Animal Crossing: New Horizons – How To Unlock The ACNH Switch

A few months ago, before our world started to burn down all around us, Nintendo revealed an adorable Animal Crossing: New Horizons Switch to the whole world. The Switch featured special JoyCon colors, a console adorned with little animal friends, and a stylish dock that featured Timmy, Tommy, and the lovable Tom Nook. People immediately chomped at the bit to get one, and the console sold out in minutes.

Fast forward a few months, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons is finally upon us. Yay! Some players may have noticed, however, that there’s a special item that appears early on in the game. As it turns out, that cute limited edition Switch actually appears as an in-game item for your villager to display in their home.

How do you unlock it? There are two ways, and we’ve got ’em both for you right here.

Buy It From The Nook Stop

The limited edition console will pop up on the Nook Stop’s shopping system. From our experience, it might even be one of the first items that pops up for you. As a reminder, this is the terminal in Tom Nook’s shop. You place an order, wait a day, then check your mailbox and grab your loot!

However, it might not be that simple. See, the ACNH Switch is actually quite expensive, clocking at around 35,000 Bells. If you’re just getting your sea, er, island legs, that’s a pretty daunting amount of money! For frame of reference, that’s about a third of your initial mortgage loan from Tom Nook. If this pops up early on at your Nook Stop, it might be best to save those previous Bells. There are more important things for you to spend money on up front.

So, yes, this is how most people will be getting the ACNH Switch. Unless a friend trades it to you, you’ll have to plunk down a chunk of change for it. However, there is another way.

Play With The New Horizons JoyCons

Those who nabbed the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Switch before it sold out, congrats. Once you’ve cleared the main tutorial, check your mailbox just outside your tent. Voila – there’s one ACNH Switch with your name on it! This is how I got the special item, which was a nice surprise at the start of the game.

It’s worth noting that the system recognizes not the console itself, but specifically the Pastel Blue and Pastel Green JoyCons. So, if you’re one of the lucky souls who snagged the JoyCons on their own, congrats! Just pop them onto your console, boot up your game, and you’re good to go.

However, if not, good luck out there. The JoyCons are sold out almost everywhere, at the time of this writing, and the aftermarket prices are marked up to high heck. We’ve seen sets listed for well over $199.99 USD, which is significantly over the suggested MSRB of $79.99. However, US prices don’t totally apply here – the JoyCons are actually Japan-exclusive, so you’ll have to import them.

Complicating things further, however, is the global pandemic of COVID-19. As per Nintendo Soup, the JoyCons are facing production delays due to the outbreak, with no real ETA on when they’ll be in stock. That means that most people hoping to get their hands on the JoyCons right now will be out of luck.

So there you have it. If you see the ACNH Switch in your game of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you’ll have to spend a hefty chunk of in-game cash to get it. If not, and if you didn’t already grab the limited edition Switch console, you’re out of luck (or out two hundred bucks.) It’s kind of a shame that this is such a finicky item to get your hands on, but hey – that’s what makes it even more special.

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