at your Money Tree orchard!

Another way is to display a custom design on the ground where you’ve planted your Bells. Here’s a handy place to get heaps of labels you can use on your own Island, like money bags, if you’re too lazy to draw up your own.

10. Tap A to go fast.


This might be something that you know already, but I only learned maybe a month into playing New Horizons. If you want to Craft faster, just tap A, and you’ll Craft at double the speed.

It would be great if we could just Craft in bulk…but this will have to do for now. I’m so tired of crafting Fish Bait…

If you’ve updated your game to version 1.3.0, you’d now be able to swim in the oceans around your island. While you press and hold A to swim, you’ll swim faster if you tap A repeatedly!

But not when you’re dived though, so if you’re chasing down a speedy Sea Creature, tap A from above the surface to give chase and then you dive.

11. Do-overs come at a risk.

Have you decided that you don’t like the layout of your island…a month later? I know the feeling.

Good news: you could easily start from scratch. Bad news: you’ll have to completely from scratch.

That means you’ll lose all your Miles, your Bells, your Critterpedia progress. You’ll lose your DIY recipes and your House. You’ll have new neighbours, and will have to wait until next year to catch stuff like Mole Crickets or Golden Trout. All the months of hard work will have to be repeated.

Unless you’re a time-traveller…then well this doesn’t apply to you either.

12. Learn how to be good at ‘spot the difference’.


A recent update to the game had unlocked Redd – the sly fox with a dodgy boat full of art which you can donate to your Museum. But there’s a catch…

Some of these pieces of art are fake.

You won’t be able to get rid of fake pieces of art. Blathers won’t accept them into the museum, and you won’t be able to sell it to Tommy and Timmy at Nook’s Cranny. You won’t be able to gift it to your neighbours either, so keep that in mind!

Here’s an excellent list with real/fake artwork comparisons. Good luck!


Well, here you go! My 12 Rules to Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Did you learn something new today? Did I miss anything out? Let me know in the comments!

What?? You haven’t picked up Animal Crossing: New Horizons yet? Get it now over here!

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I'm a freelance photographer and writer. I'm using this blog to give myself a platform for the creative freedom in games and tech writing without the fear of analytics.

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