Animal Crossing New Horizons: How to Set Ordinances and What They Do

How to set Island Ordinances in Animal Crossing.

by Thomas Cunliffe


Animal Crossing: New Horizons has finally added Ordinances to the game in its 2.0 update, a handy feature first introduced in Animal Crossing: New Leaf that allows you to enforce a set of rules for your island residents to follow. Whether you want a beautiful island or for villagers to stay up later, our guide details exactly how to set Island Ordinances in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, as well as what each ordinance does.

What are Island Ordinances in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?

Island Ordinances are essentially a set of rules for your island that the player can choose to fit their playstyle. Only one ordinance can be active at a time, so pick the best ordinance to suit you carefully. Ordinances can change things like the opening time of shops, what time villagers wake up and even how the economy runs.

How to set Ordinances in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

To set ordinances in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, head to Resident Services and talk to Isabelle. Select ‘Review island features’ and then choose the ‘Discuss Ordinances.’ option. It costs 20,000 Bells for the “collaboration and filing fee” to set up ordinances, but it’s well worth the price. Agree to pay the fee and select which ordinance you want to enact’ Beautiful Island, Early bird, Night Owl or Bell Bloom. Once you’ve chosen one, the bells will be taken out of your wallet and the ordinance will go into effect the next day. You can always time travel if you’re in a hurry.


Don’t worry if you don’t know what each one of these does, as we’ve detailed them all below

What do Ordinances do in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?

Beautiful Island

The ‘Beautiful Island’ ordinance will ensure that your island is well-kept and gorgeous automatically. Villagers will water flowers regularly, weeds will automatically be plucked and you will no longer catch trash when fishing. This is arguably the most useful ordinance, as it saves a lot of time and allows you to take long breaks without having to worry about the state of your island. The only downside is DIY recipes that require weeds or trash to craft, but you’ve likely amassed plenty of those by now.

Early Bird

Early Bird means that shops will open up earlier and villagers will be more active in the morning, too. Shops will open around 1-3 hours earlier than normal and when villagers wake up depends on their personality. All personality types appear to wake up before 9:00 am with Early Bird active.

Night Owl

Night Owl is the opposite of Early Bird. VIllagers will stay up later and shops will extend their opening hours. This ordinance is perfect for those that can’t commit to the game during the day, or just want to play longer.

Bell Bloom

Bell Bloom will increase the amount of Bells you earn from selling items, but will also increase the cost of items. It costs around 100,000 Bells to break even with this ordinance but can be useful if your only goal is to save up bells for things such as storage expansion and your mortgage, which don’t increase. We recommend picking a different ordinance, as you can make a ton of bells with our Animal Crossing: New Horizons Stalk Market guide by selling turnips.

Make sure to check out our Animal Crossing: New Horizons tag page for more helpful guides on everything new in the 2.0 update, such as ‘How to unlock Brewster and The Roost Coffee Shop‘.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available on Nintendo Switch.


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