Everything revealed in Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct (October 2021)

Meg Bethany Koepp
animal crossing direct october 2021Nintendo

After months of waiting, Nintendo finally hosted an Animal Crossing Direct to showcase the massive update 2.0 coming to New Horizons. Here’s everything that was revealed during the presentation.

After Animal Crossing: New Horizons released in March 2020 at the start of the global health crisis, many players took shelter in the game’s whimsical world, being whisked away to a deserted island and tasked with starting a new life.

The developer promised regular updates to fill in features that were missing at launch, such as Brewster and quality of life changes. In 2021, however, new content has been scarce, with no communication as to when anything fresh is coming – until now, that is. On October 15, 2021, Nintendo finally revealed a whole host of upcoming additions and changes in update 2.0.

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animal crossing leaf border


animal crossing leaf border

October Animal Crossing Direct reveals

While it was known beforehand that Brewster will finally be returning to the series, Nintendo remained tight-lipped about other features, making the Animal Crossing Direct a delight for fans when a whole horde of upcoming content was announced for update 2.0.

This page will focus on the larger additions coming to New Horizons, but here’s the full list of smaller ones:

  • More house exterior and interior options such as light and ceiling decor
  • Expanded storage, including a storage shed that can be placed outside
  • New fence types
  • Handheld camera mode
  • New KK Slider songs with a music box item
  • An ABD so you can access your bank account without going to the NookStop
  • More Nook Miles purchases
  • The maximum number of bridges and inclines increased from eight to 10
  • Can wear custom designs and use them as flooring and wallpaper
  • New reactions
  • New Nook’s Cranny furniture
  • Ladders can be placed permanently with the Ladder Set Up Kit
  • Squeeze through smaller gaps in your home


brewster in animal crossing new horizonsNintendo
That’s right, folks. Brewster is FINALLY back.

The coffee-loving pigeon is back! Situated in the museum, his cafe – The Roost – offers a relaxing sanctuary from a day’s hard work of cutting trees, fishing, and catching bugs.

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Not only can you drink many types of coffee, but villagers and special NPCs will visit with amiibo cards, offering unique conversation options littered with charm.

You can also invite your friends to your island and go drink a cup of joe with them, making for some cute photo opportunities.

Kapp’n & mysterious islands

kapp'n in animal crossing new horizonsNintendo
The sea shanty-singing turtle takes you to new islands.

Kapp’n, the series’ resident taxi, boat, and bus driver, is back. In New Horizons, armed with his famous sea shanties, he will take you on a mysterious tour where you visit unknown locations, much like Dodo Airlines.

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The islands are filled with new materials like flowers and fauna, and the time of day and season varies depending on where you go. This is perfect for those fish and bugs you missed out on months ago and you’d usually have to wait ages for them to cycle around again.

Harv’s Island updates

reese and cyrus in animal crossing new horizonsNintendo
The popular couple make their permanent return, as well as some more familiar faces.

Harv’s Island is getting a big addition. Now, not only is his abode a place to scan amiibo and take photos, it has a plaza with shops to buy all sorts of items from. Best of all, the vendors are Special NPCs. Sahara, Wendell, Harriet, Katrina, Tortimer, Reese, and Cyrus, all return, as well as some familiar characters already in the game.

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Starting from Wild World in 2005, Harriet appeared with her Shampoodle salon and allowed the player to change their hairstyle and hair color. She is making a return in New Horizons, and will offer styles unique to her.

Reese and Cyrus bring their customization feature over from New Leaf as well, and will change furniture colors and designs for a fee. Want a red lighthouse but have a yellow one? They can sort that out for you.

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Group Stretching

group stretching in animal crossing new horizonsNintendo
You can join in on some daily exercise with this new feature.

In the original GameCube game, Tortimer and Copper hosted a morning aerobics session by the town tree and your character could join in for a hilarious little minigame.

This feature is returning in update 2.0. Called Group Stretching, your villagers and you will prepare to start the day with some healthy exercise. Gotta work those muscles to avoid cramping, right?

The activity is controlled by the JoyCon’s motion control to get you up and stretching in real life too.

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Town Ordinances

ordinances in animal crossing new horizonsNintendo
Ordinances are back, offering accessibility for more playstyles.

Another welcome returning feature from New Leaf, ordinances let you customize your town even further and make it easier to play around your real-world lifestyle.

Do you work full-time and are tired of your stores closing early? Then the Night Owl ordinance is for you, making your shops close later so you can get more playtime in.

There’s also an Early Bird version that does the opposite, Beautiful Town which stops flowers from wilting, and Bell Boom that increases sales prices.

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Cooking and harvesting

harvesting in animal crossing new horizonsNintendo
Cooking and harvesting is here… AKA you’re a farmer now.

You will be able to cook with DIY recipes, making dishes like minestrone soup and mushroom salads. But the best part? You plant and harvest the ingredients yourself like a true farmer.

Tomatoes, wheat, sugarcane, potatoes, carrots, and pumpkins are just some of the resources you can grow, taking them to the kitchen in your house and whipping up a top meal like Gordon Ramsey.

Either eat your dishes or display them in your home and around your island – the choice is yours.

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gyroids in animal crossing new horizonsNintendo
The bizarre musical statues are back, and you can customize them.

One of the most requested features from past games is returning: Gyroids. They are bizarre furniture items that make a sound when they’re placed and can be used in your home to accompany music or just left to sing as is.

They are made from Gyroid fragments, which you must plant and water to grow into a full-sized one. More appear after it’s rained.

You can also customize their colors to match your house. No more boring browns here!

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Invite villagers to your home (and vice versa)

visitors in animal crossing new horizonsNintendo
Villagers will surprise you with unexpected house calls.

Now, you can invite villagers to visit your house like in previous Animal Crossing titles. And you can even go to theirs if they ask.

Characters will also show up randomly if you’re in your home, so prepare for some surprise visits.

It is presumed that, like in other games, they’ll give you a gift if they like your style but that’s not been confirmed yet.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons update 2.0 release date

Update 2.0 will be going live on November 5, 2021. It is completely free and a complimentary patch for all players.

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It is the last free major update coming to New Horizons, after which they’ll be releasing paid DLC.

Paid DLC

The first set of paid DLC, called Happy Home Paradise, is basically a sequel to Happy Home Designer on the Nintendo 3DS. Lottie makes a return, as well as other Special NPCs.

It also releases on November 5, with preorders going live on October 29, and will cost $24.99.

For more information, check out our Animal Crossing: Happy Home Paradise hub.

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So, there you have it – that’s everything you need to know about the Animal Crossing Nintendo Direct for October and update 2.0.

Looking for more tips and tricks covering all things New Horizons? Take a look at our other guides:

Gift guide | 5 of the funniest Villager catchphrases | Best way to force Villagers out | How to get Iron Nuggets fast | How to stop Villagers moving out | Terraforming ideas | How to get the Shell Arch