How to Choose the Best Island Layout | ACNH - Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)

Island Layouts Banner.png

This is a guide to rerolling your island (village) in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH), as well as a list of island shapes. If you are starting out Animal Crossing and want to know about things to look for when rolling for the best island, read on!

Island Layouts Banner.pngHow to Choose the Best Island Layout Suggesting island names.jpgWhat Will You Name Your Island?

Should You Reroll Your Island?

Are You Going to Reroll for the Best Island?

For the most part, there's no need to!

For the most part, you do not need to reroll in hopes of finding a “perfect” island. Unless you are extremely particular about having things be as efficient as possible, or there is a particular thing that you want in your island, you can just stick with your gut feeling when choosing.

On top of this, a lot of island elements which could not be altered in previous titles of the series can actually be changed mid-game in New Horizons, so there will probably be even less people who try to roll the best island for this game.

Things you can change after starting
  • Positions of facilities you created
  • Locations of slopes on cliffs
  • Positions of rivers (the river's path)

If you are worried about efficiency, go for it

If having the most efficient living area imagineable is a big deal to you, then maybe rerolling is for you. Things like the positions of Resident Services, locations of slopes, direction of rivers, and several other features can rerolled at the very start, so if it is a cause of concern to you, why not roll until you get an island you are happy with?

If you are picky about locations, you might consider it

We recommend rerolling to people who want their island to have a particular fruit, or people who really want to have a specific villager living on their island. If you are unable to make compromises when it comes to your island, you don't have to.

How to Choose the Best Islands

Element Recommendation Level (Importance)
Position of Resident Services ★★★★★
Location of Rocks ★★★★☆
Location of Airport ★★★★☆
Location of Cliff Slopes ★★★☆☆
Location of Rivers ★★☆☆☆
Number of Ponds ★★☆☆☆
Starting Fruit ★☆☆☆☆
Starting Villagers ★☆☆☆☆

The Best Island Has Resident Services at the Center

Clumps of Weed.png

When deciding on which island shape to go with, we highly recommend picking the one where Resident Services is located toward the center.

Resident Services is where you will go to repay loans, sell items, as well as build DIY items, and more. You will probably be going there a lot, so your overall experience will be better if you don't feel like it is far away every time you need to go.

You cannot change this facility's location, so you should put this at the front in your decision for picking an island.
What You Can Do at Resident Services and How to Upgrade

Check the Rocks' Locations


Checking to make sure the island's rocks are not positioned too close to a cliff or alongside a river is also important.

Hitting the rocks with a shovel or other tool is one of the easiest money-making methods, so you don't want to have the rock's surroundings be partially inaccessible. If the rocks do not have all of their surrounding spaces available, you will be able to make less money through this method, so it is something to look into in the beginning.

You Cannot Change the Airport's Location

Airport Welcome.png

Since you cannot change the airport's location after the beginning, this is another important factor in deciding the best island. If there is somewhere in particular you want it to be, be sure and check the initial map and pick an island with a location you like.

How to Unlock the Airport

Convenient Placements for Cliff Slopes


To get from the upper part of your village to the lower part (and vice versa), you will have to make use of slopes in the island's cliffs. Therefore, it is vital that the slopes are in an easy to access area. Eventually you will be able to use a ladder and even build new slopes, but in the beginning, you might want to choose an island that has slope placements that work well for you.
How to Build Slopes, Stairs and Inclines

Consider the Path that the River Flows


You should also check out the river's path when deciding on an island. Much like slopes, this can present an inconvenience to you in the very beginning of the game.

Once you have obtained a Vaulting Pole, you should be able to jump over the river in areas separated by just one space, so this is not a huge deal. On top of this, once you have unlocked Island Designer, you will become able to freely change the island's features, such as rivers, etc.

Island Designer and Terraforming Unlock Walkthrough

Check the Amount of Ponds


When deciding on your island, check the amount of ponds that are in it. There are a few types of fish and bugs that you can only get from ponds, so having more of them makes them all easier to obtain.

Note that you can add or remove ponds later in the game by using the Island Designer app.

Deciding by Fruit Types


You may also want to use your starting fruit as a determiner for choosing an island. You can make a lot of Bells by selling non-native fruit. Therefore, if you will be playing together with a friend a lot, you should both choose an island with different fruits.

