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How to Unlock Island Designer in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

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When you get deep into the creative elements of Animal Crossing: New Horizons you quickly run into a problem. Without the ability to alter the landscape, more complex designs will be impossible to achieve. Adding new rivers and cliffs are a big part of the game’s designs systems for your islands. And to get the tools to do this, To get those tools, you need the Island Designer. Here’s how to unlock the Island Designer app in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

The Island Designer app in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a part of the Nook Phone that takes some very specific steps to unlock. You can then use it to add and remove rivers, alter the color of the ground, as well as applying custom decals to the floor of your islands. You can also use to add or remove new tiers to the landscape. This is super useful if you’re trying to get the more beautiful designs into the game.

How to Unlock Island Designer in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Unlocking the Island Designer app is a very involved process. You need to go through a few different steps, each one itself being pretty involved.

Upgrade Resident Services and talk to Tom Nook

When you upgrade Resident Services, you are well on your way to upgrading your island infrastructure. It’s not too hard to get to this milestone, so it’s the simplest part of unlocking the Island Designer. After Resident Services is upgraded, Nook will unveil his plan for “Project K” to get a special concert played by K.K. Slider on your island. This is effectively the end of the base game, and it’s a big milestone.

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Project K Begins

After you have gotten to this point, it’s time to work on improving the look of your Island. Isabelle will show up and work with you to improve the rep of your town. You will start to hear about Island Ratings. Check your island rating with Isabelle at any time, and it will be between 1 and 5 Stars. You need to get to Five Stars before K.K. Slider will show up.

Here are some helpful tips to get to that rating:

  • Get 10 residents
  • Get a Campsite and receive several visitors.
  • Decorate your island with tons of trees and flowers. The more types of flower breeds, the better.
  • Try to decide on an overarching theme for parts of your Island and decorate with tons of furniture. Matching colors is good.

Eventually, as long as you have a well-decorated island, you will get a 5 Star Rating.

Getting 5 Stars

When you hit this rating, talk to Tom Nook. He will remark that you have the rating you need. At this point, Tom will get a call from K.K. who will then show up on your island late the next day. When you attended the concert, the game is technically complete and the credits will roll. When that happens wait for Tom Nook to show up and tell you about the Island Designer app. He will install it on your phone.

Finally you can make changes to your island with the new app.

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