Animal Crossing New Horizons Perfect TownSource: iMore

Veterans of the Animal Crossing series will remember trying to get a "perfect town" by planting lots of flowers, pulling weeds, and planting trees in New Leaf. In New Horizons, a similar mechanic returns, but with the ability to decorate the entirety of your island by putting furniture outside, it's gotten far more complicated...and, mostly, far more fun.

A perfect getaway

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Build, decorate, design

Animal Crossing: New Horizons takes place on a deserted island. Start with a tent and upgrade to a house, customize it to your liking, make friends with the villagers, and build the perfect island paradise for you and your friends.

Are you chasing a 5-star town in New Horizons? Do you want a Gold Watering Can recipe? Don't worry. Here's everything we can tell you about how to get a perfect town in this game:

What does it mean to have a 5-star town?

Animal Crossing New Horizons Perfect TownSource: iMore

Once you unlock the Resident Services building in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you'll also gain access to island evaluations. Isabelle will essentially give you a "ranking" for your island based on how beautiful and well-decorated it is. This ranking is important early on, as you'll need a 3-star rating to complete Project K and invite K.K. Slider to your town. But after that, if you want to push for a 5-star town, you'll have to work even harder.

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Why do I want a 5-star town?

Animal Crossing New Horizons Perfect TownSource: iMore

Getting a 5-star town is a distinction all its own, but there are a few special rewards you only get by having one. They are:

The Gold Watering Can

Isabelle gives you this recipe as soon as you talk to her, and she tells you that you have a 5-star town. You can make it with one Watering Can and one Gold Ore. The Gold Watering Can waters an even larger radius than the regular Watering Can, and takes a long time to break.

Gold Roses

Gold Roses can only be acquired by watering Black Roses with a Gold Watering Can. If you're trying to collect every type of flower, you'll need the Gold Watering Can from a 5-star town to do it.

Lilies of the Valley

Animal Crossing New Horizons Perfect TownSource: iMore

Lilies of the Valley are a unique, rare flower that you can only get once you have a 5-star town. Once you reach 5 stars, you'll have to maintain the ranking. Every day that you do, your island has a chance to spawn more of these rare flowers.

How do I get 5 stars?

Animal Crossing New Horizons Perfect TownSource: iMore

The biggest, most important thing you can do to get a five-star town is to listen to Isabelle. Talk to Isabelle at Resident Services and ask her to evaluate the island. She'll tell you what ranking you have, give you a piece of feedback, then tell you what you're still missing.

You can ignore the feedback -- it's mostly just flavor. But listen to the last part. Isabelle will give you advice, including decorating more, cutting down or adding trees, or inviting more residents. Whatever she says is always the thing you're suffering on, so speak with her first, then read below for more details on what needs to be done to get a five-star town.

Villagers

Animal Crossing New Horizons Perfect TownSource: iMore

The first step to increasing the star rating in your town is to increase the population. You'll probably first notice this problem when you're trying to reach three stars and unlock K.K. Slider's concerts. You need to have at least eight residents to achieve three stars.

However, after that, it seems like it doesn't matter too much. Ten is the maximum number you can have, but I had nine when I reached five stars, so it seems you don't need a full town to achieve a perfect rating. You just need at least nine or more, possibly eight or more. Either way, it's best to try and fill up on residents first before you work on the other parts of your town.

Trees

Animal Crossing New Horizons Perfect TownSource: iMore

A 5-star town ideally has a good balance of everything: trees, flowers, and decor. You don't want zero trees, but you also don't want too many. You also don't want sections of your town to only be trees, because then there's no room for decoration. -- more on that in a moment.

You should, ideally, be planting trees as you go. Your town starts with a healthy amount, and you'll likely plant more as you gain foreign fruits (fruits that weren't native to your town when you started) and plant those trees, as well as plant Bell trees by finding golden spots on the ground and burying bells there. If you're only doing those two things from the very beginning, you'll have a healthy amount of trees. If Isabelle isn't explicitly telling you to plant more or fewer trees, you're good to go on this front.

If you need more trees, plant fruit, or you can buy non-fruit trees from the Nookling's store. Also, bamboo counts as a tree too! If you can get ahold of some bamboo and would rather plant that, go for it!

Flowers

Animal Crossing New Horizons Perfect TownSource: iMore

Flowers are essential to a 5-star town -- you're going to need to plant them. You can buy bags of seeds from the Nooklings, and you can also dig up flowers from Nook Miles Islands and bring them back with you to plant on your island.

