Animal Crossing: Wild World Walkthrough

It's time to revisit Animal Crossing in the new DS version of the beloved GameCube game. This beginner's guide to Animal Crossing: Wild World will help you get started on your new life.

By: Matthew Rorie
Design: Collin Oguro

Animal Crossing: Wild World is the DS version of Animal Crossing, the massively popular GameCube game that was released a couple of years ago. As in that game, your task in Wild World is simply to live; at the beginning of the game, you're plopped down into a town, told to earn a bit of money to pay off the mortgage on your home, then let loose into the world. Along the way, you'll have to plant trees, care for your town's environment, catch fish, dig up buried fossils, shoot down UFOs with your slingshot, and a whole bunch of other tasks. Of course, you don't have to do anything at all, if you don't want to; the game is structured so that you're never pigeonholed into performing one task.

Of course, there's far more content in Animal Crossing: Wild World than there was in the first Animal Crossing, including hundreds of new items, new holidays, and online multiplayer with friends. This short guide is just intended to get you started with the game, especially if you never played it on the GameCube. There are many, many more tips and guides for the game on, so feel free to check them out if you're looking for more information.

Getting Started

As you begin the game, you'll find yourself in a taxi, heading out to your new town. Your driver will start interrogating you, asking you all manner of personal questions in a rather brusque manner. That saucy cur! Anyway, this is your opportunity to set out a number of items of pertinent information, such as the current date, and then your name. After entering your name, you'll be able to let the driver know whether or not it's "burly" or "cute". If you choose the first option, you'll be considered to be a boy; if you choose the second, you'll wind up as a girl. After that, you'll have to choose the name of your town, before the driver finally lets you out and you get to start your new life.

You begin by entering Town Hall. Talk to the clerk here to hear all about your new house, which has been set up for you by Tom Nook. When you're done talking, head out of the Town Hall and head over to your new house. Feel free to poke around a bit, if you wish; there's not much to do at the moment. When you leave, though, the devious slumlord known only as Tom Nook will approach you and shake you down for a full 19,800 bells. Since you currently have a grand total of zero bells,

Tom Nook's Tasks

After you get your house set up, Tom Nook arrives and asks you to stop by his store; you'll have to engage in a bit of indentured servitude before you can actually take advantage of his store to buy and sell items. When you're ready to get working, head over to his store; just make sure you have at least seven open slots in your inventory.

When you arrive in the store, Tom will want you to switch into your work clothes, which he'll automatically plop into your inventory. To do so, open your inventory (which you can do by hitting the map button, then clicking on the suitcase icon to the far left of the row of icons), then dragging the work clothes onto your portrait.

Task One: Plant the Plants

Your first task for Tom will be to prettify his house by planting trees and plants all around it. He'll give you seven plants and shrubs to plant, so head outside, find a likely spot, then start tapping the plants in your inventory and select the Plant option from the popup. You can be as stylish as you like, or you can just plant all seven plants in the same spot; Nook isn't going to be able to tell the difference.

Task Two: Introduce Yourself To the Town

The second task that Nook gives you will be to introduce yourself to the neighbors. This basically entails tracking down and talking to all of the other homeowners in the area; there should be three or four of them to worry about. Some will be in their homes, while others will be walking around. You have to talk to all of them, and you'll need to repeatedly talk to at least one of them until they ask you about your birthday. In addition, you'll need to talk to the Mayor, who's standing outside the Town Hall. You don't need to worry about the characters in the museum or the shop or anywhere else; just your neighbors and the Mayor will do.

Task Three: Furniture Delivery

Ah, well, time yet again to venture out into the world and deliver goods for Nook. This one's simple: just find the neighbor that Nook wants you to deliver the furniture to on the map, talk to them, give them the item from Nook, then take whatever they want to give you.

Task Four: Write a Letter

Be sure to note whom Nook wants you to write the letter to; it's best to do this right away, before you forget who you're sending to. Nook will give you some stationery, so select it in your inventory and choose Write a Letter. Select the intended recipient, then write whatever you like. It's not like anyone's going to be reading it; feel free to type out "!@q23423" and send that. No matter what you type, head over to the Town Hall, and walk to the right of the person behind the bar to hit the post office. After mailing your letter, you'll be able to return to Nook for your next assignment.

Task Five: Carpet Delivery

As before, all you have to do here is find the target for your delivery, give them the carpet, receive what they choose to give you in return, then return to Nook.

Task Six: Water Can Delivery

Tom Nook will buy basically any junk that you happen to find around time, and also act as a fence for the hot ice you pick up during your nighttime career as a cat burglar.

Hey, guess what you have to do now? You know the drill; find the recipient and give them the can.

