How to Climb Cliffs and Build Stairs and Slopes | ACNH - Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)

ACNH - How to Climb Cliffs and Build Stairs and Slopes

This guide explains how to climb cliffs in the game Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH) for Switch. From the moment you land, the cliffs on your islands are just begging to be climbed. Learn how to get the Ladder to climb cliffs, as well as build Stairs and Slopes for a permanent solution!

How to Climb the Cliffs

1 Use the Ladder
2 Use Stairs and Slopes

Both of these methods are explained during the course of the game, but it takes a long time to become able to build Slopes and Stairs, so for the most part you will be using the Ladder.

How to Get the Ladder

Instructions to Get the Ladder

Tasked to build a Bridge
1 Build Nook's Cranny.
2 Build a Bridge.
3 Get asked to place 3 housing kits by Tom Nook.
4 To be able to place houses less crowded places, Nook will give you the DIY Recipe for the Ladder.
5 Craft the Ladder.

To learn how to reach the point in the game where you can build Nook's Cranny and build a Bridge, check our complete story guide below with detailed instructions on each task in order.

This method is for the first player on the island. For the next players, read the next section below.

Island Upgrades Walkthrough

Succeeding players need to buy the recipe

Since the next players on the island will not go through the same things (building Nook's Cranny and a bridge), the Ladder recipe will be available instead at Nook's Cranny.

How to Craft the Ladder

Ladder DIY Recipe

3 pieces of Softwood, Hardwood and Wood are needed to make the Ladder. If you don't have enough wood to make it, you can either craft or buy an Axe to get more.
How to Craft the Ladder

The Ladder is Also Useful for Mystery Island Tours

Even if you become able to build Slopes and Stairs, there will still be cliffs on islands you can go to on Mystery Island Tours. The Mystery Island Tour island cliffs might hold rocks or even fossils, so the Ladder is a must-bring item.

Mystery Island Tours and Nook Miles Ticket Guide

How to Use the Ladder

Go Up and Down Cliffs

To use the Ladder, you'll need to switch to the Ladder Tool after obtaining it, go up to a cliff, and press the A Button to either climb it or descend it.

The Ladder will never break, so you won't be left stranded on top of a cliff, but admittedly, having to switch to the Ladder every time to go up and down cliffs can be a hassle.

How to Build Stairs and Slopes

ACNH - Build a Slope

After upgrading Resident Services, you'll gain access to infrastructural changes to the island such as building Bridges, Stairs and Slopes.

How to Build Slopes, Stairs and Inclines

Are Stairs and Slopes Worth It?

Stairs and Slopes provide an easy way to climb cliffs without having to pull out the Ladder every time, making them a big time-saver.

As makeshift bridges can be made with the Island Designer tool, they're a better long-term investment than Bridges.

That said, each set of Stairs and Slopes is a sizeable investment of 98,000 Bells or more. If you want to make these kind of changes to your island, be sure to start saving up early.

Money Making Guide

Gather Donations from visitors


When making Stairs or Slopes, instead of paying all at once, you'll be able to pay little by little until the amount is reached.

After you decide the location for the construction, a Gyroid will be set in front of the planned location to accept donations. Once the full amount has been paid, the Stairs or Slopes will be constructed.

If you have other users living on the island, or players from other islands come to visit you, be sure to ask for donations. A donation can even be a great condition for an online trade!

Recipe and Fruit Trading Board

Related Guides


All Tips & Tricks

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