Animal crossing layout changes

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Animal Crossing New Horizons gives players a lot of choice in how they design their island, even offering four options for overall layout. You're not given all that much info on each layout, so you may be stuck wondering which to pick. We'll walk you through it in this guide, so that you can get started building up your dream island village.

On this page:

What is the Best Island Layout?

You'll be offered four choices of island layout at the outset of the game. These may be different for each player, and don't really change much. Be sure to consider the following:

  1. You'll want to look carefully at where the water intersects the land, as you will not be able to cross rivers at first (more on how to do so here).
  2. You'll want access to beaches to collect shells, and plenty of green space to pitch your tent. All of the layouts have roughly the same distribution of these elements, so just go with the one you like the look of.

Can You Change Island Layout Later in the Game?

Once you've picked your island layout, you cannot change it. You can alter elements and even move water and land once you get the Island Designer permit however, so you will be able to further customize later down the line. Because of this, don't worry too much about what layout you pick initially.

There's plenty more Animal Crossing New Horizon content right here on USG. Head here for Caty's review. If you'd like to check out a cute AC-themed birthday calendar then head here.


Animal Crossing | ACNH

Island Layout - Best Island & Guide

Know more about island layout in Animal Crossing New Horizons Switch (ACNH) - best island, best island layout, island layout ideas, map size, map designer and layout options list!!

Table of Contents

Choose Your Island Layout

There Will Be Several Island Layouts

Choose From 4 Islands Before Starting!

At the start of a new game, you will be given a choice of 4 possible layouts to choose from. If none of these appeal to you, you still have the option of restarting the game to generate 4 new layouts!

Island Size Is The Same

No matter which layout you choose, the size of the island will always be the same. Just be sure to pick the right layout.

How To Select Best Island Layout

Can You Have More than One Island?

Players Only Have One Base Island

Players Only Have One Base Island

Players will only have one base island where they can build their home & access the different facilities, including the Resident Services & the Airport.

Check Out All Buildings List!

Free To Visit Other Islands

Free to Visit Other Islands

Even if you cannot build on other islands, you can still have access to them. You're free to visit your friends' islands or go to a random one using the Nook Miles Ticket to travel.

Check Out the Nook Miles Ticket Guide!

How To Reset Island Layout

Do You Need To Reset For Layouts?


If you have a particular preference for an island layout, or even a native fruit, we recommend that you reset to get your desired, ideal start!

Terrain Can Be Changed Later On

In New Horizons, you'll be able to modify the terrain on your island later on in the game when you unlock the Island Designer tool. This will allow you to fill in rivers and remove cliffs. If you don't mind waiting/doing the extra work, you don't need to go through the resetting process.

Learn How To Change Terrain Of Your Island From Here

How To Reset For Best Island Starting Layout

1Start the game
2Choose your name / hemisphere / appearance
3Choose from the 4 layouts (*random)
4If there isn't one you like, shut the game down and start back at 1
5After choosing the layout, start your life on the island
6If you want to get particular villagers / fruits, repeat steps over & over

Name, Birthday, & Hemisphere Cannot Be Changed

Be careful, as you will not be able to change your name, birthday, or hemisphere once you've completed this process. Take your time in deciding these!

Check Out The Other Points of No Return Here!

Appearance (Gender) Can Be Changed


You will be able to change your character's appearance later on as you progress in the game. Once you get access to a dresser/mirror in your room, you'll be able to alter your appearance, so there's no reason to focus too much on it at the start!

Check Out Our Character Creation Guide & Face List

Best Island - How To Choose Layout

Tips On How To Choose Best Island

What To Look ForPriority
Location Of The Resident Services★★★★
Island Geography★★★・
Shape Of The River★★・・
Number Of Ponds★★・・
Type Of Fruit★・・・

Because you can jump across the river with Vaulting Pole or fill out river with Island Designer, the shape of the river is less important. Look for a layout which has Resident Services in the center of the island since you will be using that facility quite often.

Check Location Of Resident Services

Check the Location of the Information Center

The Resident Services houses a lot of features that will help you on the island, including the DIY Workshop & the ATMs. Since you'll need to visit it often, consider its location before selecting a layout.

You Can't Choose Villagers & Fruit

Berry & Bugs Could be Randomized

The fruit and villagers are randomly determined. If you want to have specific fruit or villager, reset the data until you get your favorite one.

Varieties of Fruit

  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Cherries
  • Oranges

↑ These are the types of fruit we've been able to confirm so far - there may be more!!

