Gamers have been moding their favorite titles for decades now. These talented and creative folks have such a big passion for certain games that they take it upon themselves to expand upon them with new content, changes, and even just small improvements they think people would enjoy. They can even turn the game into something entirely different from the original vision, spawning entirely new genres and franchises. However, mods tend to only be thought of as something PC players can take advantage of, but that is far from true.
Consoles are notoriously more difficult for making and implementing mods. However, with a game as massively popular as Animal Crossing: New Horizons, there was little doubt people would find a way to make this already open experience even more customizable. From new cosmetics and characters to gameplay and functional changes, here are the best mods available for Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
You can find all the mods listed below — and many more — for free at the link below.
There will be endless debates about which villagers are the best not only in New Horizons but the Animal Crossing franchise as a whole. Everyone has their favorites that they just don’t want to let go of. Thanks to some moders, there are a few characters from older titles you can bring back to join you on your island. Most notably, you can add Tarou, Pierre, and Nindori from Animal Forest e+ on the Gamecube. Tarou, who will take the place of Fang on your island, is a complete overhaul. He has his own picture, icon, poster, catchphrase, and personality. The same goes for Pierre, taking the place of Stinky, but Nindori is extra special because he was never available outside of Japan. Even then, you could only get him by using an e-reader add-on. Thanks to this mod, and plenty of others, you can fully change up your island’s population however you want. If you’re a Persona 5 fan, make sure to check out the Morgana mod, too!
Isabell is a strong contender for the most popular character in the Animal Crossing franchise, so who wouldn’t like to be able to play as her instead of just with her? With this mod, you can do just that. Sure, there are plenty of ways you can customize your character in the normal game, but you’re always stuck being a boring old human while your fellow villagers get to be fun animals. This mod isn’t just a simple head swap, either — it’s compatible with most clothing options your normal villager has, plus it can make all the expressions you expect. Some drawbacks are that you can’t change any of the facial features, which would kind of defeat the point of the mod anyway. Also, the texture quality is a little low, her hair doesn’t animate, and they haven’t implemented socks or leggings yet.
Speaking of customization, if you don’t want to fully swap yourself out for another character but do feel constricted by what hair and eye colors are available, this mod adds in a ton of new colors to make your character look exactly how you want. Nintendo has added some new options in updates, but not nearly enough for most people. What might be even better is that the latest update added a beta version of a skin color editor to further customize your villager. While still a work in progress, as most mods on this list are, this mod allows more people to create a character that accurately represents them, which can only be a positive thing in a game like this.
There are a couple of parts of New Horizons that just about everyone finds frustrating. Inventory management is just needlessly annoying at times. You are able to eventually increase your pocket size, but items within your inventory can only be stacked in increments of either 10, 30, or 50. That can be very limiting if you plan on going out for a full day of gathering materials and don’t want to have to keep running back to town all the time to dump your inventory to make room. This mod is all about convenience. The biggest improvement is increasing all your item stack sizes to 99. However, it does not allow items that can’t be stacked to suddenly be able to. Another nice addition included with this mod is the ability to eat and trade insects, fish, and seafood. It’s a small but welcome way to make inventory management even smoother.
Mystery Tours were a brand new addition to Animal Crossing: New Horizons. This feature lets you travel to a random, unpopulated island to pick up materials they might not have or have run out of on their own island, like iron nuggets, rare fish, and exotic fruit and flowers. This mod is more of an upgrade to this feature rather than a complete overhaul. You are still taken to a random island, but with some tweaks. First, the “randomness” is altered, but it also reintroduces some islands into the possible options that were taken out, like Rare Flower, Big Fish, and May Day Tour Islands. As mentioned, everything is still random, but now with more possible options and reasons to keep rolling the dice to see what you discover.
Keeping on with the quality-of-life improvement mods, we have one that lets you make any tools in the game unbreakable. We’ve all had that moment where we’re out fishing, digging, chopping, or whatever and are forced to stop because our tools disintegrated in our hands. The game is sort of designed around this because there are better, more durable tools you can work up to, but even the best tools in the game can break, making it all feel kind of worthless. This mod comes in three types, so you can even customize how much or little you want to interact with the durability system. You can make only golden tools unbreakable as a nice final reward for obtaining them, make any tool of a higher quality than flimsy unbreakable, or just get rid of durability all together and make no tools break.
Even the biggest fan of puns got sick of the old “I caught a sea bass! No, wait — it’s at least a C+!” joke that comes up every time you catch this fish. What’s worse is just how common it comes up, making the joke feel more like an insult over time. Thankfully, you can get rid of this “joke” forever, along with all those useless sea bass. This mod does exactly what the name says: Sets the spawn rate of sea bass to zero. It is such a simple mod, but this, and other fish modification mods, are some of the most popular there are.
We already touched on character customization mods, but what about your island? For many people, that’s even more important than how your character looks. However, once you are able to fully transform and modify your island to your heart’s content, you’ll realize that you are actually pretty limited. Bridges and slopes are limited to a measly eight of each, forcing you to make design decisions you shouldn’t have to. Well, thanks to a handy mod, that number can up to 32 bridges and slopes. Just be aware of the known issues with this mod, such as only the first eight bridges and slopes showing up on your map, and some bugs that will cause additional ones to turn invisible. Hopefully, the creator works out the kinks, but you should just be aware of them going in.
Animal Crossing is the perfect way to unwind and relax. This is the type of game that can bring you back to a simpler time in your life, especially if you’ve played the older games. What better way to blend the nostalgia of your childhood with the newest game than to bring in the original soundtrack from the GameCube original? This mod brings in the title screen and hourly music from the original to give you all the good feels you remember.
Last, but by no means least, is another basic mod that, quite frankly, should be in every game. It is such a simple thing to skip the title screen and load right onto your island, but when you think about how much time this will save you, especially if you’re a frequent player, you will wonder how you lived without it. There’s really not much to say. Quit wasting time on loading screens and mashing through menus and get right back to the game.
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