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Animal Crossing: New Horizons Adds Big Quality-Of-Life Features

We're getting a tool wheel, y'all--an actual tool wheel!


During a recent Direct presentation, Nintendo revealed more details about the upcoming Animal Crossing: New Horizons. In addition to the brand-new terraforming feature, the company showed off a number of smaller--though no less exciting--quality-of-life features and improvements coming to the Nintendo Switch entry (which you can read all about in our Animal Crossing: New Horizons review-in-progress).

Perhaps the most notable addition is an unlockable tool wheel. Much like a weapon wheel in shooters, the tool wheel makes it easier to quickly switch between all of the tools in your inventory, such as the shovel, fishing rod, and axe. In previous Animal Crossing games, you'd have to either go into your inventory and manually equip a tool or cycle through all your tools using the d-pad until you got the one you wanted. The tool wheel should streamline this process.

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Now Playing: 19 Things We Learned From The Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct

New Horizons also has a Rescue Service, which you can call whenever you're stuck or lost (or too lazy to walk back home). For a cost, the service will help you get back home in a pinch--and based on the music that plays when you call it, it seems like Mr. Resetti is involved somehow.

The storage system has also been reworked for New Horizons. Instead of having to manually put away each individual item into a cabinet, New Horizons allows you, from anywhere inside your house, to quickly put furniture into storage. Moving furniture around is just faster too. Though New Horizons still lets you drag your furniture around manually, you can also shift into a Happy Home Designer-style mode and place items freely.

If your need for control extends beyond your own home, New Horizons will allow you to direct the lives of others as well. The game gives you control over where other residents build their homes and you can use an in-game cell phone app to create paths, build bridges, shape slopes, and stack staircases in order to decree where people should walk.

Like its predecessors, New Horizons will see you take on debt that you'll have to pay off. The game doesn't force you to solely rely on using your hard-earned Bells, though. In New Horizons, some of your debt can be paid off using Bells or Nook Miles (points you earn sort of like flyer miles for airports in the real world), which should help you save up a few more Bells for that fancy new couch you've been eyeing.

Finally, there have been some changes to online play that will help put players at ease. Now, friends you invite to your island can't bring certain tools, like shovels and axes, unless they're registered as one of your Best Friends. That means people can't just come to your town and cut down all your trees.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons releases for Nintendo Switch on March 2020--the same day as Doom Eternal. The fans for New Horizons and Doom Eternal have struck up a lovely friendship and have banded together to support both games. Find out where to pre-order Animal Crossing: New Horizons in our pre-order guide.

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