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How to unlock and upgrade the shop in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

(Image credit: Nintendo)

There's nothing quite like rifling through the offerings available at the Animal Crossing: New Horizon shop. A corner of the Resident Services tent is fine to begin with, but there's nothing quite like the Animal Crossing: New Horizons shop. We all actually want to help Timmy and Tommy Nook, the nephews of Tom Nook, realise their dream of opening a proper shop though, don't we? Well Nook's Cranny is the official Animal Crossing: New Horizons shop, and the Nook nephews will need your help to make it a reality. 

How to build the Animal Crossing: New Horizons shop - aka Nook's Cranny

(Image credit: Nintendo)

After a few days on the island - three for my playthrough - Tommy and Timmy Nook will ask for your help with a special project. They want to build their shop, and move out of their uncle's tent corner. But, in order for them to do that, you'll have to help them out by gathering some resources from around the island. They're only small, remember?

Well, they need quite a substantial amount of crafting materials though, so prepare yourself to do some real gathering. They need the following resources:

  • 30 wood
  • 30 softwood
  • 30 hardwood
  • 30 iron nuggets

Wood, softwood and hardwood can all be gathered by hitting trees with a flimsy axe or stone axe. You'll get three pieces of assorted wood from each tree once per day, and with your island starting out with dense foliage, it's quite easy to stock up on the various wood types. 

Iron nuggets though are a little scarcer, particularly when you're starting out. In order to find Animal Crossing: New Horizons iron nuggets, you'll need to start hitting the small grey rocks on your island with a flimsy shovel, shovel, flimsy axe or stone axe - not the larger, greyer rocks that just account for part of the island scenery. Doing this will earn you stone, clay, iron nuggets, money, or even gold nuggets, and you can get at least three of the above per day from each rock. 

However, to get 30 - particularly if you want to complete this step as quickly as possible - you'll want to buy Nook Miles Tickets from the Nook Stop terminal in Resident Services (available once you've paid off your initial moving fees for relocating to the island). These tickets let you travel to alternate islands temporarily, and these randomly generate locales are a boon for gathering resources. Handily, these islands will always offer at least two rocks for you to smash in your quest to find more iron nuggets. On a good haul, I was getting at least six iron nuggets per Nook Miles Ticket island hop. 

Once you've supplied Timmy and Tommy with the requested resources though, it's really easy. All you have to do is pick a sport where you want the shop to eventually sit, and then wait until the next calendar day for the Animal Crossing: New Horizons shop to officially open. 

Upgrading the shop from a corner of the Resident Services will unlock more goods to buy, a showroom for furniture and other items to be displayed and more. It's definitely worth doing. 

How to upgrade the Animal Crossing: New Horizons shop

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Once you've started spending some serious time on the island, there is a way to upgrade the Animal Crossing: New Horizons shop. There's another, bigger, version of Nook's Cranny to unlock, which gets you an increased range of furniture - and more expensive items - and tools with funky cosmetic designs. Although these latter items are adorable, they don't last any longer than your good tools. 

All you need to do to upgrade it is to continue to spend money in-store. It's not linked to days spent in the game, by the looks of things as users are reporting the store upgrade unlocking at different points. It's not possible to know how much you have to spend, but try to buy something each day if you can to push things through.

It's unclear as yet whether there's a department store upgrade to the shop to upgrade down the line, but we'll update you if we discover any more.

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