It’s important to admit that after hundreds of hours of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, we all have some very specific new behaviours. Perhaps your IRL morning now has a 20 minute play session before getting down to the reality of the day, or maybe your in-game villager has to talk to every island resident by lunch time. But it turns out that we’re all doing some very specific and, by game standards, entirely unnecessary things.
That’s not to say they’re bad. In fact, they enrich our Animal Crossing lives and are the little things that, while leaving no discernible difference on our islands, give us that extra little burst of serotonin. The devil is in the details, after all, and he’s already made plenty of work for our previously idle thumbs. So from unnecessary snorkel wear to invisible sock knowledge, here are 11 silly things we all do in Animal Crossing with absolutely zero practical purposes.
1. Putting on pyjamas and getting into bed to save
First off, it’s almost an existential question; can you truly trust someone who doesn’t get into bed before they hit save at night in Animal Crossing? Further still, has that person switched from their daytime clothes to some more suitable nightwear and an eye mask? And here we were thinking that psychopath tests were more in-depth. This behaviour is actually one that most of us have inherited from Stardew Valley where your day only saves once you’ve crawled into bed covered in mud and sweat from the farm. Regardless, getting into your pit after a quick wand outfit switch feels like a perfect recipe for sweet dreams. Aaand light off. G’night.
2. Wearing the correct socks
No-one likes blisters. Which means when you don boots in Animal Crossing, you probably also think about the sock situation going on inside those shoes. Anything leather is going to mean very sad bare feet and with a whole selection at the Able Sisters, there’s really no excuse to exchange Bells for comfort. But you know that, which is why not only are you wearing suitable socks that no one can see, you’ve probably also colour matched them to your entire outfit. Just in case, right?
3. Taking your shoes off to swim
Staying on the topic of Animal Crossing toe coverings - calm down, Mr Tarantino - it’s time to talk about swimming footwear. Despite there being no discernible difference to your doggy paddle should you launch yourself into the water in Doc Martens or even winklepickers, we all take our shoes off to go swimming. You could be wearing armoured shoes and we promise that Nintendo will not drown you, but we’re willing to bet you’ve never even tried. It’s the principle of the thing. Even the idea of squidging about in wet shoes afterwards is vile. A special shout out to everyone who wears flip-flops or other sandals just in case of pointy rocks and the idea of fish nibbling your toes.
4. Wearing your snorkel
It ties in with the previous point but Animal Crossing has no intention of sending you to the bottom of Davy Jones’ locker for your fashion choices. This means there’s also absolutely no need to match your wetsuit with a snorkel when you go swimming, but here we are with a selection of goggles to rival a Selling Sunset realtor’s shoe collection. Whether you have the full rainbow of colours or not though, there’s something brilliantly purposeful about getting your diving gear ready on the dock before hunting for pearls. And you can combo the snorkel up with firework gift boppers to light up the ocean floor...
5. Dress for the weather
Everybody who has asked a friend what the weather is like on their island before heading to the airport, raise your hand. Right. We’re all together at least. Whether you’re donning the shortest shorts for sunning yourself in summer, or wrapped up in cosy ski gear and festive knitwear - hello, Southern hemisphere - dressing for the weather in Animal Crossing is one of the most satisfying daily activities. Sure, it’s not as essential as fossil digging or checking your trees for furniture but you know your villager is at exactly the right temperature and that’s what matters.
6. Go clothes shopping for your villagers
Initially your trips to the Able Sisters are all about you. Finding your own perfect style and recreating it in round adorable form. It’s understandable. But then there comes the tipping point when you actually need a walk in wardrobe for all your AC clothes and your mind, quite naturally, wanders to accessorising all of your villagers. Perhaps you have a theme in mind - orange jumpsuits for Alcatraz, anyone? - or maybe you just like the joy of watching them immediately spin their gift straight on. Case in point; just look how impressed Ankha is with her mummy suit.
7. Use an umbrella
Animal Crossing is all about those little details. The moments that seem innocuous but just make spending time on your island that bit more special. The pattering sound of rain as it hits an umbrella is one of those. Yes, it takes up an extra inventory space and yes, you’re going to have to take it out of your hands to do literally anything useful but that hasn’t stopped you puttering around your island with a matching umbrella on the days where you thankfully don’t need to water your flowers. Some things are worth the hassle.
8. Have a ‘correct’ island route
If you’re already the human equivalent of an ‘I feel seen’ gif, it’s OK, that’s kind of the point of this list. We’re all friends here and we all know that you have a set path around your island that you take every single day. There are no arrows on the ground - unless you really have implemented a one way system - but your chores demand an exact route, and that means going in the wrong direction is like nails on a Nook’s chalkboard. Not only have you mapped out this route as the fastest for fossil hunting, you probably also use it as your tour path as it just happens to see everything on your island from just the right angle. What a coincidence.
9. Prepping safely for terraforming
Boot up the Island Design app on your Nook Phone and the first thing the game tells you is to work safely. And this doesn’t mean building cliffs and excavating Venice-worthy waterways while wearing your new favourite ballet slippers. It means the right clothes with your head in the right space and it turns out you’ve probably already been doing just that. Work boots and overalls are absolutely the order of the day and if you’ve already got a wand outfit at the ready for terraforming duties, you’re not alone.
10. Trying to fit in
It’s ok to admit it, you feel really left out when all of your villagers get together in the plaza outside Residential Services. Whether they’re having a BBQ, singing or doing tai chi, we all want to be a part of the gang. Cue at least 50 desperate screenshots of you trying to ‘fit in’ which roughly translates to lurking in the background with a pair of sunglasses on to hide your extreme FOMO. It would have been far less socially awkward if you had left them to it but here we all are.
11. Jumping from the dock or rocks
You could wade into the ocean on the beach like a reverse Daniel Craig in a stripy wetsuit but, really, are you even entering the water at all if you aren’t somersaulting from the dock and attempting to get a perfectly-timed screenshot? Jumping from a height when you’re about to go hunting some wisdom from Pascal appears to be the only acceptable way to travel seaward. In fact, plenty of Redditors have even added an incline for the specific purpose of hurtling up and screaming ‘cannonball’ on the way down the other side.
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