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10 Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ Hacks You Wish You Knew Sooner

acnh secrets and cheats

This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s summer editorial intern Hannah Yarrington. Find her on Instagram at @513hny. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at thezillennialzine@gmail.com.

When I got my first Nintendo Switch back in 2020, the first game I made sure to buy was Animal Crossing: New Horizons. One of my friends convinced me to get a Switch to play the game, and I subscribed to the idea immediately. I mean, what could be more fun than designing my own cozy island? I’ve spent hours upon hours chopping down trees, collecting bells, and coming up with different ideas for my island. But getting started on the game was more challenging than I had anticipated, and I spent a lot of time just running around, just trying to figure out what to do. So, if you’re newish to the game like I was, instead of having you waste all your time trying to figure out all the ACNH secrets and cheats on your own, we have gathered ten different hacks to help you along your journey!

Get eight resources when hitting rocks

acnh secrets and cheats

Hitting rocks on your island or mystery islands is the best way to get needed resources for your DIY projects. But did you know there’s actually a way to guarantee eight items per rock instead of seven? All you have to do is strategically dig holes in the ground behind the rock to prevent getting knocked back.

Hoard everything you find


But are you really playing animal crossing if you aren’t hoarding all your fish? #acnh #acnhgame #animalcrossing #animalcrossingswitch #fyp

♬ Rhythm thief but cursed – .hacky

My biggest tip to anyone getting started on Animal Crossing is to hoard absolutely everything you see or find. Buy that random tissue box or bottle in Nook’s Cranny because you will probably end up using it later on your island. You can just store it in your house or some designated area on your island until you want to place it somewhere specific. You can also hoard your fish and bugs, so whenever C.J. or Flick show up, you can give them your findings all at once and make some big bucks.

Check beaches for DIY cards

acnh secrets and cheats

When doing your daily tasks on your island, make sure you’re checking your beaches every day for a new DIY card. One will appear each day in a bottle somewhere along the coastline, which can help further you in the game, and you can build some really cool furniture to decorate your island.

Planting money trees

To grow a money tree, first, find the shiny spot that appears each day on your island and dig up the bells that are buried there. But instead of placing these bells in your pocket, plant them back in the ground in the same spot you dug them up in that is glowing gold. That last part is crucial!! Otherwise, if you try to plant the bells anywhere else, it won’t grow a money tree.

Fishing on rainy days

Next time it’s raining on your island, be sure to make time to catch some fish as well. Whenever it rains, there is a higher chance of seeing rare and unique fish that you can add to your museum. Even some extremely rare fish only show up when it rains or snows!

Time traveling

When you’re first starting Animal Crossing, it can be frustrating to have to wait for things to be built each day since the game is in real-time. So, there is a way to “time travel” using your switch’s settings; however, this won’t affect any of your progress, and you’ll be able to keep everything you’ve completed and acquired in the game, but please note that you won’t be able to go back in time either. In order to do this, you’ll need to do the following:

  1. Open System Settings
  2. Scroll down and select System
  3. Select Date and Time
  4. Disable Synchronize Clock via Internet if it is on
  5. Then, scroll down Current Date and Time and change it to whatever day you’d like
  6. You can then return to your game, and your new date and time will be implemented!

If you prefer to play the game organically, this cheat may not be for you, but for those trying to do multiple projects in one day, you might find this helpful!

Terraform bridges

Once you achieve a 3-star island in Animal Crossing, you’ll be able to unlock terraforming, where you can build cliffs, create rivers and waterfalls and put down paths. And instead of giving all your money over to Tom Nook for a little bridge, you can build your own bridges using terraforming! You can then jump onto the path you created to get to the other side of a river.

Stunt your trees

While playing, You might have noticed that all the trees on your island are the same height once they’re fully grown. But there is actually a way to make your trees different sizes! All you have to do is:

  1. Plant your sapling and let it grow to your desired height
  2. Then when it reaches that height, plant a fruit tree right next to the tree

Now that second part is essential! You have to plant a fruit tree behind the stunted tree specifically; otherwise, the tree will keep growing. The reason this happens is that the fruit from the fruit tree needs room to be able to fall when shaken. But now you have a more realistic forest with different-sized trees!

Getting villagers to leave

You don’t always get to pick your villagers, and some of them can be pretty annoying too. So there are a few different ways to evict a villager you’re tired of seeing.

 **Disclaimer** If you use this first method, you’ll have to be comfortable time traveling!

First, you’ll need to speak to two villagers; it can be the one you want to leave or two others. Then, time travel forward 15 days (Make sure it’s not a Saturday or a villager’s birthday) and see if that villager has a thought bubble above their head. If not, skip forward to the next day to transfer the thought bubble until it gets to the desired villager. Then, you’ll be able to tell them to leave!

If you are not comfortable time skipping, that is OK. Another way to do so is to speak to that villager once and never again! And when a villager eventually requests to leave, quickly close your game and reopen it without telling the villager to stay. This way, the thought bubble will transfer to another villager the next day and ultimately land on the villager you want to kick out. This method takes longer but still works just as well!

Custom paths


paths & ground designs! use the creator ID to find more paths that can connect to the ones posted 🙂 #animalcrossing #newhorizons #acnh #foryou #fyp

♬ Animal Crossing: Wild World (Title Theme) – Blue Brew Music

And last but not least, how to get custom paths. For the longest time, I saw so many people’s islands with the most stunning paths, but I had NO IDEA how to get them. But I finally figured it out and want to share my knowledge. You will first need to have unlocked your Able Sisters and Terraforming to be able to do this. Then, you can go to the custom designs kiosk in your Able Sisters and search customs paths or create your own! My favorite way to find aesthetic paths is to search on Pinterest or TikTok for design codes!

These are just a few of the acnh secrets and cheats I’ve found helpful over the years. Let us know if you found any of these useful in the comments below!

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