Cliff Ideas | How to Make Good Looking Cliffs | ACNH - Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)

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This is a guide on how to make good looking cliffs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Read on for a step-by-step guide to creating cliffs, as well as some ideas you can try for your island.

Designing Your Cliffs

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Cliffs make great background elements for photo shoots and make your island look more natural, especially when decorated with trees and flowers.

Unlike in previous games, you can now customize the look of your cliffs and shape it through terraforming. This allows you to create better looking cliffs that match your island's theme.

Cliffs Work Well with Waterfalls and Rivers

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Cliffs look best when they're paired with waterfalls and rivers. Not only do they create great background items for your photo shoots, they also serve as natural landscapes that your villagers can interact with as they go about their day.

How to Make Natural Rivers

How to Make a Good Looking Cliff

ACNH - Cliff Part 1.jpg

Create a 4 x 6 cliff on the first level of your island.
Create a 3 x 4 cliff on top of it that will serve as the cliff's second level.
ACNH - Cliff Part 2.jpg

The parts of the cliff marked with a O on the first level will be reshaped using the river construction tool to create a waterfall.
The parts of the cliff marked with a O on the second level will be reshaped to create an uneven but more natural-looking river that will flow into the waterfalls.
ACNH - Cliff Part 3.jpg

With the river and waterfall comple, cut off the O parts of the upper cliff to round out its shape.
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The cliff looks best when connected with a natural flowing river on the first level, with the waterfall flowing directly into the river.
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Decorate the surroundings by planting flowers, adding custom designs, and placing furniture to complete your cliff!

How to Round Cliff Corners

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A 3 x 3 Cliff With Rounded Corners
You can round the corners of cliffs that are at least 3 x 3 in size by cutting their pointed sides
These rounded courners are 0.5 in size, so you can't decorate it with any designs, flowers, or furniture.
ACNH - Round Cliff 2.jpg

A 2 x 3 Cliff with Rounded Corners
You can also round the edges of cliffs that are 2 x 3 in size, although you can only round out one side of the cliff.
Attempting to trim another side of the edge with existing rounded edges destroys that side of the cliff.
ACNH - Round Cliff 3.jpg

A 2 x 2 Cliff with Rounded Corners
You can also round the opposite edges of cliffs that are 2 x 2 in size, which results in a leaf-shaped cliff.

Cliff Ideas and References

You're not limited to just one cliff design though! Below are some references from Mora's Hoshino Island*.

*Images posted with the consent of the author.

Cliff Reference 1

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This cliff design has a wooden bridge on the foreground and is meticulously decorated with wooden decorations that unify both's colors and aesthetics.

Cliff Reference 2

ACNH - Cliff Reference 2.jpg

This cliff is designed overlooking a small valley and lake, creating a sense of depth. Mora decided to decorate the space with Hyacinth Lamps and assorted Butterfly Models to establish a natural and lived-in atmosphere.

Cliff Reference 3

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Mora uses rounded cliffs decorated with different-sized trees and Mushroom Lamps that results in a simple but ultimately cute look for their island entrance.

Cliff Reference 4

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This design uses cliffs to separate the path, creating a winding road to different parts of the island. Mora decorates the cliffs with different-sized hardwood and pine trees, as wells as hedges and budges to create the look of an overgrown forest.

Check Out Mora's Island

Mora recently shared their dream address, showcasing their beautifully decorated landscapes where expertly designed and decorated cliffs accentuate the fanciful and natural look of the island.

How to Make Cliffs

Create using the Cliff Construction Permit

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You can start creating cliffs once you buy the Cliff Construction Permit for the Island Designer App. This permit costs 6,000 Nook Miles.

How to Unlock the Island Designer Permits

The permits for the Island Designer are unlocked after raising your Island's Star Rating to 3 Stars and after inviting K.K. Slider to your island for the first time.
Island Designer and Terraforming Unlock Walkthrough

Cliff Construction and Limitations

Create Cliffs Up to the Third Level You can create cliffs 3 levels high, with the succeeding cliffs made one square inside.
You Can't Climb the Third Level Cliff Although you can create a third level cliff, you can't actually climb it with the game warning you that "It's too dangerous to climb any higher!".
You Can't Place Anything on the Thid Level Since you can't climb the third level cliff, you also can't decorate it with furniture, trees, or bushes.

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