Animal Crossing: New Horizons has thousands of items you can collect. If you’re looking for something specific, trading with another player might be your best bet.
Animal Crossing’s Virtual Economy
Since Animal Crossing: New Horizons was released in the latter half of March, it has quickly become a global phenomenon, and one of the best-selling games of the year. Along with the rise of the game, many online resources have sprung up, providing tips and databases to help players build up their islands.
One particularly interesting part of the game has been the rise of the Animal Crossing trading community. This network of New Horizons players from around the globe buy, sell, and exchange in-game items and resources. In conjunction, a vast online economy for the game has taken shape.
What You Can Trade
You can trade nearly all the items in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, except those that can’t be dropped, like fish and bugs. Anything you can pick up, drop, or plant, can be swapped with other players. This includes furniture, clothes, materials, flowers, and DIY recipes. You can also trade in bells or use Nook Miles Tickets.
There’s even a way to trade villagers. To do so, a villager you own must be “in boxes,” meaning his house is filled with boxes, and he’s about to leave the island. To get a villager in boxes, he must first express his desire to move. He’ll pack up his stuff the next day.
While a villager is moving out, another player with an empty lot can visit and ask your villager to relocate to her island. You can obtain villagers in the same way, as long as you have an empty lot on your island.
Another thing you can trade on your island is services or resources. You can charge people to buy rare items at your Able Sisters or Saharah, to wish on a meteor shower for star fragments, or to sell their turnips to Nook’s Cranny. You can also hire others to water your flowers or pull weeds on your island.
Where to Find Trading Partners
Before you can trade, you have to find a trading partner. There are several places online where you can find items, villagers, or resources:
- Nookazon: This online trading platform was created specifically for Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It features pages for every item in the game, and the sellers and buyers are all fellow players. Since it’s the most widely-used trading site for Animal Crossing, there are dozens of new listings for items every minute.
- Discord: Along with the official Discord-partnered Animal Crossing: New Horizons server that has half a million members, hundreds of smaller servers have sprung up with active trading communities.
- Social media: Searching Twitter and Facebook will lead you to hundreds of Animal Crossing-focused communities, where you can find items you need.
- Reddit: Several Animal Crossing exchange subreddits, such as r/ACTrade and r/ACVillagers, are dedicated to facilitating trades between players.
- Friends: Of course, you can also trade with friends, family members, and anyone else you know who plays Animal Crossing.
The Trading Process
Making a trade in New Horizons is a bit tedious, as there’s no real way to swap items with someone directly. To do a one-to-one trade, one of you must open the gates of your airport and make a Dodo code. This unique code allows you to visit another player’s island over the internet. The visitor then flies to the host’s island with the items in their pockets.
After your visitor lands, you both go to an open plot of land. Your visitor then drops the items she wants to trade on the ground and you pick them up. After verifying the items are correct, the visitor returns to her island.
Other types of trades work in the same way. During transactions that involve charging an entrance fee for an island resource, players usually block off the entrance to the stores on their island. They also usually only move after the payment is dropped on the ground.
Trade Safety Tips
Since Animal Crossing doesn’t have a direct way of facilitating an item swap, most in-game trades depend on the honor system.
However, there are still a few tips that can help prevent you from being scammed out of your hard-earned items:
- Check the other person’s reputation: If you’re trading with strangers, you should always be vigilant. On Nookazon, traders can rate each other. Check those out before you finalize a transaction.
- Verify: For art items, you can verify if they’re legitimate with Blathers in the museum.
- Double-check everything: Before anyone (including you) leaves someone else’s island, double-check and make sure everything is there.
- Communicate: Make sure you message any trading partners you may have, whether via Discord, Nookazon, or a messaging app. This will help you properly coordinate the terms of the trade.