Thurday’s Animal Crossing Direct had a lot to take in. Here’s a recap of everything to expect when your island getaway begins March 20.
That island getaway just keeps sounding better and better.
A month out from Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ March 20 launch, Nintendo held a 25-minute Direct livestream on Thursday that gave an in-depth look at the many things players will be able to do on their soon-to-be island homes.
With the infamous loan shark Tom Nook serving as the Direct’s presenter, the livestream was broken up into three parts; a refresher on everything that’s been revealed so far, future development plans, and an FAQ.
PART 1: A Refresher
Again, this section mostly covered key features and aspects of the game that have been talked about before.
- Players will live on a deserted island where they can mingle with neighbors and spend their time however they choose.
- You’ll arrive at your island by plane to its local airport. But before you leave, you’ll be able to choose what island you want to go to based on layout and hemisphere (you’ll still see all four seasons no matter what side of the world you choose to live in, where the cycle starts will just be different).
- You’ll go through a “New Resident Orientation” from the Nook, Inc. staff once you arrive. You’ll be given a tent that you can choose were to place on the island. You can also help your neighbors decide where to set up theirs.
- The Nooks will have a resident services tent open 24 hours a day. You can visit it to buy and sell items, and learn how to craft via the DIY workshop.
- The airport is usable year-round the day after you get to your island. This will be how you access online multiplayer, inviting friends to your island and vice versa. You can also use the airports post box to send cards to other players.
- Along with your tent, Nook, Inc. will provide you with a lamp, a sleeping bag, and a Nook Phone. The phone has the map and a camera, and more apps will be added to it the more you play.
- Tom Nook will address the island on the latest happenings each morning.
- The Nook Mileage Program will offer advice on what to do around the island, and doing various activities will earn you miles that can be redeemed for rewards like Nook merchandise or other items at the resident services tent.
- You can run into dangerous creatures like wasps and scorpions on the island. As always, getting stung will leave your villager with a swelled up eye, but he/she can also get KO’d this time around too.
- Castaways can wash up on the island shore and you can help them find their way back home.
- If you ever get lost on your island, you can make a call to a rescue service with your Nook Phone. Doing this will trigger a charming cutscene where the screen cuts to black as the service rangers swoop in and save you. You’ll be back in front of your tent as soon as the picture fades back in.
- You can eventually build a house, and like always, you’ll have an interest free loan to pay off on it at your own pace. Just remember, Tom Nook always gets his money. Having a house will give you storage space to place items and furniture not in use, and you’ll also have a free camera now to view your home from any angle.
- Nook Miles ca also be exchanged for Nook Miles Tickets, basically mystery tours that will drop you off at other islands. You can use this to meet different characters, buy unique items, and catch fish and bugs you wouldn’t be able to access otherwise on your own island.
- As previously reported, up to eight people can live on one island (i.e. one Switch console). The game will allow for four-player local co-op. To do this, one player will call the others from their homes and go from there. The person who makes the initial call will be the party leader, but that role can e swapped accordingly.
- The Switch Online app will have a section for New Horizons called NookLink. This will allow players who had designs made up in New Leaf and Happy Home Designer to scan them into New Horizons via QR codes. NookLink can also be used as a messaging system to talk to friends. The NookLink will come out sometime in March after the game releases.
Part 2: Future Development Plans
- Tom Nook can invite more potential residents to your island over time, but it will ultimately be your call on who gets in.
- The island will eventually have various facilities built upon it. This will be the way series staples like the Able Sisters and the museum get brought back into the fold.
- The resident services tent will also expand into a proper building by a certain point, closely resembling the town halls seen in previous games. Once this happens, you can talk to Isabelle at the front desk about what you can build on the island.
- Tourists and merchants will travel to your island on occasion, offering the chance for you to get unique items.
- There will be free seasonal updates and live events like fishing tournaments and bug-catching competitions.
- You’ll eventually be able to build bridges and slopes to make navigation of the island easier. You can also earn a builder’s permit that will give you free reign to reshape the terrain of the island once you get it.
Part 3: Frequently Asked Questions
The Direct concluded by touching on a few points that have been brought up in the past few weeks.
- It was reiterated that one Switch console can have eight people on the same island. Each profile on a respective console can register one resident and build their own house.
- The game will support all existing Animal Crossing amiibo and cards.
- Photopia is the game’s photo mode. It’s presented as a completely separate island that you can go to create photoshoots with any of the game’s characters (with more to be added).
- Axes and shovels are forbidden when visiting a friend’s island. Unless you’re registered as a best friend. Then you can go crazy.
- New Horizons will not support cloud saves, but Nintendo will have a service in place to recover save data should a console be damaged or loss. This news comes after it was learned that saves are locked only to one console once the game starts.
- That New Horizons-themed Switch is still on the way and it still looks really nice.
- Free updates will continue throughout the year, and an Easter-themed one will be available on launch day.
- There will be a cross-promotional offer for Pocket Camp players that will give them special items in both games. Details are to be announced on the mobile game’s Twitter account.