Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the fifth main title in the franchise and arrived for Nintendo Switch a little over a month ago on March 20. With the world in crisis management mode from COVID-19, the release of the title couldn't have come at a better time, social distancing and work from home as well as furloughs have given fans, new and old, time to band together online.
Like its predecessors, reactions were positive from the jump and it immediately sprung creative communities across Reddit, Discord and more -discussing, creating and sharing everything from high-end fashion and streetwear to art and when to flip turnips, with prices that fluctuate like a real-life stock market (it's called the Stalk Market in-game).
We're here to highlight creative aspects of the game that make it perfect for keeping you sane and your mind active during this difficult time.
Custom Design Pro Editor
You can't talk about creativity in the game and not start at the Custom Design Pro Editor. The singular most important tool for creating your own art, patterns, face paint, custom ground designs, tops and headwear starts off as a regular Custom Designs tool on your NookPhone. It is up to you to purchase the Custom Pro Editor upgrade for 800 Nook Miles.
Once you purchase the upgrade, 10 pre-loaded designs help open up the world of customizable fashion and you will be able to create articles of clothing including tank tops, tees, hoodies, long-sleeve shirts, crewneck sweaters, coats, dresses, brimmed caps and hats as well as knit beanies. The clothing really took off online with fans immediately recreating iconic high fashion and streetwear staples like Gucci sweaters and Supreme Box Logo tees. Accounts on Instagram like NOOK STREET MARKET (a play on Dover Street Market), animalcrossingfashionarchive and animalcrossfits are just some that have become the go-to stops to check out new fits.
Some did it for the satirical satisfaction or love for the culture while others, including brands, have taken the opportunity to launch archives and collections. 100 Thieves released every single piece of clothing it's ever made for free in early April and recently Bodega dropped some of their favorite pieces from past collections for fans to download. Even high fashion brands like Sandy Liang, Marc Jacobs and Valentino have brought collections to life in-game. You can download codes shared by others once you unlock the Able Sisters Shop in-game.
After you explore your inner designer and fashion aficionado, try your talent at painting and art. Using the same pixel format in the Custom Design Pro Editor, you can create famous paintings and display them on stands inside or outside on the island. Getty has been generous enough to upload some of the world's most famous paintings onto QR codes for fans to download via mobile and transfer into game via NookLink. The latest update to the game, 1.2.0 version patch, also introduces players to Redd, a traveling art dealer with both real and fake works for fans to add into their respective island museums.
Failing to limit themselves to small scale feats of creativity, fans have also turned their entire islands into iconic game maps like Pokémon Gold/Silver by laying graphics onto the ground and using the design tool to also turn themselves into Pokémon with custom outfits.
You can share your creations and find your own inspiration from others through Reddit communities like ACQR and horizondesigns or even dedicated websites like acpatterns.com. There's also nookazon, a website/Discord dedicated to the buying and selling of in-game items from other players.
With the Creative Design Pro Editor sure to take over a majority of your time, don't forget to visit Daisy Mae every Sunday between 5 am and noon to purchase turnips. The game has beautifully crafted a stock market system using the root vegetable as the main trading component, aptly named the Stalk Market.
Every day, Nook's Cranny hands out an AM and PM price for turnips for the day (except on Sundays when they're being sold by Daisy Mae). If you're looking to come up and get rich, this is the best way to do it. Turnips must be sold within the week before Sunday or they will expire and rot.
Fans have become so obsessed that price tracking apps like Turnip Calculator and Turnip Prophet have popped up online. This Stalk Market also encourages socializing, since prices on people's island all differ and some may be higher or lower than others at all times. The lowest prices I've seen personally are 20-30 Bells while the highest has been upwards of 500 Bells.
Flowers, Bushes and Shrubs
If you're into gardening, then you'll probably get into the flower breeding part of the game rather quickly. Flower species include Cosmos, Hyacinths, Lilies, Mums, Pansies, Roses, Tulips and Windflowers. Planting and watering certain colors of the same species next to each other cross breeds them into new colors. We've attached a guide by Reddit user karasophe below to help you get started.
Once you're hooked, Gold Roses are something else to aim for. After achieving a 5 star island rating, Isabelle will give you a Golden Watering Can DIY recipe which you will need to water Black Roses. The Black Roses will cross pollinate and you will end up with Gold Roses. Achieving a 5 star island rating will also grant you a chance at an extremely rare Lily of the Valley, which will only bloom once on a cliff.
In the latest update, the game also introduces us to Leif, who owns a pop-up Flower Shop. Occasionally visiting your island, Leif will offer various flower seeds as well as rare Bushes and Shrubs. You can also sell your Weeds to Leif for a premium.
Finally, the end goal of gardening that we didn't know we needed, is a rainbow flower field. Reddit user SHARMAINE shared the video about a month ago and below is her entire island walk-through. We have to say, it looks pretty cool.
Get Creative Yourself
The creativity that Animal Crossing: New Horizons provides is only limited by your own imagination. Olivia's, a luxury furniture and home goods service, put out a call for a paid Virtual Interior Design Consultant position to furnish homes in-game. Music fans weren't satisfied with just weekly concerts from the game's famed musician K.K. Slider and came together for a challenge to re-imagine album covers with him on it - the results were amazing, we've shared some below. Some people have even crafted various games and mazes within the game. Additionally, one fan, who goes by Evil Imp, even created an entire horror movie trailer with his island. As for myself, I've been busy crafting NBA jerseys of my favorite teams and players, maybe you'll catch them uploaded one of these days.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is more than a game, it's a global phenomenon that has brought all sorts of creative communities together during an extremely difficult time and provided people with an outlet to express themselves, it's a once in a generation type of game.