Animal Crossing Island star rating: How to get a three-star island evaluation in New Horizons explained

How to improve your island's star ranking in New Horizons. 

Island evaluations will help you build your perfect isle in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Each one includes a star rating, which is a hint towards how popular your island is with visitors.

When you first unlock island evaluations your goal will be to achieve a three-star rating for your island. This will allow you to unlock a variety of rewards, including terraforming.

So pull up those weeds and start crafting outdoor furniture - it's time to make your island beautiful!

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Island evaluations and star rating in Animal Crossing: New Horizons explained

An island evaluation in New Horizons is a short report Isabelle will give you about how visitors feel about your island. Each island evaluation will include a star rating for your island, which ranges from one, being the lowest, to five, being the highest.

As part of your island evolution, Isabelle will offer you some advice on how to improve your star rating. This could be anything from having more villagers move to your island to putting down more fencing.

Animal_Crossing_Island_Rates_3

Following her advice to the letter will result in your island gaining a higher star ranking and, if you pay enough attention, then you will eventually gain a five-star rating.

Your star rating is determined by the amount of the following factors on your island:

Except for weeds, which you must pull up, you can improve your island ranking by placing more of these factors on your isle. It's also a good idea to keep your island nice and tidy, which you can achieve by not leaving items, like trash or turnips, on the ground.

How to get an island evaluation in Animal Crossing: New Horizons explained

If you want to have your island evaluated in New Horizons, then you must first upgrade Residential Services from a tent to the town hall.

Once you've done that, Isabelle will move to your island and will offer you a range of new services in the town hall.

One of these is island evaluation, which you can access by choosing the option, 'Let's talk island evals.' when talking to her. This will provide you with both your star ranking and advice on how to improve it.

Animal_Crossing_Island_Rates_1

Benefits of raising your star rating in Animal Crossing: New Horizons explained

There are three main benefits of raising your star rating in New Horizons; you gain two of them when you reach a three-star level and the third when you achieve a five-star rating.

For three-stars, you'll unlock the Island Designer app, which allows you to terraform your island, and KK Slider, the dog-uitarist, will begin to visit your island once a week.

Animal_Crossing_Island_Rates_6
You'll unlock terraforming by getting a three-star rating.

When you achieved a five-star rating, you'll earn the DIY recipe for the Golden Watering Can, which you can use to create Gold Roses, an exclusive flower.


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!


How to get your island to a three-star rating in Animal Crossing: New Horizons explained

Once you've upgraded Residential Services and built the campsite, your next goal will probably be to unlock terraforming by achieving a three-star rating. The way you do this is by following Isabelle's advice when you ask her about island evaluations.

Animal_Crossing_Island_Rates_4

If you're having trouble raising to a three-star level, here's what my island had when I achieved a three-star ranking:

  • Eight villagers
  • 27 pieces of furniture outside with no duplicates
  • 50 pieces of fencing
  • Two bridges
  • Two inclines
  • A variety of fruit trees and flowers from different islands

My island was also free of weeds and didn't have any trash or items, like tools or turnips, on the ground.

This may differ for you depending on how you've been playing New Horizons, but, if you're stuck, then these figures are a good goal to aim for, especially with the number of villagers.

Good luck raising your star ranking!

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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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