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Animal Crossing: New Horizons - 10 things you (probably) didn't know you could do on your island

Animal Crossing: New Horizons
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Animal Crossing: New Horizons continues to surprise players all the time. The arrival of Animal Crossing: New Horizons update 2.0 has only added to the sense of discovery, with plenty of exciting new additions that have been delighting players everywhere. After all, one of the best things about Tom Nook's getaway package is the freedom to explore and develop your very own virtual island. While Nook initially gives some guidance, it's left up to you uncover all the sandy shore have to offer you. 

Since Animal Crossing: New Horizons leaves you to your own devices, island residents continue to make new discoveries all the time. And whether you're a new comer or a long-time island-dweller, here are some magical things you can do in Animal Crossing: New Horizons that you (probably) didn't know about. 

Trying to build a perfect Snowboy? Let a Dung Beetle do it  

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

(Image credit: Nintendo)

As you may already know if you've been diving into the wintry fun on your islands, building an Animal Crossing: New Horizons perfect Snowboy takes a bit of practice. Rolling snowballs to just the right size so the body can support the weight of a complementary snowy head rewards you with some ice-themed goodies, so it's worth the effort to try and perfect your craft. 

The introduction of snowballs also invites Dung Beetle guests to your island, and, as it turns out, these six-legged insects happen to be expert Snowboy builders. As a player recently discovered, the Dung Beetles can help you create a perfect Snowboy by rolling up snowballs to just the right size. Yes, that's right. Sometimes it really does pay to let the Dung Beetle do its thing. It's worth noting that I have witnessed the beetles rolling the snowballs straight into the water, so that's something to watch out for. 

Pull off some aquatic moves 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

(Image credit: Nintendo)

The Animal Crossing: New Horizons Festivale event introduced some new toe tapping reactions, including an adorable dance move reaction called Feeling it. Naturally, you dance to the beat of the stereo at home, or jig with your villagers on land. But did you know you can also dance in water? Well, as one player recently discovered, you can. Thanks to the summer update that brought diving and swimming into our repertoires, you can take a dip in the ocean, and now you can even dance in the water, too. In fact, you can use every reaction except Sit Down in the water. Just imagine the possibilities… I think it's time to invite over a pal and pull off my very own synchronized swimming performance. 

You can put recipes in your storage (at long last) 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

(Image credit: Nintendo)

The latest update brought with it a veritable banquet of new items and features for us to tuck into. But there was one surprising new addition that had players truly rejoicing. We can now finally store Animal Crossing: New Horizons DIY recipes in our home storage. Yes, at long last we will no longer have to pop any duplicate recipes we want to keep for our pals on the ground. As many of you will no doubt know, recipes can take a long time to get your hands on, and since they don't sell for all that many Bells, it can be worthwhile to hold onto recipes you already have on the off-chance your buddy is in need of it. It's just as well the update also gave us options to expand our home storage (hurrah). 

You can see unique dialogue in dreams  

Animal Crossing Dream Orville

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Venturing into the land of nod in Animal Crossing: New Horizons lets you take a tour of other people's islands through the power of dreaming. It's a great way to see just how creative the community is and find out what's possible when it comes to island designs and layouts. In the dreamy state, you can still interact with the NPCs who take up residence there. Instead of hopping on a flight, you travel to these dream islands by falling asleep with the help of Luna. But, as it turns out, it's still worth paying Orville a visit at the airport in these dreams. If you do, as one player discovered, the loveable Dodo will offer some special dialogue

You can craft alongside a villager  

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

(Image credit: Nintendo)

It's dangerous to craft alone… okay, well maybe it's not, but it's certainly more fun to craft alongside one of your adorable villagers. Recently, a player found out that you can actually use the same DIY table that a villager is using at the same time. So, when you visit your villagers' homes and they happen to be whipping something up at a crafting table, you can make something right alongside them. It really is too cute to handle. 

You can grow lots of Bells on lucky horoscope days 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

(Image credit: Nintendo)

On rare occasions when you start up the game, there's a chance that Isabelle will tell you she's read her horoscope and it just so happens to promise good luck. When this happens, players have discovered that you can make some serious bank. You can grow an Animal Crossing: New Horizons money tree if you bury Bells in a shiny spot on the ground. Players worked out that if you bury 99,000 Bells on a day where Isabelle tells you about a lucky horoscope, you can pocket yourself 297,000 Bells when the tree grows in. Now that's what I call a good investment. 

You can take a selfie with a Ray 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

(Image credit: Nintendo)

The museum is a great place to take some wonderful photos in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. But there's one sea-faring friend that can help you catch quite the selfie. One morning, I caught a Ray fish in the sea to add to my museum. Appearing during the summer and autumn months in the northern hemisphere, I raced to see this new addition swimming around in my tank display. It was here that I discovered the Ray looking out from the tank with its face-like underside on show. As it turns out, the Ray can sometimes be found in this position, and it makes for one very memorable photo opportunity. 

You can do dive flips from high locations… but it can ruin your flowers

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

(Image credit: Nintendo)

One way to really make a splash in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is by doing a dive flip or cannonball into the ocean from a platform. While it's a lot of fun to watch your villagers roll their way through the air and land into the sea, it can lead to some unintentional flower-ruining. As you may already know, you can do a flip into the sea by pressing A near platform or rockface while running. But, as one player found out, dive flips can indeed destroy your flowers. If you really want to keep doing dive flips from up high, just make sure no plants are nearby that you can inadvertently damage. 

You can open and close your curtains at home

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Okay, so I realise this may not be news to many players out there, but I only just recently discovered you can interact with the curtains on certain wallpapers in your home. Even after playing the game every day since it first came out, I didn't think to try and draw my curtains; clearly, I'm comfortable with my villagers seeing me watch TV at home through my window. Some wallpapers also feature shutters that cover the windows, which can also be closed or opened. My mind was truly blown when I found this out, and of course, I spent the next five minutes opening and closing them just for the novelty of it. 

You may find star fragments in rocks on a Kapp'n boat tour island

Special Kapp'n islands in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

(Image credit: Nintendo)

With the arrival of Kapp'n and his boat tours, we can now venture to new islands for the price of 1,000 Nook miles. Sometimes you'll find islands that are different seasons, and you can even come across the recent addition of the Animal Crossing: New Horizons farming crops growing. But, on rare occasion, you can also come across some special islands with some big surprises. One player, for example, hit a rock and what did they find? Only star fragments. What a magical discovery.  


Here are 11 totally unnecessary things we all do in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Heather Wald

I started out writing for the games section of a student-run website as an undergrad, and continued to write about games in my free time during retail and temp jobs for a number of years. Eventually, I earned an MA in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, and soon after got my first official role in the industry as a content editor for Stuff magazine. After writing about all things tech and games-related, I then did a brief stint as a freelancer before I landed my role as a staff writer here at GamesRadar+. Now I get to write features, previews, and reviews, and when I'm not doing that, you can usually find me lost in any one of the Dragon Age or Mass Effect games, tucking into another delightful indie, or drinking far too much tea for my own good.