Island Designer Unlock Walkthrough: How to Unlock Terraforming | ACNH - Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)

Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH) - Island Designer Unlock Walkthrough

To unlock Terraforming, you'll need the Island Designer app in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH). The Island Designer app allows the player to terraform the island as they wish. Check out our guide to see what upgrades you can get and how to use them!

Unlocking Island Designer App (Terraforming)

Days 1-6 (Click to Enlarge)

Days 7-12 (Click to Enlarge)

Completing the First Day

ACNH - Tom Nook gives the resident a NookPhone
This guide will cover the steps you should take after getting your Nook Phone on the first day. Each section will list the required steps, leading up to unlocking the Island Designer.

Beginner's Guide to Animal Crossing New Horizons

Island Upgrades Walkthrough

Click to Jump Ahead!
1  Build the Museum
2  Pay back the first loan (5,000 Miles)
3  Build Nook's Cranny
4  Upgrade Resident Services
5  Make the Campsite
6  Raise the Island's Star Rating
7  K.K. Slider's Show and Unlocking Island Designer

How to Use the Island Designer App

Build the Museum (1st Day)

ACNH - A completed expanded Museum

Tom Nook will ask for five creature donations. Fulfill his request with the newly acquired Flimsy Fishing Rod DIY Recipe and Flimsy Net DIY Recipe to unlock the Museum ASAP.

Expanding the museum requires 15 more donations. Fulfill this to get the expanded Museum two days after.

How to Unlock the Museum

Pay Off 5,000 Miles (1st Day)

ACNH - Tom Nook informs the player of their debt

In return for setting you up on the island, Tom Nook asks for 5,000 Miles as payment. Picking weeds, fishing, and catching bugs will help set you on the right path.

Ask Tom Nook to upgrade your house right away after paying off this loan. This will give you access to Nook Miles exclusive items!

Read the guide below for more efficient methods to gain Miles!

How to Get Nook Miles Fast

Build Nook's Cranny (2nd Day)

ACNH -  A screenshot of Nintendo Direct showinf off Nook

In order to unlock Nook's Cranny, you first need to gather up 30 of Wood, Hardwood, Softwood, and Iron Nugget.

Craft a shovel

ACNH - A resident digs two holes behind them to get the most material when hitting rocks

Digging two holes behind you is a way to prevent knockback when hitting the rocks. This will allow you to get all 8 materials from rocks.

We highly recommend first picking up a shovel, allowing you to dig the holes before mining precious materials.

How to Get the Flimsy Shovel | Flimsy Shovel Recipe

Decide on a Location

ACNH - How to Unlock Terraforming - A resident places a marker for where Nook

It's time to choose the shop's location! Anywhere is fine, but since you'll be going there a lot, try and pick a convenient spot! Talk to Timmy again after to complete the preparations.

To see more details on how to build Nook's Cranny, see the article below.

How to Unlock Nook's Cranny and Upgrade It

Upgrade Resident Services (~8th Day)

Build a Bridge

ACNH - A resident thinks about placing a bridge construction marker

Talk to Tom Nook after the shop has been built to get the Bridge Construction Kit. After you get the DIY recipe, you need to gather these materials:

Find a place to build the Bridge. After deciding, use the kit from your inventory to place it.

How to Build a Bridge

Make Furniture for the Housing Kits

ACNH - A resident reads the sign for needed material for a housing kit

Afterward, get 3 Housing Kits and the DIY recipes needed to make their Interior and Exterior Furniture.

Check which items you need by reading the sign in front of the housing marker, which you can do by pressing A.

How to Get Furniture and Materials for House Kits

New Villagers Will Come to the Island

ACNH - Tom Nook announces the arrival of a new resident

In the days following the setup of the Housing Kits, new Villagers will come to the island each day. By the fourth day, construction of the new Resident Services will begin. On the fifth day, it will be open for business.

You have to wait for the completion of this process to continue with upgrading the island. Try paying off your house loans and upgrading your house.

It's also possible to skip this process by changing the in-game Date and Time.

How to Change the Date and Time

Resident Services Will Be Upgraded

ACNH - Tom Nook announces the upgrade of Resident Services

Yyou'll be unable to enter Resident Services while it's under construction, but it'll be open for business the day after that!

See our guide below for what services become available after you uprade the Resident Services.

What Can You Do At Resident Services?

Make the Campsite (~9th Day)

ACNH - A resident stands in front of the campsite

How to Build the Campsite

Raise the island's star rating in order to bring in K.K. Slider, a famous musician, for a live performance. First, however, you'll need to gather the required materials to build a campsite.

How to Unlock K.K. Slider and Request Songs

Materials needed to build the campsite

Required Materials/Amount
Wood IconWood (15) Softwood IconSoftwood (15) Hardwood IconHardwood (15) Iron Nugget IconIron Nugget (15)

Invite Visitors to Stay!

ACNH - A resident invites Eugene to move to the island
A day after building the Campsite, a visitor will come by to check it out. Talk to them and invite them to live on the island, then speak with Tom Nook about building their house.

The following day, that visitor will come to live on your island, so at least a day will need to pass before moving onto the next step.

How to Make the Campsite and How to Use an amiibo

Raise the Island's Star Rating (~11th Day)

How to Raise the Island's Star Rating

ACNH - A resident stands in between Able Sisters and Nook

Raise the island's star rating even further by reaching 8 villagers, increading the number of facilities, cleaning up weeds and garbage, improving the scenery and more! For more information, click on our guide below!

How to Raise Your Island's Star Rating

K.K. Slider's Show and Unlocking Island Designer

ACNH - K.K. Slider hosts a show

Raise the reputation of the island to host K.K. Slider's show. He'll send you a message and will do a live performance sometime after the next day. After hosting the first show, K.K. Slider shows will be held every Saturday.

Where to find KK Slider and Request Songs

Unlock Terraforming After the Credits

ACNH - How to Unlock the Island Designer App - Tom Nook gives the resident the Island Designer application
While listening to K.K. Slider's performance, the credits will roll. After the credits end, you will be able to get the Island Designer app, allowing you to make big changes to the island's landscape.

Terraforming Guide | How to Use the Island Designer App

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