Some questions are simple enough to answer without warranting an entire post, and we’ll add those to this page so they can be quick and easy to find! If anything relates to an additional, longer post that may be helpful – we’ll link to it to help you find it faster.

If you have a question and don’t see it listed here – email us at vicky@thebardicunicorn.com so we can add it!

How do I get my Nook’s Cranny upgraded?

Nook’s Cranny automatically upgrades after the initial shop has been open for 30 days. There’s nothing you need to complete other than having the initial shop built. You can’t get the upgraded shop sooner without time travelling, which we don’t recommend.

How do I get specific items?

You’ve probably seen a lot of different items while visiting other players’ islands and wondered when/how to get those items. There are a couple of ways to get items: gifts from balloons (aka the Sky Wizard, as we say), gifts from villagers or NPCs, in Nook’s Cranny, or crafting from DIY recipes.

There are some items that you must get from specific NPCs. For example, some rugs can only be purchased from Sahara directly and cannot be re-ordered from the Nook Shopping catalog like most items. Gulliver and Gullivarr will both reward you with items for helping them when they show up on your island; their gifts cannot be gained by any other means.

Where can I find my villagers?

To earn miles and build friendship levels, you should talk to all of your villagers each day, but sometimes they can be hard to find. Villagers can visit each other so sometimes you might find them in another resident’s house. They can sometimes be found in Able Sister’s shop, Nook’s Cranny (only if it’s been upgraded), or the Museum. They will never be in a player’s house and they cannot leave the island–though you will sometimes see them on the airport dock.

I completed a task, but the story didn’t advance. What did I do wrong?

If you have multiple players that share a Switch–and therefore share an island–only the main account will advance the main story. There are a few milestones that need to be met by the main account to unlock different features for all residents on the island. For example, first building Nook’s Cranny and getting KK Slider to visit for the first time.

How do I add items to my Nook Shopping catalog?

To add an item to your catalog, you must pick up the item and place it in your pocket at least once. It does not matter where the item came from – so if you bought it from Nook’s Cranny, or a friend gave it to you, or even if you go to your friend’s island they drop an item for you to pick up and then you give it right back to them! As long as it has been in your pocket – it is now cataloged.

As a small addition to that, even though all items can be cataloged this way – you won’t necessarily be able to order additional items via the Nook Shopping app. Some items are unique and can only be obtained seasonally, or as a gift from Gulliver/Gullivarr.

What is this weird, white flower that just showed up on my island?
The Lily of the Valley flower!

The Lily of the Valley is a unique flower in ACNH that spawns at random when your island has a 5-star rating. This flower cannot be picked and will not self-duplicate. To get more, you must maintain your 5-star rating and wait for another one to spawn. For help reaching the 5-star island rating, see our post here.

How do I get Able Sisters (tailor’s shop)?

Before you get the full Able Sisters shop, you’ll have Mabel visit your island and set up a stall in the plaza. You must buy clothing from her on 3 different occasions to trigger her request to open up shop on your island.

Note: since the update to how often NPCs visit your island, this should now be more predictable, guaranteeing that you get Mabel more often and—in turn—get the shop faster.

How do I get rid of a villager I don’t like?

The short answer is that you don’t. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t have a built-in solution for booting unwanted villagers. You can report a villager to Isabelle, but this won’t actually impact whether they stay or go—this option is put in place to reset their language in case another resident has taught them something you don’t want them to say anymore.

Getting rid of villagers is essentially a waiting game. The best thing you can do is ignore them. There have been a lot of suggestions about hitting them, trapping them, crashing your game when other villagers are thinking of moving, but in our experience, results are pretty mixed. We do, however, know that there’s a friendship system built into the game that leads to villagers becoming “True Friends” and giving you their photos. Avoid increasing your friendship level with villagers you don’t want, and they should ask to leave sooner than villagers that you maintain high levels of friendship with.

How do I know which items I’ve donated to my museum?

For bugs, fish, and sea creatures, this is really simple. Just open up the Critterpedia app on your Nook phone. When viewing the thumbnails of critters you’ve caught, the name will have a small owl icon to the left of the critter name. When you click on the critter to see details, the same icon will appear in the bottom-right of the info card along with the word Donated.

