How to Get Isabelle in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Getting Isabelle in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a bit of a process. Here's how it all unfolds.

Getting Isabelle in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a bit of a process. Here's how it all unfolds.
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Isabelle, everyone’s favorite canine assistant, is in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. You’ll need to spend some time developing your deserted paradise to get Isabelle on the island.

Depending on how diligent you are, you won’t be seeing Isabelle until day eight or nine. Fortunately, it’s worth the wait and you’ll unlock a number of other important things in the process.

Here’s how to get Isabelle in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Getting More Animals in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

The first step you’ll need to complete is twofold. You’ll gather more villagers (islanders?) to your settlement in New Horizons and develop the Nook’s Cranny shop.

Once you pay off your tent debt of 5,000 Nook Miles, Tom Nook gives you your first Nook Miles Ticket. You can spend 2,000 Nook Miles to get an additional one as well.

Nook Miles Tickets let you take a plane from Dodo airport to a random, mysterious island. These are an absolute necessity for gathering resources, and you’ll sometimes come across a new animal face as well.

If you do find an animal there, speak to them until you can invite them back to your island.

Meanwhile, you should have already unlocked the Museum/Blathers’ tent back on the main island. The day after Blathers sets up his tent, speak with Timmy or Tommy Nookling in Resident Services.

They’ll ask for your help gathering materials to build the new Nook’s Cranny shop, which means finding lots of wood and Iron Nuggets. You’ll have a better chance of getting the necessary 30 Iron Nuggets on one of the random islands, so bust out the Nook Miles Tickets again, if you haven’t acquired 30 already.

Getting Houses Ready in New Horizons

The day after you finish collecting materials and decide on a spot, Nook’s Cranny opens. If you’ve already recruited at least one islander, Nook’s daily broadcast gets interrupted by a call from someone wanting the island getaway package.

We’ve outlined what happens next in our New Horizons ladder guide, but here’s the gist of it. Nook needs your help setting up three new house plots and getting the homes furnished. You’ll make a bridge, and find spots for the three houses.

After that, it’s up to you to get them fully furnished. Nook provides you the recipes you need for everything, but it’ll still take some work. Each house requires three pieces of internal furniture and three pieces of external furniture, and as usual, you’ll need a good supply of woods and Iron Nuggets, plus some fruit.

Once you’ve finished getting all three houses ready, Nook rewards you with some fencing and fence DIY Recipes. You don’t have to do anything with these now, but fencing is helpful for raising your island development rating — more on that in our Island Designer App guide.

Resident Services Upgrade and Isabelle’s Arrival

Once you’ve got villagers/islanders for all three empty houses, Resident Services can upgrade. Fortunately, you don’t have to do anything else for this upgrade. It does take a few days, though.

Nook makes his usual daily announcement the day after the houses are filled. This time, he says Resident Services is getting a renovation. It’s closed the day after that for rebuilding and such, and the day after that, Resident Services is situated in the familiar Town Hall building.

And Isabelle joins Tom Nook’s broadcast on that day.

Isabelle handles the daily announcements from then on, and you can speak with her inside Resident Services. She’ll look adorable, help with complaints, offer advice for island development, look adorable, and help you change the town tune.

That’s that for how to get Isabelle in New Horizons. Head over to our growing collection of Animal Crossing: New Horizons guides for even more tips and tricks, including:

About the author

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.