Animal Crossing: New Horizons may be a relaxing game about building your island community from the ground up, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a wealth of secrets, unlockables, and even a few tricks and cheats to get things done all the better.
This page will list all known types of cheats, secrets, and hidden unlockables in the game.
Completing the Art Wing of the Museum can be a trying task but if you're tired of wondering when Redd appears and are looking to pick from fake vs. real art fast, you can use this Time Travel Cheat to speed things up. Here's how to do it. Cheat credit to Doug Chin for contacting us about this exploit.
- First, you'll need Redd on your island. If Redd is nowhere to be found, Time Travel (change your system clock) one day at a time until you see him.
- Shop at Redd's once he appears. Use our Art Guide to pick the real art, instead of the fakes (and keep track of them with our interactive checklist). Don't worry if Redd is selling nothing but fakes; you don't need to buy anything for this cheat to work. Save, exit your game, then close the software completely.
- Head to System settings on your Switch. Select system, then select Date and Time. Make sure Synchronize Clock via Internet is turned Off. Change the Date and Time to go only one day ahead.
- Start up Animal Crossing. It’s a new day and Redd is gone. Feel free to use this time to get your art from the mail and even donate it to the museum if you'd like.
- When you're ready, save, exit, and close the software. Return to the system settings and change your clock back to the previous day to resummon Redd. He'll? have new inventory in his shop!
- Rinse and repeat until your museum collecting is complete.?
Warning: Don't Time Travel Too FarKeep in mind that if you go forward or back more than one day Redd will no longer appear. If you see Redd on May 13th you can’t just consistently return to May 13th weeks later. We’ve found it can take up to 2 weeks for him to appear again so be careful when using this cheat or you’ll have a lot of time travel work ahead of you.
Even ACNH's Golden Tools aren't unbreakable but you can experience and enjoy unbreakable tools by using this couch co-op exploit. As of Nintendo Switch version 10.0.0, you can remap the Switch buttons. You can set up custom button mapping that allows you to control 2 characters at once (one on each joy-con).
The "Follower" player's tools never break (as long and they're not switched to being the Leader).
The "tools still take damage but won't break but still won’t break even at max damage until you use the tool in solo mode or as the leader" as clarified by Omni Jacala (@artsyomni) on Twitter - who pointed out this exploit.
There are plenty of pains and limitations to using this exploit. For instance, Only the leader has full access to their pockets, can enter buildings, shop, and only the leader can pick up fruit and wood. Followers can catch fish and bugs but those will automatically be stored in the recycle bin in Resident Services - to be retrieved later.
However, it can still be a good way to accomplish some daily tasks without worrying about tools bursting into thin air. For how to do couch co-op and how to remove a person from your island (if you ever decide to abandon this exploit) check out our How to Play Multiplayer guide.
Stalk Market - Turnip Selling Cheat
Timmy and Tommy's turnip buying prices are randomized every day, and are randomized again if you turn back time to buy more turnips and return - making it impossible to make a time traveller's killing on the stalk market. At least, in your own game.
- First, a friend, or a friendly person online, will need to monitor their turnip prices. When they get a great price, ask them to open their gates for you. See How to Play Multiplayer if you need to learn how to do this.
- Any turnips you already have will spoil if you travel back in time, so consider visiting your friend's island and selling them first before continuing with this cheat!
- Now that you're turnip free, change your Nintendo Switch's date and time within the system settings. Set it to the previous Sunday, any time between 5am and 12pm.
- Purchase a ton of turnips from Daisy Mae, the traveling boar turnip seller. Just fill your pockets with as many as you can.
- Go straight to your friend's island with the awesome turnip buying prices. You don't even have to change the date on your own Switch!
- Sell your turnips. Make major profit.
- You can repeat steps 3 through 5 as many times as you want before Nook's Cranny closes in your friend's town (at 10pm)
In what has become a staple of forbidden Animal Crossing magic, New Horizons also allows the ability for players to “time travel”. Since the game runs on the Switch’s own internal clock, you can change this clock in your console’s settings when not in the game to advance or rewind time to any date you wish.
By time traveling, players can rapidly advance by a day to restock their island with new resources, fossils, new items in shops, and fast forward the time taken to construct buildings and other features on the island. Done correctly, a player can amass bells faster than normal or progress their island by jumping ahead a day after most daily tasks are complete.
However, jumping to far can have adverse effects:
- Weeds may grow more plentiful in your absence
- Jumping months ahead can trigger player inactivity, and cockroaches may appear in your home
- Villagers may feel neglected and leave your island if you jump ahead too far
- Turnips will spoil if you jump to another Sunday, or rewind time.
