Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS) - General Guide (Cheats, Tricks, Unlockables, and Easter Eggs)
In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, seemingly innocuous choices from river placement, to your birthday, to the police department you choose, to the methods you discover to make friends or earn bells will come back to haunt you - but learning from your mistakes is part of the fun. Keeping these cheats, tips, and tricks in mind will serve to alleviate some of your frustrations later on.
Learn all about store upgrades, your home renovations, customizing furniture and clothes, finding rare bugs, fish, objects, and much more, all right here in this handy Animal Crossing: New Leaf guide!
Shop Unlocks / Upgrades:
Unlocking the Gardening Shop: You can unlock the Gardening Shop by picking 30 weeds, planting 30 trees, planting 30 flowers or watering 30 flowers.
Unlocking Club LOL: After the item shop has been upgraded to the Convenience Store and you have an approval rating of 100%, Dr. Shrunk will ask you to help him get signatures for his petition. After you get six signatures from villagers, Club LOL will open the following day.
Unlocking the Happy Home Showcase and Happy Home Academy: Once you pay your first house loan, Digby will appear outside across from the train tracks the next day. He will greet you and then show you around the Happy Home Showcase. The Happy Home Academy will also open and you will receive a letter in the mail about it.
Unlocking The Fortune Teller Shop: If you have gotten your fortune told by Katrina at least 20 times, the Fortune Teller Shop will appear on your list of available public works projects.
Unlocking Brewster’s Café: After the museum’s second floor has been open for at least a week, and you have donated at least 50 items to the museum, The Roost Café will be unlocked as a public works project. If you order and drink four cups of coffee from the café, you will be able to purchase take-out coffee. If you order and drink eight cups of coffee, Brewster will ask you if you want to work part-time in the café.
Unlocking the QR Code Machine: Once becoming friends with Sable, she will place a QR Code Machine inside her shop The Able Sisters. This will let you share / trade patterns with friends.
Unlocking Kicks: After 10 days since the town was created and you have spent 8,000 bells at The Able Sisters, the shoe store Kicks will open.
Unlocking Shampoodle: Once Kicks has been open for at least 10 days, and you have spent 10,000 bells at Kicks or The Able Sisters, Shampoodle will open.
Unlocking the Museum Shop: After donating at least 20 items to the museum, talk to Blathers until he speaks to you about opening the shop. It will then be available as a public works project.
Unlocking the Dream Suite: Once you have been town mayor for at least a week, go to town hall and talk to Isabelle while she’s sleeping. The Dream Suite will then be on the list of public works projects.
Nookling Store Upgrades:
T&T Mart: After your town is at least 10 days old, and you have paid 10,000 bells on your home loan and have spent 12,000 bells at the Nookling Junction, it will be upgraded to the T&T Mart.
Super T&T: Once the T&T Mart and the Gardening Shop have been open for at least 10 days and you have spent 25,000 bells in the T&T Mart, it will become Super T&T.
T.I.Y: The store will upgrade to T.I.Y. when you have spent 50,000 bells in the store and it has been open for at least 21 days.
T&T Emporium: The final upgrade will become available when you have spent 100,000 bells in-store, have passed Gracie’s fashion checks as ‘satisfactory’ and the store has been open for at least a month.
General AC New Leaf Cheats / Tips / Tricks:
Happy Home Academy Prizes: Prizes will be sent to you in the mail for earning HHA points.
T-shirt: 10,000 points
Pennant: 20,000 points
Silver Plaque: 30,000 points
Gold Plaque: 70,000 points
Silver Trophy: 90,000 points
Gold Trophy: 100,000 points
Golden House Model: 150,000 points
Golden Roof: 300,000 points
Golden Exterior: 500,000 points
Golden Arched Door: 700,000 points
Golden Fence: 900,000 points
Golden Mailbox: 1,100,000 points
Automatic Bell Dispenser Rewards: You will receive rewards in the mail when you save bells at the ABD. The amount you’ve saved determines your reward.
Tissue Box: 100,000 bells
Letter Set: 500,000 bells
Piggy Bank: 1,000,000 bells
Aluminum Briefcase: 5,000,000 bells
Post Office Poster: 10,000,000 bells
Safe: 20,000,000 bells
Postman’s Hat: 50,000,000 bells
ABD: 100,000,000 bells
Faster Public Works Project Unlocks: After a new public work is built a dedication ceremony will take place. If you speak to townspeople right after the ceremony, the chance that they will ask for a new public work will be greatly increased.
Reserve Locations: If you place a pattern on the ground somewhere, villagers will not be able to move to that location.
Get Your Villager’s Pictures: Once you become best friends with a villager, you will be able to get their picture. Another way is to wait until April Fools’ Day and speak to Blanca in the town square to play the Guessing Game. You will visit each villager’s house and find that there are two of the same villager in the house, and they will ask you to identify the fake villager. The things the fake villager says will be incorrect and what the real one says will be correct. If you guess the right one, you will get that villager’s photo.
Photo Filters: When getting your Town Pass Card photo taken, you can apply photo filters by using either the L button (black and white filter) or the R button (sepia filter).
Expanding Your Home Without the Wait: You can expand your home by speaking to Tom Nook at Nook’s Homes. However, the expansion will take a day to complete. To get around this, save and quit the game as soon as you’re finished speaking to Tom Nook. When you start the game again, click “I need help first...” and change the date to the next day. Once the game loads, your house will be expanded. After saving again, you can change the date back to the correct date without losing the expansion. This is called "time-travelling."
