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Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Island Tunes guide

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tune
Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tune (Image credit: iMore)

In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you're the architect of your own island. You get to decide where the buildings go, where every tree and flower grows, even which villagers stay and which go. You can also customize the music that plays in key parts of your island. We here at iMore have step-by-step instructions for changing your tune, and we've collected some of the best songs that have already been converted!

What is an island tune anyways?

Whenever you talk to one of the residents of your island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you will hear a version of a short song, known as the island tune. These 16 notes are the same no matter which villager you're talking with — even Tom Nook and Isabelle. Once Isabelle takes up residence on your island, she will help you change your island tune whenever you want.

How do I change my island tune?

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Scale (Image credit: iMore)

The actual process of changing your island tune is super simple. Once Isabelle has come to your island, you can change it anytime you want. You have 16 notes, each of which can be set to 16 different sounds:

  • Pause - no note will play.
  • Hold - will prolong the previous note.
  • Low G note
  • A note
  • B note
  • C note
  • D note
  • E note
  • F note
  • G note
  • High A note
  • High B note
  • High C note
  • High D note
  • High E note
  • ? - an odd chittering sound.

You then arrange these sounds and place them in any of the 16 note spots. If you have a bit of a musical background, you might already know what song you'd like to use, or maybe you're ambitious enough to compose your own tune. Either way, to change your tune, just follow these easy steps:

  1. Go to Resident Services.
  2. Sit in the right stool to speak to Isabelle.
  3. Press A to select Change the island tune.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Change Island Tune (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Using either the left joystick or the directional pad, change notes. Up and down change an individual note, and left or right switch between the notes.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tune Blank (Image credit: iMore)
  1. After selecting each note, press Y to preview the tune.
  2. If you are happy with your tune, press + to set the tune.

And just like that, you've changed your island tune.

Help! What song should I use?

Maybe your musical background isn't so strong, or you want an easy way to set a familiar song for your island tune. Either way, we've got your back. We've tested several songs out as island tunes and can recommend any of the following songs for you!

Super Mario and friends?

We're playing on a Nintendo Switch, after all, so Mario and co. could be a perfect fit for your island tune.

The Super Mario Bros. Theme, perhaps?

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Super Mario Bros Theme (Image credit: iMore)

How about Super Mario Odyssey?

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Super Mario Odyssey (Image credit: iMore)

Maybe Super Mario Sunshine is more your speed?

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Super Mario Sunshine (Image credit: iMore)

Everyone loves Super Smash Bros. Ultimate!

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Super Smash Bros Ultimate (Image credit: iMore)

Yoshi has an island too!

Animal Crossing New Horizons Yoshis Island Lullaby (Image credit: iMore)

Or maybe you'd prefer Yoshi's Story?

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Yoshis Story Stage Theme (Image credit: iMore)

Zelda

Maybe you've already brought Zelda clothes into your Animal Crossing: New Horizons wardrobe and want to complete the experience with one of these classic Zelda tunes?

Epona's Song

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Zelda Eponas Song (Image credit: iMore)

The Lost Wood's Theme

Animal Crossing New Horizons Zelda Lost Woods (Image credit: iMore)

Gotta catch 'em all?

If you've already adopted these Ash Ketchum and Pokémon custom designs for your attire, maybe you'll want some Pokémon music to complete the theme?

The Indigo League Theme

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Pokemon Indigo League (Image credit: iMore)

The Lavender Town Theme

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Pokemon Lavender Town (Image credit: iMore)

Other video games

Plenty of other video games have songs that fit well.

Kirby's Dreamland - Ripple Field

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Kirbys Dreamland Ripple Field (Image credit: iMore)

Kirby Super Stars

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Kirby Super Stars (Image credit: iMore)

The Mii Channel Theme

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Mii Channel Theme (Image credit: iMore)

A Hat in Time - Mafia Town

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Hat In Time Mafia Town (Image credit: iMore)

Undertale - Megalovania

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Undertale Megalovania (Image credit: iMore)

Classic movie tunes?

These classic movie songs might be exactly what you're looking for:

Somewhere over the Rainbow from the Wizard of Oz

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Image credit: iMore)

Star Wars

Imperial March

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Imperial March Star Wars (Image credit: iMore)

Leia's theme

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Star Wars Leia (Image credit: iMore)

Yoda and the Force

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Star Wars Yoda And The Force (Image credit: iMore)

The Jurassic Park Theme

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Jurassic Park (Image credit: iMore)

My Neighbor Totoro

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes My Neighbor Totoro (Image credit: iMore)

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Forest Wind Totoro (Image credit: iMore)

Hedwig's Theme from Harry Potter

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Harry Potter (Image credit: iMore)

My personal fave

Personally, though, I prefer the classic Chocobo Theme from the Final Fantasy series:

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Final Fantasy Chocobo (Image credit: iMore)

Even more tunes

While plenty of songs can't be summed up with just sixteen notes, and plenty more are just not the right key, there are still so many possibilities:

Bubblegum K.K.

Would you like some more Animal Crossing in your Animal Crossing?

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Bubblegum K K (Image credit: iMore)

Toss a coin to your Witcher?

If this particular earworm has been stuck in your head since finishing The Witcher on Netflix, you can make it your island tune too.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Toss A Coin Witcher (Image credit: iMore)

Baby Shark

Speaking of earworms...

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Baby Shark (Image credit: iMore)

Rock the Casbah by The Clash

Need a chart-topping hit by the Clash?

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Rock The Casbah (Image credit: iMore)

Stranger Things

Maybe some of the creepy background music from Stranger Things is more your style?

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Stranger Things Creepy (Image credit: iMore)

Engel by Ramstein

I bet you still know every word (even if you don't know the translation!)

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Engel Ramstein (Image credit: iMore)

Everybody Wants to be a Cat

Because a cat's the only cat who knows where it's at!

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Everybody Wants To Be A Cat (Image credit: iMore)

Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden

Won't you come and wash away the rain?

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Black Hole Sun (Image credit: iMore)

Batman the Animated Series theme

Na na na na na na na na na na na na na...

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes Batman The Animated Series (Image credit: iMore)

5,000 Candles in the Wind

Bye-bye Li'l Sebastian

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Tunes 5000 Candles (Image credit: iMore)

If none of the tunes we offered feel quite right, don't worry. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of other songs to choose from. There is even a Subreddit devoted to sharing tunes. There, players share their favorites, and you can even make requests.

Questions?

Do you have any questions about changing your Island Tune? Want to share some of your favorite tunes that didn't make our list? Drop them in the comments below and be sure to check out our other Animal Crossing: New Horizons guides for all your Nook approved goodness!