written by Tamara Carrion (@LilBigTrouble)
Animal Crossing is finally here and has been released (in the States) for the last few weeks! New to the series is the ability to be the Mayor and make bigger differences than ever before to the town. Maybe you are like me and have been obsessing over your town since day one, or maybe you just picked up Animal Crossing New Leaf and are looking for some tips to getting your town started. These tips should help the newcomer and hardcore Mayor alike.
Make friends and exchange fruits. Fruits native to your town are pretty low on the bell front. Jumping into a friend’s town to grab some new fruits to plant in your town will pay off, as they are worth a few extra bells and the trees will replenish what you shake off. If you don’t know anyone that’s playing Animal Crossing there are still a few ways to get other fruits over. Once you unlock the island, most fruits you find over there can be brought back to your town and planted. Tours (mini-games) offer up a chance to nab some different fruits, so pocket those as well as what grows on the main island.
Other ways to get some of the different fruits:
Be sure to chat with Isabelle and ask her for advice about living in town. On top of giving you some good tips, she may offer up a fruit from her home town (which is not natively grown in yours), or even a tool such as a shovel or watering can. So if you’re just getting started ask Isabelle for a lot of advice, as it’s a nice way to save some money on tools and save time finding fruit.
On rare occasion you might also get a piece of non-native fruit from someone in town. So talk to everyone multiple times, and make the rounds around town every day! You never know what items you might get from the animals in town, or what project ideas for the town they’d like to request.
Boost the Economy:
Some shops require you to drop by every day and purchase things for them to expand. You’ll want to try and buy at least one thing a day for the first few weeks in town. If you’re broke just buy some paper and then send out letters to people around town to unload some of the garbage you don’t want. If something isn’t worth many bells, I put it aside and send it out. The perk to that is sometimes the town’s animals will send you presents back! Some can be pretty awesome too; and others? Well, they make for the perfect item to ship out to someone else.
Some of the town’s shops’ expansions you’ll have to fund yourself. You’ll want to get that done as soon as it becomes available to you, as most places have perks on top of just being someplace cool and new. Below are just a few of the new sites and shops you can fund as Mayor:
- Camping grounds allow travelers to hang out for a day in your town. You can talk, play games with them, and even convince them to move into your town (provided you haven’t hit your town’s maximum population of 10).
- The Police Station holds a lost and found; you can go in on any given day and find some nice free furniture or other random items/clothes. Items that are good for keeping, selling, or of course sending to animals in hopes that they might send you a gift back that you’d want.
- The Museum can eventually be funded to have a 2nd floor which contains a gift shop and exhibit space that can be used by you (for a price). This comes in handy if you are running out of space in your home, and item boxes. I set up one of the 4 large rooms available to be where I display all of my Nintendo themed special items you obtain from fortune cookies sold at the mini Nooks shop.
It’s Raining Bells!:
Now that we’ve covered some of the town basics, let’s talk about making them bells to expand your home and decorating your town. If you follow these steps you should be able to expand your home or fund a project at least once a day. If you have the time you could be able to do one of each a day.
The island opens up pretty early on in the game; you should have access to it by day 3. The island is your friend, your friend with lots of expensive bugs, ‘free’ flowers, underwater creatures and more.
When trying to earn bells, it’s best to go after 7PM as that’s when the high priced Beetles are around, and you’ll see more sharks. Usually the good bugs stop showing up at around 6am, but if you ‘fall asleep’ on the island they’ll still spawn. However, if you leave and come back you won’t spot them as much until it hits 7pm again.
I’ve shaken down the fruits off the palm trees and planted more on the beach as those usually get the best spawns. Having more of them feel like it increases the odds. You can plant these fruits on your beaches as well as this will allow for those special bugs to spawn on your town’s beach. It gives you the option to hunt for bugs on your town’s beach if you don’t want to go to the island for some reason.
I chopped down most of the regular trees in the center, grassy area (after catching and adding what I needed to the museum). A lot of the bugs that spawn there aren’t worth much. Here’s a few to keep an eye out for:
- The Cyclommatus Stag 8,000
- Emperor Butterfly 2,500
- Giant Stag 10,000
- Golden Stag 12,000
- Goliath Beetle 6,000
- Horned Atlas 8,000
- Horned Elephant 8,000
- Horned Hercules 12,000
- Rainbow Stag 10,000
- Scarab Beetle 6,000
- Birdwing Butterfly 4,000
These are generally easy to catch, and unlike fish you can see what you are catching. Just be sure to approach them very slowly so as not to scare them off. I also keep an eye out for sharks while on the island, as the Shark (not Whale, Hammerhead, etc) is worth the most of any other creature I’ve seen so far. If you sort what you bring back and try to only return with the bugs listed above and sharks you could net up to 70,000-120,000+ per trip to Re-Tail. That’s another thing: try not to sell much to the Raccoons, they pay less for items.
When putting aside time to beautify my town, I’ll usually take a trip to the island and do one of the tours. I get to earn medals to spend (The island’s currency) and come back with LOTS of flowers. The extra kick is that you can pick the type you want. Want a rose garden? Stuff a bunch of those in your pocket specifically. When you bring them back home, plant a couple of the same kind next to each other. This also allows for different colors of that flower type to grow in the area that you wouldn’t normally see.
QR Code Machine:
Befriend the Able sisters! When you enter their shop, be sure to speak to all 3 of them. At first they don’t have much to say, but after awhile they will get talky. A few days after, you’ll unlock the QR code machine. This will allow you to scan QR codes of other people’s patterns using the 3DS’ camera. You can also upload yours if you are actually good at pattern making. I’m terrible, so I reply on others to create some amazing patterns.
As soon as I could I set up the Night Owl ordinance. The Night Owl Ordinance keeps the shops open later than normal. This eases a lot of the burden of having to hop into your game before 8 PM when the shops start to normally close.
The Blooming Bell Ordinance will increase the amount of bells you make per item sold, but it will also drive up the cost of items when purchasing. It’s a good idea to sell your items in your own town should you enact this Ordinance, and visit a friend’s town to buy whatever items you’re seeking.
Opening your gate deactivates bees but not coins or the hidden furniture, so if you are trying to avoid bee stings open the gates and go crazy shaking! So when you are going around setting up your town shake some trees and get some free furniture and coinage out of it.
Fund the Dream Suite shop, it may be a couple hundred bells to get started but if you update your towns dream every day you’ll be given $5,000 bells as thanks each time. This little spa like shop also allows you to go into random towns, and in different regions, it’s great to see what ideas you can get from sleep walking through someone’s town. Some towns even tell a tale. This one in particular is scary as shhh! Going around people’s dreams is a good way to kill time if you are waiting for shops to open, or for bugs to appear on the island.
There’s so much to discover in this title. Every day can seem like a new experience based on all of the random encounters and seasonal events. Be sure to play often, talk to the animals, and just enjoy yourself. This is one of the few titles out there that reward you for relaxing and being social. Enjoy!
Tamara is a LFTDFriend and an accomplished gamer, aside from being awesome she also runs That Girl's Site. Located in the Big Apple, she's a lead game analyst by day. Her site is one that Justin Prince has followed for years and she's a very welcome and absolutely awesome addition to our list of contributors. Like her Facebook page, subscribe to her channel and follow her on Twitter.