How to Raise Your Island Star Rating (3 Stars & 5 Stars) | ACNH - Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)

ACNH - Paths in Front of Nook

This guide shows how to increase the Star Rating of your island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH) for the Nintendo Switch. Learn how to increase your number of villagers, improve the scenery to increase your Star Rating, with individual guides for 3-Star and 5-Star Ratings, and what to do when Isabelle says there are "too many items lying around."

How to Raise Your Island's Star Rating

Methods to Increase the Island Ranking and Priority

Method ★3 ★5 Priority
Place Furniture outdoors 40 250 ★★★★★
Upgrade the Facilities Stage 1 Stage 2 ★★★★★
Build Bridges and Slopes or Stairs 2 4 ★★★★☆
Add more villagers 8 10 ★★★★☆
Plant more trees 100 110 ★★★★☆
Plant more flowers 200 300 ★★★★☆
Add fencing 50 100 ★★★☆☆
Pluck weeds and pick up garbage 0 0 ★☆☆☆☆

Based on our intrepid crew's daring investigations, we've found that 3-Star and 5-Star Rankings were possible with each of the given numbers of improvements listed in the table above.

We'd love to hear your feedback of how you managed to raise your Island to a 3-Star or 5-Star Ranking. Did you upgrade Nook's Cranny or not? Did you have the maximum number of Villagers? Did you just cover your whole island in Fences?? We would love to know in the comments below!!

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How to Host K.K. Slider's Event

After you've raised the Island Star Rating to 3 Stars, the K.K. Slider performance event will occur. You can find out how to progress the story up to this point at our complete guide to developing your island.
Island Upgrades Walkthrough

Ask Isabelle What to Improve

ACNH - Isabelle Island Rating.png
You can ask Isabelle at any time what the island's current Star Rating is, and how the Star Rating can be improved. The best way to improve the island efficiently is to first ask Isabelle what to do, then follow her instructions. You can continue this loop until the island's appearance has been improved enough to receive a 3-Star Rating.

What to do when there are "too many items lying around"

ANCH - What to do when there are too many items lying around.png
When you choose to drop items outside, instead of choosing to place items, the dropped items will be considered as clutter and you will get a comment from Isabelle saying that there are "too many items lying around."

Trash items header.png
Items that can only be "dropped" and that don't have the "place" option include DIY recipes, turnips, and trash items. Think carefully before choosing to temporarily "store" these items outside, as they will lower your island rating. After dropping trash to attract flies and catching a fly, use it to create trash-themed DIY items or throw the trash away in a trash can or waste bin.

What Can You Do With Trash? | Trash (Garbage) DIY Recipes

1. Place Furniture Outdoors

ACNH - Place Furniture Outside.png

Gather Furniture Gradually Every Day

As there's a limited amount of Furniture that you can obtain every day, you'll need to collect Furniture over time to reach the coveted 5-Star Rating.

Using the Nook Stop in Resident Services to purchase Furniture with Bells and Miles will allow you to achieve the required numbers much faster.

Place Furniture with Balance in Mind

When asking Isabelle how to improve the Island, she suggests covering the entire island in Furniture.

Although we've confirmed that it's possible to reach a 5-Star Rating while placing Furniture in a single location, without spreading it around the island, it's better to follow Isabelle's advice to maximize your possibility of a high rating.

DIY Furniture has High Value

When you place Furniture crafted with a DIY Workbench, you'll get a higher ranking for both your scenery and natural beauty scores.

List of DIY Recipes | How to Get DIY Crafting Recipes

Best DIY Furniture to Craft

DIY Item Required Materials
Wooden-Block Toy IconWooden-Block Toy
Softwood IconSoftwood (×3)
Stone Stool IconStone Stool
Stone IconStone (×3)
Hay Bed IconHay Bed
Clump of Weeds IconClump of Weeds (×20)
Wooden Mini Table IconWooden Mini Table
Wood IconWood (×6)
Log Bench IconLog Bench
Hardwood IconHardwood (×5)
Iron Garden Table IconIron Garden Table
Iron Nugget IconIron Nugget (×5)

2. Upgrade the Facilities

ACNH - Nook
In order to raise the ranking of the island, it's absolutely necessary to have all of the Facilities built. Be sure that you haven't missed out on building the Museum and Able Sisters Tailor Shop up to this point.

Although it's potentially skippable for a 3-Star Rating, you'll also need to be sure to upgrade Resident Services and Nook's Cranny to their second stage in order to reach the maximum 5-Star Rating.

How to Build and Upgrade Facilities
Resident Services Nook's Cranny
Museum Able Sisters

3. Add Bridges and Slopes

ACNH - Mix and Match Paths.png

By building bridges or slopes and stairs, you can further develop your island. You can request Tom Nook to make these structures at Resident Services, but keep in mind that they come at a high price. When focusing on these improvements, be sure to save up money while you complete other activities.

