Creating the perfect little island is what Animal Crossing: New Horizons is all about. From the beginning of the game, you get to choose where your villagers set up their homes and where any additional buildings or houses get put in. However, you don't gain full control over island construction until Resident Services upgrades from a tent to a building. If you want to move buildings, create inclines to reach those cliffs, or build bridges over water, then you'll need to get Tom Nook to upgrade Resident Services. Here's how to do just that.
How to upgrade Resident Services to a building
In order to get Nook to move Resident Services from a tent to a proper building, you need to have five villagers on your island. It's going to take a few days and there are a lot of steps needed to make this happen. But don't worry. We'll walk you through it.
- Pay off your Deserted Island Getaway Package
- Upgrade your tent to a house
- Invite three new villagers to your island
- Get Tom Nook to build Nook's Cranny
- Place a bridge on your island
- Designate land for three new villagers
- Wait for all three villagers to move in
- Wait for the Resident Services building to be built
1. Pay off your Deserted Island Getaway Package
Upon getting to the deserted island, you owe Tom Nook 5,000 Nook Miles for flying you here and setting you up with a tent. Fortunately, you can earn all you need really quickly.
Run around your island trying new things. Catch a fish, shake trees, write on the bulletin board, and do similar activities to earn Nook Miles. When you finally have the amount you need, head over to Nook in Resident Services and pay off the getaway package. Note that the loan must be payed in full and cannot be paid off in installments.
2. Upgrade from a tent to a house
Upon paying off your getaway package, you'll immediately have the opportunity to put in a request for an actual house. Talk to Tom Nook in Resident Services to get the process started. You'll have to wait until the following day for the house to actually appear on your island.
Note: You must pay off the house loan with Bells, not Nook Miles and you cannot start paying off the loan on your house until the following day when the new house has been built.
3. Invite three new villagers to your island
Finding new villagers is pretty easy as long as you have the Nook Miles necessary for a plane ticket. Purchase the Nook Miles Ticket for 2,000 Nook Miles at the Nook Stop in Resident Services. Then, run down to the airport and tell the dodo behind the desk (no I'm not being deragatory) that you want to fly to another island.
You might encounter a random animal NPC while on your trip. Talk to them and invite them to live on your island. You'll need to make at least three different trips and invite each animal separately.
4. Get Nook's Cranny on your island
The following day, walk up to Timmy in Resident Services. He'll tell you that he wants to build a shop, but that he needs your assistance to do so. Gather the following and bring it back to him:
- 30 Wood
- 30 Hardwood
- 30 Softwood
- 30 Iron Nuggets
You'll need an axe to harvest the three wood types from trees. As far as Iron Nuggets go, you can either use a shovel or an axe on rocks in order to harvest them. If your island is already picked over for the day, you might want to purchase a Nook Miles Ticket from the kiosk in Resident Services and then use the airport to fly out to a random island. You should hopefully be able to find all of the resources you need that way.
After you've handed all the necessary materials over to Timmy, all you have to do is pick a spot for the store. Wait for another day to go by and then you'll find that Nook's Cranny appears on your island the following morning.
5. Place a bridge on the island
Once Nook's Cranny pops up, head to Resident Services and talk with Tom Nook again. He'll get a call from a villager who's interested in moving in. In order to make things easier for any additional residents, he'll ask you to craft and then place a bridge somewhere on the island. Choose a good location for your bridge. It will appear in the game the following day.
Note: Make sure you place this bridge somewhere useful because you won't be able to craft any additional bridges for quite a while.
6. Stake out land for three new villagers
Now return to Tom and let him know that the bridge has been placed. He'll give you three housing plots and ask you to choose the housing locations of your new three villagers. But wait, there's more. Instead of simply placing the plots, Tom Nook will also require that you furnish each house with three interior items and three exterior items.
You'll have to read the plackard on the left side of each plot to know exactly what each house needs. Run to a workbench and craft all of the items needed for these future houses. You can leave the exterior items in front of the plot, but you'll need to interact with the box and place the three interior items inside.
7. Wait for all three villagers to move in
Once the three housing plots have been placed and the proper furniture/decor has been provided, you have to play the waiting game. Only one villager will move in per day, so you're going to need to let three real-world days pass.
The morning that the third and final villager moves in, Nook will make an announcement informing you that he intends to upgrade Resident Services from a tent to an actual building. However, he's going to need a full day to build it. This means that the following day, you won't be able to access any of the features in Resident Services including the Nook Stop kiosk, the Workbench, or the Recycling Bin. Make sure to take care of any other business before the day ends to prepare for Resident Services being closed for a full day.
Wait for the Resident Services building to pop up
The following day, Nook will make an announcement stating that the new building has been built. Run to the location where the Resident Services tent has been. You'll find a shiny new building in it's place. Walk inside and you'll see Tom Nook as well as Isabelle working behind the counter.
Upon talking with Tom, you'll be able to place additional bridges, create inclines to reach cliffs easier, and even move most buildings to new locations. However, you can only place on bridge or incline per day and its still going to cost you thousands of Bells to make them appear.
If you build it, they will come
Now you know how to upgrade resident services from a tent to a building. This allows you to unlock construction, bring Isabelle to the island, and make additional changes to the island layout. Having bridges and inclines makes it a lot easier to get around your island and reach all of the resources your island has to offer. Good luck crafting the perfect getaway. It's going to take a pocket full of dreams, a fist full of Bells, and a phone filled with Nook Miles.
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