Task Seven: Post On the Message Board

Tom wants you to take advantage of some of that free word-of-mouth advertising. Obviously, a viral advertising campaign, followed up by overbearing stealth marketing among the hip urban crowd, is what's called for. To your dismay, though, all Tom can think is to post a message on the town messageboard, near the Town Hall. Head over there, select Post, then type out something like "Come to Tom Nook's shop!" or something equally catchy.

And that's it! With these seven tasks out of your way, you're able to get started in the wild world of Animal Crossing. Nook will now agree to buy items from you and sell his stock, if you wish.

Making Your Fortune

The first thing you're going to need to worry about in Animal Crossing will be making a bit of cash. With money, you can start to pay off Nook, buy items from his and other shops, put money into your savings, and so on and so forth. Of course, Animal Crossing isn't all about making bank, but getting the first few thousand bells in your pocket will be important, since it'll let you buy a shovel, net, fishing rod, and other basic tools from Nook.

At the outset, the easiest way to make some bells will be to head down to your shoreline, where you should be able to find plenty of shells and sand dollars, and the like. Bring everything you find back to Nook and sell it, and you should be able to get enough cash for a shovel or a fishing rod, which will help you compound your earnings by giving you other methods of earning cash.

General Activities And Making Money


With a shovel in hand, you'll finally be able to dig up all those mysterious holes in the ground and see what's underneath them. Actually, we guess they're not really holes until you dig them up...anyway, you should have seen a few spots on the ground that look a bit different than what the ground normally looks like, as if there were something buried there; usually there's just a little brown smudge to break up the normal pattern of the ground. When you find one of these spots, move your shovel on top of your character in the inventory screen, and try to dig it up! Generally you'll find fossils, which you can bring to the Museum proprietor to have them identified. If you wish, you can donate the fossil to the museum, or bring it to Nook to sell, or plop it down in your house as a decoration. You'll also occasionally find other items, such as seeds or gyroids.

You never know what you'll find when you dig stuff up! Don't forget to bury a bunch of junk in your friend's towns when you visit; they like that.

With your shovel, you can also dig up holes anywhere you like and bury items. Burying most items isn't very useful, but if you bury seeds and water the resulting hole, you should find yourself with a new kind of tree before long. You can also bury other items just to see what happens. For instance, try buying a second shovel, digging a hole, then burying one of your shovels. If you leave it alone for a full day, then dig it up again, it should have turned into a Golden Shovel, which you can now use to plant money trees by burying bags of money with it. Handy!

Bug Catching

Bugs can either be sold at Nook's shop, or brought to the museum for cataloguing. To catch a bug, you'll need a net, which you can buy at Nook's shop. With the net equipped, find a bug, aim at it, then swing the net at it to catch it! Simple. Unfortunately, if you're reading this close to the time it was posted, you'll have a hard time finding any bugs to catch, as there aren't many of them available in your town during winter. If you want to have an easier time spotting bugs, flip your game clock forward to summer or fall and look around for bugs then.

If you catch every type of bug at least once, you'll earn a Golden Bug Net.


If you happen to buy a slingshot from Tom Nook, you'll be able to use it when you're outside. If you happen to note something float across the upper screen of your DS, quickly equip your slingshot and attempt to shoot it down. Many of the items that float around up there are rare, and you might even be able to shoot down people or UFOs!

After you shoot down 15 items, you'll earn a Golden Slingshot if you manage to shoot it down. The Golden Slingshot makes it easier to hit items as they float across the sky.


Fishing is a bit more complicated than shovelling stuff up, but has its own rewards. To fish, buy a fishing rod from Nook, then head out to one of the bodies of water in your town and look for fish; they'll appear as black silhouettes in the water. When you’ve found a likely candidate, try to stand near it, without brushing up against the water, as this will likely spook it. When you're in a good position, point yourself upstream and cast your bobber. The bobber should float downstream, and hopefully glide past the fish and get its attention. As the fish starts heading towards the bobber, it'll nibble a few times (and you'll see the bobber go up and down) before finally taking a full bite (when the bobber will fully submerge itself). When the bobber's submerged entirely, reel the line in, and you'll have your very own fish.

Fishing can be tough to get the hang of, but it becomes easier when you get used to it.

Of course, one of the overall objectives for fisherman is to unlock the Golden Fishing Rod, but to do so, you'll need to catch every type of fish at least once. Doing so is no mean feat, though, considering that many fish can only be caught at a certain type of day, or in a certain type of body of water (lake v. river v. ocean), or in a certain type of weather. You can refer to to find more information on all of the varieties of fish, and the specific parameters for catching them. It's not strictly necessary to catch all of them unless you want the Golden Fishing Rod, although the rarer fish will of course net you more cash at Tom Nook's shop. The Golden Fishing Rod itself will make it easier for you to catch fish, as they'll be attracted to your bobber.

