Animal Crossing: New Horizons turns one tomorrow. Can you believe it?
2020 will be remembered as the loneliest year. Our backpacks and briefcases began collecting dust, we forgot how to hold a normal face-to-face human conversation, and we congratulated ourselves for changing out of our nighttime pajamas into our daytime pajamas. While all of us began going through the five stages of grief in the face of COVID-19, Tom Nook rappelled down on a seaplane’s ladder and offered us his grimy, money-loving paw. Unconcerned with the debt we’d find ourselves in, we chose to escape to a deserted island. We were freed from all of the fear and uncertainty which suffocated us. To millions upon millions, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was 2020’s only redeeming quality.
Our play timers went up and up, our excitement soared with each new update, we hunted and hunted for our dream villagers, and eventually our islands were complete. We ran out of things to do each day; we had found every fossil, caught every bug, snagged every fish. Inevitable burnout followed, and our daily time with our villagers turned into weekly time, maybe monthly.
But lately, there has been a resurgence. We want that feeling of excitement back, which for some means starting from scratch. It may seem a waste for some, who can’t fathom saying farewell to the place we’ve spent hundreds of hours perfecting. New adventures and challenges await; creators want to test out new styles, begin the game fresh with tips and tricks they’ve learned over the past year. Maybe you’ve improved your terraforming game or want to try your hand at fairycore.
Maybe it’s time to start fresh.
We’ve hand-picked some Animal Crossing YouTube channels to inspire you to release some newfound creativity. Whether you’re looking for specific builds or creative island explorations and tours, you’re sure to find that spark you need to dive back in for another fun year. The best part? These creators come from all over the world. Don’t worry about a language barrier with the Japanese channel… the language of Animal Crossing is global.
1. Froggy Crossing
Froggy Crossing, or just Raven, is just a joy to listen to. Even if you’re tuning in for the first time, you instantly feel welcomed, as though you’re watching your best friend’s Animal Crossing adventures. Her ‘natural, cluttered, fairycore island’ Pelican Bay (seen in this article’s featured image) is worth a visit, and her channel is a treasure trove of speed builds for everything from ice-skating rinks to spooky fairy circles. Currently, she’s documenting her new island, the kidcore-themed Leapfrog.
2. Nemumi no Mori
A crafter and YouTuber, Nemumi no Mori’s aesthetic is simply written as ‘an expression of everyday happiness.’ Her Animal Crossing slow life vlog series is just that: unrushed, unworried wandering around her island, decorating as she sees fit. Sometimes, it’s that lack of hustle and bustle that brings back our creativity. Her island tours are beautifully edited, and her attention to detail will have you running to turn on your Switch.
Plenty of Animal Crossing YouTubers focus on island exteriors, so finding Honami was a breath of fresh air. Sure, her island tours and tutorials are whimsical enough, but what makes the channel shine is her Room Tour series, which, even if you don’t speak Japanese, is done in a way that is easy to follow and leaves you feeling totally capable of an Extreme Home Makeover. We also love her Lo-Fi Hip-hop Remix of ‘K.K. Soul’.
If you’re looking for less general inspiration and more by-the-book tutorials, Sparksby is for you. Her design sense is unmatched, and we’ve absolutely loved watching her create her plantcore/cottagecore island Neverland piece-by-piece with tons of helpful commentary. Even if this isn’t the theme for you, there’s plenty of helpful terraforming and other tips to take away. As spring has sprung, we’d recommend her video on perfect paths for the season!
Colorful chaos is how Jinmu’s video line-up instantly hits us, and that’s meant as a compliment. Dabbling in everything from builds and tours to Let’s Play streams and villager hunts, Jinmu takes her time enjoying each and every aspect of Animal Crossing life. If you’re not sure where to start and don’t read Japanese, check out this playlist of her island tours, or her personal island decorating diaries.
Making your house in Animal Crossing look cohesive, not too cluttered, not too empty… it’s super challenging. Mozuku expresses her incredible decorating talent by not only decorating well, but creating unexpected spaces, from a coin laundry and furniture shop to a plant lover’s café and bad girl’s room. If you’re struggling with how to stage your home, Mozuku’s channel will keep you busy for quite some time.
Good vibes only, warm and fuzzy, cute and cozy: these all describe the ray of light that is lou-lou. A longtime fan of the Animal Crossing series, her videos are one part exploration, one part free therapy: if you’re having a bad day, this is the cure. Her voice and demeanor during Let’s Plays make it impossible not to smile, and for the more nostalgic folks, she also has a fantastic City Folk playlist. (And TONS of Pocket Camp inspo as well!)
No voiceover needed: Mokoko’s library of videos takes you through the seasons of Animal Crossing, aiming to guide you through decorating for each and every time of the year. Simple music accompanies her easy-to-follow romp around her island, making terraforming look easy as pie. Her winter build is positively gorgeous, though as we enter spring, check out her video on creating a memorable spring entrance. (Also, her Instagram is consistently wonderful.)
9. Freya Holly
A fan of the Animal Crossing franchise since Wild World, Freya Holly has a knack for finding incredible dream islands to explore. What originally caught our attention, however, are her comprehensive custom design videos, both for clothing and pathways; they are incredibly helpful when trying to wade through thousands of user-created submissions. She also offers doable design ideas and speed builds for any skill level (our favorite is her cosy campsite.)
10. Haruchi Create
It’s easy to watch island videos and feel completely overwhelmed. How did they do that? Am I a terrible decorator? Is this just beyond my ability? Haruchi Create’s channel has a way of making you feel completely capable of making the island of your dreams. Her Daily Create series shows her entire process from start to finish, putting down paths, planting flowers, even showing her mistakes and edits as she works, with nothing cut out. We’re obsessed.
11. Chase Crossing
Chase Crossing has positively exploded in popularity over the past six months, and for good reason. His island visits have become legendary in the community, both for the unique themes he highlights and the anticipated creator interviews he includes with each tour. Need ideas for a horror-themed island? The wild west? Medieval times? He’s got you covered, with a silky-smooth voice to boot. His recent Japanese village tour is absolutely perfect for OTAQUEST. We hit our gongs to you, Chase.
New Horizons was released only one day after the first lockdown orders came into effect, instantly becoming a security blanket as we hurtled towards an unknown future. Turning the game on in five, ten, even twenty years may bring us all back to this headspace of social distancing and decorative masks. Hopefully, we’ll remember the comfort it brought us, the creativity it inspired, and the friends we met along the way… both villagers and fellow explorers alike.
Feel that we left someone out? Want to share your favorite Animal Crossing creators, ask for turnip prices, or share your dream code with us? Head over to the OTAQUEST Discord channel! (And be sure to follow all the lovely creators above!)