There Will Be 2 Starting Villagers


There will be 2 villagers in your island to start with. You can reset your data to change your starting villagers if you want to. Read the guide below to learn more.

Check Out Starting Villagers List!

Fewer Ponds Are Recommended

Ponds often get in the way when you want to build new facilities. Although you can fill out the water with Island Designer, it is recommended to choose the island with less ponds.

Use Map Designer Or Island Layout Tools

There are many online map designer & layout tools such as Happy Island Designer that you can use to plot and check the best island layout for your preference. Go online and find the best one that works for you!

Best Island Layout & List

Best Island Name

Choose Your Own Island Name

island name

Your island name is something other players will see when they visit you. Share us your island name & we will feature some funny island name on our article!

Tell Us How You Will Name Your Island Here!

Other Island Layouts List

The following layouts have all been confirmed by players on our team!!

Animal Crossing New Horizons Switch - Recommended Articles

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▶Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Official Page

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In Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Switch, you can decide where to place buildings on the island. If you change your mind and realize that your building isn’t where you want it anymore, you can also move buildings.

After Resident Services changes from a tent to a building, you’ll have the option to move buildings like houses and stores. Simply talk to Tom Nook, choose “Let’s talk infrastructure,” and ask for layout changes. You can move all buildings, with one exception: Resident Services.

To move structures like villager homes, Nook’s Cranny, the museum, or a campsite, it’ll cost 50, Bells.

If you want to move your house, talk to Tom Nook, select “About my home …” and opt to relocate. This will cost you 30, Bells.

If you decide to move a building, Tom Nook will give you a kit to select the new location. It works the same way as the first time you placed the structures. You’ll need an open area with no cliffs or water nearby. When you choose the new location, the building will appear there the next day.

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How to relocate Houses, Buildings, Tents, and your Home in Animal Crossing New Horizons

Choosing your your island’s layout is the first step you have to complete in Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Switch. Timmy and Tommy Nook will present you with four options, but if you don’t like them, you can close out your game, reload it, and try again to find something you like better.

Because the game does have a terraforming tool, choosing your island doesn’t matter much in the long run — but you won’t be able to change your island for several days. This means you should pick something you’re happy with at the beginning.

In this New Horizons guide, we’ll show what to consider when selecting your island.

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How to choose a good island

When picking your island out, pay attention to where the rivers and cliffs are. Unlike previous Animal Crossing games, New Horizons has higher cliffs. You’ll be able to access all of these high areas once you get a Vaulting Pole and a Ladder, but you’ll eventually build bridges and ramps to climb cliffs and cross rivers. Adding tons of bridges and ramps can be expensive, though, so keep that in mind.

You cannot move where your Resident Services building is, so make sure you like the placement of it on your island. It will always get placed in a relatively centered spot, so just keep in mind how much space is around it. If you want it to eventually be in the center of your shops or villager homes, it’ll need enough space around it to put other buildings.

Some fish, like carp and tadpole, can only be caught in ponds. Make sure your island has a small body of water (that isn’t a river) so you don’t have to miss out on these fish.

Your airport can also be different colors, and based on our experience, it doesn’t seem that you can change the color. You can get red, green, yellow, and blue airports, but if you’re picky about your island’s colors, reset to get the airport color you want.



Layout changes crossing animal

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Wiki Guide

Once Resident Services has been upgraded, Tom Nook will move to a Construction Consultation counter, and help you decide what to build next - or what to move.

How to Move Buildings and Structures

Speak to Tom Nook and tell him "let's talk infrastructure". When in this list, you can tell him that you "want layout changes". Say you want to move a building, and you'll get to choose from a list of existing structures, but note that you CANNOT move the Resident Services building, Plaza, or Airport.

Please be sure you want to move the building in question, as he will charge a hefty fee to move any structure, and once you have confirmed, the payment will be sent and you cannot get a refund. This leads us to a very important topic:

When choosing to move a building, you cannot place the new building if its touching the existing building you're trying to move. This means if you want to move a structure slightly to the side, you'll first need to move it somewhere else entirely, and then back again - paying two different fees over two days!

Take the construction kit from Tom Nook and carefully pick out your new location - if you pick a location you end up regretting, you'll need to pay another fee to move it again!

Don't forget to check out our complete How-To Guides Hub to learn even more about Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
How to relocate Houses, Buildings, Tents, and your Home in Animal Crossing New Horizons

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