Updated Title Publisher
Updated Title Publisher
Updated Title
Published Title Score Editor's Choice
Published Title Score

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Your First Day

Seren Morgan-Roberts

Waking Up

You will be awoken by Tom Nook, who tells you that you’ve slept right through till the new day! He will then hand you your NookPhone; he will explain that it is similar to a Smartphone.

Next up, he will give you a bill for your island getaway package. It comes to a total of 49,800 Bells. If you don’t know what Bells are, you can ask Nook to explain. Basically, it is the currency used in all Animal Crossing games. You, however, have come to the island with no bells at all, so you cannot pay this bill.

Nook Mileage Program

Nook offers than you pay the bill in Nook Miles instead. Understandably, you may be confused as to what this program is, at first. Nook will explain that performing tasks and errands around the island will earn you Miles, which you will then be able to use to pay off your bill!

You actually only need 5,000 Nook Miles to pay off the bill, instead of 49,800 Bells.

Nook Miles are earned by doing things around the island.

Island-Wide Broadcast

After Nook has explained the Nook Mileage Program, you will be directed to a cutscene of an island-wide broadcast by Tom Nook. These announcements will happen everyday when you load up your game.

From this point onwards, you’ll also be able to use the airport to play local and online multiplayer!

He also mentions that the airport and the Resident Services are open 24 hours a day, which means you can interact with friends at all hours of the day.

During these broadcasts, Nook will announce any island updates. They happen everyday.


To access your Nookphone, use the ZL button, located on the back of the controller. The Nookphone is quite simple to use, but here’s a rundown of all the apps you’ll have available at first:

  • Camera: the Camera app functions as a screen capturing device. With this, you can take photos that can then be found in your Switch Gallery.

  • Nook Miles: the Nook Miles app is where you can find out how to earn Nook Miles. Completing the achievements in the Nook Miles app will allow you to claim Nook Miles to spend as you please.

  • Custom Designs: this app allows you to create custom designs and custom clothes! You can choose just to make an ordinary design, or one that is tailored specifically for an item of clothing.

  • Map: the map will be very handy when you’re out exploring for the first time. It shows you the location of the airport, Resident Services, as well as the island homes (including your own).

  • Passport: Your passport will be visible to other players that you interact with during multiplayer modes. You can change your photo, title and comment whenever you like. You can unlock new titles by completing Nook Miles achievements.

  • Rescue Service: The rescue service can be called if you ever find yourself stuck or lost on your island. They will fly you back to your house in an emergency.

The Nookphone will gain more and more apps as you progress.

Your Letterbox

After talking to Nook, you should also open up your letterbox, which is located just outside of your tent. Inside will be at least two letters. If you have downloaded the game during a special season or update, then you may also have an extra letter containing another gift. The two letters that everyone are guaranteed to have though are the two following:

  • A letter from Mom: Your Mom will send you a letter congratulating you on your big move, and attached to the letter will be three pieces of fruit. The fruit she gives you will always be different from your native fruit, this is so you can start growing new fruit trees on your island!

  • A letter from Nintendo: Your letter from Nintendo will also congratulate you on your move to the island. Attached to the letter will be a DIY recipe for a simple DIY Workbench, which will certainly be handy when you want to begin crafting.

DIY Workshop

After you’ve had some time to explore the island and work out how to use your Nookphone, you’ll want to head over to the Resident Services and talk to Nook. He will tell you that Timmy will buy items from you in exchange bells, which means you can start earning some money!

Nook will next offer you a DIY workshop, which will teach you the basics of DIY. Head over to the DIY Bench in the top right corner of the Resident Services and press A to interact with it. This will trigger the DIY workshop tutorial.

The DIY workbench is where you’ll be able to craft furniture, clothing, equipment, and other items using materials you’ve collected. You’ll only be able to craft things that you know the recipe for. You can collect a few new recipes everyday, and these are important for learning how to craft new and fun (and sometimes rare!) items.

Firstly, Tom Nook will ask you to collect five Tree Branches, which can be found near the base of trees. It shouldn’t take you long at all to collect some, but if you’re struggling, don’t forget that they can also fall out of trees if you shake them.

Return to Nook with the branches and he will teach you how to make a Fishing Rod. Head over to the workbench and you’ll be able to select the Flimsy Fishing Rod as an available item to craft. When you select a DIY to craft, it will give you a breakdown of the materials required to make it. If you have all the required materials, then you’ll be able to select the option to Craft it!.

The Flimsy Fishing Rod only requires five tree branches.

After you have crafted the fishing rod, Tom Nook will give you a few extra DIY recipes to get you started. This will then unlock the DIY app on your Nookphone. When you access this app, you’ll be able to see all of the DIY recipes you have learned. You can only actually craft them when at a workbench though.

