Animal Crossing: New Horizons – How to import custom clothes & art with NookLink QR Codes

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has a huge variety of clothing options and accessories for you to buy and discover in order to look your best while you establish life on a deserted island. You can even go so far as to design your own clothes with the in-game Custom Design Editor, drawing your own patterns to use for cute shirts, ground-decals, fly hats and more.

People all over the internet have been making great designs that can be shared and used by others for years now, thanks to Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. You could share these designs via QR code in past games, and those QR codes can be used to bring the very same custom designs straight into Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Read on to find out how!

We’ve got plenty of other walkthroughs and tips for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and more on the way. Visit our game hub to check those out.

Setting up NookLink

To bring QR codes from old games into Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you’ll need to use a smartphone in real life to send the designs to your smartphone in-game.

The first step in getting this set up is to go to the title screen of Animal Crossing: New Horizons and pressing the – button to access the Settings menu. When the super-serious Tom Nook appears, select the second option on the list: “NookLink settings.” The first time you do this, it will enable NookLink capabilities in-game and on the official Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app.

On your iOS or Android smartphone, install the Nintendo Switch Online app, then open it and sign into your Nintendo Switch account. You’ll see a Game-Specific Services tab with an entry for Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Select that option, and your app will open up a special NookLink screen that looks just like the menu of your NookPhone in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. You’ll see options in here to view your passport, chat in-game, manage your best friends, and even manage your saved characters.

The option we want right now, however, is the Designs button in the top right.

Scanning in Your QR Codes

Any QR code designs from Animal Crossing: New Leaf or Animal Crossing: Happy Home Academy will work in the latest game, whether they’re simple 1-code patterns for tile or framed-portrait designs or 4-part designs for full shirts and dresses.

If you don’t have any QR codes or custom creations of your own, but still want to find some slick fashion or fun visuals to scan into Animal Crossing: New Horizons, we recommend checking out the following links for massive repositories of QR codes:

When you’ve got a design picked out and you’re ready to scan it in, press the “Scan a QR code” button in the Nintendo Switch Online app. Pressing the button pulls up a QR-scanning camera window, meaning you’ll need to pull up the QR code you want to scan on a second device like your computer or tablet screen. Line up the reticule with your QR code, and when it’s successfully recognised and scanned, you’ll see the design pop up inside your app with a prompt to save it.

You need to QR codes in one at a time, and multi-code clothing designs will need you to scan all four QR codes back-to-back before you can save the design. If you have a huge list of things ready to scan, get ready to be here for a while…

Downloading scanned designs in-game

Once you’ve got a design scanned and saved inside the Nintendo Switch Online app, go back to Animal Crossing: New Horizons and open up your handy dandy in-game NookPhone, then the Custom Designs app. Once you’re here, press the + button to download the design currently saved to your Nintendo Switch Online app.

Once it downloads, you’ll need to pick a slot in your Custom Designs list to save it to. You have 50 slots for single-code Custom Designs, and another 50 slots for multi-code Pro Designs. With a slot picked and your design registered, you can now wear it and display it at your leisure! You cannot, however, edit designs you have scanned into the game.

Now get scanning those designs in, you rascally little fashionista!


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I'm a writer, voice actor, and 3D artist living la vida loca in New York City. I'm into a pretty wide variety of games, and shows, and films, and music, and comics and anime. Anime and video games are my biggest vice, though, so feel free to talk to me about those. Bury me with my money.