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Animal Crossing: New Horizons


Seren Morgan-Roberts


This page offers a walkthrough of how to use the waterscaping tool in the Island Designer app. You will also find tips on how to create features such as waterfalls and heart-shaped lakes in this guide.

How to Use the Waterscaping Tool

First things first, you’ll need to buy the waterscaping permit for 6,000 miles from the Nookstop. To access it, you’ll then need to start up construction through the island designer app. Then, press + to open up the construction menu, at the bottom of the path designs, there is an option to select the Waterscaping Permit.

There are a few restrictions to where you can add or remove water. Firstly, you cannot place water within one tile of a tree or a house. You cannot remove the water from your estuaries either, they are permanent. You can’t make more estuaries either, meaning making more water is off limits on your beaches.

Other than those restrictions, you can make rivers, ponds, lakes and waterfalls wherever you like. When you have the tool selected, pressing A will cause your character to create a block of water. You can use this to widen rivers or create new bodies of water from scratch. You can also narrow or delete bodies of water by pressing A on an already existing tile of water. If you’ve added a square to a river that makes it look too unnatural, you can press A again on the water land to soften the edge by only taking away a bit of the land.

(1 of 2) Removing some of the water causes the riverbank to become blocky

Removing some of the water causes the riverbank to become blocky (left), but using the waterscaping shovel on the block again will soften the edges and give a more natural look. (right)

The same technique of softening edges like this can be used for ponds and lakes.

Waterscaping Ideas

This next section will offer ideas on how to use the waterscaping tool creatively.


If you use the waterscaping shovel to dig at the end of a cliff then you will create a waterfall! Waterfalls are a great natural feature that can enhance the landscape of your island. If you create a new one you can join it to an existing river or just have it begin from a pond.

(1 of 2) You can create landscape features by making waterfalls

You can create landscape features by making waterfalls (left), you could also make them look more natural by having your waterfall connect to a river. (right)

Land Bridges

If you can’t quite afford lots of fancy bridges yet, land bridges can be a great temporary alternative! You could either bridge across an entire river or create stepping stones that your character can hop over.

(1 of 2) You can make a full bridge


You can make a full bridge (left), or just some stepping stones - you can even use stone pathing to make them more realistic. (right)

Heart-shaped Pond

The heart-shaped pond is great if you want a small statement pond in the middle of a park.

  • First, dig an L shape of water 5 long and 5 tall.

  • Then, at the tip of each L, dig out a square of water diagonal to it. Then dig out two more diagonal squares in between. You will have 4 total squares of water going diagonally between the two points of the L shape.

Start with this shape first off.

  • Now fill space between the L shape and the diagonal squares with water.

Then fill in the space between the L shape and the diagonal blocks.

  • The final step is to dig up the square edges to round them into a heart shape.

(1 of 2) Then round out the grass around the diagonal squares (except the middle one)

Then round out the grass around the diagonal squares (except the middle one) (left), until you have a completed Heart-shaped pond! (right)

This is the smallest version of this pond, however you could make it as large as you want.

Natural Centerpieces

You can play around with all of the different techniques mentioned in this guide to create unique and natural looking features on your island.

You can make mini waterfalls and ponds to create interesting features on your island.


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Guide Information

  • Publisher
  • Platforms,
  • Genre
    Social simulation
  • Guide Release
    7 August 2020
  • Last Updated
    20 January 2022
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Seren Morgan-Roberts

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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:

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