A good rule of thumb is to make sure you have at least a handful of flowers in every "square" of the "grid' that overlays your in-game map -- open your map, and you'll see what I'm talking about. You don't need to have a variety of types or colors; any flower will do.

Something you don't have to do though is water them. Flowers won't die if you fail to water them. But they won't reproduce. So if you want a lot of flowers quickly without having to buy them or dig them up somewhere, watering existing ones is a good way to get more. All you need for them to produce more is to have two flowers of the same species next to one another, then water them (if it rains, they all get watered!). Every day that you water them gives them a chance to produce new flowers the next day -- and you may even get hybrid flowers like this!

Decorations

Animal Crossing New Horizons Perfect TownSource: iMore

The absolute most crucial element in getting a 5-star island is to decorate it, head to toe. Remember that grid overlaying the minimap I mentioned earlier? You really need decorations in just about every square of that map. There's a bit of leeway with the beach, as my 5-star town had a few beach-only squares with nothing in them, but every main square had at least one piece of decor, and most had multiple.

If you're stuck anywhere on trying to get a five-star town, and Isabelle isn't giving specific advice, then you're definitely in need of more decorations. The good news is, it doesn't matter what you decorate with. You can decorate with a hundred log benches, and it'll count just as much as nice decor. So if you're rushing to finish that 5-star town, look at what furniture recipes you have that you can make for low amounts of resources, make a ton of those, and spread them all over the place.

All that said, if you're playing Animal Crossing and you care about having a 5-star town at all, chances are you care about having a nice-looking island. And you may not have access to the exact kind of decor you want at the moment. What I recommend is still making a lot of DIY furniture that's similar to what you want later (for example, if you want to make an outdoor cafe, make chairs and tables for it and put them where you want your fancier chairs and tables to be eventually). That way, you don't have to do a ton of lifting later, and you still get the credit.

Other than that — shake all your trees every day to get furniture to drop, knockdown balloons for more furniture and DIY recipes, and once you can give villagers items daily, give them clothing items regularly. You might get furniture back, or they might randomly stop you to give you furniture as you play the game regularly. Additionally, you can get one new DIY recipe per day from combing the beach and finding a bottle, and a second once per day from a random villager (they'll be in their house using their crafting table, just talk to them).

One last tip -- build fences! Fences count as furniture, and they're a great way to organize your town! You can get recipes for more fence types from the Nook Stop, and every time you craft one fence, it makes ten "pieces" of fencing, so they're mostly cheap to make.

This is by far the part that is the most challenging and takes the most time. Keep making decorations, save the ones you already have and throw them all over your island, and you'll have a 5-star town sooner than you think.

Trash

Animal Crossing New Horizons Perfect TownSource: iMore

Finally, though this may seem obvious to some, you can't have trash lying around your island on the ground. You're probably not dropping crap all over the ground, but one way this has tripped a lot of people up is if you're storing your turnips outside while you wait for good prices. One stack of turnips won't throw things off, but if you've got several hundreds of turnips rotting in the sun, people will notice, and your island will get dinged for trash. Clean it up! Store those turnips inside!

Some things, however, don't count. Things that wash up on the beach aren't trash (though if you pick them up and drop them again, they will count). Fruit and sticks dropped on the ground from shaking trees and stones that naturally spawn from rocks also seem not to cause problems, though it's possible they do in large quantities. Mostly, the game seems to count anything you drop on the floor as trash, not naturally-occurring things.

One question mark is weeds. In previous Animal Crossing games, having weeds in your town meant you couldn't have a perfect town. In New Horizons, I got a 5-star town while two segments of my town still had lots of weeds in them -- I was keeping them for aesthetic reasons, and I had furniture and flowers and trees in that area too. I'm not sure if you need to clear a certain amount of weeds for a perfect town, but Isabelle will likely tell you if there are too many weeds. What I know for sure is you don't need to have perfectly cleared every weed, and you can even have quite a few and still be okay.

Still falling short of perfection?

Struggling to get that perfect town? Let me know in the comments, and I'll try to point you in the right direction!

A perfect getaway

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Build, decorate, design

Animal Crossing: New Horizons takes place on a deserted island. Start with a tent and upgrade to a house, customize it to your liking, make friends with the villagers, and build the perfect island paradise for you and your friends.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Main

Animal Crossing TitleSource: Nintendo

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