Making The Most Of Your Island Experience Without Nintendo Online


Previously on Animal Crossing games, there has been a big divide between the parts that fans with and without internet access can use. That divide has been significantly narrowed with the newest game, Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

RELATED: Animal Crossing New Horizons: Etiquette Tips For Visiting Another Island

There are still a number of things in the game that you cannot access unless you own the Nintendo Online Membership. However, this guide will show you how to make the most of the Island visits and trips that you can do without needing the membership or any internet access at all!

What Can You Do In Animal Crossing Without Nintendo Online Membership?

If you don’t have online access you can still do these things:

  • You can go on Mystery Tour Island visits via Dodo Airlines
  • You can visit Harv’s Island (when you’ve unlocked it)
  • You can still do the majority of things within the game.

Not having the Nintendo Online Membership will not affect your regular gameplay too heavily.

What Can’t You Do?

Animal Crossing New Horizons Cannot Visit Another Player's Island

Despite the majority of the game being accessible, these are the things you cannot do without Nintendo Online membership.

  • You cannot visit your friend’s Islands – you will need the Nintendo Online Membership if you want to do this
  • You cannot use the Dream Suite to visit other player’s Islands
  • You cannot use the Custom Designs Portal at the Tailors Shop
  • You cannot claim exclusive items that are designed just for Nintendo Online Members

Mystery Tour Island Visits – What Are They?

Animal Crossing New Horizons Dodo Airlines Load Screen

Even if you do not have a membership, there is still plenty that you can do to enjoy the game and one of these is going on a Mystery Island Tour.

These are little trips that you can go on via Dodo Airlines and they will take you to a small, randomly spawned Island. The Islands are computer generated so they do not belong to anyone.

Helpful Tips For Island Hopping

  • Before you head to the Island you should clear out your pockets of things you do not need. If you have clothes or furniture in your pockets then it is a good idea to leave them behind – this will give you more room to collect things later on.
  • If you do not know what you’re going to the Island for, it is a good idea to craft low-rank tools to take with you. (You can get some tools on the Islands but they will cost you miles) This is because if you break them or want to leave them behind, you haven’t lost a lot
  • The Islands do not provide; Ladders, Vault Poles or Slingshots!
  • If you do know what you’re going to the Island for – such as going solely to collect Fish – then purchasing or crafting a high-rank tool is fine.
  • Take a wetsuit if you own one – this will make accessing parts of the Mystery Island much easier.

How Do I Get There?

Animal Crossing New Horizons Dodo Airlines

To be able to do this you need to have unlocked the Nook Stop at Resident Services and Nook Miles.

When you go to the Nook Stop you need to select ”Redeem Nook Miles” and then there should be an option to purchase a Nook Miles Ticket.

It will cost you 2,000 miles but they are easy to earn so don’t worry too much. 

Animal Crossing New Horizons Nook Terminal Nook Miles Ticket

Then when you have the ticket you need to head to your Island Airport.

Head into it and talk to the Dodo behind the desk.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Dodo Airlines Desk Orville

He will give you three options and you need to click the ‘I wanna fly’ one.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Dodo Airlines Orville Desk Nook Miles Option

Then you will be given another few options and you should click the ‘ I want to use a Nook Miles Ticket’ option if you want to go on the Mystery Tour.

What Do I Do If My Tools Break?

Animal Crossing New Horizons Mystery Island Tour Broken Fishing Rod

When you are on the Island, your Dodo pilot will be diligently waiting for you by the plane.

If you cannot find enough materials on the Island to craft some more (there is a workbench provided on each Island) then you can get tools from the Dodo.

When you talk to the Dodo you need to click the ”I need tools” button.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Mystery Island Tour Requesting New Tools

Then you will see a small selection of tools that you can choose from.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Mystery Island Tour Tools Menu

They will be the lowest rank of tools and will each cost you 100 Nook Miles.

How Do I Make The Most Of My Visits?

Animal Crossing New Horizons Mystery Island Tour Recipe In Glass Bottle

The beauty of the Mystery Tour Islands is that they are not owned by anyone. This means that you can damage them as much as you like without hurting anyone.

You can find almost anything on the Island, including the occasional recipe washed up on the shoreline.

Important – If you are visiting another player’s Island then it’s bad manners to go to it and destroy their hard work. Check with the owner about any rules they have – if you cannot find them then do not damage anything or take anything.

Borrowing Plants And Trees

Animal Crossing New Horizons Villager In Flower Field

One of the biggest plot points of Animal Crossing: New Horizons is that you need to get your Island rating up enough so that K.K Slider will come to play there.

A really good way to do this is by planting more flowers and trees to make your Island more appealing.

Fruit Trees

Animal Crossing New Horizons Mystery Island Tour Cherry Trees Villager Collecting Fruit

Occasionally, the Islands will spawn with fruit trees that are different from your own Island’s native fruits.

This is a lucrative opportunity as non-native fruit will sell for more Bells on your Island.

Go up to the fruit trees and shake them using the A button.

Then you need to collect the fruit, do this for all the fruit trees on the Island if you want to.

You don’t need to worry too much about your pocket space being taken up as Fruit will stack into piles of 10.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Mystery Tour Fruit Collection Stacked In Pockets

Then when you get back to your Island all you need to do is plant them out. You can even make your own fruit orchard with them!

