Animal Crossing: New Horizons: It’s not a race

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A lot of people seem to be worried and anxious about how fast they are progressing in Animal Crossing: New Horizons for the Nintendo Switch. They really shouldn’t be.

Hi there, how are you enjoying Animal Crossing: New Horizons thus far? Early indicators are that a lot of people are using this game to help cope with a difficult time.

Nintendo Switches are selling like hotcakes again (not that they have had a slump but recently they’ve been sold out many places when that was not the case a few weeks ago). Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the latest game in the social simulation series, is the hottest-selling Switch title to date.

Whether you are a long-time fan of the series or a newcomer, one common trend I’m definitely seeing is people worried that they aren’t progressing fast enough through the game. They don’t have the Nook Corner set up, they haven’t paid off several house loans, there aren’t enough neighbors, their island hasn’t transformed into a bustling small town with paved roads yet, etc.

That’s kind of missing the point of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Animal Crossing as a series has never ever been about getting through it as fast as humanly possible. That’s the reason you might have to wait a few real days for a neighbor to move in or a new building to get set up or fruit to regrow, etc. It’s just an incredibly chill game.

You might spend 100 or more hours on it, but those hours should be spread out over several months at least. Heck, if you aren’t playing around with the Nintendo Switch’s internal clock to time travel in the game (no judgment here), Animal Crossing: New Horizons could literally be a game you are still playing eight months from now just to experience most or all of the seasonal changes and events along with any updates Nintendo might do.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons E3_screen_03 - Nintendo Switch
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I’ve had the game since launch, and granted I’m not stuck at home with little else to do like many are right now, but I usually play a couple of hours a day. Yesterday I paid off a small chunk of my loan, set up some houses for neighbors moving in, and that felt like enough accomplishment for the day so I stopped. I didn’t get every possible resource I could, I had island tickets I still haven’t used, but I didn’t feel the need to get the most I could out of that one session. Just do as much as I felt like doing and come back the game later, most likely the next day.

Maybe someday soon I’ll have a big project that takes many hours and even goes over the course of multiple days such as reshaping the island when I unlock that kind of stuff, but I’ll get there when I get there. That also shouldn’t be an everyday sort of session. There should be times when you just slow down and maybe not even really get anything accomplished. That’s okay.

Next. Animal Crossing: New Horizons review: The perfect escape from reality. dark

As much as Animal Crossing: New Horizons is meant to be a chill game, it is true that seeing people design all these cool patterns and complex islands can be intimidating to some and let you think you’re falling behind. That’s certainly understandable but the whole reason the game is so loose and freeform in its structure is so you discover your pace and what makes sense for you. So have a great time with Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Nintendo Switch at whatever pace you feel like doing and don’t feel like your island has to compare or compete with anyone else’s.