How to Get All Fruits

Rerolling for Villagers


If there is a particular villager who you just have to have on your island, you can reroll to try and get them. However, with the huge roster of villagers in this game, it is pretty tough to reroll until getting the one you want. If you feel that it is just too tedious of a task, you can use an amiibo card to get the villager you want.

Check with the list of confirmed villagers

Bob Icon.pngList of Villagers Special Characters New Character Icon.pngNew Villagers and Characters

List of Islands and Island Layouts

Best Island Layouts to Choose

An Island which is easy to live on from the start

Ranking No. 1 Ranking No. 2 Ranking No. 3
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These images can be enlarged by clicking on them.

These recommendations prioritize having Resident Services in the center of the map, with a lake available for fishing from the first day of play. This is because the river can't be crossed until the second day of play, so without an island of this layout, if you want to fish in a lake, you'll have to wait until the second day.

Live on a Cute Island!

Islands with heart and star-shaped lakes

Star shape Heart shape #1 Heart shape #2 Heart shape #3
astar1.jpgEnlarge heart1.jpgEnlarge heart2.jpgEnlarge heart3.jpgEnlarge
Ribbon shape Dogbone shape #1 Dogbone shape #2
ribbon1.jpgEnlarge bone1.jpgEnlarge bone2.jpgEnlarge -

These images can be enlarged by clicking on them.

The lake found on the island has a randomized pattern, allowing for islands with a lake in the shape of a heart, islands with a ribbon pattern, and more. When choosing your island, it's up to you if you want to try resetting to find a lake with one of these cute patterns.

List of Other Island Patterns

Islands with Resident Services on the left

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show34.jpg show36.jpg show40.jpg
show50.jpg show53.jpg show56.jpg
show75.jpg show76.jpg show79.jpg
show85.jpg show70.jpg show57.jpg
show68.jpg - -

Islands with Resident Services on the right

show32.jpg show35.jpg show38.jpg
show39.jpg show41.jpg show43.jpg
show44.jpg show51.jpg show54.jpg
show58.jpg show59.jpg show69.jpg
show21.jpg show23.jpg show25.jpg
show27.jpg show29.jpg show31.jpg
show74.jpg show77.jpg show72.jpg

Islands with Resident Services in the middle

show42.jpg show45.jpg show46.jpg
show47.jpg show49.jpg show52.jpg
show55.jpg show71.jpg show78.jpg
show80.jpg show81.jpg show83.jpg
show84.jpg show73.jpg show26.jpg
show30.jpg - -

If you find any Island which is not shown in the above list, be sure to make a comment on this page with a picture of the island you found!
See the Comments

You Can Only Have 1 Island Per Switch


Only one island can exist per Nintendo Switch system. Therefore, if you are going to be playing together with your family or friends on the same Switch, you may want to discuss which island to choose together.

How to Delete Save Data and Start Over

You Cannot Change the Island Name After

Suggesting island names.jpg

You get to pick the island's name whenever you decide on the shape. Like villages in past games, you probably won't get a chance to change it later on, so be sure and pick something you like!

See All Unchangeable Features

Related Guides


All Tips & Tricks

Beginner Guides
BeginnerBeginner's Guide to Animal Crossing New Horizons Unchangeable FeaturesUnchangeable Features
Which Hemisphere Should You Choose.pngChoosing a Hemisphere Choosing the Best IslandBest Island Layouts
What Should You Choose to Bring to the Island - Partial.pngWhat Should You Choose to Bring to the Island? Picking an IslandPicking an Island Name
Choosing the Best Tent LocationBest Tent Location How to Cross the River and Water Banner.pngHow to Cross Rivers and Waters
How to Get Furniture and Materails For House Kits.pngHow to Get Furniture and Materials for House Kits How to Climb Cliffs.pngHow to Climb Cliffs


48 Anonymous23 days

>>42 ... I think they mean by the rocks that is surrounding your beaches.

47 Anonymous26 days

didn't see this


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    • Hi everyone!!
      Any gates opening now?
      I would like to visit your island & do let me know if you need any fruits :)

    • Hi ! If someone has a ironwood table recipe, I’m willing to pay bells for it!

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