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Construction in Animal Crossing: New Horizons could be just a bit better

Here are some potential quality of life updates to help the game

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is an awesome game, and one that has helped players keep their sanity in these trying times. Such a smooth and calming experience is not without its drawbacks however. Here are six quality of life updates I believe would help improve crafting and construction on your island.

Batch/Bulk crafting

Many players are frustrated with the lack of batch crafting the game. Not to a point to where they are angry about it, but enough to get them to craft things like this:

My solution to the lack of bulk crafting from AnimalCrossing

It’s a small thing really, but if you’re like me and you tried making 45 fish bait for the fishing tournament, then you’ll understand my frustration. Batch crafting is a feature found in tons of games, so why not here? Animal Crossing already has functions for “as much as possible”, it can definitely implement one for crafting. Unless that system only comes into play when I’m paying off my debts to a damn RACCOON.

Crafting from storage

Keeping on the crafting train, we have the ability to craft from storage. We are all familiar with this scenario: you’re crafting on your island, excited to build the newest addition or decoration, and you get to the crafting menu but alas, you don’t have the required amount of ingredients to complete the recipe. But you DO have them in your storage. Now, why can’t you just craft it if you’re already in or close to your house I hear you ask? Exactly my point. 

Admittedly this doesn’t make much sense if you’re not in your house where your storage is. But a lot of this game doesn’t make sense – don’t try bringing logic into this. It doesn’t get any more frustrating than when you’re only two pieces off finalizing the recipe, and you find yourself running home. Similar to the previous idea, someone has already come up with a cute and clever solution to this problem.

Diagonal placement

I was trying to decorate my campsite and found myself in a bit of a hole. The location I wanted to place my arch was on an angle. It would’ve looked great and I was excited to see the finished product. As it turns out though, you can’t actually do that. 

Diagonal placement isn’t necessarily a huge issue, but it will definitely allow for a more diverse decorating style. This goes for placing things like bridges and ramps on a diagonal too. If I have a jutting corner, I want to be able to place a ramp on it if I think it completes the scene. The construction in Animal Crossing it well done, but feels otherwise incomplete.

Animal Crossing New Horizons diagonal
I just wanted to place my balloon arch…

Tool durability bar

You’re on a mystery island and you’ve spent the last of your nook miles to get there. You’re going off, cutting down trees and bashing rocks for resources when suddenly *POOF* there goes your tool. 

I’m sorry for making you go through this trauma again in what you thought was a safe space. But imagine with me how useful it would’ve been if you knew when it was going to happen. You need tools to perform construction in Animal Crossing, it’s just a fact of life. This doesn’t need to be anything flashy, Nintendo. We just want some form of durability indicator so we know when our tools are about to bite the dust. 

This can be done a few different ways:

  • A straight durability bar like in Minecraft – the bar goes through three colour codes and empties as it degrades. 
  • A red glow emanating from the tool along with a message alert like in Breath of the Wild. 
  • Or if they wanted to be really fancy, they could do a progressive visual update on the state of your tool. The more you use it, the more degradation you see – chips, cracks etc.

A terraforming “editing” mode

This mode would function in a similar way as the decorating mode while in your house. While terraforming you would have the option to use this as a more intuitive placement method. This mode would allow the ability to manipulate decorations with greater precision, allowing you to get it *just right*. Seeing all the beautiful, intricately designed islands begs the question – how long did that take, and how hard was decorating?

A toggleable grid system

For those more methodical of us islanders, I present to you: Terraria’s mechanical ruler.

Terraria mechanical ruler

The mechanical ruler works really well in Terraria due to the block-by-block building system present in the game. I feel a tool like this could be similarly implemented into ACNH for those more specific placements. Most of the decor in the game can be transformed by grabbing hold and moving or rotating the item. With the addition of something like the ruler, items that are not as easily manipulated can benefit from pinpoint placement.

For example – flowers and trees. Because these items have to be planted, you’ll have to dig them up repeatedly if you want to move them. When it comes to making displays like this one, that may be a bit of a hassle.

ACNH fountain
Pls ignore the flowers, it’ll look pretty when they bloom

This can come into play with larger items as well – like that fountain. It helps to have an exact idea of how much space is between items when trying to make larger displays. You could potentially recreate this by digging holes as spacers, but do you really want to waste your durability?

Sorry, sidenote – look at this PAIN:

Those were just some ideas as to how the construction aspects of Animal Crossing: New Horizons could be improved. Construction is already very fun, but these changes could definitely help us out.

Please Nintendo?

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Kevin Dewan

Writer for SQUAD, runs after things a lot. Won't BM you to your face. Okay with losing as long as it's funny.
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