Animal Crossing: New Horizons Ladder Guide – How to Unlock the Ladder & Scale Cliffs

Great news, villagers! Animal Crossing is back! With Animal Crossing: New Horizons it’s time, once again, to gather materials, build your house, and learn the ins and outs of the game. One of the first things you do is choose the layout of your island. Each time you start a new game, you’re presented with different options. Some may even have islands within the island! But sadly, once you’ve landed you may find you’re unable to cross the rivers. You likely had to compromise and just place your tent in a less than ideal place, especially since you haven’t explored yet! But now that you’ve unlocked the Pole Vault you may find yourself still unable to see the entire island thanks to the various cliffs around. For those you’ll need to unlock the ladder which this Animal Crossing Ladder Guide will explain.

How To Unlock The Ladder

The ladder is locked behind progression and can be earned in a few different ways depending on how you progress.

Keep visiting mystery islands and invite three people to become villagers. Tom Nook will ask you to put down a plot for each one and craft six items (three inside, three outside) for them. He may ask you to craft a flower wreath for one of the villagers and give you a ladder so you can gather them on your own island.

The most reliable way to get it is when Nook’s Cranny has been built. Tommy and Timmy will sell the DIY blueprint for a relatively cheap price.

How to Unlock Nook’s Cranny

After you pay off your 5,000 Nook Miles loan, Tommy will ask you to help him and his brother get established on the island with their own shop: Nook’s Cranny. In total, they need 30 of each type of wood (wood, hardwood, softwood) and 30 iron nuggets.

Once you’ve turned in all of the supplies, Nook’s Cranny will be constructed the following morning.

Where to Get Wood & Iron

There are obviously lots of ways to get wood. If you don’t want to leave your own island, we recommend crafting a flimsy axe and hitting all of your trees each day until you have enough. The flimsy axe won’t fully chop down the trees so you can keep hitting them day after day. Be careful, a regular axe will fell trees on the third swing.

You can also use Nook Miles Tickets to visit other islands and steal their resources. And while you don’t really have to do this for the wood, you’ll most certainly need to do it for the iron nuggets. These almost exclusively come from hitting mystery island rocks with your shovel.

As a reminder, dig a line of three holes behind the side of the rock you’re hitting. This way you don’t get knocked back and can get all nine hits in before the rock turns solid and stops giving out resources.

And that’s it! Hopefully this helps you get settled into your new Animal Crossing: New Horizons island! Much like the game itself, check back throughout the day to see what’s new here on Fanbyte. We already have guides for how to move your tent and how to get across rivers using either the Pole Vault or constructing bridges. Later today we’ll have more guides up including how to get Nook’s Cranny, how to visit mystery islands, and buy and sell turnips!


Dillon Skiffington

Dillon is the Guides Editor at Fanbyte. He can't seem to quit games as a service or looter shooters — unfortunate news for his backlog, really. Can't get enough game art, soundtracks, or space games. You can find him on Twitter @Squiblon.

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