You'll need the Animal Crossing pole vault to get across rivers and streams in New Horizons. Here's the recipe.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Pole Vault — How to Get It

You'll need the Animal Crossing pole vault to get across rivers and streams in New Horizons. Here's the recipe.

One of the very first things you’ll want to check off your list in New Horizons is the Animal Crossing pole vault. It will help you get across rivers and fully explore your island. Like most things in the game, there’s a bit of a process for doing that. 

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Below, we’ll tell you exactly how to get the pole vault recipe, and what you’ll need to complete it. You’ll be vaulting over rivers and streams in no time. 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Pole Vault Guide

Animal Crossing Pole Vault Recipe

Like any tool in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you need the right DIY Recipe for the pole vault. Unfortunately, it’s not one you can buy from Resident Services or get as a reward from Tom Nook.

On your first day (or whenever you’ve completed the island orientation ceremony), head up to Resident Services to get a run-down on DIY from Tom Nook. He’ll have you make a Flimsy Fishing Rod as a tutorial, and then he leaves you with a parting thought: he’s very interested in the local fauna.

That’s a big passive-aggressive hint to go out and get him some fauna. Use your new fishing pole, or craft a bug net — whichever you prefer — and bring Tom Nook five different bugs or fish.

This is how you’ll unlock the Museum. Nook rings up his old friend Blathers and tells him there’s a surprising variety of wildlife to find. This attracts everyone’s favorite owl to the island — but not right away.

Nook gives you another tent to set up for Blathers. This will eventually blossom into the Museum after you give Blathers a set number of donations, but like any newcomer moving onto the island, the tent site stays up for the rest of the day. The actual move-in won’t happen until the next day dawns.

Once it does, head over to Blathers’ tent. He tells you the real reason he wanted to speak with you and why he’s so excited about the island: those fossils across the river. After he realizes you can’t leap across the river of your own accord, Blathers gifts you the vaulting pole DIY Recipe and the shovel recipe as well.

Until you can build a bridge, the vaulting pole is how you’ll cross the river in New Horizons. You’ll need five bits of softwood, so craft a Flimsy Axe and start hitting trees with it.

Softwood isn’t quite as common as hard and regular wood, so it might take a few tries to get what you need if you don’t have it already. Once you’ve got everything together, just craft the vaulting pole, and you’re on your way.

That’s all you need to know for how to get the pole vault in New Horizons, but be sure to check out our growing collection of Animal Crossing: New Horizons guides for more tips and tricks.

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Josh Broadwell
Josh Broadwell started gaming in the early '90s. But it wasn't until 2017 he started writing about them, after finishing two history degrees and deciding a career in academia just wasn't the best way forward. You'll usually find him playing RPGs, strategy games, or platformers, but he's up for almost anything that seems interesting.