One of the great things about Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the ability to visit other people’s islands, belonging to friends and strangers alike. Players may open their islands for people to sell turnips, or for people to just explore and show off their hard work. While a player may know what is and isn’t acceptable on their friends’ islands, they may not know what is acceptable on a stranger’s island.
Players have devoted lots of hours and bells into designing and building up their island and don’t want it to be ruined. Before taking anything, it’s always best to ask, but here is a breakdown of standard etiquette to keep in mind when visiting other islands in New Horizons.
There are a lot of things a player shouldn’t do on another person’s island without asking first. One to keep in mind is not to shake trees unless the island owner says it’s OK. While some players may have markings on the ground (either made themselves or found online) to indicate what type of tree it is, not all do — and regardless, it’s rude to shake trees without permission.
Some players like fruit or Bells to stay on their trees for aesthetics, or because they’re trying to sync fruit spawn schedules. Some will put up fencing around trees to prevent others from shaking, but not everyone has the Bells, resources or space to do so.
Likewise, players should be respectful when they see fossils or bamboo shoots buried in the ground on another person’s island. If a player sees a tell-tale star on the ground, they can either dig it up and offer it to the host, let the host know so they can dig it up themselves, or just leave it alone. While four to five fossils appear on an island per day, the one fossil a visitor spots could be one that the host needs. While the host may not even notice if the fossil is dug up and taken, it’s a rude thing to do to the someone who is allowing people to explore their island.
Some players might have an area dedicated to offering free stuff, which could include anything: DIY recipes, furniture, clothing, fossils, fruits, or even flowers. If there isn’t a designated freebie area, don’t presume anything laying around is up for grabs. It could be that a player simply ran out of space while exploring their island and had to swap something out, fully intending to pick it up later.
When players become best friends in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, they gain the ability to use their shovels and axes on each other’s islands. This means they can greatly change things on each other’s islands including destroying rocks, cutting down trees, or removing trees and flowers. While most players won’t be given best friend status on a stranger’s island, a player might be given that status if there is a big free section that includes flowers. Either way, players should be respectful and not abuse this status. To reiterate, it’s always best to ask before taking anything, no matter whose island a player is visiting.
Avoiding the above “don’ts” is common courtesy in New Horizons. If players want to show their appreciation for a host, it also doesn’t hurt to bring a present. If players can communicate before visiting, guests can ask their hosts if they need or desire anything. Otherwise, some items are universally accepted — and appreciated.
Items that always make good gifts include Nook Miles Tickets, fish bait, fossils, DIY recipes, tools (regular, outdoorsy or colorful), flooring, wallpaper, or any uncommon or unique crafted items. While the host might already have some of those things, they can either use them, sell them or gift them to someone else. It just comes down to the thought of it all.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons should follow these dos and don'ts when visiting other players' islands in-game, whether they be strangers or friends.