Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the fifth edition of the Animal Crossing series, quickly rose to fame as one of the most popular Nintendo games of 2020 with over 32 million copies sold. Nintendo released this beloved social simulation game in March of that year after making fans wait in anticipation for several long months — and it couldn’t have been better timing, because the world was growing restless after hunkering down for quarantine. To this day, it is one of the most coveted games by Nintendo Switch players.
In New Horizons, players control a character who attempts to build a homey community on a deserted island. They can gather and craft items with materials in their environment, catch bugs and fish, grow plants and buy or sell items to customize the island. Thankfully, players are not on the island alone. Up to 10 villagers, all various species of anthropomorphic animals, join the island community and keep players company.
As successful as the game is, there are various features that the latest Animal Crossing game is missing. The game developers have been good about listening to their fans’ concerns, but the monthly updates to the game often leave players disappointed. Long-time fans of the Animal Crossing series have voiced their opinions about several features from older games in the series that they would like added to New Horizons.
In no particular order, here are the top ten features that players are hoping will be added to Animal Crossing: New Horizons:
1. Better Customization Options for Characters
Upon starting the game, players can customize a human character for their gameplay. The game offers a selection of skin colors, including frivolous colors such as green, purple and blue. There are currently 36 hairstyles and 16 hair colors to customize your character.
A lack of diverse hair and skin colors was brought to the developers’ attention and more styles have been added to the game as of November last year, but players are still asking for more varieties that are inclusive to all cultures. There are multiple options for eye shapes and shades; however, there is a serious lack of nose and mouth shapes. More variety in character customization — including more options for hair and skin colors — would allow for the creation of more unique characters that accurately reflect the individuality of players around the world.
2. More Informative News System
Once Animal Crossing: New Horizons loads, the game’s upbeat secretary, Isabelle, welcomes players to the island and offers some information about the current date and time. On occasions such as holidays, villager birthdays or special events, Isabelle will briefly speak about the details of the day. On days without any significant news, she will talk about her newest television habits or inform players that she found her missing sock.
Although Isabelle is one of the most cherished characters of the franchise, some people on sites like Reddit are claiming that she is not very good at her job. Players of Animal Crossing: New Horizons are asking for more informative reports from Isabelle, such as details about the weather or information about the visitors that are coming to the island.
3. Villager Updates
Many players agree that one of the best parts about Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the villagers. Players can collect up to 10 villagers of eight different personality types such as peppy, cranky, lazy or snooty. Specific villagers can be spawned to a player’s island with the use of a Nintendo Amiibo, an accessory that can unlock bonuses on compatible games. Fans of the game are making multiple requests involving the villagers to make the game more entertaining. As cute as the characters may be, some could use a bit of a makeover. The option to renovate a villager’s house, clothing style and physical appearance would be the perfect way to personalize the characters.
A common complaint is that the dialogue between villagers is often stale, especially for characters with the same personality type. Players also want the villagers to be able to visit your home or accompany you on your excursions to other islands. Adding new ways to interact with villagers might be the refreshing update the game needs.
4. Nook’s Cranny and Able Sisters Shop Updates
In the game, players can buy items from two different stores. Timmy and Tommy, twin brothers resembling the Japanese species of raccoons called tanuki, run a shop called Nook’s Cranny. They offer three to four furniture items on display each day, as well as a cabinet of items such as wallpaper, flooring, flower seeds and tools. A clothing shop named Able Sisters is run by two hedgehog sisters named Mabel and Sable. They offer a large selection of clothes and accessories that refresh daily.
Although the game already provides a wide spectrum of items daily through the shops, players are looking for bigger and better upgrades. In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, only one upgrade is provided for Nook’s Cranny after buying or selling over 200,000 bells worth of items, compared to the multiple updates in other Animal Crossing games. Players still desire more ways to develop the shops as their game progresses. One of the biggest complaints about the Able Sisters shop is that players cannot select multiple items for purchase. Players are asking for a feature that allows them to multi-select clothing options, such as a shopping cart, rather than having to make multiple trips to buy clothes and accessories.
