Animal Crossing New Horizons: How to Unlock Island Designer

Animal Crossing New Horizons: How to Unlock Island Designer

Later on in Animal Crossing New Horizons you'll gain access to the Island Designer app for your NookPhone. Here's everything you need to know.

Animal Crossing New Horizons expands on its predecessor in some interesting ways. The island you're tasked with building up is much more customizable, and you can even move water and cliffs at your whim. To do so you'll need the Island Designer app for your NookPhone. Here's how it works.

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How to Get the Island Designer App

To get the Island Designer app you'll need to fully upgrade your island. Tom Nook will install an app on your phone which lets you have much more control over your surroundings, allowing you to chip away at the landscape or build on it. You'll get the Island Designer app after getting KK Slider to perform at your island (more on that here). This means all buildings, and getting more inhabitants on your island (more on inviting new neighbours here).

How to Build New Rivers and Cliffs

The main function of the Island Designer app is that it allows you to shape your island however you want. This means you can build cliffs and rivers. Just head into the app and select the 'water-scaping permit' for water structures, and the cliff-scaping permit' for matters related to land. From there it's pretty simple to place new structures.

Select the Island Designer app | Jake Green

How to Remove Rivers and Cliffs

In addition to being able to build new cliffs and rivers on your island you can also remove them. To do so, head into the app and select either water-scaping for water or cliff-scaping for land. You can then remove chunks of a river, replacing it with land. You can also dig out cliffs, as shown in the image below.

You can sculpt cliffs and water | Jake Green/USG

What Else Can You Change Using the Island Designer App?

The Island Designer app allows you to do more than change the layout of cliffs and rivers on your island. You can shave off edges, smoothing certain features. You can also lay down alternative terrain like sand and paths (more on those here). You'll have a lot of control over your island's appearance, so get creative and have fun!

That's everything on Island Designer. For more on Animal Crossing New Horizons, read Caty's review. Elsewhere there's Hirun's look at some awesome fanart.

Jake Green

Guides Editor

Jake is a former freelance writer who now heads up guides for USG. He spends his days dreaming of an X-Files dating-sim and will play literally any game with monkeys in it. He has an unhealthy obsession with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and would pretty much trade a kidney for Skate 4 at this point.

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