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Animal Crossing: New Horizons Terraforming - How to unlock the Island Designer app

It's terrably good.

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About Ed Thorn

Ed will not rest until a new Wario Land is announced.

Terraforming allows you to perform water building and cliff building, but how do you unlock this new island customisation feature? In this guide we’ll walk you through how to get the Island Designer app in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Getting a hold of the Island Designer App in Animal Crossing: New Horizons isn’t an easy task. It’ll take more than a few hours, in fact, it’ll take a pretty long time. This is considered endgame content, and a special treat for those who complete the 'quest' (we use this term loosely) which runs through the game as you build up your island’s community.

Once you’ve got it installed on your Nook Phone it’ll open up a plethora of options to tinker with your island. Now it’s not just about sticking decorations around and occasionally making a fence, oh no, this’ll enable you to transform the very landscape of your sandy shores.

Below we’ll explain how you can get hold of it for yourself.

How to unlock Terraforming in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Here’s how to get hold of the Island Designer App, just remember, this’ll take a while!

1. Get K.K Slider to play a concert on your island

To actually reach this step, you’ll need to have completed a number of tasks.

Essentially, you’ll need to reach a point where you’ve unlocked the Town Hall, and the Visitor’s Campsite. Then you’ll need to recruit a new villager via the Campsite. Once you’ve done this, speak to Tom Nook and he’ll mention getting K.K Slider to play a concert now that the community’s beginning to expand and thrive. As always, there’s a catch. To get him to visit, you’ll need to tick off yet more things:

  • Get more visitors.
  • Increase your island population.
  • Raise your island’s star rating to at least 3 out of 5.

Once you’ve done all of this, speak to Tom Nook and K.K Slider will visit your island the next day!

2. Attend the concert

Login on the day and you’ll automatically be pulled into a rousing performance from everyone’s favourite pooch. Enjoy, then watch the credits roll after...

More essential Animal Crossing: New Horizons guides

3. Chinwag with Tom Nook

Emerge from your abode the next day and you’ll be approached by Tom Nook who’ll have a lovely surprise for you. K.K Slider will perform every Saturday! And most importantly, he’ll send you the Island Designer App.

4. Purchase permits with Nook Miles

From the get go you’ll only be able to sculpt paths, which is nice, but there’s only so much pathing one can do. With this in mind, it’s important you visit the Nook Stop terminal in the Town Hall to purchase plenty of different permits with your Nook Miles. These will enable you to perform waterscaping and cliff construction, and you’ll find a tonne of cheaper permits which’ll provide customisation options for your landscaping needs.

  • Waterscaping permit: 6,000 Nook Miles.
  • Cliff construction permit: 6,000 Nook Miles
  • Cosmetic permits: 2,000 Nook Miles each

That's it for this guide, but make sure you have a glance at our How to move trees and break rocks page if you need some extra advice to help freshen up your island!

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