Animal Crossing Happy Home Academy: HHA ranks, HHA score and rewards explained

How to make the perfect home layout in New Horizons.

The Happy Home Academy in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a special organisation who assesses your interior design skills and will reward you if your house meets their standards.

First, however, you need to climb the Happy Home Academy ranks by learning how the HHA point system works. This will include learning how the art of Feng Shui works in the Animal Crossing world.

I hope you're feeling creative - it's time to do some interior design.

On this page:

Happy Home Academy in Animal Crossing: New Horizons explained

The Happy Home Academy is a long running institution in the Animal Crossing series that is dedicated to evaluating your interior design skills and, if your house meets their standards, then you'll be rewarded.

Once Tom Nook has built you a house, the Happy Home Academy will evaluate it every week and provide you with a score that reflects your design choices. They might even include a little bit of advice to help your home blossom.

Animal_Crossing_Happy_Home_11

This may sound simple, but, if you've played a previous instalment in the Animal Crossing series, you'll know that the Happy Home Academy has a range of criteria, which all affect your point score.

From simple decisions, like your choice of furniture, to the more complex ones, like the Feng Shui of your home, these are all things that the Happy Home Academy takes into consideration and the bigger your house becomes, the more points you can earn.

When will you be evaluated by the Happy Home Academy in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?

Happy Home Evaluations occur at 5am on a Sunday morning, which is the reset time for every island in New Horizons.

This means that when you boot up New Horizons on a Sunday morning, or any time after 5am on that day, you'll receive your new ranking, including any prizes you might have won, from the Happy Home Evaluation.

If your score hasn't changed from the previous week, then you will not receive a letter from the Happy Home Academy.

It also gives you a full week to craft new furniture, buy new rugs from Saharah or art from Redd and experiment with new room layouts, before being evaluated again.

You will also receive letters and gifts from the Happy Home Academy when you upgrade your house.

Animal_Crossing_Happy_Home_12

Happy Home Academy ranks in Animal Crossing: New Horizons explained

The Happy Home Academy will assign your home one of three different ranks in New Horizons - B, A or S. The lowest is B, while the highest is S.

Animal_Crossing_Happy_Home_13
Animal_Crossing_Happy_Home_14
You'll slowly climb the HHA ranks as your house grows.

You climb these ranks by earning points through your home design, which includes activities like utilising Feng Shui and keeping your house free of cockroaches.

It's important to note, however, that every time you upgrade your house in New Horizons, the rank requirements for your Happy Home Academy ranking will increase. This means that the more rooms you have, the harder it is to obtain an S rank house, but, on the other hand, a bigger house means more space for furniture.

Below you'll find rank requirements for every house expansion that you can unlock in New Horizons:

House ExpansionRank BRank ARank S
House (12x12) 0 to 9999 10,000 to 14,999 15,000+
Upgraded main room (16x16) 0 to 16,999 17,000 to 22,999 23,000+
Back room (12x12) 0 to 24,999 25,000 to 34,999 35,000+
Left room (12x12) 0 to 37,999 38,000 to 46,999 47,000+
Right room (12x12) 0 to 49,999 50,000 to 59,999 60,000+
Second floor (12x20) 0 to 63,999 64,000 to 74,999 75,000+
Basement (12x20) 0 to 79,999 80,000 to 89,999 90,000+

How to improve your Happy Home Academy score in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

If you want to obtain that coveted S rank from the Happy Home Academy in New Horizons, then you need to ensure that your house fulfils as many of the possible score bonuses as possible. This ranges from including Feng Shui in your home design plans to simply displaying any rare or seasonal furniture that you may own.

Remember though, if you don't keep your house tidy, then you risk having your score penalised.

Thank you to Pinkandgrey from reddit for the help with the following information.

Display rare furniture

The harder a piece of furniture is to craft or find, then the more point you'll receive for it. Perfect rare items to display include trophies from the quarterly Fishing Tourneys to any furniture item that requires a star fragment as part of its DIY recipe.

Animal_Crossing_Happy_Home_20
Items crafted using star fragments and earned by helping Gulliver will earn you a higher HHA score.

