How to change rivers and cliffs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

You can change rivers and cliffs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons with one simple tool, here's how.

You can move and change rivers and cliffs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, giving you the ability to completely transform your deserted island into your own personal paradise.

Once you know how to change the landscape in the latest Animal Crossing, there's nothing to stop you building a complicated, multi-level playground for your friends and visiting villagers to explore. So here's how to modify rivers and cliffs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

How to change rivers and cliffs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

How to change rivers and cliffs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
You'll need Construction Permits to change rivers and cliffs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. © Nintendo

The ability to change the course of rivers and move cliffs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is only granted to you later in the game. Once you've 'fully decked out your island' you'll have the option to go and get construction permits from the Nook Miles Kiosk. You can find it in the Resident Services center, and once you've improved your island enough for K.K. Slider to come to town, you'll receive the Island Designer app from Tom Nook. Here's a quick rundown of how to get terraforming tools in Animal Crossing: New Horizons:

  • Improve your island enough for K.K. Slider to visit.
  • This requires you to get three out of five stars in island evaluations.
  • To find out your current island evaluation, talk to Isabelle at Resident Services and choose "Island Evals."
  • As soon as you get three stars, K.K. Slider's visit will be scheduled for the morning of the next day.
  • After the concert, Tom Nook will give you the Island Designer app.
  • To add the ability to change cliffs or rivers to the Island Designer app, buy the necessary permits from the Nook Miles kiosk.
  • Cliff Construction Permits and Waterscaping Permits cost 6,000 Nook Miles each.
  • Choose the Island Designer app on your phone and pick the type of terraforming you want to do.

Inside the Island Designer app when you get it there is only one tool, to help you build a path in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, for changing cliffs and rivers with terraforming in Animal Crossing: New Horizons you'll need to get extra permits. Construction Permits can be bought from the Nook Miles Redemption kiosk inside Resident Services. The Cliff Construction Permit allows you to change elevations across your island and costs 6,000 miles, and so does the Waterscaping permit, so you'll want to save up a bit.

By opening the Island Designer app on your NookPhone you can choose the Waterscaping Permit to extend the land into rivers, or remove land from the banks of rivers. By extending one bank and removing from the opposite bank you can change the direction a river takes across your island. Maybe it isn't twisty enough for you, or maybe you want to straighten it out to build a bridge across (because they can be a bit finicky).

The Cliff-Construction Permit lets you build or demolish walls of earth the same height as your villager, which need either a slope or a ladder to climb up. You can combine building cliffs with waterscaping to create waterfalls! Play around with it to get the island of your dreams.

That's everything you need to know about how to change rivers and cliffs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. What sort of island will you make? If you want to make getting around a bit easier, check out how to build a path, too.

Editor-in-Chief

Chris is the captain of the good ship AllGamers, which would explain everything you're seeing here. Get in touch to talk about work or the $6 million Echo Slam by emailing chris.higgins@allgamers.com or finding him on Twitter. 

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