7 features Animal Crossing: New Horizons desperately needs

The best game of the year (so far) is still missing a few things. Here are seven features we think Animal Crossing: New Horizons desperately needs.


Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a fantastic game. I’ve spent more time with the game since its release than I have any other game on my Switch since I got it back in 2017. Despite how much time I’ve spent with the game, and how much I’ve enjoyed that time, there is always room for growth and evolution. That’s why we’ve put together this handy list of seven things we believe Animal Crossing: New Horizons desperately needs.

Improved crafting

crafting in acnh
An update to allow you to craft multiple items at once would be great.

This one here makes the top of the list because we’ve seen quite a bit of outcry about just how dated and not good the crafting system currently is in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The fact that you have to jump through loops of dialogue just to craft a couple of items, and the fact that you can’t craft in bulk really make for a slow go when you’re trying to craft up a ton of Fish Bait to go fishing for those rare and elusive sea creatures. Of course, one could argue that the point of Animal Crossing is to take things slow, but we’re sure there are many out there who would agree that an improved crafting and customization system would be very well received.

Updated shopping system

Changes to the shopping in Nook's Cranny and Able Sisters would be fantastic.
Changes to the shopping in Nook's Cranny and Able Sisters would be fantastic.

Our next item on the list kind of falls into the same category as the last one. If you’ve spent any amount of time in the game customizing your character, buying new clothes, or just visiting the Able Sisters or Nook’s Cranny to pick up things, then you’re already well aware of how painstaking the shopping system can be.

We’d love to see updates made to Nook’s Cranny which allows you to buy more than just one item in bulk at a time, as well as updates to the Able Sister’s fitting room. The fitting room is the only way to see all the things that Able Sisters has to offer each day and having to go through the process four or five times to purchase multiple items can be quite annoying. An update to these systems that includes a cart that you can check out with all at once would be fantastic and would make everyone’s life on our islands a little bit easier to manage.

Better online functionality

Playing online in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Playing online in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Now this is a big one. There’s no getting around the fact that Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ online functionality is dated beyond belief. The limits to sending mail, the long load screens when waiting for people to visit your island, and the multiple prompts you have to go through just to even visit another island are all things that we all know and dislike.

On top of this, once you have someone over on your island, there really isn’t much else to do aside from fish, catch bugs, or just chill around the island. Sure, that’s cool and all, but if Nintendo removed a lot of the restrictions – like the one that locks you from placing items or even moving them when someone is over – we’d see a lot of more engagement with multiplayer. Imagine being able to have your friend over and having them help you situate an area on your island.

The loading screens, which we mentioned above, are also another huge red flag for online users. Where most games might let you set up a lobby for people to join all at the same time, Animal Crossing: New Horizons locks you into long loading screens that never really change. Making for a very boring experience – especially if you have multiple people over at one time. These might seem like big updates – and in some cases they probably would be – but these are quality of life changes that the game seriously needs.

More villager management

Moving Villagers out with the campside in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Moving Villagers out with the campside in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

We’ve all been there. You end up with a villager you don’t like, and you just want to get rid of it. Unfortunately, there’s no real way to do this without jumping through hoops. Sure, you could talk to Isabelle about the villager, but that doesn’t actually affect anything expect what they’re wearing or how they’re talking. If you really want to get rid of them you either have to wait until they leave naturally or force them out via a villager in the campsite (with or without an amiibo).

What we really need, is a better way to manage our villagers. Sure, we can already set up where they live and that kind of stuff but giving us freedom to kick other villagers out would be a really nice touch. Then we’d have even more reason to use our Nook Miles Tickets to search for iconic villagers, or just those that we really want.

Easier to use Island Designer controls

The basic island designer setup in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
The basic island designer setup in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

In the 300 or so hours I’ve played of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, probably at least 100-150 has been spent working with the terraforming system. It’s a great little feature that brings a lot of additions to the game, but in its current state, it’s absolutely ridiculous to use. The fact that you can’t see which square you’re aiming for in the game’s grid is annoying, often leading to you undoing and redoing work you already completed.

