Animal Crossing: New Horizons - First Day Checklist

Here's everything you should do on your first day with Animal Crossing: New Horizons to start your new life off right.

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons is now available, which means it's time to get your new island life started. Like previous Animal Crossing games, time in New Horizons passes as is does in real life--and you often have to wait until the following day or days to see the effects of what you're doing. We've outlined everything you should do on day one on your new island so you can maximize your early progress--and if you're past that point, check out our guide to making money.

The game switches to a real-time clock after you complete the tutorial section--it ends when you go to sleep after the party. Luckily, Tom Nook's Resident Services tent is open 24 hours a day, so if you start your game later in the day, you won't be missing out on anything. You can talk to Tommy and Tom Nook to get some direction, and one of the first things you should do after the tutorial is enroll in Tom Nook's DIY workshop so you can start crafting important things.

Once you're able, craft a flimsy net and flimsy fishing rod. Catch some bugs and fish and then give five of them to Tom Nook--this will start the process of bringing the museum to your island. Doing this day one is important, because Blathers, the museum curator, will give you access to the shovel and vaulting pole when he arrives the next day.

After that, your next priority is to start getting Nook Miles. As Tom Nook explains, Nook Miles are a reward for doing various activities around the island, and they can be used for special purchases. Basically everything you do should net you some Nook Miles at first, and since you can use Nook Miles to pay off your home loan, you'll want to start racking them up right away. In order to do that, we recommend these simple activities (which should also net you some bells, DIY materials, and more bonuses):

  • Talk to both your villagers
  • Comb the beach for shells to sell
  • Shake trees
  • Hit rocks with an axe
  • Pull all the weeds you can get to
  • Catch more fish and bugs
  • Craft tools and furniture

If you're at a loss for what to do, check your Nook Miles app on your Nook Phone. There will be some existing goals there for you to chase, and you'll continue to unlock more as you go about your life on the island.

After a few hours, you should have enough Nook Miles to pay off your first loan to Tom Nook--this loan will run you 49,800 bells or 5,000 Nook Miles. We recommend paying off this loan off with Nook Miles, since it's a one-time opportunity and Nook Miles are plentiful. One of the best perks of owning a house in New Horizons is that you’ll have access to a storage inventory. Homeownership also unlocks Nook Miles+, which provides you with a rotating selection of Nook Miles bonuses to chase, so it's good to get started on it early.

For more tips, check out guide Animal Crossing: New Horizons guide hub. But if you're big on collecting, you should jump into our list of all the fish we've caught so far and where and when you can catch them--or our similar guide to bugs. You might also want to check out our guide to unlocking Nook's Cranny, the general store. And finally, be sure to read our Animal Crossing: New Horizons review in progress!

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