How to Get an In-game ACNH Nintendo Switch
If you're one of the few players who purchased a special Animal Crossing Nintendo Switch, you'll receive this message in the mail along with a present:
" Dear __, Thanks for using the specially colored Joy-Con controllers released in association with Animal Crossing: New Horizons. To show our appreciation, we're sending you this gift. We hope you enjoy it! - From Nintendo"
The model Animal Crossing: Nintendo Switch can be purchased, but it'll only show up randomly priced at 35,960 bells.
A way to get around this steep price is to connect the specially colored Joy-Con to your system and play ACNH with it. It's not the easiest workaround, but if you know a friend or family member with a system, see if you can borrow them for a moment to save 35K Bells.
Get 8 Resources per Rock
There's a way to guarantee you'll get eight resources per rock, you just have to strategically dig holes behind you to prevent being knocked back! Position yourself inbetween the rock and the holes, the bash away with your shovel as fast as you can.
Bell Rocks - How to Score Free Money
A long time secret of the Animal Crossing games, every town is dotted with rocks in random locations, and they can be hit with shovels or even axes to get resources. However, each day, one random rock will contain bells instead of minerals, and you can keep hitting it to earn more and more money. Be sure to stop yourself from getting knocked back by digging holes behind yourself (above/below and to the side) and strike the rock a maximum of eight times to get up to 16,400 bells each day!
Glowing Spots - Invest for Bell Trees
Another returning feature are mysterious glowing spots in the ground that appear in a random part of your island each day. If you find this spot, you can dig it up for a free 1,000 bells. Be sure to get access to a Shovel by giving 5 bugs or fish to Tom Nook and get Blathers to your island.
Once you find a glowing spot, dig up the bells - but know that if you plant the bells back in the glowing hole (and only that glowing hole), it will sprout into a tree that will return 3x the amount of bells when it's fully grown. You can do this with either 1,000 or 10,000 bells - which can let you make you a lot of money for your investment!
See exactly how it's done in the video below or on the How to Plant a Money Tree page.
Stopping Wasps in Their Tracks
Nothing is worse than shaking a tree to find a wasp nest falling at your feet. You’ve only got seconds to run into a building or get your net, but what if you need more time?
As luck would have it, you can halt the Wasp’s attack by either opening your inventory, or pressing up on the DPAD for your tool ring if you’ve bought the upgrade from Nook’s Shop. With this, you’ll be able to take a moment to find and swap to your net - just be ready to quickly pivot and swipe to catch them before you get stung.
You can also keep yourself out of this situation by keeping a net equipped while shaking trees and by only shaking them from the front as shown in the screenshot below. Your character will automatically turn to face the wasps if a nest drops, making for a super easy catch!
Borrowing Villager Furniture
Sometimes you may find yourself far away from your own workshop and you’re in dire need of a new axe. Luckily, many Villagers on your island will put DIY Workbenches in their own homes. If one of them is at home, enter, and you’ll be able to use it yourself to get what you need!
This also works for any mirrors to quickly change your appearance, as you’ll get more hairstyles than what you had to choose from at the start of the game, and you may not find a recipe to make your own mirror for a while.
Also, if another villager is already using their workbench - talk to them and they’ll give you the recipe for whatever they are working on!
Legendary Rain Fish
Fishing can be hit or miss, if you’re trying to make a lot of money fast. It’s hard to tell if that big shadow is a valuable fish - or just a bass, but there are some ways to increase your chances for a lucky find.
Be sure to always fish in the ocean when it rains - as it will give you a shot at finding some of the rarest fish in the game, including the Coelacanth, the prehistoric fish worth a whopping 15,000 bells alone!
Terraform Your Own Bridges
Once you get far enough into progressing the status of your island that you unlock the ability to terraform and create or remove rivers, you can use this ability to make cheap but effective bridges.
Normally, you can request the placement of bridges from Tom Nook at Resident Services, but the prices can get pretty high, and they take a day to build. However, with the Water Tool permit you can buy after learning the Island Designer App, you can put dirt into rivers to create bridges of land.
Since your character can hop over small gaps, you can even create small paths to jump across rivers, rather than closing off the flow entirely!
Friends in Other Hemispheres
When starting the game, you’ll be asked which hemisphere you live in - which will dictate how the seasons change based on where you live. March weather is very much a spring environment in the North, while it looks a lot more like Summer in the South.
