Here are all the juicy details on Animal Crossing: New Horizons

From recipes to decorating, here's what we know about the new Animal Crossing

It is taking a few years longer than some fans may have hoped, but an Animal Crossing game is finally coming to Nintendo Switch. Animal Crossing: New Horizons takes the relaxing and eccentric gameplay players love and drops you onto a deserted island for a dream vacation. Tom Nook is organizing your getaway package, so you’ll probably want to start stocking up on Bells, but you’ll have plenty of time to build your dream home and meet new friends during your stay. Here is everything we know about Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Put your feet up

Animal Crossing: New Horizons exists as the product of Tom Nook’s Nook Inc., which has created The Deserted Island Getaway Package as your latest vacation destination. You’ll be able to go camping, complete with a tent and fire, grow plants, scavenge resources from trees and rocks, or just relax on the beach after a particularly long day. When you begin, all you will have inside your tent is a foldable cot, a lamp, and a radio. As in Happy Home Designer, you will be able to move things in your home in half-units.

The deserted island is yours to decorate and customize as you see fit, and you can decorate and create your dream home on the property. If you want to put furniture outside, that is also an option, as no city ordinance can stop you! Of course, as this vacation package is Tom Nook’s idea, you can expect him to come knocking before too long and demand you repay any loans you’ve taken out. However, you’ll also get rewarded with Nook Miles for milestones you complete in the game, which can be spent on items and activities.

According to an interview the development team gave at E3 2019, the decision to set the game on the island was to offer players a new experience — one in which they don’t start at a preexisting village.

DIY Recipes

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The crafting system has been significantly expanded in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Called “DIY Recipes,” the new system allows you to create a variety of items using scavenged materials such as tree branches, clay, hardwood, and stone. You can make tools to assist you in your adventuring, signs, water jugs, benches, and even beverages.

The recipes are conveniently located in an app on your in-game phone. Because there are so many to choose from and because there is such a wide variety of materials to use for crafting, the weeds or other “junk” items you discover while exploring will actually be used for making new goodies. You can visit Tom Nook’s workbench to then turn them into new tools for free. If you eat an apple from a tree, it can even energize you to garden more quickly.

To get new DIY Recipes, you’ll have three main options. Certain other animals will give you recipes for free, and you can learn recipes by finding items on the island. If you really need a specific recipe and can’t figure out another option, you can also buy them from stores.

The four seasons

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The clock plays a big role in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, as it is connected to your own clock in the real world. There is both a northern hemisphere area and southern hemisphere option to better match your own location, and the season will change throughout the year. This brings new activities, such as rolling snowballs in the winter, and completely changes the look of your island. If you’re playing in June in the northern hemisphere, it will be sunny, but those who choose the southern hemisphere option will be in the middle of winter. The wind can change speeds on the island, and this will be expressed by the amount that leaves are moving on trees.

Additionally, the wildlife you find will vary depending on the season. If you fish in the winter, you could end up finding much different varieties than you did during the warmer seasons.

Because Nintendo wants players to avoid rewinding or otherwise changing time, Animal Crossing: New Horizons will not be compatible with cloud saves. If your Switch is broken and can’t transfer data to a new system, your island will be gone for good.

Play together

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One of the apps you’ll spot on your mobile phone inside New Horizons is called “Call an Islander.” Using this app, you can choose to play with another person in local cooperative mode. Those who also have a house on the island — the game has one island per Switch system, so you will share — are eligible to join.

You only need one Joy-Con controller per player, so two people can enjoy the game together without any other equipment. Up to eight players can share an island, and up to four can play together at the same time. Either player can be made the “leader” in a party, which is denoted by a flag over their head. This player will be in control of where you and the camera are moving while you play together.

There will also be local wireless and online multiplayer options. When playing this way, up to eight players can gather on one player’s island and complete activities together.

When can we play it?

Animal Crossing: New Horizons will release for Nintendo Switch on March 20, 2020.

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