How to get the vaulting pole in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons vaulting pole
(Image credit: Nintendo)

One of the new tools that you're going to want straight away is the Animal Crossing: New Horizons vaulting pole. 

When you first get to your island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you won't have access to the vaulting pole, which in turn means that you can't cross the rivers to explore your full island, which is kind of crazy. You'll have gone through the process of choosing your cute new island, thinking about where you'll pitch your tent / future home, and then actually arrived on the island to find out you can't actually get across any of the rivers. Suddenly your island got a whole lot smaller. 

In fact, you can't get the vaulting pole in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, along with other basic tools like a shovel straight away. It's a frustrating situation to be in for long-time Animal Crossing players, but don't fear. You won't have to wait too long. 

How to get the vaulting pole in Animal Crossing: New Horizons 

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Okay, so there are a few things you have to do to ensure you get the vaulting pole in Animal Crossing: New Horizons as quickly as possible.

1. Give five fish or bugs to Tom Nook 

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Once you've got into your first full day on the island, Tom Nook will ask you to go and see him at the Residents' Services tent, where he'll offer to run you through the DIY workshop. It's then that you'll get the recipes for a flimsy net and flimsy fishing rod. Once you've crafted them, he'll tell you that he'd "love to see anything you catch. I'm quite curious about the local fauna." Now, this isn't just a throwaway comment, so make sure to bring him five fish or bugs (can be a mixture of the two) as soon as you can. 

After you've done this, he'll get a call from a friend, who just happens to be Blathers, who has curated the Animal Crossing museums since the original games. Now he's looking to open a museum on your island. 

2. Find a spot for the Blathers' tent

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Nook will then give you a tent kit so you can find a spot for Blathers' temporary setup, whilst he explores your new locale. Get this done ASAP, and find a spot that you like for what will eventually become the museum proper.

3. Wait until the next day

Blathers won't arrive until the next calendar day, so you'll have to bide your time for now just fishing, catching bugs and discovering what's on offer on your new island.

4. Go speak to Blathers in his tent

(Image credit: Nintendo)

When the next day eventually rolls around, make sure to make a beeline for Blathers. He'll be in his tent, and it'll quickly emerge that he needs your help to gather enough exhibits to secure permission to open the museum. He needs more bugs, more fish and some fossils in order to get permission. But, it turns out the fossils he thinks exist on your island lie across the river. 

Thankfully, he recognises that anywhere over the river is currently a no-go zone, and quickly transfers recipes for the vaulting pole, and the flimsy Animal Crossing: New Horizons shovel, to your NookPhone. Hurrah!

All that's left to do then is go and craft your vault pole and shovel. You'll need five pieces of softwood in order to craft it, so go hit some trees with your flimsy axe if you haven't got enough.

Sam Loveridge
Global Editor-in-Chief, GamesRadar+

Sam Loveridge is the Global Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar, and joined the team in August 2017. Sam came to GamesRadar after working at TrustedReviews, Digital Spy, and Fandom, following the completion of an MA in Journalism. In her time, she's also had appearances on The Guardian, BBC, and more. Her experience has seen her cover console and PC games, along with gaming hardware, for a decade, and for GamesRadar, she's in charge of the site's overall direction, managing the team, and making sure it's the best it can be. Her gaming passions lie with weird simulation games, big open-world RPGs, and beautifully crafted indies. She plays across all platforms, and specializes in titles like Pokemon, Assassin's Creed, The Sims, and more. Basically, she loves all games that aren't sports or fighting titles! In her spare time, Sam likes to live like Stardew Valley by cooking and baking, growing vegetables, and enjoying life in the countryside.