Animal Crossing

Best way to plan your island layout in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

by Meg Bethany Koepp
Nintendo (via Twitter: triforcemeg)

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Deciding how you want your island layout in Animal Crossing: New Horizons can be a stressful business, but it doesn't have to be – there's a useful tool that will help you plan it all out.

One of the biggest and best features in New Horizons is being able to design your town exactly how you want it to be, all thanks to the terraforming tool that allows players to completely manipulate cliffs and rivers for the first time. It can be a daunting task, though, especially if you're new to the series and aren't familiar with customization.

Luckily, there's a tool for you that will make the whole process 10 times easier, and means you won't be designing and then demolishing your work over and over again to try and make the perfect layout. Introducing: the Island Planner app – AKA the answer to all your prayers.

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Animal Crossing island planner

Developers Rob Fichman and Carmela Diaz are the brains behind the genius idea, and have created a 3D application that lets you create your town layout without actually being in the game itself. The tool starts off with a blank canvas of grass that you can build upon using an array of options like building cliffs, carving out rivers, and setting paths.

You can even put the buildings where you'd like them to be, such as the museum and Nook's Cranny, and can manipulate rivers and cliffs to make waterfalls and multiple levels.

If you're finding it difficult to place objects, you can enable a square grid to help, and there are several camera angles and zoom levels to give you a better view of how it's all coming together.

bobacupcake, itch.io
The tool is really easy to use, and will be a big help if you're stumped on how to design your town.

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After you've made your layout, you can even save it to your computer for easy reference later when it comes to replicating it in your real town.

The tool can still be of great use to players who don't need much inspiration designing their island. Carving out rivers and cliffs can be a pain to master, especially with all of the diagonals, so you could just use it for practice.

Currently, elements like rocks, trees, bushes, and fencing aren't available, but the developers are working on it – so stay tuned to the app's itch.io page for updates.

Nintendo (via Twitter: @triforcemeg)
Everybody's town layout is unique.

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If you'd like more terraforming inspiration, check out our handy guide where we show you some of the best ideas out there for transforming your island.

To see the best towns that are already finished, head to our best layouts list to see some crazy works of art.