Choosing an island in Animal Crossing New Horizons is a daunting task. You’re picking the layout of the place you’re going to spend dozens, if not hundreds, of hours in, and you’re still not sure how the thing will work exactly. Picking a sub-optimal layout may result in lots of walking, which gets old after a while. If you’re worried about making the wrong choice, this guide will show you how to choose island in Animal Crossing New Horizons.
Best starting island layout
Once you’ve finished creating your character, the game will prompt you to pick one of four randomly assigned island layouts. While many of the island’s kinks can be ironed out using the Island Designer feature, some are set in stone. There’s only one thing you need to look at closely: Resident Service location. Make sure Resident Service is as close to the geographical center of the island as possible. This should be your first priority. This will probably be your most visited facility, so it’s good to have it as close to everything as possible. It’ll be marked on the layout by an icon of a gnawed leaf.
Bodies of water can be an issue, limiting your movements across the island, so try to avoid too many ponds. Rivers can be pole-vaulted across, so they’re not that much of an issue. Still, try to avoid overly-complex streams. The villagers and types of fruit you’ll get on the island are randomized, and you won’t know what they are until you set foot on the island. If you don’t like your lot, you can just restart with a new island and hope for a better outcome.
How to use Island Designer
Island Designer comes as an app on your character’s phone. It will allow you to change the tiles and colors of the ground, move around and reshape bodies of water, add or remove hills, build slopes and bridges, and more. Many of these actions require a specific permit, so they won’t be available right off the bat. Nintendo mentioned the app will unlock after you “have your island fully decked out”, which could mean a lot of things. One thing’s for certain – you won’t be getting it right away.