Animal Crossing: New Horizons gets a final, enormous free update in November

Alongside first paid expansion, Happy Home Paradise.

Nintendo has detailed November's big free update coming to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which will leave 2020's breakout hit at version 2.0.

Available on 5th November, it will contain a bumper crop of new features, improvements and fan-requested quality-of-life tweaks you probably wish you'd had a year ago. Brewster is in, as is fan-favourite Kapp'n, alongside dozens of other improvements and additions all detailed below.

But this update will also be the game's final major free update, Nintendo said, after a particularly quiet period for fresh additions.

At the same time, Nintendo has also revealed Happy Home Paradise. This is a paid expansion which adds a suite of new gameplay, including some handy extra decoration options for your home. Some of this will likely be familiar if you played Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer on 3DS, though there's a lot more here besides.

This paid add-on will cost £22.49/€24.99 or, interestingly, it will be free to members of Nintendo's upcoming premium Switch Online + Expansion Pack tier. This, we now know, will cost £34.99/49.99 USD a year for an individual membership and £59.99/$79.99 USD for the family option, supporting up to eight accounts.

Whether you pay for it or get it as part of Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, Animal Crossing: Happy Home Paradise will also arrive on 5th November.

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First, let's break down everything in Animal Crossing: New Horizons' free 2.0 update, starting with the main draw: Brewster the pigeon. As we already knew, Brewster's coffee shop The Roost is finally coming to New Horizons, and will be installed in the museum. There you can pay 200 Bells for a steaming hot pigeon milk latte with other players, or villagers who drop by for a chat. You can also summon particular characters via amiibo figurines/cards.

Next up is Kapp'n, who will weigh anchor in a new dock on your shoreline. For 1000 Nook Miles you can visit an island with him which may offer an alternative season and time of day to your own, letting you stripmine its resources whatever the time of year back home.

Harv's Island has also had a big revamp, and looks finally to have become useful. Here you can contribute Bells to give vendors a place to pitch up, including old favourites like Saharah and Redd, as well as new customisation options from Reese and Cyrus, plus old mayor Tortimer (he's not dead!), Harriet the hairstylist and Katrina the fortune teller.

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Back on your island mainland, there's plenty of other new features. A new group stretching exercise is available at the main plaza, which you can take part in yourself using buttons or Joy-Con motion controls. You can also farm vegetables and cook them in your kitchen, then display your cooked dishes or gobble them down.

Gyroids are back, now as smaller, cuter figurines that still bop along to music and which you can now customise the look of. You can also lay out permanent ladders for easy access to higher island areas.

Talk to Tom Nook and you can unlock new exterior customisation styles for your house, plus boost your storage from the previous cap of 2400 items up to 5000. Talk to Isabelle and you can finally set island ordinances, including early or night owl opening times for shops.

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But wait, there's more. A Pro Decoration License will let you hang lighting or other ceiling elements in your home, and set an accent wall to have a different wallpaper to the rest of the room. Outside, you can add more bridges, and there are new fence types.

A handy portable storage shed can be placed on your island with direct access to your home storage. An ABD kiosk can also be placed for access to Bells. The game's camera app will let you take first-person shots or get in the frame for a group photo.

There are 12 more KK songs (KK Polka!) and a new music box item to play them on at home. There are 11 more hairstyles and 11 extra reactions (Bye! Say Cheese!). New items are being added to the Nook Miles app, such as a ferris wheel. Finally, there's a new Island Life tips app with gameplay hints on getting to grips with all the above. Because frankly, that feels like a year's worth of DLC updates rolled into one.

Now, onto Animal Crossing: Happy Home Paradise.

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This paid DLC is accessible via your airport, and is situated on a fresh island hub where you'll work with Lottie the otter to build custom holiday homes for your clients.

Select an island setting suited to your client's wishes, with various biomes to choose from. You can then customise their holiday house's exterior and interior design, place furniture and decorate. Amiibo cards/figurines will let you build a holiday home for a particular character.

What's the point of all this? Well, you'll earn a new currency, Poki, to be spent back in the Paradise island hub on rare furniture items. You can also then start building your Paradise hub further with the addition of other customisable buildings, such as a school, hospital and restaurant. These are all places to meet more potential animal clients, and potentially pair them up as roommates.

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Connecting online to the Happy Home Network lets you revisit past clients and see other players' custom builds. You can also follow other Paradise island creators.

Progress further through the DLC and you'll unlock the ability to alter the time of day or season, boost the size of holiday homes, and add all-new building possibilities. These include pillars, partition walls, two-tier counters, snazzier lighting effects and soundscapes.

Most of this DLC is kept separate to your main island, but after unlocking these new building features you will then be able to perform them on your own home. In a Q&A session on the DLC with Nintendo reps, the company said no new furniture would be locked behind the Happy Home Paradise DLC. Eurogamer also asked specifically what would happen if you unsubscribed from Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack after using it to play the expansion:

“Players can still continue to access certain things they have unlocked in Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Happy Home Paradise on their main island, including adding counters, partition walls, as well as adding ambient lighting and soundscapes, even if their access to Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Happy Home Paradise is suspended," a Nintendo spokesperson told me. "However, it will not be possible to visit the archipelago if players lose access to the DLC. To be able to visit the archipelago and take on requests of designing vacation homes again, you will need to purchase the DLC separately or renew the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership."

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

News Editor  |  tomphillipsEG

Tom is Eurogamer's news editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

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