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Animal Crossing: 10 best tips to play the Zen game for Nintendo Switch

  AC Celebration

Tom Nook, Blathers and all other residents of your island community celebrate all of your key milestones. How to get to these milestones even faster.

Screenshot from David Priest / CNET

Animal Crossing: New Horizons just arrived last week for the Nintendo Switch but the popular franchise is already causing a stir. The slow, fearless island life simulator could be the perfect antidote to the realities of social distancing and quarantine during the coronavirus spread.

I have already discovered A few nuggets of wisdom that will go a long way in the early days of the game and make the game smoother and more rewarding as you build your life on the island. If you're not familiar with the series, a little direction can help you navigate the game so that you don't just collect everything you see – there is a little more structure than you can imagine.

Here are some tips and tricks for players of all types, regardless of whether Animal Crossing is already at home in your Switch or is still within your personal horizon. I will update this post as more tips are added.

Travel back in time before moving forward.

Screenshot by David Priest / CNET

Time travel is a major theme in Animal Crossing, but a controversial one. Since the game takes place in real time, you actually have to wait a real day for buildings to be built and plants to grow. And Animal Crossing begins slowly . So if you suspect you want a faster start, you should reset your Nintendo Switch's clock to seven to 10 days. This way, you can crank up a day every few hours while playing to cover some of the early, slower developing parts of the game faster.

By resetting the clock before starting instead of zooming forward afterwards, you also give yourself the opportunity to work again in real time. This way, you can pretend you've never cheated (and you don't have to have a shaky watch forever).

Don't postpone paying your debts.

Screenshot by David Priest / CNET.

Tom Nook, the wealthy raccoon who funds your adventure and constantly convinces you to spend more money than you, puts you in what feels like a deep debt on your first day. It takes a little while for Nook Miles – a performance-based currency – to build up at the start of the game, but work to earn it quickly and pay off your first debt as soon as possible. The faster you pay off your first loan, the faster Tom builds a house for you and, above all, offers you the additional storage space you need for everything you want to collect.

Use a stone ax, not an iron one.

Screenshot by David Priest / CNET

If we've learned anything in the past millennia, iron trees fall better than stone, right? Well, in Animal Crossing, you may not want your trees to fall : you may just want wood, softwood, or hardwood to craft. Fortunately, the stone ax extracts these types of wood without cutting down the tree .

Making and Using Fishing Lures

Screenshot by David Priest / CNET

If you take long, peaceful walks along the beach, you may notice small jets of water spraying out of the sand. When you see them, get your shovel out and dig! Manilla shells hide under the sand and you can use them to make bait. If you are fishing for rare fish, you can use this bait to give yourself a better chance and attract more fish to certain places such as mountain streams and at the end of the pier.

Catch All Fish and Beetles

Screenshot by David Priest / CNET

The other thing you should do first is to catch every animal you see – which is pretty much made up of fish and beetles. Keep an eye on flowers for stinkbugs and mantises, grab butterflies in the woods, and shake trees and rocks to find pill bugs and spiders. That's how my colleague caught the elusive Stringfish.

As soon as you have made your first beetle net and your first fishing rod, hand over your collected animals to Tom Nook. Sure, you could sell these creatures to Timmy and Tommy, the island-based traders, but Tom Nook will send every unique discovery to his friend Blathers the Owl, who lives outside the island.

Long story short, after enough donations, Blathers, the owl, will build a museum on the island and put you on a much larger collection project that will open up the game considerably.

Learn to crawl

Screenshot by David Priest / CNET

Catching fish takes a bit of practice, but it wasn't until a few days after the game started that I noticed that I had caught mistakes wrong. Instead of swinging the net wildly, you can sneak forward by holding the A button when the net is in your hand. This puts you close enough to find a mistake before you escape.

Always keep a net while shaking trees.

Screenshot by David Priest / CNET

During your first or second day on the island, when you walk around and shake trees to get sticks (how else will you build this ax?), Wasp nests occasionally fall from the Branches. If you are on the wrong side of a stinger without medication, you will pass out. Once you've set up the beetle net, a good rule of thumb is to keep it always while shaking trees. Not only can they catch vengeful wasps, they can also catch spiders and other creepy crawlers that have moved away from their homes above them.

Plant a lot of fruit (and even money)

Screenshot by David Priest / CNET

Fruit trees are a great way to earn income early in the game, and if you get a shovel, plant a pear or one Apple tree is super easy and pays off quickly. Another semi-secret form of income: money trees!

Golden rays occasionally shine from the ground around the island. If you dig them out, you'll find a bag of bells (the island's main currency). Instead of pocketing the bells and covering the hole, you can plant the bag to grow a money tree. If you select the bells in your inventory and portion a bag of 10,000 bells, you can grow a tree that will drop bags of 10,000 bells as you grow up. Get a grove of those that are growing and you will be rich in no time.

Don't let Gulliver sleep!

A few days after your island adventure, you will notice a seagull washed up on the beach and sleeping. When you speak to him, he mumbles something funny and goes back to sleep. Do not stop! Keep talking to him until he wakes up, and he'll give you a quick task and a small reward to harvest. And no, this will not be the first time that Gulliver has adorned your beaches.

Fruit gives you super powers

Screenshot by David Priest / CNET

When you eat fruit, you see a counter in the top left corner of the screen. This indicator shows how many pieces of fruit you have eaten (up to 10) and for each piece you can do a great job, e.g. B. break a stone or dig a full tree. Digging trees makes it easier to pick forests. If you visit other islands, you can transplant new fruit trees without having to wait for regrowth. Everything that was said, DON'T BREAK ROCKS! Actually…


Screenshot by David Priest / CNET

Iron, clay and stone are useful resources at the beginning of the game, but are difficult to obtain. When you hit a stone with an ax or shovel, it spits out one of these three resources. But you only get a handful. "So," you think, "let me eat some fruit and hit a stone. Then I get ALL resources, right?" NOT CORRECT! When you break a stone, you get a single resource and have to wait for another stone to appear elsewhere on the island (which, as you remember, takes days in real time). Don't break stones unless you try to make room for something. Just do not.

Craft is king (especially on the go)

Making tools and objects out of the garbage you discover on the island is a big element in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and you often want to do it while I'm tinkering far away from home. If you have a workbench in your inventory at all times, you can simply put it anywhere and do your craft without the uncomfortable way back to your tent or house.

Once you've done these tricks, Animal Crossing: New Horizons will really open up to you. Keep exploring and tinkering, chatting with your island friends and most importantly, undress while you do.

Now you know how to start your island vacation in Animal Crossing. Read some other tips for The best of your Nintendo Switch and the seven other games you need to play on the console.

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