Tip: Coconut Trees need to be planted on the beach or they will not grow.

Finding Flowers

Animal Crossing New Horizons Mystery Tour Island Digging Up Tulips

The flowers that you can get on the Islands are typically no different from the ones on yours.

That being said, if you want to quickly get your Island rating up then taking the flowers from the Mystery Tour Island can be beneficial.

All you need is a Shovel and plenty of space in your pockets.

If you do not have a Shovel then you cannot take the flowers – you will just pick the petals instead and you cannot re-plant these.

To collect the entire Flower plant, you need to walk up to it and dig it up with your Shovel.

It will go into your pockets and wait there for you to return to your Island.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Flower Field Bird Bath Villager Happy

When you are back on your Island you can either choose to sell the flowers or you can plant them.

A Productive Fishing Trip

Animal Crossing New Horizons Mystery Tour Island Fishing Sea Bass

It can be a bit tedious to run around your large home Island to find the little shadows indicating fish in the different bodies of water.

Therefore, the small size of the Mystery Tour Islands makes it the perfect place to have a productive fishing trip.

RELATED: Animal Crossing: New Horizons – 10 Fish That Aren’t Worth Catching

All of the Islands will have an Ocean surrounding them as well as one or two bodies of water on them (Rivers or Ponds).

Animal Crossing New Horzions Mystery Island Tour Fishing On The Beach

They are so close to one another that it is really easy to move between them and catch fish quickly.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Mystery Tour Fishing Trip Full Pockets

When your pockets are full you can head back home.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Timmy And Tommy Waving

When you are back home you can either donate your fish to Blathers at the Museum or you can sell them to Timmy and Tommy for Bells.

Bug Collection

Animal Crossing New Horizons Mystery Island Tour Bug Star Net

Similar to Fishing, it can be easier to catch bugs on the smaller Island rather than on your own one at home.

However, if you have a lot of foliage on your own Island then you are not likely to find any different bugs on the Mystery Tour Island.

RELATED: Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Most Useless Bugs And Fish Not Worth Selling

The best way to catch most of the bugs on the Islands is to slowly sneak up to them.

To do this you need to equip your chosen bug net and hold A whilst using your directional stick to slowly walk towards them.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Mystery Island Tour Sneaking Up On Bugs

This does not work for all bugs – butterflies and dragonflies in flight will be too fast for this method.

Once you are close to the bug then let go of the A button to swing your net and catch the bug you were after.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Mystery Island Tour Butterfly Capture

When you are finished with bug hunting, you can head back home again.

You can either sell the bugs to Timmy and Tommy or donate them to Blathers at the Museum.

Gain A New Villager

Animal Crossing New Horizons Villagers Gathering Outside Tailors

If you have space for an extra villager then when you go to the Mystery Tour Island you will find that there is a random villager wandering about there.

This villager is not part of your Island. However, you can convince them to move to your Island.

Walk up to them and chat with them for a bit, then they will talk about moving.

All you have to do is agree with them and within the next few days they will show up at your Island as a new resident.

Stage A Fun Mini-Vacation Photoshoot

Animal Crossing New Horizons Mystery Island Tour Photoshoot Mermaid Villager Wave

Something that you can do just for fun on the Island visits is staging your own photoshoots.

If your own Island is not how you want it to look or you simply want a break from it to have fun elsewhere, the Mystery Islands are perfect.

Before you leave for the Airport you should fill your pockets with items of clothing and accessories that you may want for the photoshoot.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Sorting Out Pocket Outfits

If you think you will be collecting things whilst at the Island then make sure you have enough space without having to forfeit something.

When you are sure that you have everything you want, head to the Airport and go to the Island.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Happy Villager Blue Hair Beach Coconut Tree

When you are there, change into any of the outfits that you have chosen and find a good location for your photoshoots.

The best way of doing the photoshoots is by using the photo app on your Nook Phone.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Mystery Island Tour Photoshoot Dramatic Scene

The app will give you access to a variety of filters, zoom functions, and photo frames.

You can use these filters to make the photos as beautiful or as silly as you like.

You can even use expressions that you have learned in the photos.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Mystery Island Tour Photoshoot Guide Beach Coconut Tree

It may feel a bit silly to do but it’s definitely a lot of fun.

Visit Harv’s Island

Animal Crossing New Horizons Harv's Island

Harv was introduced in the Animal Crossing world through the New Leaf game. He now has his own Island that you can visit once you have unlocked the ‘Visit Harv’s Island’ option in the game.

On the Island, you will meet Harv and he will show you his photo studio.

This is a house where you can customize everything and create your own intricate photoshoots.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Harv's Island Furniture Options

Here, you can add furniture, wallpaper, flooring, and even drag your villagers into the mix.

You can customize the villager’s outfits and facial expressions for the photoshoots too.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Harv's Island Photoshoot Audie Margie Lava Lamps

There are so many creative uses for Harv’s Island and the best part is, you do not need a Nook Miles ticket to visit it!  You can go to the Island as much as you want for free.

Even if you don’t have the Nintendo Online Membership, there is still plenty that you can do to enjoy Island visits and make the most out of your game.

NEXT: Nintendo Has Given Its Official Island A “Facelift” In Animal Crossing: New Horizons

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