One of the big features of the Animal Crossing: New Leaf game is having and maintaining a house.
Your house is build by Tom Nook and he’s also the one you need to go to in order to upgrade the damn thing so it isn’t basically just a tent under the stars.
You’re kind of forced to get a home anyway but aren’t really required to upgrade it unless you want to. When you have a fat wad of cash in your pocket and are ready to expand, go find Tom Nook and talk to him.
The regular old 4×4 house will only set you back about 30k, but all the other upgrades are upwards of 300,000 and cap off at 600,000. Then we have the Home Renovations. These are like upgrades, except they improve the look of the exteriors of the house. Ever wanted to live in a castle?
You can find the necessary renovations here. Almost every little doodad from the tiles of your roof to the front door can be changed from this screen. Remember, however, that Tom changes his stock frequently, so you might not find the same renovations every time you look.
There are also Frameworks you can purchase from Tom. These are basically entire themes you can apply to the outside of your home, such as the Mansion theme (which makes it look like a mansion), Castle theme (which makes it look like a castle. You get the point) and Modern House Framework.
Frameworks cost between 100,000 and 400,000 and, as always, after applying a Framework, you can fiddle around with it as much as you like by replacing certain pieces.
Now we get to interior decorating. Your house will be pretty barren at first, but as you purchase and accumulate various pieces of furniture you’ll be able to decorate the inside of your humble abode as you see fit. Open up your pockets, select any table/chair/painting/whatever and choose either the drop, place or display option.
Remember that some items should be put on walls, such as paintings. Once you’ve placed items, pick them up using the A button and arrange them as you see fit.
There are some furniture items that you can interact with, such as electronics and containers.
You can turn on TV’s, Lamps, Play tunes on the stereo, sit on a chair, and lie down on a bed. One thing to note about containers is that all containers in the game share the same storage space. For example, if you put something in a closet, you can access it from the drawers in your bedroom, the lockers in the train station and the lockers in the museum.
Once you have a respectable home, you’ll get a letter from the Happy Home Academy. Head back to the Tom Nook’s place to find a HHA representative named Lyle who clues you in to the fact that HHA people have been sneaking into your house every night to judge and score your mad decorating skills.
As any sane person would react to people breaking and entering, you decide it’s a good idea to decorate more so you can score higher on their list.
Lyle shares some tips with you about home decorating, so you might want to listen to him, or you could just pay attention to this criteria; Keep home free of clutter and roaches, place furniture appropriately for it to be of use (no point in placing a TV set facing the wall) and try to go for furniture series, themes and sets.
Furniture Themes, Series and Sets are basically just specific pieces of furniture that go with one another. Sets are smaller collections that are easier to obtain but don’t necessarily increase the HHA rating that much.
Series are more encompassing and include unique wallpaper and flooring. Themes go all out, with you practically being able to turn your home into the command room of the Enterprise if you so wish.
There is also Feng Shui to consider when decorating the home. Feng Shui in Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the art of arranging furniture in the home to bring good luck upon the owner. It goes like this:
Good Bell Luck: Place yellow items against a room’s west wall for an increased chance of finding bells.
Good Item Luck: Place red items against a room’s east wall for an increased chance of finding items.
Good Luck Luck: Place green items against a room’s south wall to increase your luck in general.
And lastly we have what are called Theme Challenges, which you can unlock by reaching the 150,000 HHA point mark. Lyle visits you and suggests that you take part in a theme challenge, how this works is that you pick a particular theme and try to fill your house with furnishing that matches that theme.
Keep in mind that while the outside of your house will be taken into account into the scoring, your basement will not. Winning theme challenges unlocks special pieces of furniture for you to play with.
Yet another one of our many staff and a long-time contributor (We need all the staff, how do you think we keep it so busy around here?), Salman is one of our many news writers. He's a fan of the Thief series of games and his PC is his favourite platform for gaming.