Animal Crossing New Horizons: Is It Too Late To Start Playing?

The short answer is no because:

  1. You are patient and don’t mind waiting until next year’s Cherry Blossom Festival and Bunny Day Easter event which have already ended.
  2. You aren’t patient and might consider changing the date on your Nintendo Switch to take it back to launch day so you can experience it all.

Two is a trickier and a much more thought out process that might leave you at a disadvantage at any stage that I do not personally have any experience with so it is not an option I would recommend. Please thoroughly research the pros and cons before attempting this knowing right now that Animal Crossing New Horizon clock is in real-time of the zone you choose.


Let me emphasize that every game day in Animal Crossing New Horizon is real-time according to the zone you have chosen, you will be prompted to choose the hemisphere according to your Nintendo Switch settings reminding you to change what you need to if you would like to have the game go through the same day cycles as you experience or not. Now if you work at night, you may want to consider changing your hemisphere or your Nintendo Switch time or if you find you are busy during certain hours maybe set it to a timezone that is a couple of hours ahead or behind the one you actually live in.

Now that you’ve made that decision, what’s next?!


You have a user-friendly character creation to play around with

  • Sex
  • Skin
  • Hair
  • Eyes
  • Nose & Mouth
  • Cheek Blush
  • Name.

Once you confirm your choices you will then get to choose your island’s map. Then the game begins and you see yourself flying over the island before you land.

Four things to note here:

  1. Your character has a pre-selected outfit.
  2. You have 4 different map choices
  3. As you fly over the island for the first time you can see what fruit your island has
  4. You meet your first two villagers

Now I started playing 5 days after other friends so I was aware of their islands and what fruit trees they had. I also enjoy customization so I created no less than thirty characters (deleting each one via system settings then starting anew) playing until the “fly over the island” part when I decided on my look, the pre-selected outfit I liked the most and peaches because my friends already had cherry, apple, and pear. My only regret at this point is that I hadn’t chosen cooler villagers!


Well if you’re lucky you have a cool eagle as a villager! Yes, I am unapologetically salty…

After landing you’ll meet Tommy, Timmy and Tom Nook, You’ll be prompted to collecting things to help Tom, acquire your first tools, also your first abode being a tent. Straight away you’ll be encouraged to help others and celebrate milestones along with acquiring your in-game phone and the first apps it comes with. This part is fairly straight forward.

What isn’t obvious though is how important it is for you to switch into “get all the tools and Nook miles,” gear asap. You’re just in this chill “aww it’s so cute” island mode unaware that every decision is mapping your entire experience. The lull of the long day/night ahead of farming weeds, branches, and stones keeping the overload of information and depth of this game at bay – at least for the first hour or two. Then folks you know learn you’re playing and the overload comes pouring in.


If you’re on social media I would avoid it for at least a day, if not longer because you’ll feel left behind but the beauty of Animal Crossing New Horizon is you can play it at a hype-bunny or sleepy-tortoise pace it doesn’t really matter – unless you get villagers like either of these two animals which matters – because they are awesome, unlike mine…

Alas, I digress.

What I meant to say is Animal Crossing New Horizon is a collecting, economy, crafting and hustling mecca in the palm of your hand! The decor and fashion side of Animal Crossing New Horizon is also important (if not the MOST important sectors of this game to many folk) but how fast you acquire the best of these things – any things – depends on how well you do at the aforementioned to accumulate bells (ACNH money) and Nook miles (That family are basically a VISA mafia…)

After 9 days of circulating the Animal Crossing New Horizon rinse-repeat loop that is often broken by visiting NPCs, shooting star wishing, golden trout and exotic flower hunting (etc) I don’t feel any more knowledgeable about the game, learning something I didn’t know each day via friends or twitter but there is no denying that Animal Crossing New Horizon has me hooked and using my Nintendo Switch more than ever before!

Hopefully, this getting-started-late-guide helps get you on the right Animal Crossing New Horizon path faster with villagers you are proud of!


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