Fruit Harvesting

Another primary area of interest in Animal Crossing is planting and growing fruit trees. Each town that you create will have one type of fruit initially available on its trees. If you want to plant more of that kind of fruit, shake down a fruit from the tree, dig a hole elsewhere, and plant your fruit there. Over time, the fruit will either grow up into a new tree, or die. (If it dies, you might have planted it in an area reserved for future events, or too close to a rock.)

When a fruit tree is in bloom, you can shake down the fruit and sell it to Nook for more pocket cash. Try to get a variety of fruit growing in your town! You can find other types of fruit when you visit friends, or when they come to visit you; sometimes you'll also earn fruit when you perform tasks for the characters in town. Try not to cluster different kinds of fruit together, though; it's best to keep fruit segregated in their own small groves. Also be sure not to plant trees directly next to each other; try to keep at least one space on each side of a fruit tree, and don't plant them next to rocks.

Note that you can also shake empty trees, as well. Empty trees won't drop fruit, but they'll often drop bags of money worth 100 Bells each. Of course, they might also drop beehives, which will issue forth the insect overlords and give you a whopper of a stung eye. If you're quick, you might be able to use your net on the beehive and collect the bees, which are worth a few thousand bells; otherwise, you might just have to walk around with a shiner for a while.

Money Rocks

There are going to be numerous rocks scattered around your town. If you hit these with your shovel, you'll find that one rock per day will be a money rock, and will net you numerous bags of money if you repeatedly hit them. The first bags will contain only 100 Bells, though subsequent bags will offer double the amount (200, 400, 800, and so on). Of course, you have to quickly hit the rock in order to obtain the final bags of money, and you'll continually be pushed away as you hit the rock. If you want to get all of the bells, you'll need to dig holes in the ground behind you before you start hitting the rock; they'll arrest your backwards movement, and let you pound away on the rock and hopefully net all of the cash that's coming to you.

Buildings And Characters

Your Home

Thanks to Tom Nook, you're going to have a home of your very own as soon as you move into town. As the saying goes, though, there's no such thing as a free lunch, and you'll have to pay Nook back for your loan. After you've paid off the initial debt on your house, though, you can keep on paying Nook and earn bigger and more expensive houses to fit all of your stuff in. You initially owe Nook 19,800 bells; the costs of the bigger houses are listed below. Each house upgrade after the second will add around 35 spaces to your house.

Note that you don't pay these funds directly to Nook; instead, you have to go to the Town Hall and place the funds into his account there, via the post office window.

  • First House: 19,800 Bells
  • Second House: 120,000 Bells
  • Third House: 298,000 Bells
  • Fourth House: 598,000 Bells
  • Fifth House: 728,000 Bells
  • Sixth House: 848,000 Bells
  • Seventh House: 948,000 Bells

Decorating: It's important to note that, given the availability of funds and furniture, that you should try to decorate your house as best you can. As you proceed through the game, you'll find that home auditors will periodically drop by and rank your house based on its attractiveness. Getting high scores from the Happy Room Academy will eventually unlock new items. Also, the prettier your house is, the better your feng shui will be, which translates into more luck when fishing, hitting money rocks, and in many other activities. To increase your feng shui, try to complete furniture sets, and carefully place items in your home; don't just throw them all over the place. Anything that doesn't fit in should be picked up and placed in storage.

Nook's Shop

You're going to be visiting Tom Nook's shop quite often throughout your life in Animal Crossing. Although he's a skinflint curmudgeon at times, Nook is going to be one of your primary sources for common items, such as tools, stationary, decorations, and so on. Note that he changes his selection of items once every day, so be sure to check back often to see what he has for sale! He's also going to be one of your main sources of cash, since he'll buy pretty much anything you dig up or fish out of the sea or find in a tree or steal from an old lady's house in the middle of the night.

Don't be surprised to see special buildings pop up from time to time.

One of the first things you should be worrying about in Animal Crossing is getting Nook to expand his store. When his store gets bigger, so will his selection of goods. How you go about doing this is simple: buy stuff. Lots of stuff. The more money you spend at Nook's store, the bigger the store will get. Here's a list of the different store names, and how much money you have to spend to obtain them.

  • Nook's Cranny: Available Initially
  • Nook 'N Go: 25,000 Bells
  • Nookway: 65,000 Bells
  • Nookingtons: Spend 240,000 Bells, and another WW player must have connected to your town and bought at least one item from Nook.

In addition to the upgrades to the shop itself, there's also a new points system that Nook uses to reward loyal shoppers. When you buy items from Nook, you'll earn points; the more expensive an item is, the more points it'll be worth. You can check on your point status by using the cash register inside Nook's shop.

