Shortly after the release of New Horizons, I had concocted a little survival guide for your first days on a desert island. Now that the game has been out for two months and has received some major updates, I present this more in-depth guide. Obviously, it is impossible to cover all aspects of such a complex game in a single article. So I targeted topics that I thought were particularly important and somewhat opaque: villagers, turnips, visitors, and getting a 5-star rating.
Villagers, these animals so (usually) adorable
In New Horizons, there are nearly 400 different villagers, divided among more than thirty species. They each have their own unique visuals and home. So how do you choose who will have the honor of living on your island? And why do some people spend hundreds of nook miles tickets, millions of bells, or even tens of real dollars to get Raymond, when the game has dozens of cats in addition to other cute animals? Is it just to put on a maid’s costume and blackmail Bubblegum K.K? I cannot say, since I let mine read in peace in his basket and always dress him with the class he deserves.
The secret of wealth
Have you always dreamed of being a belligerent? In New Horizons, this dream is within everyone’s reach. All it takes is a good starting fund, regular price monitoring, a little patience and, ideally, a few trading partners.
Every Sunday morning until noon, the young Daisy Mae, drip in the nose, shows up on your island to sell you fresh turnips. Their price can vary between 90 and 110 Animal Crossing New Horizons bells. The aim is to pay as little as possible. Then, during the week, the store will offer to buy them back for a price ranging from 0 to more than 700 bells. You have to sell them before the next Sunday, or they’ll rot. But how do you know when is the best time to sell them?
Turnip prices follow certain trends; it can be small or large peaks, a strictly downward trend, or random amounts. So if you want to take advantage of the market, you have to anticipate these trends. To do this, you will need to use third-party predictors, such as the Turnip Prophet, for example. You enter your prices morning and evening, and the algorithm will determine what is the trend of the week. You will be able to sell at your peak, or go desperately in search of someone with a good price if it turns out that your trend is downward. If you don’t want to clutter up such a system, the general rule is that if the price has been going up for 3-4 half-days, it’s probably time to sell.
The secret to making a lot of profit is obviously to invest a lot. If you buy only for 10,000 bells, your profit potential will be just a few tens of thousands of bells. On the other hand, if you buy 500,000, the gain becomes very important if you can double, triple, quadruple, etc. your initial investment.
Itinerant sellers and other regular visitors
You ran into Redd a month ago, he only brought you fake works, and he’s been in hiding ever since? You don’t know where to store the scorpions you’re accumulating while waiting to see Flick again, when he’s been to your friend’s house twice in a row? Most visitors to New Horizons don’t have a fixed schedule, which can be frustrating.
The first important detail is that there can only be one visitor per day. Weekends are reserved for regular visitors; K.K. gives a concert every Saturday, unless there is a special event, in which case he will play instead on Friday. Sunday is the day of the turnip seller. There is no point in looking for another visitor during these days.
The three NPCs sellers will visit you every week: Root and its plants, Sarah and its carpets, and Kicks and its shoes and bags. So it’s already been three busy days; there are only two left for the other five visitors. That’s why it can take a month for you to see Flick, C.J, Gulliver, Label or Redd again. Those who did not come the previous week are more likely to appear the next, but no one is immune to a series of bad luck. Let’s hope Nintendo adjusts the appearance rates: no one needs to buy shrubs every week, but if we want to finish the museum before 2025, the fox would have to show up a little more often!
We must not forget Celeste and Wisp, who appear in the evening. They will visit you even if someone else was present during the day, no worries. Note that, contrary to popular belief, the presence of Celeste does not necessarily mean that you have a shower of shooting stars. Isabelle always warns when such rain is forecast, and locals will tell you about it all day long.
Get 5-star island
Isabella tells you, every time you ask her, that your island still hasn’t reached a 5-star rating? You follow his advice to the letter, without success? Here are a few tips to get there.
First, to get the maximum score, it is essential to have the maximum number of villagers and shops on your island. There must be a number of ACNH flowers and trees, including fruit trees, so feel free to plant all kinds of flowers and water them to produce hybrids (the subject of hybrids deserving a guide by itself, I recommend the one made by Paleh, which is based on datamine).
You will also need to build a number of fences, make paths and place furniture all over your island. Larger rare items, such as those you can order with Nook points or that Gulliver offers you, seem to be worth more points, but the key is to place as many purchased and crafted items and scatter them in your village.
Finally, it is important not to have plans, turnips or “loose” items (in the form of a leaf) lying on the ground. If you have 10 or more, you automatically lose a star. Exactly following Isabelle’s advice does not seem to be necessarily the answer; she changes her mind according to her mood. But if you follow these general guidelines, you will eventually get there. Anyway, as with everything about Animal Crossing, the key is patience!