How to tell if an item has been donated through your Critterpedia

Unfortunately, there’s not a simple way to see which art pieces and/or fossils you’ve donated. Using the Nook Shopping catalog, you can see which art pieces and fossils you’ve added to your catalog, which is a good place to start. The game doesn’t provide a master list for you to easily check, but you can easily find lists online. For more information on art, see our post here. For help with fossils, join us in discord and add yourself to the Fossil sharing sheet we put together.

When do NPCs show up on my island?

Some NPCs will only show up after certain requirements are met. For example, Label and Kicks only show up after the Able Sisters shop has opened on your island. The short answer is that as of the Summer 2020 update, NPCs will now cycle more regularly. NPCs are randomly picked for weekdays, giving priority to NPCs who did not visit during the previous week.

RequirementNPC
Able Sisters not builtMabel
Able Sisters builtLabel, Kicks
Museum builtGulliver, Celeste
Resident Services upgradedCJ, Flick
Blathers asked about artRedd
Wet-suit purchasedGullivarr
No special requirementSaharah, Leif, Wisp
Nook’s Cranny builtDaisy Mae (Sundays only)
Main story-line progressionK.K. Slider (weekends only)

On weekends, you’ll always have a K.K. Slider concert. Usually the K.K. concerts are on Saturdays, but if there’s a special event (Bug Off or Fishing Tourney, for example), the K.K. concert will be moved to Sunday. Daisy Mae will always appear on Sundays, before noon. Celeste appears more or less at random and it’s possible to have her visit on the same day as another NPC; she only shows up in the evenings and there will usually be stars during her visits as well.

How do I get iron and gold?

Iron and gold both come from hitting rocks, just like stones and clay. Stone and clay will be given more frequently, especially if you’re only hitting each rock one time. If you hit a rock quickly enough, you can hit it up to eight times for materials. For more details, see our guide on rocks here.

Can I get tools that won’t break?

The short—and unfortunate—answer is no. You can craft better tools, but they will all eventually break with the exception of ladders, pole vaults, and wands. Here are some stats on how durable tools are:

ToolDurability
Flimsy Shovel40
Shovel (and Nook’s Cranny variations)100
Gold Shovel200
Flimsy Axe40
Stone Axe100
Axe100
Golden Axe200
Flimsy Net10
Net (and Nook’s Cranny variations)30
Golden Net90
Flimsy Fishing Rod10
Fishing Rod (and Nook’s Cranny variations)30
Golden Fishing Rod90
Slingshot (and Nook’s Cranny variations)20
Golden Slingshot60
Flimsy Watering Can20
Watering Can (and Nook’s Cranny variations)60
Golden Watering Can180

How do I get the presents floating around?

Presents can be shot down using the Slingshot. Stand under the present and hit the “A” button while holding the slingshot. You can also hold “A” to wait for a present to float into place. Make sure that you’re careful where you shoot down a present.

If a present is over water when shot down, it will be lost in the water. The first time this happens, you’ll get the Lost Treasure Nook Miles objective, but after that it’s only sadness. You will also lose presents if you shoot them down in the plaza—remember that you can’t drop or place items in the plaza, so presents can’t drop there either—or over an area where there’s no empty ground space. If you have a large field of flowers or a lot of placed items with no empty space, wait for the present to float into a more open area before shooting it down.

Can I choose which villager to kick off my island to allow a camper to move in?

Yes and no. When you invite a camper to move onto your island when it’s full, they’ll call Resident Services who will suggest who might be ready to move off the island in order to allow space for the camper. You do not get to make a suggestion in game, but you do get the chance to confirm whether you want that villager to go in place of the camper. This means that the game itself doesn’t give you a choice, but resourceful players have found another way.

When the camper tells you who was suggested by Resident Services, rather than making a choice to accept or reject, go to the Switch home screen and close the game without saving. Restart the game and repeat the process. It can take some time, but you can cycle through until they eventually suggest a villager you’re willing to part with.

What do I do with this lost bag/notebook?

You may occasionally find a bag/notebook that’s not like other items in the game. When you find a lost item, pick it up and talk to any villager. When you have a lost item, you’ll have an additional dialogue prompt when talking to the villager. Ask them if the lost item is theirs. If you’re lucky, you could get it the first time, but it’s more likely that they’ll instead direct you to someone else. When you return lost items to villagers, it counts towards the Smile Isle objective to earn Nook Miles.