One of the most exciting aspects of each Animal Crossing game is the long journey of unlocking and upgrading shops over a long span of time. New Horizons includes this classic game mechanic, but has made a few changes along the way since, you know, you have moved to a deserted island and all.
Take a look for a guide to unlocking all available New Horizons shops and buildings.
Resident Services Tent
When you first move to your deserted island there will only be two buildings on your map; the Airport and the tent for Resident Services. This special tent acts as the headquarters for all things Nook. There, you’ll be introduced to the crafting mechanic, will be able to sell and buy items to and from Tommy and Timmy, and will be able to access the Nook Stop terminal to exchange Nook Miles, pay off loans, or purchase items from the Nook Shopping service. This tent can later be upgraded to a special town hall-inspired building similar to past games.
Resident Services Building
Several days into the game, Tom Nook will ask you to place three housing plots onto your island for new villagers. Once these have been filled in, speaking to Tom Nook will trigger the upgrade and the day after speaking to Nook, the Resident Services tent will be closed and the new building under construction. The day after this, the Resident Services Building will be open and Isabelle from New Leaf will move to the island to assist Tom Nook.
In the new Resident Services Building, you’ll be able to access the Nook Stop machine, build bridges and inclines, move buildings around your island, and talk to Isabell about problematic neighbours and island evaluations. There are no more upgrades after this.
The Museum Tent & Building
The Museum is one of the first real buildings you’ll unlock in New Horizons. To unlock it, you’ll need to donate five fish or insects to Tom Nook in the Resident Services tent. Once you’ve done this, Nook will call Blathers, the museum curator, and persuade him to move to the island. The next day, Nook will provide you with a plot of land to build the Museum and construction will begin. The day after this, Blathers will appear in a tent on your island.
To upgrade the Museum from a tent to a building, you’ll need to donate 15 items of either fish, insects or fossils. Once you’ve donated 15 items, Blathers will stop taking donations and the following day the Museum will be closed for renovation. Shortly after, the Museum building will be fully constructed and ready for exploring. There are no more upgrades after this.
After several days on your island and after having paid off your initial 5,000 Nook Miles debt, upgraded your house to a tent, and placed Blathers’ tent, speaking to Timmy and Tommy in the Resident Services Tent will trigger them into deciding to build their own store. To build Nook’s Cranny, you’ll need to collect several resources; 30 Iron Nuggets, 30 Hardwood, 30 Softwood, and 30 Wood. Once you’ve provided these resources to Timmy and Tommy, they will begin construction on Nook’s Cranny.
The next day, Nook’s Cranny will be ready and will now offer furniture, flimsy DIY tools, tree saplings, flower seeds, wallpaper, DIY cards, and more. However, the store will no longer be open 24/7 and has a limited trading time of 8 AM to 10 PM. There’s a box situated outside Nook’s Cranny which you can deposit items you want to sell. The racoons will then pay you the next morning but take a 20% cut of your earnings.
Upgraded Nook’s Cranny
Currently, in New Horizons there is only one upgrade to Nook’s Cranny. To trigger this upgrade, you’ll need to have sold items or bought items worth 200,000 bells in total. Mabel must also have visited at least once and your Nook’s Cranny store must have been open for at least 30 days.
Once the store has been upgraded, Timmy and Tommy will sell additional furniture, wallpaper, flooring, and more. They’ll also have two Hot Deals per day to give you a chance to make more bells every day.
Although previous Animal Crossing games have multiple upgrades to the Nook’s Cranny store, New Horizons currently only has one upgrade. However, it’s been speculated that Nintendo may implement further store upgrades in future updates, so watch this space!
Shortly after you’ve upgrades the Resident Services Tent into a full building, speaking to Tom Nook will trigger the raccoon into giving you the DIY recipe for the Campsite. For this, you’ll need 15 Iron Nuggets, 15 Hardwood, 15 Softwood, and 15 Wood. Once you’ve gathered the resources, you’ll create a Campsite kit and will be tasked with selecting where to place it on your island. After placing it and speaking to Tom Nook, construction will begin and the Campsite will be ready the next day.
The Campsite will bring in one random villager sporadically and they will stay for several days at a time. You can interact with these tourists, play games with them and even ask them to move to your island. There are no upgrades to the Campsite.
Once Nook’s Cranny has been built, you will one day encounter hedgehog Mabel stationed outside Resident Services. Mabel will discuss selling clothes to you and your island villagers and will repeatedly show up on your island. Once you’ve bought 5,000 bells worth of items from her on two separate days, she’ll eventually decide to open up shop on your island and will ask you to select a location for her shop.
Two days after this the shop will open and you’ll be able to purchase a variety of clothing including tops, bottoms, outfits, socks, and shoes. The Able Sisters shop will only be open between 9 AM and 9 PM but will feature a fitting room where you can purchase multiple items. Also, like in most other Animal Crossing games, you’ll be able to speak with Sable and develop a close friendship with her to the point where she’ll eventually gift you fabric to customise items. There are no upgrades to this shop.
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