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Animal Crossing New Horizons Friendship Guide: How to increase friendship

Friendships are not just for the real world.

animal crossing friends
Published: Friday, 23rd April 2021 at 2:13 pm

We have just passed the one year anniversary of Animal Crossing New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch and if you think that means things may start slowing down in the game, you would be very wrong.


There has been so much added to the game since it launched and the seasonal updates (that match our local seasons) means the landscape often changes and with that comes new things to do.

But some things are consistent and will constantly need to be worked on; including building up friendships with your fellow islanders to keep them sweet and to make sure that your virtual island is a place that they will want to stay.

If you need help building those friendships and you want some tips on how to go about it, we have you covered!

How do friendship levels work in Animal Crossing?

The simplest way to explain how friendship levels work in the game is to look at the points system. When you start playing the game, any villager on your island will start with 25 points and it is then down to you how many points they gain, or how many they lose.

There are 3 friendship tiers to work through with each villager and you get new interactions unlocked as you play through the six levels that it entails.

What are the friendship tiers in Animal Crossing?

As mentioned, there are three tiers here and each one will unlock new things.

Levels One and Two: New Friends Tier

This is where you will start and level one is where you will stay until your points go past 29 - or you let them drop so low that the villager decides that they would rather live elsewhere.

Level two ranges from 30-59 points and to reach this is relatively easy, just chat to whoever it is you are looking to build more of a friendship with and do it regularly. Once you reach level two you will be able to send and receive daily gifts so even if you don't want to go any further, it is worth doing the minimum amount of work at least.

Levels Three and Four: Good Friends Tier

Once you hit 60 points you will have officially got yourself up to the level of being a good friend - congrats! Now you will find that the villagers you have hit level three will be able to sell you items and they may even have a new nickname for you.

As for level four, well when you reach that you will be able to change the catchphrase of the villager and the points here go from 100 to 149.

Levels Five and Six: Best Friends Tier

We're in BFF territory now! 150-199 points are level five and when you get to that level you will find that you can now change the greeting of the villager and you can get a photo of them.

Clear 200 points and you are will be at the highest level, level six, and villagers can now ask you to buy items.

One important, and annoying, thing to note with the point system is that you can't track the points that you are on with a villager. You can get a rough idea by interacting with them and seeing what options appear - so if you can only buy items from a villager then you will know that you're on level three. Not ideal, but at least you will have a rough idea of where you are at.

Read more:

How to increase friendship levels in Animal Crossing


So, as we say, continuing to chat to your villagers is a great way to consistently build points and level up your friendships. But if you only do that then you will likely find it will take you quite some time to get to level six - thankfully there are ways to speed the process up a tad.


Because all solid friendships are based on the number of gifts you give them, right? Well, this is definitely the case for the shallow villagers of Animal Crossing as gifting is a great way to speed the levelling process up.

Below are the items that can be gifted and how many points you can get for each one. You can only gift one per day - just in case you were hoping to stock up and go on a point gaining binge.

  • All Furniture - 3 Points
  • Flowers, Bugs, Fish, Umbrella, Watering Can, Fishing Rod - 2 Points
  • Preferred Clothing or Favorite Music - 2 Points
  • None-Preferred Clothing - 1 Point
  • All Other Items (Except Garbage and Spoiled Turnips) - 1 Point

There are also birthday gifts that work slightly differently. They are split into different tiers and you get more points depending on what tier you are on.

Tier One - 3 Points

  • A Bug, Fish, Fossil, or Seashell Worth Up To 500 Bells
  • Any Other Item Worth Up To 125 Bells

Tier Two - 4 Points

  • A Bug, Fish, Fossil, or Seashell Worth 501 to 1999 Bells
  • Any Other Item Worth 126 to 499 Bells

Tier Three - 5 Points

  • Items or Clothing They Already Own Or Clothing You Are Wearing
  • Turnips, Fruits, Cake Or Mushrooms
  • A Bug, Fish, Fossil, or Seashell Worth 2000 Bells or More
  • Any Other Item Worth 500 Bells or More


Sickness quests

If a villager is staying inside then there is every chance that they are not feeling well - but as COVID has not made its way to the Animal Crossing islands you can still check-in and see how they are doing.

Just be armed with medicine when you see them and you will secure yourself a point. Want a bonus point? Just go visit someone under the weather after another villager tells you about it - simple!

Treasure hunt


Treasure hunts are timed and if you have three minutes to find the loot then you know that you have a tough one on your hands (six minutes is an easier one but the harder one nets you a bonus point). If you fail to find the item in time then it's worth carrying on as you will still gain a friendship point for bringing it back to whoever set you the task.

And more importantly, you will actually lose a point if you give up - so keep on hunting!

Interact with villagers 

You can also take some part in some easy interactions to get a few points here and there. For example:

  • Talking To A Villager Each Day (First Conversation Only) - 1 point
  • Selling An Item To A Villager Based On Your Conversation - 1 Point
  • Catching A Villager's Fleas - 5 Points

Equally, you may want someone off of your island - not everyone gets along - and you can also do some things to lose points. Such as:

  • Pushing A Villager - 3 Points deducted
  • Hitting A Villager With A Net - 3 Points deducted
  • Gifting A Villager Garbage or Spoiled Turnips - 2 Points deducted

If someone handed us a spoiled turnip we would want a lot more than two points taken away but that might just be us.

Collecting bugs and fish

If a villager requires bugs or fish, just go and collect them for a point! Want a bonus point? Seek out a high value one worth over 2000 bells.

Recovering lost items

Points can be gained by recovering the bags or books that you will find on the ground. Ask a villager about them and they will point you in the direction of the owner and you will get the point once you have handed it over.

Manage to find out who owns it without any additional help and you will get a bonus point.

Villager deliveries

Become your islands postman (kind of) by delivering a gift from one islander to another - and you will get 3 points from both the giver and the receiver for doing this providing you do it by the end of the following day at the latest.

Why are friendship levels important in Animal Crossing?

Well for one, you are less likely to lose a villager if you are best friends with them - best friends forever should always mean forever!

You also will find that you will be able to get a framed photo with level six friends although it is not a guarantee you will be able to get one.

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