Inverse Codex

How to create and share custom designs in 'Animal Crossing: New Horizons'

Put your favorite property in Animal Crossing New Horizons.

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While Animal Crossing: New Horizons is great for experiencing bucolic island life at a relaxed pace, it’s easy to forget that the franchise is known for how much it leans into custom designs.

New Horizons features the series’ most robust design options yet, and there are a variety of ways you can share your glamorous looks with pals.

How do you make custom patterns in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?

Within Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you can use your Nook Phone’s Custom design editor to craft some brand new looks. After upgrading your abode from a tent to a house, you’ll be able to purchase the Custom Design Pro Editor from the Nook Stop terminal under “Redeem Nook Miles” for a paltry 800 miles. The upgrade will grant access to a slew of additional tools.

If you’d like a more traditional designer, you can also use browser-based editors like this one. You can utilize their robust toolset to make something new entirely. If the creative spirit has yet to enthrall you, images can be uploaded to the website, which will then be converted into QR codes. Those codes can be used to download the design into New Horizons in the following way.

How do you use QR Codes in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?

If you want to reuse designs created in previous titles like Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Happy Home Designer, or download ones made in browser designers, you’ll need to scan a QR code. This requires some help from the Nintendo Switch Online app, which is available for iOS and Android.

After downloading the app, you’ll need to do some light setup. Link the Nintendo Account used on your Switch with the app by logging in. Head back to your Switch and boot up New Horizons. Once you get to the title screen, press the “—” button to enter Settings. You’ll be greeted by Tom Nook. After he gives a small speech, click “NookLink Settings.” Your Switch should now be connected to the Nintendo Switch Online app.

Back on the app, you can now scan designs into your game via QR codes by opening the app and clicking Animal Crossing: New Horizons. You should now see a new area called NookLink, complete with a QR scanner on the top right.

A QR code for a BayWatch 2017 poster


Once you scan a code, go back into New Horizons and open the in-game design app. Click the “+” button on your Switch to download the design. Only one design can be scanned and downloaded at a time, so make sure to download it before moving on to the next one.

Designs uploaded via QR code cannot be edited and can only be applied to items available in the basic Design Editor app. QR code designs are incompatible with the additional features added in the Nook Stop “Pro” upgrade.

Despite the app’s title, this method doesn’t require you to have a Nintendo Switch Online membership. However, using New Horizons’ native clothing sharing service is a totally different story.

How do you share custom designs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?

If newfangled apps elude you, New Horizons also has a method to share clothing in-game. However, this one does require that you have a Nintendo Switch Online Membership.

Upon visiting the town’s shop, Nook’s Cranny, for the first time, a villager named Mabel will appear momentarily. She’ll come scout out your town a few more times following that. Eventually, after getting a lay of the land, she’ll ask to open up a shop on your island.

Once her fashion shop, Able Sisters, opens, a Custom Design Kiosk will be located in her store’s rear section. You’ll be able to upload and download designs using codes similar to those used to enjoy multiplayer.

After a code is uploaded, you distribute it online or amongst friends. They can enter your code at the Kiosk in their game to obtain your design.

What can custom designs do in New Horizons?

Using a custom design, you can make your own clothing and furniture. Custom designs can be used to decorate your room in unconventional ways, as seen below.

A Baywatch 2017 themed room


Online, others have used these designs to implement cosplays of fictional characters into New Horizons. Others have used custom designs to add features they believed were missing from the game, like eyebrows and freckles. Adding a custom design is just another way to make the world of New Horizons into your world.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available for Nintendo Switch.

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