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The 3 best early uses for your Nook Miles in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

A couple of must-have items will make island life a whole lot easier early on.

A crowded part with various characters in "Animal Crossing: New Horizons"

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has finally arrived on Nintendo Switch, and gamers everywhere are putting a whole lot of thought and care into crafting the perfect island paradise. After you've chosen your island, given it a silly name, and determined where to place your tent, the real fun begins.

Once you've paid off your early debt to Tom Nook in the form of 5,000 Nook Miles, you'll have a whole new form of currency to spend. But what should you focus on first? Here are our picks for the first three.

Once you've upgraded your tent to a house –yes, you can move it, if you want – Tom Nook will upgrade your Nook Miles account. This isn't for ritzy First Class spa treatments though. In typical Tom Nook fashion, this "upgrade" to Nook Miles + is just another opportunity for him to make more money off you.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has two forms of currency – Bells and Nook Miles. You'll use Bells to purchase items like seeds and basic tools from Timmy Nook in Resident Services. You can also earn Bells by selling items you gather on the island, like shellfish, fruit, and wood. You can also sell furniture and clothing accessories you don't want anymore for a little extra cash.

Tom Nook aka Mr. Shakedown


Nook Miles work a little bit differently. You earn them by accomplishing certain tasks, such as catching bugs, fishing, and crafting. You can find a full list of your possible Nook Miles rewards in your Nook Phone. While you'll earn plenty of them by just exploring and progressing through the game on your own, it's worth skimming through the app and bearing in mind some of the award criteria. After all, it's not too hard to catch one or two fish if you're just on the brink of an award! In the early game, most achievements will earn you about 300 to 500 Nook Miles.

You can spend your Nook Miles by going to the Nook Stop, which looks like an ATM and can be found in Resident Services. Your first option will be "Redeem Nook Miles." Some items will only become available after you've built a house

Here's the 3 items you want to prioritize:

The Tool Ring in action.


3. Tool Ring

Price: 800 Nook Miles

Frankly, I'm a little annoyed I even have to buy this, and you should be too. Like running and skipping cutscenes, this is an essential gameplay feature that should not be paywalled. Curse you, Tom Nook!

Gripes aside, you should get the tool ring first. You should be able to unlock this one shortly after building a house and accessing the Nook Miles + options. Once you get it, you simply need to press up on the D-Pad to access all your tools quickly, rather than plodding through menus. It's a great way to save time if you spot a wriggling fish in a nearby river as you're out and about.

A sneak preview of your spiffy new tools.


2. Pretty Good Tools Recipes

Price: 3,000 Nook Miles

Tired of your Flimsy Axes breaking just because you went ham on a few rocks? You need to upgrade your tools, bro. This bundle of six tool crafting recipes last longer and can do more. You can also chop down trees with them, if you're some kind of tree-hating maniac, or simply looking to build a bridge. Bear in mind, you'll need to have the Flimsy version of a tool to upgrade to its better version.

You can't get these recipes anywhere else, so make these an early game priority.

The second pocket upgrade in New Horizons.


1. Pocket Organization Guide

Price: 5,000 Nook Miles

You'll begin New Horizons with only a paltry 20 item slots, and while that may seem adequate for the first half-hour or so, once you start collecting materials, you'll come to see it's nowhere near enough.

Yes, you can sell excess items to Timmy Nook at Resident Services. Yes, you can simply offload your items on the ground near your shanty like a common animal. But isn't it better to lead your new island by example, radiating organized dignity? Buying this upgrade will open up an additional 10 item slots. It's very convenient and you'll want to access this upgrade soon, but not before the tool upgrades and Tool Ring.

Later, you can purchase an additional 10-slot expansion for 8,000 Nook Miles. If there are more upgrades to be had beyond that, we haven't gotten far along enough in New Horizons to see it.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is out now for Nintendo Switch.

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