Tree Stump Patterns: When chopping down trees with an axe, there is a chance that the tree stump will have a special pattern instead of rings. Tree stumps with these patterns will have mushrooms grow near them year-round. Upgraded axes increase your chances of finding these patterns. There are 12 tree stump patterns in total.
Skipping Kapp’n’s Song: Kapp’n’ will sing a song while escorting you to and from the Tropical Resort. By repeatedly pressing the B button, you will skip his song and the trip will be significantly shorter. Although he'll make you feel guilty...
Bugs and Fish: Bugs and fish can be sold, gifted or donated to the museum. When you catch one variety for the first time, take it to the museum so that you aren’t left tediously comparing your encyclopedia to the exhibits later on when trying to catalogue every species in the museum. If you’re looking for a particular variety and know where to find it, remember to walk rather than run (or hold down “A” to creep even more cautiously), or you are likely to scare away the critter before you can capture it. For some of the rarest bugs, you will scare it away even while creeping unless you take one step at a time, releasing the circle pad after each step. However, if you do scare it away, you can save your game and continue playing to cause all respawn times to reset.
Trees, Rocks, and Fossils: Unless you’re in a hurry, it’s usually worth your time to shake every tree, hit every rock with your shovel and dig up every crack in the ground. Trees can dislodge coins and honeycombs, one rock per day will spit out bells if you hit it continually and another randomized rock will split apart and reveal a gem inside (once per day), and cracks in the ground usually contain fossils or gyroids. Wasps will chase you when you approach dislodged honeycombs, but you can quickly select your net, run a couple of screens away, and swing your net when they reach you to capture them - otherwise, they will sting you inconsequentially. Alternatively, you can just go indoors or save your game and they will disappear. The rock that spits out bells will spit out gems instead, if hit with a silver shovel.
Effortless Bells: There are dozens of labor-intensive ways to earn bells, but the veteran gamer can use time-traveling to earn them more easily. Once you have an appreciable amount of bells, deposit them in the Automatic Bell Dispenser, then use the time-travelling technique described above. Your deposited amount of bells will accrue a .5% interest for every month that you have skipped forward - so one million bells will earn 5,000 more for the first month skipped, 5,025 for the second month skipped, and so on. Skipping forward about 10 years will roughly double your initial deposit. You can then withdraw your account balance and set your calendar back using the same process, so that it’s as if no time has passed... except for the weeds and roaches you may find. Everything has a consequence.
Selling Items: The Nook stores buy your items for less bells than Re-Tail; you can put items up for sale for 50% more than their regular value - so a 100 bell shirt can sell for 150 bells at Re-Tail, though you have to wait for a villager to buy it. Additionally, the flora and fauna native to your town may be absent in other towns, where they will sell for more. If peaches grow naturally in your town, they will not fetch as great a price as in towns were peaches are not their native fruit. Get non-native fruits and plant them in your town to make good money.
Town Ordinances: As mayor of your town, you can enact one of four ordinances, each costing 20,000 bells to put into effect. You can choose to have shops open three hours sooner, or close three hours later - but these options are less useful since you can change your game clock to suit your needs. The better choices are “Wealthy Town,” which causes prices to rise by 20% (this choice is better if you’re already wealthy), and “Beautiful Town,” which makes villagers more likely water plants and pick weeds, removes cockroaches and trash from fishing completely, and increases the chance for hybrids to grow in your town by 20%. “Beautiful Town” is most useful for mitigating the negative effects of changing your game clock.
Crazy Redd: Redd sells paintings in your town once per week, but many of his paintings are fake. You can compare his masterpieces with their real-life counterparts to detect whether there are slight differences that indicate that the painting is fake. However, some paintings are always genuine: The Hunters in the Snow, Liberty Leading the People, The Sower, Arearea, Sunflowers, A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, The Clothed Maja, Apples and Oranges, The Gleaners, and Young Flautist are always the real thing. Paintings can be sold or donated to the museum.
Customize Furniture and Clothes: Cyrus in the Re-Tail shop wakes up after you have played seven days in a new town; he will allow you to customize your furniture and clothes once you have acquired 10 clothing items, 50 pieces of furniture, and have bought or sold 100,000 bells worth of good from Re-Tail’s vendor Reese.
The Island: Rarer flowers, bugs and creatures are easier to find on the island, which you can access after paying off your second mortgage by going down to the dock and speaking with Tortimer.
Extra Storage: If you need more room for items you can go to the Train Station and store up to 180 items in a locker. Once you get a dresser in your home, it will function as the locker. Alternatively, you can place one object / gift (not fish or bugs) in each letter you have. This means that you can carry 10 extra items in letters, and you can save 180 items in letters at the Post Office.
Conversation with Rover: At the beginning of the game you will have a conversation with Rover, who you have a conversation with at the beginning of the original Animal Crossing game for GameCube. He will say that he “hasn’t done much travelling by train since 2002 or so...” which was the year the original game was released.
Gulliver’s References: When speaking to Gulliver, he makes several references to previous Nintendo games including Super Paper Mario, Super Mario Sunshine, Earthbound and Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door.
Luigi’s Mansion Song: In the museum you will hear a song playing; this is the same song that plays in the gallery of the video game Luigi’s Mansion.
Nintendo GameCube Dresser: If you acquire a pink dresser for your home, there is a Nintendo GameCube on it with a collection of games.
Katelyn Ginn has written video game guides for various online outlets for years. Her interests extend particularly to sci-fi, horror, puzzle, adventure and fantasy genres.
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