One of the great features in playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the ability to visit other players’ islands. This allows you to see other island designs, meet other villagers, visit their shops, and exchange items or DIY recipes.
With this wonderful ability, there’s a certain level of etiquette that is mostly unspoken and yet somehow shared across the community, and expected to be followed by everyone. Unfortunately, when things are unspoken, it’s all too easy for new players to break “rules” without realizing.
Hopefully, this article will help guide you through those unspoken expectations, and help you avoid other players becoming angry at you for something you were unaware of! The most important thing is communication—when in doubt, ask the island owner if something is okay.
Friends vs Best Friends
The primary difference between being Friends or Best Friends in New Horizons, is that Best Friends have the ability to use the shovel and axe on the other player’s island.
It’s important to respect when a player does not wish to become Best Friends: it does not mean they don’t like you! Many players spend a tremendous amount of time in the game (I’m not kidding. I’m staring at over 1000 hours on my own…) and allowing someone the ability to use the axe means the ability to cut down trees. The shovel means digging up flowers, shrubs, or other items they may have been purposely buried/hidden on the island.
Being Friends with a player still allows you to send gifts, visit them when their gates are open to Friends, etc. Don’t make them say no repeatedly to being Best Friends, or you may not get to even be Friends anymore!
Dodo Codes are used to invite players to an island, whether or not they are friends, and can be used to limit the number of players who are arriving at once. It may be that the island has really great turnip prices, so the player wants to invite only 2-3 people at a time. It may be that they have the code posted on a site such as Turnip Exchange.
Regardless of the reason, if you are given a Dodo Code from another player, NEVER—under ANY circumstances—should you share that code without express permission from that person. They have their reasons for providing invites via Dodo Code, and that should be respected.
You may want to think of it like having a copy of a key to your friend’s house. You wouldn’t make copies of that key and hand it out, would you?
It’s probably happened to all of us: you want to travel to or from an island, but you get stuck at the gate because “Wu-oh, there’s interference! Looks like someone forgot to put their Nook Phone in airplane mode again!”
It’s an irritating thing to happen, especially when it happens repeatedly. There’s not much you can do about it when it happens to you, but you can certainly be respectful to other players, and make sure that when you see the “Please close the window” message across your screen that you make sure you close the window as soon as you can!
Make sure to let other players in or out of the island as quickly as possible so the game can continue for everyone!
Some items in Nook’s Cranny are limited in supply, which means it can only be purchased once. If the player’s island you are visiting still has limited items available, you should always check with them BEFORE buying those items.
It is possible they were planning to buy them, but didn’t have a chance to do so yet. They were kind enough to let you visit their island, so do them a favor and make sure you give them a chance to buy the items in THEIR store before you do! If they don’t mind, then it’s all yours, but be sure you check first!
If you plan to invite others to your island and you have such items available in your Nook’s Cranny, you may want to let them know in advance if you intend to purchase items or if it’s “up for grabs.” If someone does tell you that it’s okay to buy limited items from their Nook’s Cranny, you may want to offer to let them catalog it before you leave the island, just in case they want the item in the future.
Flowers are pretty, and some players put a considerable amount of time into growing and breeding them to get the various colors. There are two things you should keep in mind about flowers on another player’s island:
- Never, ever, ever PICK another player’s flowers without express permission.
- Never, ever, ever, ever under any circumstance, should you RUN through flowers. This destroys the flower.
These two points can not be stressed enough. You will often find that many players will put signs in front of their gardens to remind you not to run, and many will also go to lengths to fence them off as well.
It should also go without saying, you should not pick another player’s money tree bags, fruit, pumpkins, etc unless you have been given their express permission.
Note: if you’re Best Friends with someone, you can dig up flowers and trees. If they’ve given you this ability—perhaps to share flowers you’ve been struggling to breed on your own island—be sure you’re explicitly clear which items you’re allowed to dig up and which are off limits.
Redd will visit other player’s islands as often as he will visit yours. However, all players can only buy one piece of art a day, regardless of how many real or fake pieces he happens to have.
Do not, I repeat, do not rush to Redd’s on another player’s island and buy up the only real piece of art he has without checking with the player first! This may have been their only chance to buy art in some time, and you may have just taken their only chance at art!
Always check with the player you are visiting before purchasing art from Redd—even fake art.
Players occasionally drop items on their islands. It happens. Sometimes they do it because they forgot to put it away. Sometimes they had a full pocket and had to swap something. Sometimes it is because they dropped it for someone else. Sometimes it is because they are planning something else entirely.
Regardless of the reason for it: unless you are told it is for you, do not pick up any dropped items on another player’s island. If you want to catalog dropped items, give the island owner a heads up first so they don’t think you’re taking things you shouldn’t—this may also help them realize they had dropped items they’d forgotten about.
Respect Their Requests
With the recent updates to include the ability to swim, you can actually jump off the dock. This means it is much harder to block players from accessing certain parts of the island. Previously, players may have put up fences from the dock to the shop, to protect areas they didn’t want visitors to access. Now that this is much more difficult, they may request that you do not visit while wearing a wet-suit.
It’s not something that is easy to enforce. If they catch you, could boot you from the island and may choose not to invite you again in the future. If someone was kind enough to let you visit, you should respect their wishes and remove your wet-suit when visiting.
Do Them a Solid
When visiting another player’s island, sometimes people will leave “tips” in the form of Nook Mile Tickets or bags of Bells. Another way to say thank you is to offer some assistance on the island. Maybe you noticed a lot of sticks or weeds all over the island; if the island owner hasn’t had time to do a lot of cleanup, they might welcome the help. Just be sure to check with them first and ask if they need the sticks or weeds for crafting.
Another great way to help players out is by watering flowers (or pumpkins, depending on the season). Flowers are more likely to breed when watered by visitors. Even if it’s raining, it still helps to water flowers on other players’ islands. Like with everything, just ask them which flowers they want watered. If you frequently request that other players water your flowers when they visit you, you might consider leaving a dropped watering can by your flowers in case they forgot to bring one along.