What’s worse is the game doesn’t offer any kind of separation between making and taking away. This leads to you sometimes deleting cliffs or water that you just placed down because the game doesn’t always register to the right grid of the island when you’re editing things. It’s annoying and hopefully we can get a better set of controls for the Island Designer in an update down the road.

Quality of Life improvements

stopping to smell the roses in ACNH
Some changes to basic systems in New Horizons would improve the small things exponentially.

There are a load of quality of live improvements that Animal Crossing: New Horizons would benefit from. We’ve already touched on some of these in our entries above, but there are a couple additional ones we want to point out in this section of the article.

While we’re sure there are plenty of QoL changes that people would like to see, a few that stand out to us the most include changes to the options that pop up on items. As it stands right now, they seem to flip flop depending on which item you’re interacting with. This can lead to you accidentally dropping things you meant to eat, or even eating things you meant to drop. Raise your hand if you’ve ever accidentally eaten a thing of Turnips while trying to drop them. Improvements to this could make the entire system mesh better and result in less Turnips being accidentally consumed.

Another QoL change we’d love to see is the ability to craft with items from your Storage. While you do have an inventory of 40 spots, it would be nice to have crafting pull directly from your Storage back at home if you don’t have those items on you. This would save a lot of time, as I’ve often had to run all the way across the island to grab supplies to craft something I wanted to make.

Island planner

Moving homes and buildings costs a lot.
Moving homes and buildings costs a lot. Being able to plan out your island ahead of time would be great.

Finally, the last item on our list is one that we’ve seen popping up via third-party apps quite a bit. Planning your island out can be tricky. When you’re first placing down houses, you might not be able to put them exactly where you want. If you need to move them later on, then you’re going to need to drop 50,000 Bells. That can be a bit of a struggle for some players out there. That’s why it would be nice to be able to plan out your island via an island planner.

Now, we’re not really sure what the best way to implement this would be, but we’d love to see Nintendo throw in something that allows you to import your current island layout and then work around with it to get what you want out of it. This would give players more control over how they want their island to look in the end and save people a lot of time and Bells.

These are just seven things we think that Animal Crossing: New Horizons is missing. If you’ve got any features or requests that you think Nintendo should add, then we’d love to hear about them in the Chatty comments below.

Guides Editor

Joshua holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and has been exploring the world of video games for as long as he can remember. He enjoys everything from large-scale RPGs to small, bite-size indie gems and everything in between.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    May 30, 2020 12:30 PM

    Josh Hawkins posted a new article, 7 features Animal Crossing: New Horizons desperately needs

    • reply
      May 31, 2020 1:28 AM

      all of the points about how obnoxiously tedious this game is are excellent, and while there are some in the community who say animal crossing is meant to be slow (they are misguided by what this means. it's already slow since it operates in real time.) the community overall thinks this game is indeed stupidly tedious.

      if it is meant to be a relaxing distraction from real life, i want to drive home the point that it is the furthest thing from relaxing, and the only thing it distracts from is itself. anything that is normally charming about it is entirely lost when you have to be ripped from the crafting menu to watch an animation ending with a show-off of something *that doesnt even look like the item you crafted. your character is gleeful to show you absolutely nothing.* only to be asked "would you like to make something again?" oh come on $!@# off.

      and that's just one example.

      the furious typing dodo that asks you 8 questions just to send you to the same island youve visited many times is another level of middle-finger to the players.

      but we're both preaching to the choir, and honestly this game is clearly made by people who only look at their game; i can guarantee not a single one of them have actually *played* animal crossing for any meaningful amount of time.

      it's really sad, i was looking forward to this. but i cant be bothered to *want* to pick it up. all i think about is how pointlessly repetitive it is with things that dont need to be repeated.

      AC devs need to take a seminar in fun from the single guy who pulled off stardew valley. maybe they'll learn something and AC can be fun again.

Hello, Meet Lola