Animal Crossing New Horizons: How to Improve Your Happy Home Academy Score

Animal Crossing New Horizons: How to Improve Your Happy Home Academy Score

We show you how you can improve your home and raise its rating with the Happy Home Academy.

There's a surprising amount of judgement in Animal Crossing New Horizons. Not only is your island under scrutiny, but the Happy Home Academy, or HHA, will assign points scores to your house and reward you accordingly. Below we'll show you how to improve your Happy Home score and rating, as well as what rewards you can get for doing so.

On this page:

How to Improve Your Happy Home Academy Score in Animal Crossing New Horizons

There's no singular process that increases your home's score; instead it takes into account numerous aspects that all contribute towards the final rating. The process can be a little arbitrary, and people are still trying to work out all the fickle nuances, but there's some very reliable ways to increase or lower your score. Below, we've listed all the known ways to boost it as high as possible.

It's ugly, but I guess the HHA likes it. | Joel Franey/USgamer, Nintendo
  • Increase the size of your home. As basic as it sounds, the HHA likes a big mansion more than a cozy cottage, not to mention you'll have more space to decorate over time.
  • Once you have all these rooms, don't leave any of them empty.
  • Make sure you have all the fundamental pieces of furniture: a bed, chair, table and a dresser/wardrobe. The points increase if they're all in the same room, and even more if they're all from the same set. Keep adding extra pieces from the same set for even more of a points increase.
  • If you don't have matching sets, matching colours are the next best thing. You won't get as many points, but it's better than if they're all random and mismatched.
  • Theme Days and the items associated with them give massive point boosts. As much as we all despise Bunny Day, filling a room with egg-based furniture will do a lot for the HHA's mood.
  • Don't leave walls bare. Try to have at least one poster or piece of furnishing on every wall.
  • Make sure furniture is facing into the room, not pointing towards the wall.
  • Certain items, such as plaques and trophies from the HHA or posters of villagers, give a significant score boost.
  • Feng Shui can do a lot to increase your score. It's a complex system which we'll explain below.
  • Ensure your house doesn't have cockroaches (these'll show up after leaving the game for a month).

Feng Shui Explained

Feng Shui in Animal Crossing is a system of placing furniture in a room according to colour and direction. It's not made clear within the game, but the HHA loves Feng Shui placement, and it also appears to change other elements when handled properly. To utilise Feng Shui, you'll want do the following:

  • Place yellow furniture on the West (left) side of the room, within two squares of the wall.
  • Place red furniture on the East (right) side of the room, within two squares of the wall.
  • Place green furniture on the South (bottom) side of the room, within two squares of the wall.
  • Furniture outside this radius does not impact Feng Shui.
  • This system includes objects placed on tables, so you can further increase your score.
  • The bottom corner squares can apply to both colours (green and yellow in the South-West, green and red in the South-East).
  • These points increase for every piece of furniture, so use small objects to cram as much into the Feng Shui hot zones as possible.
  • The above rules apply to all rooms in your house, not just the main one.

It's currently not confirmed for certain, but Feng Shui has positively affected players' luck in past Animal Crossing games when done properly. If applied to New Horizons, this system should mean that yellow objects in the correct areas will boost luck regarding bells, red objects in the correct areas will boost luck regarding items, and green objects in the right areas will boost luck for both.

Letters from the HHA will appear in your mailbox frequently. | Joel Franey/USgamer, Nintendo

Happy Home Academy Rewards and Ratings

After moving into your home, the HHA will start to send you occasional pieces of furniture or objects as a matter of course, as well as weekly appraisals of your house. They'll assign a points score, split into three tiers.

  • Rank B: 39,999 points or less.
  • Rank A: 40,000 - 49,999 points.
  • Rank S: 50,000 points or more.

These ranks are fairly arbitrary, but the points you score do correspond to awards and items that the HHA will send you.

PointsHHA Reward
10,000HHA Pennant
20,000Bronze HHA Plaque
30,000Silver HHA Plague
50,000Gold HHA Plaque
70,000Bronze HHA Trophy
100,000Silver HHA Trophy
150,000Gold HHA Trophy

These objects can be hung or displayed in your home, all of which will increase your HHA score substantially.

Why not read some more Animal Crossing content? Caty's love letter review of New Horizons is relaxing over here, or enjoy our thoughts on the game's new weed dealer.

Joel Franey

Guides Writer

Joel loves books, games, comics and drinks that make a person feel like they just got kicked in the head by a mule. He has a Masters in writing from Sussex, which he somehow got by writing about Superman. He is absolutely NOT three children in a long coat, so please stop asking.

In other news

Shigeru Miyamoto Expresses Confidence in the Younger Generation of Nintendo

The legendary creator says the spirit will stay alive.

NPD: PS5 Sets New US Console Launch Records While Switch Holds Strong

A strong debut for Sony hasn't stopped Switches from flying off shelves.

The Last of Us Part 2 Takes Home Top Prize at The Game Awards: Here Are All the Winners

Hades, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and Among Us did get some well-earned love too.

You may also like

Cyberpunk 2077 Review: Death by a Thousand Cyber-Cuts

Even if you get beyond the bugs, it's just not worth it.

Stardew Valley Just Got Beaches, Fish Tanks, Swimming Ducks, and a Whole Lot More

Nearly five years on, Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone just pushed what he says is Stardew's "biggest update yet."

Alien: Isolation Is Free on Epic and Just As Good as It Was in 2014

Get the motion tracker and don't go in the vents.