By The Washington Post · Elise Favis · BUSINESS, TECHNOLOGY, ENTERTAINMENT, SPORTS, VIDEO-GAMES
But some systems, like the ins and outs of the fluctuating Stalk Market for selling turnips and the occasionally resource-rich Mystery Island Tours, have hidden algorithms shrouded in mystery. Others, like your custom design creator, can be limited depending on your creative ambitions. Luckily, players from around the world have been data mining and building third-party tools to help you navigate these areas with ease.
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Custom designs portal
Once you've unlocked the Able Sisters tailor shop, you can use a kiosk in the back of the store that utilizes a code-based system to download and share custom-made designs. These designs can be used to style clothes, wallpapers, paths and more.
If you're looking for something specific, the online custom designs portal from NookNet can help. Navigating the portal is simple: Just type in keywords, and be as specific as possible. For example, instead of searching for 'Nightmare Before Christmas,' you may have more luck with 'Jack Skellington.' Applying filters can narrow down your search further, especially if you're only looking for a certain type of clothing or want to sort by popularity or relevancy.
In the code-based system, there are two types of codes: a creator's code, which brings up every custom item a single player has made, and an item code, which just surfaces one particular item. Talented players have also taken to Twitter and Reddit to share their codes, so keep an eye out for them there.
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Online pattern tool
Animal Crossing: New Horizons has a decent custom design toolset within your NookPhone, but it can be difficult to draw precisely when using joysticks (the touch screen, unfortunately, is not compatible, like it was on the Nintendo 3DS for New Leaf). If accuracy is important to you, this unofficial online pattern tool is the best way to go.
With its larger grid for drawing, and a feature that lets players transfer saved photos into the game, this tool is essential for artists. The latter is especially fun: You can load any image from your computer into the editor, then crop it and choose specific parameters like length and width, and finally, import it into your game. If you're converting photos, it's best to plop them in an image editor first to reduce their size to 300 by 300 pixels.
Importing these images from the editor to your game is easy: Download the official Nintendo Online App and set up NookLink. From there, you can use your real-life phone camera to capture the QR code of the pattern made in the editor to instantly bring it into the game.
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Happy Island Designer
If you're big into island design, this browser-based map designer can help you plan everything out. Happy Island Designer is a tool that was especially popular in the weeks before New Horizons released, so that players could arrange the layouts of their islands early. With this virtual island map, you can tweak the landscape, flora, infrastructure and so on and see the result from a top-down view.
Considering New Horizons gives players so much more control over island aesthetic, this can be a helpful way to envision the end result before committing to ambitious terraforming tasks or costly construction projects. Even if you have already made progress in New Horizons, you can import an image of your map to Happy Island Designer so it can be superimposed atop your map editor at low opacity. This is practical if you want the virtual map to be identical to what your island layout already looks like, which can make planning out additions easier.
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Tools to master the Stalk Market
Every Sunday morning, you can buy turnips from visitor Daisy Mae, and sell them later in the week at your island's retail shop Nook's Cranny. However, buying and selling turnips doesn't solidify your chances of turning a profit. Prices fluctuate every day, so how much you stand to earn is a gamble.
This is where Turnip Prophet comes in. This turnip price calculator, built by Twitter user Ninji and based on data-mined code, can help players navigate the Stalk Market more efficiently.
With Turnip Prophet, you input your daily prices from an entire week, and the tool can then correlate that info into a graph predicting whether your prices will spike or decrease throughout the next week. As this is an unofficial tool, it may not always be spot on, but from my own experience, the price ranges have been more accurate than not.
If you're more interested in taking advantage of turnip prices on other players' islands, Turnip Exchange may be for you. With this website, you can enter a bustling community of turnip entrepreneurs who are constantly buying and selling. You can join a queue to wait for your turn to visit a seller's island, or you can host your own. Wait times can be long, and some users on Reddit complain of the system being overrun by bots. If you face issues with the website, a secondary option is using the turnip traders system within the iOS app AC Exchange.
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Exchange items online
Turnips are far from the only item that's in high demand. Furniture, DIY crafting recipes, K.K. Slider albums and even villagers are being exchanged on the online retailer-like website Nookazon. Similar to Craigslist (not Amazon, surprisingly), Nookazon lets sellers and buyers choose their desired prices or what they want in exchange. Because of this, you should be wary of being ripped off. If you want to confirm what certain items regularly sell for in Nook's Cranny, you can use Nook Plaza, the unofficial catalogue of New Horizons's assortment of goods. Nook Plaza is continuously updated, but so far it includes over 5,000 listings.
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Create and discover island tunes
Within New Horizons, a fun tune creator is provided to write a theme song for your island. The website NookNet has imported that same mechanic to browsers, so that you can tinker with the tool on your computer when you're away from your Switch. Furthermore, you can easily share custom-made songs with the website community or find certain beats within their database, such as the Imperial March from Star Wars.
If you want even more options, a website named Animal Crossing Community shares custom-made island tunes within its large online library as well.
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Breakdown of Mystery Island Tours
Mystery Island Tours, which are far-off islands that you can visit with a purchased Nook Miles Ticket, have different resources and fruit depending on which you end up on. Since these trips are randomized, you never know what island you'll find or what's out there. This short guide provides a breakdown of each and every known island and how much chance is involved with that island spawning. It was put together by Ninji, the same data miner behind Turnip Prophet.