Animal Crossing's Town Hall, getting Isabelle, change the island flag in New Horizons explained

How to upgrade Residential Services and welcome a familiar face.

The Town Hall is where you can really get to grips with customising your island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons - but you won't have it right away.

To begin, you'll start with Residential Services. With the right steps, this can then be updated to the Town Hall - and bring about the return of Isabelle.

The Town Hall allows you to do all sorts of things - including the ability to change your island flag and Town Tune.

On this page:

What is Residential Services in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?

You'll quickly discover that Residential Services is the most important building on your island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. This is where you'll learn the basics of crafting and decide where you build features, like bridges, on your island.

As you develop your island, the services inside, as well as the building itself, will change.

When you first arrive, for example, the Nooklings will run a shop in Residential Services. After you've developed your island, however, the Nookling will open Nook's Cranny, removing the shop from Residential Services.

The Nooklings will have a store in Residential Services until they can open Nook's Cranny.

There are a number of functions, however, that will always be present in Residential Services, these include:

  • DIY workbench
  • Nook Stop
  • Recycle Box
  • Tom Nook and the services he provides, such as paying off your loan

Residential Services is open 24 hours a day, so you'll always have access to these services, even if it's three o'clock in the morning.


How to get the Town Hall and Isabelle in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

When you first arrive on your island in New Horizons, Residential Services will be a simple tent in the middle of a deserted island. With some hard work, however, you can help transform that simple tent into a town hall worthy of your growing community.

Residental Service will start off as a tent....

If you want to unlock this upgrade, however, then you must first build the foundations for a thriving island community.

To unlock the Town Hall and Isabelle in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you must:

  • Build a bridge
  • Have at least three villagers move in
  • Open Nook's Cranny
  • Have Blathers move onto the island in his tent
  • Upgrade Blathers' tent into the Museum

Once you've completed these tasks, you'll discover that Residential Services has been closed for a day.

...but it can become a town hall.

It will reopen as the town hall and will not only contain Isabelle, but a variety of new services, which include:

  • Island evaluations
  • Changing the island tune
  • Changing the island flag
  • The ability to change certain aspects, such as the catchphrase, of a villager

You will now also have to sit in a seat, either on Tom Nook's side of the office or Isabelle's, to get their attention and use the services they provide.

The final reward for upgrading Residential Services is that finally, like in previous Animal Crossing games, the music will begin to change every hour.

Isabelle will move to the island once you upgrade Residential Services.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has arrived! After you've set up character customisation, your island name and chosen the correct season for your hemisphere, it's time to get to work on your new holiday life. Thankfully, we have some Animal Crossing New Horizons tips for that. There is fish to catch (including Stringfish and Sturgeon), bugs to catch, Bamboo, flowers and fruit to grow, hairstyles to unlock, villagers to add, shooting stars to wish upon, tools to craft (such as the new ladder and vaulting pole), materials (such Iron and Gold Nuggets) to find, Tarantulas to catch, wasp stings to avoid and Nook Miles and Bells to make, and of course, a house, museum and most importantly, the town hall and Isabelle to unlock where you can change the Town Tune and check your island star rating. You can also meet Gulliver and Wisp on your travels. Finally - you can take part in multiplayer, download QR code designs, complete your activities ahead of the Animal Crossing daily reset time, use amiibo and learning about the upcoming Bunny Day Easter event and Cherry blossom event.

Changing the island flag in Animal Crossing: New Horizons explained

If you find the island flag a little boring in New Horizons, then it's time to Residential Services and talk to Isabelle.

You'll want to select the third option she offers you - 'Change the island flag.'


Now you can select your favourite out of all the patterns you've created or one of the default patterns.

If you haven't designed any of your own patterns yet, then you can buy the Custom Design Pro Editor from the Nook Stop using your Nook MIles. This Nook Phone app will allow you to design your own patterns, so get your creativity flowing.

Once you've decided which pattern you prefer, select it and confirm with Isabelle that this is the design you wish to use.

When you leave Residential Services, you'll be able to see it flying from the flagpole next to the building.

The island flag flies next to the town hall.

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Lottie Lynn

Lottie Lynn

Guides Writer

Lottie Lynn is Eurogamer's guides writer. She likes exploring new games and still has nightmares about the moon from Majora's Mask.


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