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How To Get A 5-Star Island Rating In Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons might not seem like it has an ultimate goal, but there is a way to "win" the game. Most of the gameplay focuses on enjoying your new island life and taking it easy, but Tom Nook and Isabelle down at Resident Services have greater ambitions. They want world-renowned musician K.K. Slider to visit the island, effectively putting your home on the map as the coolest destination there is.

To catch K.K.'s attention, you'll need to have a 3-star rating for your island. Hitting this milestone unlocks weekly K.K. performances and the Island Designer terraforming app. This opens up a whole new world of customization options, and points you towards your next major achievement: the highly coveted 5-star rating. 

Hitting 5 stars is one of the hardest tasks in the game (even harder than running away from tarantulas) so don't get discouraged. You have a long journey ahead, but follow these steps and you can transform your island into the next big luxury hotspot.

Decorate, decorate, decorate

You'll notice Isabelle encourages you to decorate the island. For the first time in the franchise, New Horizons allows you to take your interior design skills to the exterior. Decorate the beach, common areas, and any location that looks like it could use some sprucing up. You can display a variety of Nook Miles, DIY, and store bought furnishings to form fun and aesthetically pleasing environments.

Fencing also goes a long way. This will give your residences and themed areas a more put together look. Consider fencing off little yards around houses or creating parks and clever walkways. You could even set up a maze for unsuspecting visitors to stumble through. Hitting 5 stars requires lots of decorations, so get ready to think outside the box. It's unclear whether the size or value of the items you choose influences your score.

Recruit new villagers

To reach 5 stars, you need to have the maximum number of villagers living on your island. You have two main options to find and recruit villagers: visiting a mystery island using a Nook Miles Ticket or inviting an NPC who visits your campsite.

You can purchase a Nook Miles Ticket for 2,000 Nook Miles from the kiosk in Resident Services. These tickets allow you to visit other deserted islands via the airport. Once you've reached your destination, you can gather supplies and may encounter a random NPC also exploring the area. If the two of you hit it off, you only need to talk to them twice to convince them to move to your island.

The campsite on your island will also offer a steady supply of NPCs to choose from. A random character will visit your campsite every few days, and you can persuade them to become a permanent resident by speaking to them multiple times. Instead of waiting for a camper to show up, you can also invite NPCs to stay at your campsite using amiibo cards or figures. Simply head to the Resident Services kiosk and scan your amiibo to get the ball rolling.

Get ready to garden

Beyond filling your island with decorations and furnishings, you'll need to cultivate the flora. You can plant new trees and flowers by purchasing saplings and seeds from Nook's Cranny. To unlock new varieties, you'll need to visit mystery islands using a Nook Miles Ticket, dig up the blooms and trees, then transport them back to you own island. Alternatively, you can snag new fruit and flower types from a friend's island. 

Burying a piece of fruit in the ground will cause a new tree of that type to sprout. You can also unlock new flower colors by cross-breeding them. Simply plant flowers of the same type in a checkerboard pattern and water them repeatedly. Different color combinations will produce different hybrids, so don't be afraid to experiment.

Continuing the gardening trend, you should scour your island for weeds and pull them immediately. Though tedious, you can turn weeds into a number of DIY items. The game will also reward you with Nook Miles for your efforts.

Traffic and accessibility

Ensure your residents and visitors have access to the entire island. This means building bridges and inclines, or terraforming to open up all levels and areas to the public. You're the only one who seems to know how to use a vaulting pole and ladder in New Horizons, so you'll need to make getting around as easy as possible for the NPCs that populate the world.

As you get everything connected, attract as much traffic to your island as you can. Buy from and develop friendships with the various merchants who pass through, such as Sahara, Flick, and CJ. This is especially important with figures like Mabel the hedgehog, as these interactions can entice certain characters to setup a permanent shop on your island. Even if they don't decide to stay for good, these travelers can contribute to your home's growing reputation.