List of Controls | ACNH - Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)


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This guide lists down all the game controls in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH). Read on to see the basic and useful controls in the game.

Useful Gameplay Controls

Switch Between Tools Interact with Item in Pockets Rotate/Pan Camera
Use Reactions Chat With Other Players on the Island -

Switch Between Tools

Use Tool Ring.jpg

Control Action
Open up the Tool Ring (Unlockable)
← or → Switch between tools
Store tool

Use the and directional buttons to easily switch between tools in the order inside your pocket. You can also press to quickly store a tool.

Get the Tool Ring ASAP!

The Tool Ring, as the game says, is essential to the game, as it lets you register up to 8 tools for easy access!
What Should You Spend Nook Miles on First? - Tool Ring: It's Essential

Interact with Item in Pockets

Put in Storage.jpg

Control Action
X Open up pockets (Inventory)
A Use tool or item

Each item has different functions; you can store items, eat fruits, wear flowers, and more!

Check out what you can do with an item by pressing X to open up your inventory, and browsing through your pocket using the left analog stick. Lastly, press A to select the item and see what you can do with them!

Rotate/Pan Camera

Pan Camera to See Shooting Star.jpg

Control Action
Right Control Stick Pan Camera (Outdoors)
Rotate Camera (Indoors)

Outside, you can use the right control stick to pan the camera so you can play from a ground level, or from a bird's eye view. You can use this to see shooting stars at night!

Indoors, you can rotate the camera instead to get a 180° view of a room.

Use Reactions

Register Reaction.jpg

Control Action
ZR Use Reactions

Reactions are fun to use when talking to friends or when taking photos! Once you unlock the Reaction feature, you can press ZR to open up the Reaction and use the Reactions you have registered. You can also press the Y button to see all the Reactions you've learned for you to try!
How to Unlock Reactions

Chat With Other Players on the Island


Control Action
R Chat with other players on the island

Chat with your friends by pressing R and typing out your message to them! If you miss it, you can always view messages sent through the Chat Log app from your NookPhone!

How to Use Tools

Net.pngNet Fishing Rod.pngFishing Rod Shovels.pngShovel Axe.pngAxe
Slingshots.pngSlingshot Ladder.pngLadder Vaulting Pole.pngVaulting Pole Star Wand icon.pngWand

List of Tools

How to Use a Net

Bug catching.png

You can press A to while holding a net to catch a bug in front of you. However, most bugs disappear when startled, so you can also press and hold A to creep up slowly to a bug and release the button to swing your net.
List of Nets

How to Use a Fishing Rod

When you see a fish shadow in rivers or the sea, hold your fishing rod, and press A in front of the water to cast a line. Once the fish gets your bait, press A again to reel it in and catch a fish!
List of Fishing Rods

Throw Fish Bait

You can also craft Fish Baits using Manila Clams to spawn fish. Throw bait in front of the water to attract fish.

How to Use a Shovel

Dig up trees.jpeg
You can dig up buried items on the ground like fossils or mushrooms using a shovel. While holding a shovel, press A to dig up a hole.

You can also use a shovel to bury an item, or plant trees, bushes, and flowers, as well as hit or break rocks with it.
List of Shovels

How to Use an Axe

Chopping Trees.jpg
The axe is used to gather materials such as wood, softwood, and hardwood from trees. While holding an axe, press A to chop a tree in front of you. Be careful, though! When hitting a tree 3 times with an axe, you will chop down the tree!

Cannot chop trees Can chop trees
Flimsy Axe Axe
Stone Axe

List of Axes

How to Use a Slingshot

Balloon Present.jpg
You can use a slingshot to shoot down balloons and get presents! When you see a balloon floating by, take out your slingshot and press A to fire forward.
List of Slingshots

How to Use a Ladder

Use the Ladder.jpeg
While holding a ladder, press A in front of a cliff to go up or down. This is pretty useful if you haven't built any inclines yet.
How to Get the Ladder | Ladder Recipe

How to Use a Vaulting Pole

ACNH - Vaulting Pole.jpeg
A vaulting pole is extremely useful when crossing rivers that are not accessible by a bridge. To use it, simply hold the pole, and press A in front of the river to vault across.

How to Use a Wand

Use Wand.jpg
A new tool in New Horizons, you can use a wand to transform into outfits! Simply hold the wand and press A to view your registered outfits, and select one to transform into!
List of All Wands

Basic Controls

Joy-Con Controller Diagram by Nintendo Support.png
These are the basic controls for the entirety of the game in New Horizons.

These controls will differ depending on the mode. For example, there is a different set of controls when using the Camera, or Decorating Mode inside your home.

Control Action
A Interact with characters and objects
Use tool or item
Move furniture (Press and hold A)
B Cancel action
X Open up pockets (Inventory)
Y Pick up item
Left Control Stick Move (Walk/Run)
Right Control Stick Pan Camera (Outdoors)
Rotate Camera (Indoors)
ZL Use NookPhone
R Chat with other players on the island
ZR Use Reactions
Open up the Tool Ring (Unlockable)
← or → Switch between tools
Store tool
- Save and quit game
+ Switch between permits (When using the Island Designer app)
Capture Take a screenshot
Capture the last 30-second gameplay (Press and hold the Capture button)

Can Controls Be Changed?

Change Button Mapping.jpg
As of April 13, 2020, the Nintendo Switch V10.0.0 system update added the option to change your controller button mapping. You can see more of the update patch notes on Nintendo's official site.

How to Change Button Mapping

Button Mapping in Settings.jpg

  1. From the Home screen, open up System Settings.
  2. Go down to Controllers and Sensors, and select Change Button Mapping.
  3. Select the controller you wish to remap.

    This is only compatible with Joy-Con Controllers, Pro Controllers, and the Nintendo Switch Lite.

  4. Remap the buttons inputs you need and you can save it as a preset.

Related Articles


All Tips & Tricks

Beginner Guides
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
Gameplay Basics
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
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 Info
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


3 Anonymousabout 1 month

How to jump in animal crossing

2 Anonymousabout 2 months

>>1 Yeah. I want to move the trees around my island. I want my Garden to look good.

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    New Comment

    • >>[854]
      If you add me, send me dodo code so I can go to your island. You wont appear on friend list in game unless both players have played together.

    • >>[22711]
      Similar... about 15 in designated area, and 12 besides houses. Sold a lot orange cosmos and finally 1 black cosmo @_@ lol.

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