It is safe to say that Animal Crossing: New Horizons worked pretty well with fans of the series and new players. Social media has been absolutely overwhelmed with messages as people are busy on their deserted islands, filling their Critterpedias with insects and fish, designing their own clothes, reshaping their islands and generally having fun. The game has entered mainstream media in a way that few games do, with non-gamers taking note and asking what all this cheerful and colorful nonsense is.
And with the way things are going for many people around the world at this difficult time, we cannot think of a better suited video game to calm everyone down and remember that everything will be fine in the end. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is an absolutely exceptional video game.
It’s not perfect, however – what is a video game? The question of how Nintendo can improve Animal Crossing has been floating around in our minds as a common bluebottle for the past few days. The Switch entry has streamlined so much about the Animal Crossing experience, but there are still a few areas that we wouldn’t want to see refined in an update.
Fortunately, the ideas we have formulated are exactly the kinds of things you could change with a patch. The base game is top notch; we just procrastinate with them. However, after having collectively spent a lot, many hours with the game, here are some suggestions for improvements that we would like to see in the future.
Manufacture of objects in batches
Yes, we are looking at the Japanese clams. Anyone who has spent the last days of March hunting golden trout or the elusive chain fish will experience the pain of making endless individual items. Yes, you can hammer ‘A’ to get rid of the fish bait faster, but you’ll probably get an RSI if you do 30 in a row like we did. Several times.
The option to simply select the item and adjust the quantity you want to make would be a lifeline, or more precisely, an inch saver. We’d love a 30 second montage as we watched our character walk away, wiping the sweat from their foreheads feverishly before presenting 30 finished fish baits.
In any case, the possibility of making several objects at the same time would be greatly appreciated.
It seems that the Golden Tools are simply shiny and more durable versions of the normal tools of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. In previous games, the golden versions of your tool set were significantly “better” than their current counterparts – the insect net was larger, the slingshot shot three shots, etc. – but this time, it doesn’t seem to offer any improvement. What else, they break!
The idea of Golden Tools has always been a bit strange considering the time you have them, you have probably already finished all the tasks for which they are useful (raised all flowers, caught all insects and fish, etc. ). And now that the Golden Tools are breaking like the others, they are … well, they are sort of useless. What we need is another tool level, diamond tools. They would not break, they would work better, they would be perfect.
For all we know, they already exist in the game, or Nintendo plans to release something similar across the board. We know it’s a bad form to blame your tools (bad workers, and all that), but what we would give for a diamond fishing rod!
Stock sorting options
Inside your home, you can open your storage by pressing right on the D-pad and sort the items alphabetically or by time or by type. However, when you’re on the go, you can only sort your inventory (on the “X” button) by selecting an item, holding “A” and dragging it manually. Why not also add the same Storage sorting function to the elements of our person?
Optional touch screen support for menus and custom designs
Nintendo is inconsistent when it comes to using the touch screen as an optional input for proprietary games. Some games (Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, for example) allow you to use the touch screen for menus, and we would like that to apply to Animal Crossing as well. It’s already available for input (press the “R” button), but we see no reason why it shouldn’t also be an option for navigating through menus, adjusting your home layout and creating custom designs. It may not be precise enough for the latter, but it is strange that it is not included as an alternative entry method.
Going even further, it can be argued that an additional touch control scheme would be a great accessibility option. It worked beautifully for Animal Crossing: Wild World, and beyond the imprecision of our finger or Switch stylus compared to the Nintendo DS stylus, we cannot think of an obvious obstacle to implementing optional touch controls.
Improved Quick Tools (Map a Tool in a D-pad Direction)
The quick ringing tool is very useful in avoiding frustrating moments when you scour all your tools for the right one. However, rather than browsing all that we are wearing, we would prefer the option to map specific tools to the left, right and bottom buttons of the D-pad. In this way, we could instantly access our most used tools. Want to put them away? Press the button again. Easy!
It’s a small thing, but switching between the pole, the ladder and our other tools is a bit slow, even using the Ring Tool, and especially at the start of the game when your island lacks bridges and slopes and you must constantly whip your jumping pole outside.
Animal Crossing is a simulation of calm life that promotes the virtues slow live, and we love that. However, we wouldn’t mind a little more speed in its menus. It’s not terrible at all, we just think the transitions could be faster. We have places to go, fish to catch, people to see!
Accelerate online travel time
The first time we visited someone else’s island, we really loved the floatplane tour and Wilbur’s speech on the intercom giving the local time and weather. It’s great if you’re someone who goes to someone else’s island. However, with several online visitors watching each overview when a new person arrives, this same sequence soon becomes interminable.
If you’ve just visited a friend or two, this is probably not a big deal for you. If you’re inviting people to a party on the island, however, it’s best to book 20 minutes while everyone is flying away. love to see the journey time when playing online, increase your speed.
Reduced repetition of blathers
Let us precede this suggestion by the fact that we love the Blathers. One of our favorite characters is the discerning night owl who takes care of the museum, and although he is known for his activity, we think he is fabulous. Most often, we listen with enthusiasm to its factoids about the insects, fish and fossils that we bring to it.
“Going a bit” and “repeating yourself openly” are two different things, however, and although we should be used to the previous games, Blathers’ repeated dialogue may start to creak. This applies to any character tending a convenience, even if it doesn’t seem to be a problem with others – perhaps because we talk to him (to assess fossils, generally) more often. We would like it to have more variations in its repertoire of sentences.
There are ways to politely circumvent some of the Blathers’ blatherings by donating articles or evaluating fossils in bulk, but an alternative dialogue in this introductory speech would not be wrong.
The possibility to change the resident representative of the island
This is a problem that many families with a single switch will have encountered. For some reason, Nintendo has gone the “One Switch, One Island” route with New Horizons. However, there is another design choice that makes even less sense to us – you cannot swap the resident representative for your island.
Progress and projects are linked to one person in New Horizons (the “mayor” of the game, if you will) and others are unable to dictate projects or manage the island in the same way. It’s great as long as the main player – the person who named the island and started the game – still plays it actively. If that player loses interest or is unavailable, however, everyone else on the island is blocked (from a progression perspective). The possibility of changing the resident representative would solve this problem.
This is an issue that many players will never encounter or will not even have to consider, but for people (mainly families), this affects the possibility of changing the resident representative of your island would be incredibly useful.
What do you think of these suggestions for improvements to Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Let us know by choosing the ones you think you are more welcome to our survey below, and be sure to share any other suggestions in the comments section.
Be sure to check out our comprehensive Animal Crossing: New Horizons guide for more tips and advice!