Nook has given you the recipes for a Flimsy Net, Campfire and the fishing rod. You can also now learn the Simple DIY Workbench recipe you received in the mail from Nintendo.

Making More Tools

After you’ve finished up Nook’s DIY workshop, you can now make a flimsy net, and start catching some bugs! Like the fishing rod, the net only requires five tree branches.

The Flimsy Net can be made with five tree branches, like the fishing rod.

Catching Your First Creatures

Now that you have a fishing rod and a net, you’ll be able to start catching some fish and critters!

Head outside, and start scouting out some bugs. You can find butterflies and dragonflies flying around, and then you can also find some bugs on tree trunks. To catch a bug, you’ll need to first equip your net in your inventory. To use the net, you’ll need to press A when nearby an insect. Butterflies and flying insects are more forgiving if you miss them with your net, but if you miss bugs found on trees then they will typically fly away and disappear. For your first few goes, try catching flying bugs. If you want more precision with your net, you can hold down A and it will slow down your movement and you can take the time to adjust your positioning; this is extra handy for the tree bugs.

You can catch all sorts of creepy crawlies using your trusty net!

If you want to try your hand at fishing, then head over to the beach, or a river. You can equip your flimsy fishing rod by going into your inventory. Fish in Animal Crossing are represented by fish-shaped shadows in the water. They vary in size depending on the fish type. If you fish at the river, you’ll catch fresh water fish, but if you go to the beach, you’ll be catching salt water fish. Once you’ve found a fish shadow, you can cast your line into the sea by pressing A. It might take you a few goes to adjust your positioning so that the bait/fly is in the right spot to attract the fish. Usually the fish will notice the fly when it is directly in front of it. Some fish are harder to attract than others. Once the fish has noticed your fly, it will start to poke it. You don’t want to reel in your line until the fish grabs the fly; this is represented by a splash and a distinctive sploosh noise. This will typically happen after the fish has poked the fly a couple times, but again, this varies fish by fish. Once the distinctive splash has occured, you’ll have a short time frame, maybe a second or two depending on the fish, to reel in the fish. To reel in the fish, press A. The larger the fish, the longer the reeling-in animation.

Once you have caught your first fish or bug, head back to Nook and tell him you’ve found a creature! He will then give you a new app for your Nookphone called the Critterpedia. This app will show you all of the bugs and fish you’ve ever caught. As well as the new app, Nook will ask if he can have the creature so he can show it to his curator friend, Blathers. If you have played previous Animal Crossing games then you will know that Blathers runs a museum.

Unlocking Blathers

To have Blathers come to your island, you will need to donate five creatures to Nook. Each time, Nook will also reward you as thanks for your donations:

Number of Creatures Reward
1 Critterpedia app
2 DIY Recipes: Logstakes, Birdhouse, Tiki Torch, Bonfire and Flimsy Axe
3 Flower seed bags - different to your native flowers
4 Watering Can DIY Recipe
5 Blathers wants to move to your island!

When you have donated five creatures, Blathers will call Tom Nook and ask him if he can come study the island fauna for himself! Once the phone call is over, Nook will give you a tent kit so that you can set up Blathers’ research tent for him.

Take care when picking a location for Blathers’ tent, as when you have donated enough creatures to him, it will upgrade into a museum. You will be able to move it at a later date, but it will cost a fair bit. After you’ve chosen the location, head back to Nook to let him know.

You can pitch Blathers’ tent wherever you like!

Talk to the Island Residents

Once you have sorted out a spot for Blathers, you could go and talk to the other island residents to see how they’re doing. They will either be around the main section of your island or in their tents, so it shouldn’t be hard to find them.

They will offer you gifts as thanks for helping them out with choosing a tent spot. The gifts can range from DIY Recipes to furniture to clothing.

Timmy’s Shop

On your first day it is also worth visiting Timmy’s shop. He sells flowers, saplings and more DIY recipes, as well as two items of furniture that will swap everyday. If you see something you fancy, you will likely need to make some bells first!

You can sell just about anything to Timmy! A good way to make some money at the start is to sell weeds and sea shells. Selling weeds is useful because you’re making money and clearing the island at the same time. You can also sell bugs and to Timmy, but make sure you only sell duplicates of ones you’ve already caught before. You’ll want to save them to donate to Nook and then to Blathers later on!

No Comments
Guide Information
  • Publisher
  • Platforms,
  • Genre
    Social simulation
  • Guide Release
    7 August 2020
  • Last Updated
    20 January 2022
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Seren Morgan-Roberts

Share this free guide:

The guide for Animal Crossing: New Horizons offers a walkthrough on how to make the most of your time on your deserted island. This guide will show you how to make tools, earn bells, achieve a five-star island, and more.

Inside this guide you will find:

Get a Gamer Guides Premium account: