Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been a smash hit since its release in March. Selling 11.77 million copies as of March 31st, there’s no denying it’s a popular game. However, as a new fan of the series, I can see many improvements that can be made for efficiency’s sake. Here are my top 3 improvements to New Horizons that I’d like to see.

New Horizons character standing on a beach
One of my beach hangouts in New Horizons!
Screenshot by author

New Horizons has quite possibly been the most popular game of all time, partially responsible for the shortages of Nintendo’s Switch console on store shelves. With all that said, even my top pick for game of the year has some room for improvement.

#1 No More Multi-Crafting in the Game

When you play New Horizons and want to craft, there are a series of menus you have to go through. First, you need to find a crafting bench. Then, if you have customization unlocked, you have to choose whether or not you want to craft or customize. Once that’s done, you have a new menu open up, where you can select what you want to craft.

To drive home the idea that you’re stranded on a deserted island, New Horizons allows you to craft flimsy tools with more common resources or sturdier tools with less common resources. For example, you have the option to craft a flimsy shovel with 5 hardwood. However, for a more sturdy shovel that won’t break on you as fast, you can craft a sturdy shovel with a flimsy shovel and 1 iron nugget.

There’s where the problem lies. If you have the materials in your game inventory to craft a flimsy shovel and a sturdy shovel, you can’t just do it all at once. You have to go through the process of creating a flimsy shovel, which bumps you completely out of the crafting menu! Then, you go through the whole process again to craft a regular shovel. It’s a small thing, but it’s mind-numbingly frustrating for long game sessions.

Opening crafting dialogue in New Horizons
One of the many, many, many screens in the crafting process in New Horizons
Screenshot by author

#2 Crafting in Your New Horizons Home

Crafting in New Horizons has so many opportunities for optimization. When you’re crafting, you have to make sure you have the right resources in your inventory. If you want to craft a flimsy watering can in the game, you need 5 softwood in your inventory. That isn’t an issue if you’re a resource hoarder like me. You probably have plenty of that in your home’s storage.

However, if you’re crafting in your home, the game still only accesses your player inventory. This is highly inefficient! You’ve already gone through the trouble of going to your home, why waste even more time having to open your storage, find the specific resource you’re looking for, add it to your inventory, and then go through the entire crafting process. Considering that crafting entails a lot of steps already, it can be quite frustrating for any game session.

Crafting screen in New Horizons
I promise, I have tree branches in my home’s inventory- but not enough in my player inventory. So the game says “no way” to crafting this net!
Screenshot by author

#3 Including a Grid When Decorating the Outside of Your New Horizons Island

When you want to decorate inside of your player home, the game has a handy grid system. The game takes you to a separate screen where your player can’t get in the way, and items have a grid around them. This grid will turn green or red depending on whether or not you can place an item in a certain spot. However, when decorating the outside of your home, this system completely disappears!

Considering the game will encourage you to decorate your New Horizons island from top to bottom, it’d be nice if the process was easier. When decorating outside, small items just get thrown in front of you with little to no control over the orientation and placement until it’s actually on the ground. This can lead to a frustrating process of pushing things around your New Horizons island until you’re happy. New Horizons also makes placing buildings and homes difficult. The game doesn’t let you manage house placement from a screen that gives you a map layout. You have to run to the spot you wish to place the structure and go through a dialogue tree just to see what the building will look like when placed. It can be frustratingly tedious!

The game already has a system for easier decorating. I don’t understand why New Horizons doesn’t have it implemented already- there might be some game design limitations I’m not aware of. But I feel like it’s an improvement the game developers should look in to!

Player kitchen in New Horizons
Moving things around your house is really easy in New Horizons, so why can’t it be like that outside?
Screenshot by author

Regardless, New Horizons is a wonderful game. I’ll still play New Horizons, even if these game improvements never happen. However, in a world where infinite updates are possible, it doesn’t make sense to ignore the hundreds of fans asking for small efficiency tweaks.

Do you play Animal Crossing: New Horizons? What improvements would you make to the game? Let me know in the comments!