Everything We Learned In The Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct
The Animal Crossing Nintendo Direct is live, and host Tom Nook promised to show us plenty of new things about the upcoming island adventure. He's split the information into two informational sections and will finish off his presentation with an FAQ. It's unclear whether or not this will be an in-game FAQ since, you know, this is being presented by our favorite entrepreneurial tanuki, but it'll all be covered here regardless.
If you're looking for more information on what we've learned about New Horizons already, be sure to visit the IGN Animal Crossing: New Horizons wiki for more information on NookPhone Apps, all confirmed villagers (prior to the Direct), and more. We also recently learned more about how saves will work on the Switch.
The Direct kicks off with a very important part of Animal Crossing: seasons. For the first time, Animal Crossing: New Horizons allows you to choose either the Northern or Southern Hemisphere so that your season matches your local season. This was revealed back during Nintendo Treehouse's E3 Live event, but rather than just being a comment in a stream, we got a nice preview of what we'll see in New Horizons' seasons. As always, there will be seasonal events and activities, like collecting seeds, leaves, and mushrooms. The furniture placed outdoors seems coordinated with each season too.
The features tour continues with details on spots we've seen previously. The Resident Services tent is available 24/7 for crafting, tips, a shop, and a place to sell items. Then, the day after you arrive on the island, you'll have access to the airport that also houses the post office and online portal that allows you to visit others.
NookPhone and Nook Miles
Also seen previously, the NookPhone is a new menu with several useful apps that are acquired over time. There's a camera, map, DIY app, and plenty more. This smartphone also gives Nook a direct line to you. At the start of each day Nook will put on an island-wide broadcast about... something. Nook didn't elaborate in the Nintendo Direct. Nook Miles were discussed again, though. Points earned through this acheivement-style system can be used to pay off the initial getaway package then used to purchase special rewards only available through Nook's shop. You can also spend Nook Miles on a special ticket for a trip to a random deserted island. They'll be filled with resources for crafting, fruit, and animals you can invite to visit your island.
Wasps are, unfortunately, back, as are scorpions. Though scorpions used to be a rare find only on summer nights in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, it looks like they might be more common in New Horizons. A few short scenes also confirmed the return of special characters like Wisp and Gulliver. If you happen to end up in a bad spot, though, the Rescue Service app can instantly teleport you home. That home, by the way, is still upgradable like past games.
Home upgrades still cost a heavy chunk of change -- 98,000 bells, we saw on the screen -- but this time around they come with their own hidden storage. The Nintendo Direct didn't reveal the size of this storage, though we did see that multiple items can be selected and moved all together.
Crafting is as simple as learning a new DIY recipe, collecting the materials, and pressing a button to make it. We've seen this in previous New Horizon videos, but we learned that you'll also be able to customize furniture too. You'll also be able to learn new skills through workshops held at the Resident Services center.
If you've got multiple Joy-Con handy, you can have up to four people play New Horizons on one Switch at a time (or up to eight in online multiplayer). This was revealed back at E3 2019, but the Nintendo Direct showed off more of the leader and followers feature and explained that any items found by followers will be stored in the recycling box. They can also have their own homes.
There isn't an actual in-game voice chat for New Horizons. Instead, Nook Link is available through the Nintendo app that will instead facilitate voice and text chat along. More importantly, though, you can use Nook Like to read QR code designs from Happy Home Designer and Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Nook Link will be available after launch, but still some time in March 2020.
Customizing the island
New Horizons is set on a deserted island, so it's only fitting that when you're building a community from scratch that you'd have a say in its development. This starts with choosing where your first new islanders live. Eventually, as shown in a montage, your island will grow into a reliable Animal Crossing town we've come accustomed to, complete with a museum, a full Nook shop, the Able Sisters shop, and eventually a campground for guests to visit. You can ask a guest that stays here to move onto the island. Upgrading Resident Services enough brings back Isabelle. It looks like she'll help you proceed with an island evaluation, customize the island flag, and more.
In addition to Isabelle the Direct showed off plenty of returning specialty characters like Celeste, Sahara, and plenty of others. The Direct also confirmed that things like fishing tourneys and bug offs return to New Horizons. There will be free updates with seasonal events, too.
We've seen new tools that make traversal a bit easier, like a way to pole-vault over rivers rather than walking over to an out of the way bridge. There's also a ladder for scaling ledges and cliffs. As you progress more you'll be able to build bridges and staircases, but after that, you'll earn construction permits that'll allow you to alter the terrain altogether. The Nintendo Direct showed how you'll be able to expand or remove rivers, pave paths, modify cliffs.
Nintendo is holding an Animal Crossing Direct later today, focused entirely on Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
The stream begins at 2pm UK / 9am ET / 6am PT, and will deliver around 25 minutes of brand new Animal Crossing: New Horizons information, including an in-depth look at Nook Inc's Deserted Island Getaway Package.
We'll be updating this story with everything we learn as the stream plays out, so be sure to revisit us during and after the Direct to learn all the new details.
For more, be sure to take a look at all the news we have on Animal Crossing: New Horizons multiplayer, every villager we've seen so far, and all the big and small changes this entry is making to the series.Matt Purslow is IGN's UK News and Entertainment Writer. You can follow him on Twitter. Miranda Sanchez is an executive editor at IGN. She's really excited to make a nice island and hope she'll see Roscoe and Bones there. You can chat with Miranda about video games and anime on Twitter.
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