This actually extends to the types of bugs and fish you’ll find. This means that while a player in the North will find assorted butterflies in March, a player in the South will find crickets instead. The critterpedia will accurately adjust the times these fauna are found when in that hemisphere - so if you travel to a friend's town in a different part of the world, you can catch critters you’d normally have to wait many more months to see in your own town.
It pays to have friends in faraway places!
Secret Crafting Supplies
You’ll learn early on that to make a lot of DIY items, you’ll need to amass a lot of branches, wood, stone, iron, and other materials - but some resources might not be that obvious.
Depending on the recipes you uncover, you can also find uses for random items like Wasp Nests (to make honeycomb flooring or medicine from), Seashells (to make beach carpets and shell furniture), and even trash fished from the water.
You may also find Gold Nuggets that are worth a ton of money - but they’re also needed to build some bigger DIY Projects, so you may also want to hang onto a few. Even Gulliver’s communicator parts that you can dig up to help him can be withheld (you monster), as they’ll turn into rusted parts the next day and can be used to craft select projects you may find.
Villager Be Gone - Getting a Villager to Leave
Everyone has a story about their perfect town that’s invaded by a villager who just stinks. Maybe you don’t like their personality, or their dumb catchphrase, or just hate Chickens…
Regardless of your reasons, there is a way to get Villagers to leave your town, but it does take a bit of dedication, luck, and time.
Remember that above all, Villagers need interactions to feel welcome, and the less welcome they feel, the more likely they are to consider leaving. This means not talking to them at all when possible.
One thing you can do - though it is not guaranteed to hasten their departure, is either hit them 3 times with a bug catching net, or repeatedly run into them until they get mad at you. If nothing else, it's a good way of expressing your displeasure with them.
The other main thing to know is that villagers leaving takes time. Villagers won't feel the need to leave an island until there are at least 6 on your island, and it may take several days for someone to consider leaving. During this time, be sure to look at your villagers - if any of them have a thought bubble above their heads, it means they are making a decision or have a task. Sometimes they'll want something, and sometimes they'll mention they may want to leave your town.
If a villager you like has this thought, you can persuade them to stay - but if its the villager you want out, be sure to encourage the decision, and by the next day it will be announced that the villager is packing up to leave.
A departed villager will leave behind the lot they took over for someone else to move in, so be sure to look for someone to fill the spot before another unwanted villager moves in!
Secret Photo Op Locations
You can use photo mode just about anywhere using the Camera app on your in-game NookPhone. However, you can get wider, more picturesque angles by taking photos in any of the secret photo op locations. You can tell you're in one because the camera will focus in or provide a wider angle.
There are several in the museum, including these:
Try standing still in a few places and see what happens!
Other Neat Details and Secrets
- Some fish appear in different bowls in your home; The seahorse is in a pet tank, while goldfish are in a china basin.
- You can put items in trash cans.
- If you put a toilet furniture item in your house, you can sit on them and get a small pop-up message when you “use” them. This is also how you can get rid of fruit you've eaten......
- If you leave rotten turnips on the ground, a trail of ants will appear around them.
- Leave instruments out in the open, and Villagers may find and play with them.
- If you leave Gulliver's communication parts in your pocket, the next day they will become a rare rusted part crafting material.
- If you keep shaking a tree, more branches will fall out.
- During the day a small yellow bird can be found on the bulletin board with a new message, while at night, an owl roots there.
- If you display designs for shirts (and even hats) at the Able Sisters, another villager might wear it for a while.
Item Duplication Glitch (Single Switch Co-op Only)
When playing Animal Crossing with a second player, using the Call Island Resident feature, there is currently a way to duplicate many kinds of items, and quickly sell an entire inventory's worth of valuable loot as fast as you can create more.
Note that this glitch can ONLY be enacted with two players on a single Switch console, as online or local multiplayer does not allow guests to interact with placed objects, nor can the host pick them up.
First, summon the second player using Call Resident, and then place a high-selling item on a small table or stool - this can range from small valuable items to rare bugs and fish, or even the Royal Crown sold at random times from the Able Sisters - which can sell for a huge amount of Bells!
Once the item is placed on the stool, have the second player (the one who cannot access their inventory) hold down A to grab the table and then spin the item. When this happens, the first player should grab the item with Y right as it begins to rotate.
If done correctly, the first player will pocket the item in their inventory, while the second player continues to spin a copy of the item on the table. If synced up, you can keep picking up duplicates until your inventory is full!