I hate to spoil things for any player - part of the fun is discovering surprises, making mistakes, and learning from them - so I haven't given away all the secrets in this Animal Crossing guide. Still, if you're searching about it online, it's likely you have questions. If you're running around with a swollen eye second-guessing whether you should have shared that scallop, you are not alone.
13 Early-Game Things I Wish I'd Known about Animal Crossing
1) You will get more inventory space in your pockets
The first chance you get, use Nook Miles to get the pocket organizer (unlocks ten more spaces in your pockets), and another expansion comes along soon after that. You won't always have to stop at your house, the museum, or the Nook brothers every five minutes to put things down - it will get better.
2) Select multiple objects when selling in Nook's Cranny
It took me an embarrassing amount of time to realize I didn't have to go up to the brothers and talk for each individual item - I could keep clicking on multiple things in my inventory before clicking "confirm" to select them to sell. If I can save just one person, this confession will have been worth it.
3) Get the ACNH app; re-consider the official print book
By its nature, the app can be updated, while the book, which I bought four months after the New Horizons release, was already missing some villagers and information. The only benefits to the book that I found were the efficiency flower-breeding charts and information about home and island ratings. I bought the book mostly to have the creature availability (time of year/day) and sell price, but the book lists those in two separate creature lists. The app has them all together.
4) The ladder and vaulting pole won't break like other tools
I was carrying extras of these to mystery islands at first, because I didn't want one to break and leave me stranded. You only ever need one of each.
5) Cover the holes with "y"
After you use your shovel to dig a hole, you can press "y" to kick sand/dirt to cover the hole up again, instead of pressing "A" again to use the shovel to fill it in. Note: you can accidentally pick flowers and other objects in front of you or under you with this method, so it works better on the beach than in the woods.
6) Changing your appearance
You need a mirror, which you can build when you get the DIY recipe, or buy, or receive as a gift. Place the mirror, then walk up to it and press "A" to get options.
7) Put Away Tools Fast
Click the down arrow on the left side to instantly store a tool in your pocket. It's nice not to have to whack your new neighbors with a net when they run up to say hello.
8) Where the Clothes Go After You Put on Your Wet Suit
Click "X" to open your pocket inventory and navigate down to the shirt icon next to the bells - it gives you the option to remove your wet suit, and then you can see your outfit again.
9) Re-Order Your Inventory
Open your pockets, select and hold an item with "a," and then drag it to the slot you want using the left stick. This is useful if, for example, you like having your tools in the top row.
10) Crafting Faster
If you press "A" at the workbench, you can craft DIYs faster; it's not a big time-saver unless you are making a lot of things in a row (like fish bait from a stack of manila clams).
11) Moving Furniture / Design View
If you move your left stick and press "A" at the same time, you can slide furniture. You can also press "A" and rotate the stick to rotate furniture. After you upgrade to a house (from a tent), you can press the D-pad to enter design mode, which makes it a lot easier to put items exactly where you want them.
12) You Need Iron Nuggets Early On
There's a challenge early in the game that requires iron nuggets and wood to craft specific items. The wood is easy to come by, but you'll need to master the rock resources (see below) daily to get enough iron nuggets. You can use a Nook Miles ticket to fly to a mystery island to collect more of these resources.
13) Animal Crossing is for Everyone
There isn't one way to play this game; there are different paths of emphasis and you can take the ones that interest you most.
You can collect the following in Animal Crossing: Villager Photos, DIY Recipes, Furniture, Clothing, K.K.'s Songs, Reactions, Museum Items, Gyroids, Bells and Nook Miles, and Plants.
You can design the following items in Animal Crossing: Furniture, Clothing, and Pathway Patterns, Home Decor, Island Layout, Themed Island Decor
If you aren't a collector or a designer, you can chat with in-game villagers, wander around the island enjoying the beach, or find a blend of all these that works for you. It's not just for kids, although it's family-friendly; there are online groups with thousands of adult players. No matter how you choose to play, the game is surprisingly addictive!
I've had the privilege of working with hundreds of students and families in IA, CT, NC, MO, TX, and Canada. I love being a teacher-librarian!