We're taking a look at the glitches, cheats, and items dupes you can do in Animal Crossing: New Horizons! If you are a fan of just designing your village a certain way, or you don't want to wait for certain seasons and times to collect things, then these cheats will help you get what you need.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons Cheats
Here's a look at some of the possible cheats for New Horizons that we know of at the moment. Use these at your own risk! While it would be highly doubtful you'd lose your account or anything, it's possible that changing dates could potentially mess events up or have unforeseen issues. If you want some tricks that don't use cheats, check out our Bells Guide.
One of the simplest cheats/tricks you can do is manipulate the time on your Nintendo Switch. In Animal Crossing, each day is played out in real time. So, once you collect all there is to collect and earn all your double Nook Points (check out our AC: New Horizons Daily Checklist), there isn't a whole lot more to do in that day. You also might run into the issue of not being able to play during certain times. If you can only do your gaming at night, you will only experience nighttime in game! So, what do you do? Well, you can change the date and time on your Switch and it will change the time and date in your game! Here's how to do it:
- Save Your Game and Close Animal Crossing
- Go to your System Settings
- Select Date and Time
- Turn Synchronize Clock via Internet Off
- Change the Date and Time to whenever you want!
You can now enter the game and it will be the time you set it on your Nintendo Switch! You can consider doing times like 7am for morning, 12pm for midday, and after 7pm for night. These are usually when different bugs and fish will spawn. If you change the date, you can put yourself in the Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter to find different varieties of these things as well!
NEW: Rare Fish Catching Tricks
There's a couple of ways you can increase the likelihood of catching a particular rare fish. These work for fish like Sturgeon and Stringfish, but will also work for other fish you might be having trouble obtaining.
The first method is taking advantage of the spawn rate on mystery islands. You can fly to these by purchasing a Nook Miles Ticket and heading over to the Dodo Airlines. Fly to a random island and you will hopefully come across one that has some water that is easily run around. Mystery islands fish spawn a lot faster than your actual island, so you can spook away the fish that you don't want and run around back to the location of the fish you actually do want. The Sturgeon in particular works well for this because they only spawn at the River Mouth. So, you go around scaring the other fish and head back to check if one has spawned at the mouth. One usually will have spawned, but it might not be the one you want. Scare that away and repeat the process. This gives you a lot more chances at catching a specific fish. It's important to know where they with show up and what size the shadow will be.
Here's a few ways you can scare away the fish you don't want:
- Sprint (hold B-button) and run along the river/sea to scare them
- Pole vault across the river near the fish
- Cast towards a fish, get them to bite, and reel it in without catching the fish. This scares away the fish you got to bite and other nearby fish!
The second method takes advantage of the ability to hard reset. You can go get about 10 Fish bait and go to the location of where the rare fish will spawn. Wait for the game to auto-save. You will know it has saved when a circular icon with animated dots appears at the top right of your screen. Once that happens, toss the bait and cast on any fish shadows that match the size you want. Continue this until you either get the fish or run out of bait. If you run out of bait, hit the home button on your controller and exit out of Animal Crossing completely. You need to do this before the game auto-saves, you have about three minutes (if you see the auto-save indicator, DO NOT close the game or your save might be corrupted). Reload the game and you will have all of the Fish bait you started with because the game wasn't saved after you used it all! Now you can continue to repeat this process until you finally catch the rare fish.
Nook Stop Interest Glitch
This method uses the time skipping glitch we outlined previously. Do this at your own risk! As far as I know, there isn't anything negative that will happen with your game but it's early in the discovery of these tricks.
Early on in the game you will get the ability to deposit bells at the Nook Stop. Go to the ABD selection here, and you can deposit some into your savings. Put a large amount into your account, and then save and exit your game. Go to your System Settings of your Nintendo Switch and scrolls all the way down to System. Select Date and Time and disable "Synchronize Clock via Internet" if you have it enabled. Go to the Date and Time option and move your years all the way to the max (2060). Hit okay and go back into your game. If you head back over to the Nook Stop, you will notice that your bell amount has grown significantly! You can now save and revert the years back to normal. Go back into the game and you will see the bell amount remains as the increased total. Repeat this process as much as you want to continue to get rich quick!
This was made a lot harder now that the Giant Water Bug now spawns in the Northern Hemisphere!
This is kind of a glitch/cheat, it's very likely going against how the game intended you to play it.
It's a bit of a pain to do, but if you desperately want bells, then you can actually guarantee Tarantula spawns on a mystery island. Take a flight using the Nook Miles Ticket (make sure it's after 7pm and Tarantulas are in season) and if it isn't the specific Tarantula island, you can pretty much strip the island bare to get the spiders to show up! You need to go through and remove every single tree, flower, and rock on the island. Once you've done that, you need to go over to the beach area and plant all the flowers. Remove all the flower tops and drop all of the stuff from your inventory on the ground. The island is now primed to spawn some bugs. Catch any bug you see! It appears there's a limit to how many bugs can be on an island, so ditch the ones you don't want. The Tarantulas have a chance to show up as you run around the island. Continue this process until you've got a bag full of spiders.
To watch this method in action, check out this video:
Duplicating Items Patched Out in 1.1.1
This was removed from the game in the 1.1.1 Patch that was added on March 26th, 2020.
A duplicate item glitch has been found! However, this only works for placed items, not items that can merely be dropped. You will need a second controller and profile for this, but the basic method is place an item on a cardboard box or surface that can have items placed on top of it. Place the item you want to dupe on it (has to be placed, not dropped), like the Nintendo Switch you get in the mail for example. Have one player rotate the box/surface and you can repeatedly grab the item that was placed over and over again. Fill up your inventory with these and sell them for all the bells you can possibly hold or use the cloned item to decorate your island!
You can pull this off by yourself with a second controller or just utilize both of your Joycons! You need to manage the controllers a bit, but I imagine it shouldn't be too difficult to do.
That's all the cheats and glitches we know of in Animal Crossing: New Horizons! We'll be adding more if they are discovered, so be sure to check back again soon.