Published on October 16th, 2021 | by Adrian Gunning

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Expands Into New Waters With A Free Update And Paid Expansion On 5th November

In a new Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct video presentation today, a sweeping line-up of new additions and options to enrich players’ island life were introduced. A number of these features for Animal Crossing: New Horizons for the Nintendo Switch family of consoles will be available through a free update available on 5th November.*

These free features include characters from the Animal Crossing series such as the composed Brewster who will open a café on the second floor of the museum and the sea shanty singing Kapp’n who will take players to other islands with his boat; newly opened shops in the plaza on Harv’s island, including Katrina’s fortune-telling shop. Players can also look forward to the introduction of cooking and new vegetables to grow; and a host of other customisation and features.

In addition to this free update, today’s video presentation also debuted the first details and footage for Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise**. In this paid DLC, players will have the chance to join Lottie and the Paradise Planning team. In their new role, they’ll travel to a chain of charming islands where they can design vacation homes, decorate island facilities – like a school and a restaurant – and discover new ways to create and personalise as they gain experience designing the dream vacation homes for their clients. Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise launches on 5th November, and can be purchased for a one-time fee of AU$37.50 / NZ$41.25.

The paid expansion is also available for free as part of Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, the new membership of Nintendo Switch Online that includes the base Nintendo Switch Online membership plus additional benefits like access to Nintendo 64 games and SEGA Mega Drive games. Members can download the DLC for free and play while they maintain an active membership – an Individual Membership will be AU$59.95 / NZ$69.95 for 12 months while a Family Membership will be AU$109.95 / NZ$119.95 for 12 months.

The free update will bring new facilities, characters and support from Resident Services for players to enjoy, as well as new gameplay mechanics.

Here are just a few of the features and activities that can be enjoyed, beginning 5th November:

  • Brewster will open the Roost: Something new is coming to a corner of the museum … The Roost, a café to take a relaxing break in and enjoy some hand-selected coffee, will be opened by the quiet proprietor Brewster after players fulfil a certain favour for museum director Blathers. You may run into some island residents here, too. If you use the amiibo phone inside the café, you can invite other characters to join you by using compatible amiibo cards. If you’d like, you can even invite friends*** to your island and bring them to the Roost to enjoy relaxing cups of coffee together.
  • Take a boat tour with Kapp’n: Kapp’n hangs out at the pier and will take you to one of the remote islands on his boat. The sea shanties he serenades you with along the way is also part of the fun! You may arrive at islands with mysterious flora that’s never been seen before, or islands with different seasons and time of day. What kind of mysteries await?
  • Unearth gyroids: So far, fossils could be dug up from the ground. And now you can also find gyroids. Each gyroid plays unique sounds. You can also customise them to match their surroundings when you place them.
  • Shop at the open market on Harv’s Island: Harv’s Island is undergoing a renewal. With a little help from his friend Harriet, Harvey is inviting some shops to the island for an open market. Contribute Bells to the cause to help make it happen! Familiar visitors on your island like Redd, Saharah and Kicks will have shops here now, and Reese & Cyrus’s shop will offer furniture customisation that can’t be done through DIY workbenches. At Katrina’s shop, she’ll look at your fortune of the day. Harriet can even teach you some different hair styles!
  • Get cooking: Cooking will be added to DIY Recipes. After growing vegetables on the island like tomatoes, wheat, sugarcane, potatoes and carrots, you can combine your harvest or other ingredients and fill up your dining table with delicious looking dishes. Bon appetit!
  • Further support to your island life: Nook, Inc. will offer further support for players living the island life. From group stretching at the plaza and bigger home storage, to the Resident Representative being able to establish ordinances like reducing the rate at which weeds grow or make all residents get up early in the morning, there are more options to help players enjoy and adjust their island to fit their lifestyle.

In addition to these features included with the free update, players may want to consider expanding their island getaway experience with the paid DLC, Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise.

