Animal Crossing: New Horizons - How to get Isabelle on your island

Isabelle (Image credit: Nintendo)

Isabelle is arguably the most popular and beloved Animal Crossing character, but unlike Animal Crossing: New Leaf, getting her on your island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons takes some effort and patience. Thankfully, though, the steps required aren't too difficult. Here's our guide to completing all of the necessary tasks for Isabelle to arrive.

Step One: Build Nook's Cranny

Animal Crossing New Horizons Nooks Cranny Outside

Animal Crossing New Horizons Nooks Cranny Outside (Image credit: iMore)

After a few days of island life, Tom Nook's nephews, Timmy and Tommy, will mention to you that they want to construct a shop for your island. For this, they require 30 Wood, 30 Hardwood, 30 Softwood, and 30 Iron Nuggets. You can get all three types of wood by whacking trees with an ax, while Iron Nuggets can be obtained by hitting rocks with an ax or a shovel.

If you run out of rocks to hit, we recommend using Nook Miles to get a Nook Miles Ticket so that you can visit a random island and find more rocks to mine. While there, keep an eye out for visiting villagers; you can invite them to live on your island, which will be necessary.

Once you have all of the materials you need, give them to Timmy and Tommy and then select where you want the Nook's Cranny shop to be located. The next day, the shop will be built and open for business.

Step Two: Invite three villagers to your island

Animal Crossing New Horizons Invite Villager

Animal Crossing New Horizons Invite Villager (Image credit: iMore)

The next step is to invite three villagers to live on your island, which you may have already done if you were using Nook Miles Tickets to gather materials. When visiting a small island with a Nook Miles Ticket, look out for villagers. You can talk to them and invite them to live on your island.

Once you have three invited, you'll need to wait a day for Tom Nook to give you your next task. It should be noted that you don't always have to invite all three. I was able to invite two and Tom Nook got the ball rolling the next day. But, if you are particular about who you want, be sure you invite the three neighbors you'd like.

Step Three: Prepare plots of land for residents

Animal Crossing New Horizons Jennifer House

Animal Crossing New Horizons Jennifer House (Image credit: iMore)

The day after you've invited villagers to your island, Tom Nook will ask you to pick out plots of land for them to live on. He will also suggest that you build a bridge across a river so that you have more space to work with, but you don't have to.

Once you've selected your three plots of land, each one will require several interior and exterior pieces of furniture to be ready for someone to move in. In general, these pieces will be things like tables, chairs, and clotheslines. All of these can be made using the DIY workbench, but you'll need resources like all the different woods, iron nuggets, clay, and stone (the latter three are all from rocks).

You put the required interior furniture in the plot's drop-off box, while external ones are to be placed next to the plot of land. Once a plot has everything it needs, Tom Nook can sell it to one of the villagers you asked to live on your island. The next day, they will have moved in. You need all three plots to be completed to get to the next step.

Step Four: Wait for the Resident Services upgrade

Animal Crossing New Horizons Valuable Bugs Fish Shells

Animal Crossing New Horizons Valuable Bugs Fish Shells (Image credit: iMore)

The good news is, your work is done! The bad news is, you have to wait quite a while for Tom Nook to upgrade the Resident Services tent into a full building after your three new villagers move in. Three days, in fact. On top of that, once Tom Nook does decide to upgrade, it takes another day for him to complete the renovations.

While this wait is a little frustrating, we recommend using this time to get other tasks done. Make sure that you show Tom Nook some creatures if you haven't done so already, as this is how he decides to invite Blathers to your island to open the museum. Some other things you can do include becoming friends with your new residents, catching fish and bugs, expanding your home (or paying your debt on it off), and more. Use the waiting time wisely!

Step Five: Isabelle arrives!


Isabelle (Image credit: Nintendo)

Once Tom Nook finishes upgrading the Resident Services building, he will announce that Isabelle has arrived on your island and will be working in the building with him! From this point on, Isabelle is a permanent part of your island crew, and you can talk to her by entering the new Resident Services building. Isabelle can help evaluate your island to see if any issues are going on, and she can help if you have a problem with one of your villagers. Additionally, you can also change your island's flag and unique musical tune by talking with her as well.

Your thoughts

What do you think of Isabelle's role in Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Do you think the grind to get her to arrive is too long? Personally, I think the waiting period for the Resident Services upgrade is a bit tedious, but aside from that the process isn't too painful.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available now on Nintendo Switch for $60.

Brendan Lowry