Fill every room with furniture

It may seem simple, but it's an easy rule to forget - ensure that you fill every room with furniture, even the walls. This doesn't mean cram the room until you can barely enter, but don't just leave a room empty or with a single chair inside.

Instead, try to place as much furniture as you can into every room, and on the walls, without sacrificing your design choices, so that you can maximise the amount of points you receive from the Happy Home Academy.

Animal_Crossing_Happy_Home_9
This room contains 20 pieces of furniture and three wall mounted items.

Display a variety of furniture sets

You may have filled a room with furniture, but if its just the same chair over and over again then you're not going to earn many points. Instead, you should focus on displaying a variety of furniture and, if possible, complete a number of furniture sets.

Furniture sets are small collections of themed furniture items; you'll know if an item is part of a furniture set if it shares it's name with another piece of furniture. The Writing set, for example, consists of the Writing chair, Writing desk and Writing poster. Displaying all of these items together in one room will help increase your Happy Home Academy score.

You can display multiple sets in a room, as long as the furniture fits of course!

Animal_Crossing_Happy_Home_5
A room can contain multiple sets.

Include the essential furniture

In New Horizons, there are four pieces of furniture to be considered essential for daily life - bed, chairs, tables and dressers or wardrobes. If your house contains at least one of each of these essential furniture, then the Happy Home Academy will be very happy indeed.

It doesn't matter what model of furniture you use or whether all of the essential furniture is in the same room, you've just to ensure your house include a bed, chair, table and wardrobe.

Animal_Crossing_Happy_Home_2
Apparently toilets aren't essential.

Festive and seasonal furniture bonus

You'll receive a small points bonus if you decide to display furniture that is earned either through a seasonal event, like cherry blossom season, or a festive event, such as, and sorry in advance, Bunny Day.

Animal_Crossing_Happy_Home_6
All my Bunny Day furniture has mysteriously vanished...

Colour match your furniture

Another simple design rule that can be easily overlooked - try to colour code all of the rooms in your house. By that we mean pick a certain colour, like black, and then try to have the majority of items in that room be the same colour. This will definitely show off your interior design skills and net you some sweet Happy Home Academy points.

Animal_Crossing_Happy_Home_7
I own a surprisingly large amount of black furniture.

Happy Home Academy penalties in Animal Crossing: New Horizons explained

If you don't keep your house tidy and clean in New Horizons, then the Happy Home Academy won't be very happy and will penalise your overall score.

You will be penalised if your house has:

  • Cockroaches
  • Furniture facing the wall
  • Items other than furniture on the floor
  • Rubbish on the floor
Animal_Crossing_Happy_Home_1
Don't drop random items on the fall and avoid placing furniture facing the wall to avoid penalties.

Thankfully, avoiding these penalties is very easy - all you have to do is avoid dropping any rubbish on your floor, keep non-furniture items in your inventory or storage, rotate furniture away from the walls and, if you see a cockroach, stamp on it, until you see its little cockroach soul ascend to the heavens.


New to Animal Crossing? Our Animal Crossing New Horizons tips can help with the basics. From the off, there's fish and bugs to catch, flowers and fruit to grow, villagers to add or remove and tools such as the new ladder and vaulting pole to collect. Once you have settled in, you'll want to be making as many Bells as possible, start collecting K.K. Slider songs and work on your island star rating, increase your HHA ranking, incorporate Feng Shui into your room design and acquiring kitchen furniture. Recently added were Leif and Redd, who deals in fake art. Don't forget to partake in Wedding Season!


Happy Home Academy rewards in Animal Crossing: New Horizons explained

If you meet the Happy Home Academy's standard for home design in New Horizons, then you'll earn a variety of rewards. This ranges from a pennant you can hang on your wall to a collection of trophies that celebrate your design skills.

Below you'll find a list of all the Home Home Academy prizes available and the score you must achieve to earn them:

PointsReward
10,000+ HHA Pennant
20,000+ Bronze HHA plaque
30,000+ Silver HHA plaque
50,000+ Gold HHA plaque
70,000+ Bronze HHA trophy
100,000+ Silver HHA trophy
150,000+ Gold HHA trophy
Animal_Crossing_Happy_Home_10

Good luck with your home designs!

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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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