Beginning the Game

How to begin a new game of Animal Crossing: New Horizons for Nintendo Switch.

Enter your Name and Birthday

During the opening cutscene, Timmy and Tommy ask you to give your name and birthday. You can't change your name later, so be sure to enter it carefully. After you enter it, you will be asked to confirm it or if you want to enter it again.

Then you are asked to enter your birthday. You can't change it later, so enter it carefully. After you enter it, you will be asked to confirm it or if you want to enter it again.

Take your Photo

Next, you need to take your photo, which will set your appearance. You can change your appearance later. The first step is to choose one of the two displayed styles. Next, you can choose skin tone, hairstyle and color, eye shape and color, nose and mouth style, and cheek style/color.

Choose your Hemisphere

Next, you can choose whether your island is in the Northern Hemisphere or the Southern Hemisphere. This will affect when the seasons occur on your island. You will be asked which real world continent/area you live in, and you'll be recommended a hemisphere to put your island in, to match the real world hemisphere you are in. You have the option of choosing a different one, if you prefer.

Choose Your Island

Next, you'll be shown four islands to choose from. Choose the one that you want!

Choose What You'd Bring

You will be asked what one thing you would want to bring with you to a deserted island: a sleeping bag, a lamp, some food, or something to kill time. Your answer doesn't affect the game, so choose whichever you want.

Watch Nook's Presentation

After you arrive on your island (where you will see a couple of your starting villagers), Timmy and Tommy ask you to go to the plaza to watch Nook's presentation. Walk with them to the plaza and talk to Tom Nook.

Get your Tent

Talk to Timmy or Tommy to get your tent. Then you will get a Map so you can see where you are on the island. When you have found a place where you want your tent to be, press X to open your inventory, then select the tent. You will be able to preview what it will look like (which will show if any trees/rocks will be removed) before you build it.

Help the Others Find a Spot

After you build your tent, go back to the plaza and talk to Tom Nook. He wants you to find the others and help them find a spot for their tents. You are free to build their tents wherever you want.

Gather Firewood

Tom Nook asks you to gather 10 tree branches for firewood. Press Y to gather a branch from the ground. When you have 10, go back to the plaza and talk to Tom Nook. Afterward, he asks you to gather 6 of the fruit that grows on your island. Press A next to a fruit tree to shake it, then press Y to gather the fruits.

Name Your Island

During the island-warming party, Tom Nook asks you to name your island. You can't change the name, so choose carefully. After you name your island, you are named Resident Representative of your island and are asked to say a word or two. Choose whichever option you want.

Go to Bed

You can explore the island if you wish. Then when you are ready, talk to Tom Nook. He gives you a camping cot, which you need to set up in your tent. Go into your tent, and open the boxes there to reveal a radio and a lantern. You can turn the lantern and radio on if you wish.

Select the camping cot from your inventory and put it in your tent. You can hold A and move the L stick to move and rotate it. Then when you are ready to lie down, walk toward it until you lie down. If you are ready to rest, choose Rest.

Get the Nook Phone and the Bill

After dreaming of some friendly advice from K.K. Slider, Tom Nook will wake you up. Leave your tent. Tom Nook gives you a NookPhone and asks if you have used one before, and can help teach you how to use it if not.

Next, he gives you the bill. You owe him 49,800 Bells. Nook can explain Bells to you if you choose. Since you don't have Bells, Nook allows you to pay with miles from the Nook Mileage Program. The cost is only 5000 miles. You can earn miles by doing various things in the game.

You are now free do to what you want! The game will automatically save periodically, but you can save and quit by pressing the - button.

For advice on what to do next, check out the Your First Day page.