Animal Crossing: New Horizons: How to unlock the Island Designer app and terraforming

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With the in-game Island Designer app, players can terraform their island in Animal Crossing: new Horizons on Nintendo Switch.

Not happy with the layout of your island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons? No problem! Using the in-game Island Designer app, you can create and destroy cliffs, create and change rivers and likes, and build bridges, roads and pathways.

You can get the Island Designer app from Tom Nook. Unfortunately, it requires a little bit of work in order to get him to give it to you. You basically have to complete several days’ worth of tasks. Along the way, you’ll open Nook’s Cranny and the Museum, get more villagers and eventually have to upgrade your Island to a three-star rating.

The hardest part in all of this is getting the three-star rating. You can check your island’s rating at the Resident Services building, which also provides feedback on how to improve your island. At 1-star, you need more residents, which means more housing plots. At 2-stars, you can plant more trees and flowers, build fences, bridges and facilities, or decorate with furniture in order to achieve the 3-star rating.

Once you complete all of that, K.K. will visit and put on a live show. Tom Nook will then give you the Island Designer app.

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That’s not all though.  The Island Designer app only comes with the ability to add grass and dirt. To unlock additional pathing choices, you’ll need to purchase them from the Nook Stop at Resident Services for 2,000 Nook Miles each. Here are some of the patching options you can purchase:

  • Arched tile path permit
  • Brick path permit
  • Dark dirt path permit
  • Sand path permit
  • Stone path permit
  • Terra-cotta tile permit
  • Wooden path permit
  • Custom design path permit

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In addition to pathing, you’ll also need to purchase Waterscaping and Cliff construction permits for 6,000 Nook Miles each. Once you have the Island Designer app and all of the options unlocked, feel free to terraform to your heart’s desire.