The Animal Crossing: New Horizons 2.0 update released two days ahead of its initial Nov. 5 drop date, which had not only me, but also a lot of other players rushing to their Nintendo Switches on Nov. 3. Nobody expected the update to release early, as this is not normal for Nintendo. When I downloaded the 20-minute update, I was overwhelmed. Not only that, but with the additional release of their downloadable content, Nintendo gave fans what they were asking for all along. 

It’s sad to see that the last free update will be the 2.0 release, seeing as the base game has come so far. But the addition of the Happy Home Paradise downloadable content is something that, as fans, we are more than willing to pay for.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons 2.0 update 

This last update is essentially crucial to the survival of the game, and as someone who has over 400 hours in ACNH, it was the refresh I needed. The daily routine of playing Animal Crossing gets tedious over a period of time. Many players, including myself, hadn’t played the game for a while until the Nintendo Direct announcement of the update.

Farming is something I thought would never come to the game, ever. While players are able to eat fruit, you haven’t been able to cook with them. When I downloaded the update, I rushed straight to the Nook Stop and purchased the cooking update for the NookPhone. Not only do you get recipes from the Nook Stop, but you can also get new recipes by going to Nook’s Cranny, fishing, diving, asking villagers, popping balloons and opening bottles. 

I personally love the addition of cooking to the game. Not only can you give food to villagers, but you can also display them in your house and around your island. Adding more decorations allows the player to add more personality to their island. While I have not found out if villagers like one food more than another, I think it would be intriguing to see a villager react badly to a food they dislike. 

Let’s be honest, Harv’s Island, mainly used as a photobooth, desperately needed this update. The concept of allowing non-playable characters to permanently visit and open shops on Harv’s Island is a much needed aspect. NPCs like Kicks, Redd, Leif and Saharah will have their usual stock in shop, though Leif will begin selling seeds for farming. New NPCs include Katrina, the infamous couple Reese and Cyrus, Harriet and Tortimer, who can also be added to the island. If you aren't new to the Animal Crossing franchise, you definitely recognize these names. 

Permanently allowing these NPCs to visit Harv’s Island does come at a cost — and a steep one at that. The cost for one NPC is 100,000 bells, which would be 800,000 bells in total for all eight NPCs. For new players, or those who restarted their islands, this will take you time. I, luckily, had saved my bells and was able to buy Leif as well as Reese and Cyrus, which are the most important for what I want to accomplish in the game. 

Kapp’n and Brewster, who are my favorite NPCs, were also an important asset to the game. If I could, I would spend hours in Brewster’s new café because the interior is one of the most aesthetically pleasing rooms. Players can invite villagers and other players to hang out with them in the café. Kapp’n brought a new twist on an old feature to the game — island hopping. Yes, the game already has island hopping through Dodo Airlines, but Kapp’n brings players to islands that can have a different season or time of day for 1,000 Nook Miles. Not only that, but you can also find Gyroid fragments on these islands.

Yep, Gyroids, which are cactus-like creatures used to make sounds and decorate, are back! I personally love this rendition of Gyroids because they are smaller than their previous counterparts. This means that I can place hundreds of them in my house and annoy my friends even more. 

The 2.0 update brings many features that the game was lacking and much more. I am looking forward to cooking and exploring the new features this update brings further. 

Happy Home Paradise DLC

To be frank, I was on edge about this DLC, mainly because it’s the first one to be added to the game, which can make or break any further DLC that Nintendo releases for ACNH. This DLC allows players to go to a tropical island and decorate villagers' dream vacation homes.

When first loading the DLC and arriving at the island, you are greeted by one of the cutest NPCs I’ve ever seen, Niko, who takes you to the office. Not only is Niko there, but Lottie, who returns from Happy Home Designer, and the shy Wardell also make appearances.

The DLC adds essential items to the franchise that many players were asking for. I was most excited for counters, partition walls and pillars because they add dimension to a room. Unlocking these features may take some time, so the first few houses you design will be cramped and underwhelming.

Happy Home Paradise also adds an immense amount of new furniture to the game, including furniture you can buy on the island. I am looking forward to collecting the ranch set. After you are done designing a home for any village, make sure to talk to the villagers located on the main island because you get some of the new items as a thank you gift. 

As you progress further though the game, DIYs will also start to show up daily on your island. Many of these DIYs have been related to the new moss and vine plants, which are some hot items to get for people who like to trade. 

I enjoy all the new features that the new DLC and update brings, but they do still come with their flaws. Will that ever stop me from playing the game? No, but I am saddened to hear that this is the last free update. Nintendo will need to keep releasing new DLCs if they want their players to not get bored again.