  • Rank 1: Earn 300 Points. You obtain a Nook's Cranny model.
  • Rank 2: Earn 5,000 Points. Obtain a Nook 'N Go model, and earn a 5% discount on all items in the shop.
  • Rank 3: Earn 10,000 Points. Obtain a Nookway model, and get a 10% discount on all items in the store.
  • Rank 4: Earn 20,000 Points. Obtain a Nookingtons model, and get a 20% discount on all items in the store.

Able Sisters

The Able Sisters shop is much like Nook's shop, save that it exclusively deals in fashionable clothes and accessories. If you're looking for a new hat, shirt, umbrella, halo, clown nose, or what have you, it'll be on sale at the Able Sisters. Like Nook's shop, their selection does periodically rotate, so be sure to check back in often to see what new designs they have available.

In addition to buying premade clothes, Mable and Sable can also help you design your own patterns, for a price.

Town Gate

If you head as far north as you can go in your town, you should find the Town Gate somewhere in the middle of the wall there. This is the dwelling place of Copper and Booker, the two guards that watch over your town's entrance.

Speaking to Booker will open up a few different options for you. In addition to the standard social options, he'll also offer you a chance to chance your town's flag design, if you wish, or claim items from the lost and found. Feel free to grab any loot you see there.

Copper is your man if you want to go visit a friend or invite a friend to visit you, or if you wish to obtain a friend code; perfect for spamming messageboards across the internet!

Town Hall

The Town Hall is the home of both the Civic Center and the Post Office. Each of these has its own specific functions.

Civic Center

The Civic Center will let you take the pulse of the town, or give up on it entirely. Here are the options for that window:

Check The Environment
If you ask about the environment, you'll get a recommendation on what you can do to prettify your town. In general, if you want a great-looking town, you'll need to have lots of trees planted (but keep them far enough apart that they don't touch each other), pull up all of the weeds, water your plants, and so on and so forth. Having a beautiful town is important to obtaining the Golden Water Bucket.

Change Town Music
If you fancy yourself a musician, you can use this option of the menu to create your own musical theme that'll play while you're walking around.

It would appear that the faraway town of Boondox is mired in a recession, and can't quite get out of their economic slump. In these hard times, we're all being asked to tighten our belts and help our neighbors, and to that end, you'll be able to give cashola donations directly to the cashier here. The more cash you give, the better the rewards that you earn...but of course, no one ever performs charity just to be rewarded, do they?

  • Donate 10,000 Bells: Green Feather
  • 200,000 Bells: Blue Feather
  • 500,000 Bells: Yellow Feather
  • 800,000 Bells: Red Feather
  • 1,100,000 Bells: Purple Feather
  • 1,400,000 Bells: White Feather
  • 6,400,000 Bells: Rainbow Feather

If you really hate the town that you're living in, then you can take advantage of the Moving option here to move to a friend's game cartridge.

Post Office

If you head off to the right a bit, you'll find the Post Office, which has its own unique set of options.

Mail a Letter
Got something you desperately need to say? Some stationary burning a hole in your pocket? Drop off your mail here, and it'll get where it's going soon enough.

Pay Mortgage
If you need to pay Tom Nook some Bells to upgrade your home, you do it here, at the Post Office. Rather than paying him the money at his shop. Yeah.

Access Account
You also have a savings account at the post office. You can hold as much cash here as you like, and you'll earn a small amount of interest on your savings, as well. If you manage to save a lot of cash, you'll unlock more items for yourself, as well.

  • Save 1,000,000 Bells: Box of Tissues
  • 10,000,000 Bells: Piggy Bank
  • 100,000,000 Bells: Pelly's Pic
  • 500,000,000 Bells: Phyllis's Pic
  • 999,999,999 Bells: Town Hall Model

Save A Letter
If you've received something in the mail that you want to hold on to forever, feel free to pop it in here and hold on to it for posterity's sake.


Blathers requires you to sit through 10 screens of dialogue each time you want to donate a new fossil. Nice.

The museum is going to be the place where you can store your uncovered fossils, fish, bugs, and paintings (assuming you don't want to sell them back to Nook for bells). When you have an item in one of these categories, bring it to Blathers, the head archivist. He can identify fossils for you immediately, and accept donations of any of the above items. He can also show you the current exhibits that are available.

In addition to the museum proper, you can also head downstairs to find the café. If you sit in the seat in front of Brewster, you can order up a piping hot cup of coffee. If you drink it while it's still warm, and keep coming back for more every day, Brewster will eventually start to act more friendly towards you. Slider will also occasionally play music down here on Saturday nights.

If, on the other hand, you head upstairs from the museum, you'll be able to meet Celeste, the chief astronomer of the town. With her telescope, you can stargaze, or draw your own constellations for later perusal. You might even see them in the sky at some point when you're walking around town!

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