In this expansion, players will join the Paradise Planning team, where they’ll have the opportunity to design vacation homes for characters, with dozens and dozens of vacationers enjoying their design inspirations. Let’s take a closer look at just some of the experiences players can expect with this new add-on, beginning 5th November:

  • Work with Lottie as a member of the Paradise Planning team: Clients with different dream vacation requests will visit a new resort area located in an archipelago, made up of several different islands, where the Paradise Planning team is located. You can talk to a client and find out the details of their requests for a vacation home, and then make their dreams happen!
  • Design dream vacation homes: After choosing a location for your clients’ dream vacation home, you can design the interior, where you’ll place designated furniture that was delivered ahead of time. As you continue designing vacation homes, you’ll acquire various design techniques, from changing how the home is structured by adding partition walls and pillars to divide the space, to adding counters, ambient lighting and soundscapes to add depth to the room design, and more. The vacation home themes vary depending on the client, and many requests await your expertise. You can also decorate the exterior yard.
  • Make remodelling and roommate recommendations: As you gain experience as a designer, more furniture will become available and you’ll also be able to make more suggestions. These include recommendations like suggesting to remodel the vacation homes of clients you’ve helped previously with different furniture, or even recommend that two clients share a vacation home together as roommates.
  • Design Facilities: There are several vacant buildings on the island where Lottie’s Paradise Planning team is located. Lottie wants to make this island more robust and developed, so you’ll be able to help design facilities such as a school, restaurant and café.
  • Get inspiration from the Happy Home Network: Capture photos of the vacation homes you design and save them to your catalogue, which you can check out through the in-game Happy Home Network app in your NookPhone. From this app, you can also access your Showroom to view the building examples of designers from all over the world who have posted their creations online.**** You can follow the designers you like and view their samples for inspiration.
  • Use amiibo to invite more clients: Usually your job is to look for clients on the resort who may be considering having their own vacation home, but … if you use the current Animal Crossing series amiibo, you can invite a specific client to discuss their vacation home. With amiibo, you can even design the vacation homes of busy individuals like Isabelle and Timmy & Tommy!
  • Bring your techniques back to the main island: Techniques you’ve obtained through your work on the Paradise Planning team can also be used on your home island. Perhaps this will be a great opportunity for you to overhaul the design of your own home. And if you give island residents souvenir chocolate from Paradise Planning as a gift, they may become interested in what the archipelagos and vacation homes have to offer. Then, one day when you become a veteran designer with lots of experience, you will eventually be able to remodel resident’s homes on your island by making suggestions to them too!

But that’s not all: To help further extend the island getaway, on 5th November, new Animal Crossing Series 5 amiibo cards will launch at select retailers and the My Nintendo Store, bringing an additional variety of characters to the amiibo cards line-up. Individual amiibo card packs are available for purchase separately and will include 3 cards in each pack. Players will be able to use these vibrantly designed amiibo cards in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Series 5 will encompass a selection of 48 characters total, including characters never before seen in amiibo card form, as well as new ones.

The NookLink service in the Nintendo Switch Online app will be receiving an update on 5th November as well, which will add more redeemable in-game items by accumulating Nook Points and an the “Your Island Newspaper” feature so players can read about the happenings on their island each day. Players will also be able to check out tips for island living from Island Life 101 and view the Happy Home Network from the convenience of their smart device.

With two substantial updates arriving on 5th November including the last major free content update Version 2.0 and the paid DLC, Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise, players can continue to enjoy island life for a long time to come.

The Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct presentation revealed the free Version 2.0 update for Animal Crossing: New Horizons and the paid DLC, Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise, both launching on 5th November 2021. Additionally, the Animal Crossing Series 5 amiibo cards also launch separately on the same day.

About the Author


Adrian lives in Melbourne Australia and has a huge passion for gaming, technology and pop culture. He recently finished his a Bachelor of Journalism and is currently focusing on games journalism. When not writing and playing video games, Adrian can be found in Comics 'R' Us debating the pros of the DC Universe and cons of the Marvel Universe.

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