How to Get Bells (Money) Fast

4. Add More Villagers

ACNH - Villager Conversation (Merengue and Eugene).png

Be sure to add more houses to allow more Villagers to come to your Island. Including yourself, there should already be six Villagers on the island at this point, so there won't be so much work to do in adding the final few.

To add additional Villagers after the first three added, you'll need to talk to Tom Nook and select Let's talk about infrastructure. -> Sell land. This will allow you to purchase a new Housing Kit to set up anywhere on the island for 10,000 Bells. Fronting this cash might seem like a hassle, but as you'll receive 1,000 Miles as a reward when a new Villager moves in, it's well worth it. Note that unlike the first 3 Housing Kits, you won't need to gather Furniture for any future Housing Kits.

Recruit Villagers on a Mystery Island Tour

Invite to Island.jpg

After you've placed a new plot of land, a new Villager will move in automatically if you wait a few days; to speed the process up, you can go on a Mystery Island Tour to recruit a new Villager to come to your island directly. When you've recruited a Villager from another island, they'll move in on the new day.
How to Go on a Mystery Island Tour

Recruit Villagers with the Campsite

ACNH - Mystery Tour - Invite to Island.png

After you've upgraded Resident Services, Tom Nook will give you a Campsite Kit to place a Campsite somewhere on the island. After you've placed the Campsite, potential VIllagers will sometimes come to your Island. If you go to the Campsite and talk to them twice, they'll agree to come stay, as long as you haven't reached the maximum number of Villagers already.

How to Make the Campsite

5. Plant More Trees

ACNH - Harwood Tree (Pockets).png

Use Fruit Trees for Efficiency

Use the Shovel to plant Fruits in the ground to grow new Fruit Trees. This will allow you to grow all the necessary Trees without having to spend a single Bell.

Using this method will require you to wait 3 days for the trees to finish growing, so if you're in a rush to increase your Rating, consider bringing a Tree from another island.

How to Get All Fruits

Pick up a Tree With Your Shovel

After eating a Fruit, you'll gain a point of Stamina, which will allow you to pull up a fully-grown Tree and place it in your Inventory. If you've got Nook Miles to spend, you can go on a Mystery Island Tour and take trees there home with you. This will allow you to reach the required number of trees without needing to wait for new ones to grow.

How to Chop Wood and Pull Up Trees

6. Plant More Flowers

ACNH - Heart-Shaped Pond.png

Buy Flower Seeds

There's no limit to how many Flowers you can buy in a day at Nook's Cranny, so as long as you've got Bells, you can finish this requirement in a single swoop. Like Trees, flowers take 3 days to blossom, so be sure you've planted the required number from the first day.

You can also purchase flower seeds of different types from Leif!
How to Unlock Leif's Garden Shop

Pull Up Flowers on a Mystery Island Tour

Similarly to Trees, Flowers can be imported to your Island directly from a Mystery Island Tour. If you've got the Miles to spend, you can fill up your Inventory with Flowers and take them home to avoid having to wait 3 days for new ones to blossom.

7. Place Fencing

ACNH - Place Fencing.png

Start off by placing the 50 pieces of Simple wooden fencing you get for free from Tom Nook around your island. These 50 pieces will be enough to reach the 3-Star Rating needed to unlock Island Designer.

Corral Fence is the Best

When aiming for a 5-Star Rating, although there's a variety of types of Fencing available, the most efficient choice is the Corral Fence available for 1,000 Nook Miles from Nook Stop in Resident Services. At a crafting cost of only 6 Wood for 10 pieces of fencing, it will allow you to build the most fences for the lowest cost.

8. Pluck Weeds and Pick Up Garbage

ACNH - Pluck Weeds and Pick Up Garbage.png

If you're fond of Time Travel (changing the date), you may find Weeds growing around the island after skipping far into the future. Also, dropping items on the ground and leave them for later will negative affect your Star Rating.

Although these points are less significant than the others, you'll want to go ahead and give your Island a thorough cleaning after you've finished all the other requirements for increasing your rating.

Rewards for Increasing your Island Rating

3-Star Rating: Island Designer

ACNH - Island Designer Menu.png

A 3-Star Rating for your Island will unlock the Island Designer app, which allows you to build paths around your Island; you can also upgrade it to gain the ability to fill in and create rivers, and to create and destroy cliffs.

You'll also enjoy a concert from K.K. Slider, who will return to your island to perform every Saturday from then on.

How to Use the Island Designer App

5-Star Rating: Golden Watering Can

ACNH - 5-Star Rating: Golden Watering Can.png

Once you've reached a 5-Star Rating for your Island, Isabelle will give you the DIY Recipe for the Golden Watering Can as a reward.

The Golden Watering Can has improvements over the original, like the ability to water 9 flowers at once, and to grow Golden Roses, so it's definitely worth your while to aim for a 5-Star Rating.

How to Get the Golden Watering Can

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