This guide explains how to use the Island Designer app to do construction on your island in the game Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH) for the Nintendo Switch. Learn about the types of construction and how to get the permit to unlock this feature, and how to dig rivers, destroy cliffs, and more.
List of Contents
Both Terraforming and Landscaping are words used for changing the cliff, river and pond layout of your island.
Unlike previous games, you can re-shape most of your island as you wish in New Horizons. You could make it entirely flat, surround everything with rivers or even recreate landscapes from other games, the possibilities are endless!
To do all of this, however, you first need to get the Island Designer App from Tom Nook.
To unlock the Island Designer app, you will need to raise your Island Star Rating to 3 Stars. As this is essentially the last mission of the main story, you'll need to complete all the requirements up to this point in order for Island Designer to become available.
Expect to spend a lot of time exploring the game and completing tasks for Tom Nook before Island Designer comes available. To learn what all you'll need to do, check out our full story guide below.
Island Upgrades Walkthrough
After you've unlocked the Island Designer App, all the relevant permits will become available at Nook Stop. Only the basic Construction Permit is available initially. You can buy each of the permits in exchange for Miles.
|Permit||Usage||How to Get|
|Island Designer Construction Permit||Building roads and pathways||Unlock Island Designer|
|Waterscaping Permit||Creating and changing rivers, building bridges across||Purchase for 6000 Miles at Nook Stop|
|Cliff-Construction Permit||Creating and destroying cliffs||Purchase for 6000 Miles at Nook Stop|
Purchasing the Waterscaping Permit and the Cliff-Construction Permit will allow you to perform different kinds of construction across the island. As the Waterscaping Permit will allow you to build land bridges across rivers, it's recommended to buy this right away after unlocking the Island Designer app.
On the other hand, the Cliff-Construction Permit does not allow the creation of slopes, so obtaining it has a somewhat lower priority.
|Design and Cost|
Arched tile path permit
Brick path permit
Dark dirt path permit
Sand path permit
Stone path permit
Terra-cotta tile permit
Wooden path permit
Custom design path permit
Purchasing each of these path permits will allow you to build paths with the associated design.
You'll be able to freely create roads anywhere on the ground. In the untamed wilds of the deserted island, bring in a sense of order and civilization with clear roads paving out the environment and showing how to reach essential facilities and services.
To add a sense of variety to your town, you can use different kinds of roads for different purposes. Stone tile, brick, and even sand paths are available for your use, so you can make an island that best fits your style.
The game has even included the detail of allowing either hard-edged or rounded-edged paths. These can be used for any purpose, including rounding out the edges of a playground as shown in the Nintendo Direct video.
After you've received the Waterscaping Permit, you can use your shovel to create and change the shape of rivers. If a river is too wide, you can make it more narrow, or change it to any shape you can dream of to make your island easier to live on.
When you've received the Cliff-Construction Permit, you can change the cliffs on your island to any shape that you like. If there's a cliff that's often in your way, you can push it back a bit or eliminate it altogether to better suit your new society.
When you have a river facing a cliff, you can create a waterfall at the top of the cliff to allow the river to pass through. You can combine the uses of the Cliff-Construction App and the Waterscaping App to get the best possible results.
The Island Designer App allows you to create roads and reshape the rivers and cliffs surrounding you. Transform your island into a deserted wasteland ruled by nature's grip, to a curated paradise with every detail tuned to your unique taste.
|Beginner's Guide to Animal Crossing New Horizons||Unchangeable Features|
|Choosing a Hemisphere||Best Island Layouts|
|What Should You Choose to Bring to the Island?||Picking an Island Name|
|Best Tent Location||How to Cross the River and Water|
|How to Get Furniture and Materials for House Kits||How to Climb Cliffs|
|What Happens When You Eat Fruit?||How to Get Rid of a Bee Sting|
|What Happens When You Faint?||When Does a New Day Start?|
|How to Use the Camera||How to Use the Rescue Service|
|How to Add Best Friends||Wind and Weather|
|Tips and Tricks|
|Things to Do Every Day||All Island Shops and Facilities Upgrades|
|New Horizons 100% Checklist||Time Traveling Guide|
|How to Increase Inventory Space||How to Get Presents from Balloons|
|Max Villagers and How to Get New Villagers to Move In||How to Kick Out Villagers|
|How to Get Specific Villagers You Want||How to Raise Your Island's Star Rating|
|Infinite Tarantula Island||Art Guide | List of Artworks and Fakes|
|List of All K.K. Slider Songs||-|
|Money, Miles and Shopping|
|Nook Mileage Program Activities & Rewards List||Nook Miles+ Challenges and Rewards|
|Nook Stop Explained||Spending Nook Miles|
|How to Get Nook Miles Fast||How to Make Money Bags (Bell Bags)|
|How to Get Bells (Money) Fast||Money Rock and How to Hit the Rock 8 Times|
|How to Grow Money Trees from Glowing Spots||How to Get Bank Interest|
|Should You Use the Drop-Off Box?||How to Get the Royal Crown|
|House and Storage|
|How to Pay Off Your Loan and Upgrade Your Tent and House||How to Move Your House|
|How to Store Furniture and Other Items||Designing Your House - How to Use Storage and Decorating Mode|
|How to Raise Your Happy Home Academy (HHA) Rank||Feng Shui Color and Effect Guide|
|How to Get Rid of Cockroaches | Catching Cockroaches||How to Get Moving Wallpaper|
|How to Get Moving Flooring||List of Roof Colors|
|Reimagine Your Character|
|How To Make A Passport | Passport Title List||Changing Hair and Face|
|How to Get / Fix Bedhead||-|
|Reshape Your Island|
|How Close Can You Plant Trees?||How to Chop Wood and Pull Up Trees|
|How to Get Palm Trees on Your Island||How to Build a Bridge|
|How to Build Slopes, Stairs and Inclines||How to Break Rocks|
|How to Change the Island Tune||How to Use Island Designer|
|List of NookPhone Apps||Mystery Island Tour and Nook Miles Ticket Guide|
|How to Unlock Reactions||How to Send Letters and Postcards|
|Wish on a Shooting Star to Get Star Fragments||Lost Item Guide|
|Party Play | Playing on One Switch||Online Play|
|What Can You Do Online?||-|
|System Requirements||List of Controls|
|Maintenance | How to Fix an Error||How to Delete Save Data|
|How to Add or Delete Players||Can You Transfer Data From Pocket Camp?|
|amiibo Compatibility||NookLink Features|
|The Language Setting||How to Pre-Load|
Can I use this app on my brother’s town? I have my own switch and my own town. Can I travel to a different Island and alter their islands? With their permission of course.
are there any limits to this feature? like are there areas in the island that you can't edit?
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Anyone here in Southern Hemisphere open for visitors?
OH i could also use sum simple panels, reply n lmk what you'd like in return :)
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