Animal Crossing: New Horizons – How to upgrade Nook’s Cranny to the General Store

Nook’s Cranny has been one of the pillars of Animal Crossing since the very first game, letting you go and throw Bells at all sorts of furniture with which to decorate your home. It’s had a bit of an upgrade in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, offering more types of product for you to purchase.

Nook’s Cranny isn’t open on day one when you move to the island, but instead needs a bit of graft to unlock and build. Eventually, it’ll upgrade even further, turning it into something more like the General Store. Here’s how to do both stages.

Just starting out or need to know what’s new in the free version 2.0 update? 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.


How to build Nook’s Cranny

In order to unlock Nook’s Cranny, you’ll have a couple of days work after moving to the island. You’ll first need to pay off your Island Getaway Package by earning 5,000 Nook Miles, and then upgrade your tent to a house by talking to Tom Nook.

The next day, once your house has been built, entering Resident Services tent will see Tom Nook and Timmy deep in conversation. It’s now up to Timmy to figure out how to build Nook’s Cranny, and he’ll turn to you to help collect resources.

You’ll need to bring him 30 Wood, 30 Hardwood, 30 Softwood, which can all be obtained by hitting trees with an axe, and 30 Iron Nuggets, which you’ll get from hitting the rocks on your island. Learn how to repeatedly hit rocks to get up to eight resources from them and go on island tours using Nook Miles Tickets to gather extra resources.

Once you’ve been able to hand Timmy all of those resources, he’ll let you place the build site for Nook’s Cranny and it’ll open the next day.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Open Nook's Cranny

How to upgrade Nook’s Cranny

Upgrading Nook’s Cranny from its initial shack into something more like a General Store takes quite a bit of time. And time is what we believe is the one consistent factor here.

Nook’s Cranny will upgrade 30 days after the store first opens.

Without time skipping, we’ve played the game on two Switches since 1st March, and in both cases the store upgrade was announced by Isabelle 30 days after it opened.

However, there are lots of other theories for what might be a requirement to trigger the upgrade:

However, we cannot definitively back up any of these claims. On our islands we have done the following:

Switch 1 Switch 2
Total island spend Over 250,000 Over 160,000
Upgraded Resident Services Yes Yes
Fish donated 34 24
Bugs donated 29 26
Fossils donated 65 59
Active play time 34 35
Days played after Nook’s Cranny opening 30 30
Reached game credits Yes Yes

As you can see, we cannot back up the total spend at Nook’s Cranny or the Bugs donated claims. The only absolutely consistent points are that we upgraded Resident Services and reached the game credits, and that we played for 30 days after first opening Nook’s Cranny.

If, however, you reach 30 days played after that point and the store upgrade is not announced, you might wish to guide your play toward the aforementioned areas to see if they can help trigger the event.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Upgrade Nook's Cranny

However you get there, after the upgrade, the store will have a wider range of goods to sell. It will now have three limited items in stock each day, the cabinet will have levelled up version of the tools in the game to buy, and double the number of umbrellas, flower seeds, wallpaper and flooring of before. There will also now be two hot items the Nooklings will buy at double the price each day.

Whenever you manage to upgrade the store, happy shopping!

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