5. New Nook Miles Tickets items from the Nook Stop
In addition to the Nook’s Cranny and the Able Sisters stores, players can buy items from the Nook Stop with a type of currency called Nook Miles. Miles can be collected by visiting other players’ islands and completing tasks in the game. The Nook Stop offers Nook merchandise and outdoor furniture items. Many players, however, let thousands of their Nook Miles tickets go to waste because new options have not yet been brought to the game. Just like the upgrades to the other stores, more purchasing options in the Nook Stop will motivate players to complete more tasks and spend their earned Nook Miles rather than leave them to waste in their pockets.
6. The Ability to Craft Multiple Items at Once
It’s a small request, but it is one that will make crafting significantly more convenient. New Horizons was the first game of the Animal Crossing series to introduce crafting features. Players can collect recipes for items such as furniture, clothing and tools. For example, after collecting some manila clams from the sea, a player can begin crafting fish bait. Avid fishers in the game have expressed their frustration with the lengthy process of clicking through several screens over and over again to get the desired amount of fish bait. Crafters would save a lot of time if there was an ability to craft multiple versions of the same item at one time.
7. Gyroid Collection Feature
Gyroids are furniture items that bear a strong resemblance to Haniwa, Japanese clay statues often created for ritual use and buried with the dead as funerary objects. In several Animal Crossing games, gyroids can be found buried in the ground after a rainy day. There are 39 different families of gyroids that can be collected by players. The gyroids can function as simple decorations or act as stereos that play popular songs from the island’s star musician, K.K. Slider.
Only one gyroid by the name of Lloid exists in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and he takes donations as players begin constructing projects such as inclines and bridges. Lloid plays a much larger part in the other Animal Crossing games and fans would like to see more gyroids like him added to New Horizons.
8. The Return of Fortune Cookies
Who doesn’t love a fortune cookie? Animal Crossing fans sure do! Fortune cookies were a big part of Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, but have been left out of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Upon purchasing and consuming a cookie, the player is given a fortune that can be traded in for rare furniture and clothing items. Fans have been longing to see this snack return to the game. The addition of fortune cookies would provide more motivation for players to earn and spend money and, in turn, spend more time playing the game.
9. Food and Cooking Abilities
Hundreds of new DIY recipes have been added to the game through updates and fans are speculating about the added cooking recipes. Players can grow numerous types of fruits, flowers and pumpkins, but data mining has revealed that game codes for tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, wheat and sugar already exist in the game and may be coming in a future update. These items may be used to craft new DIY recipes, but there is also the possibility that these ingredients could be used to craft dishes to gift to villagers or use as decoration.
Since there is already an animation for crafting furniture, it wouldn’t be difficult for game developers to substitute resources like wood or iron for the food ingredients that have been hiding inside the game already. These updates were expected to come last fall, near the holiday Harvestfest, but have not yet been confirmed by the developers.
10. The Return of the Beloved Character, Brewster
With every update that arrives for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, fans scan the patch notes for a lot of desired features, but, in reality, they are only looking for the name of a feathered friend: Brewster. Brewster is a pigeon who owns a café and sells coffee to villagers and visitors. He is the most popular exclusion from New Horizons. Fans have been dreaming about relaxing with their villagers in a coffee shop since the game was released last year. Not only would the addition of Brewster provide another possible friendship for characters in the game, but it would also provide new lines of dialogue, solving the issue of stale, repetitive conversations.
It’s important to recognize all of the hard work that the developers of the Animal Crossing series have put into these games. Their attempts to make the game as entertaining as possible have not gone unnoticed. Along with the financial success of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, developers have earned several awards and accolades for their efforts. As disappointing as it might be to have requests go unanswered, it’s clear that big changes are going to be made soon.
It takes time for the big changes fans desire to become reality and players will have to be patient and understanding as their favorite game improves over time.