Animal Crossing’s wholesome community is a breath of fresh air

Animal Crossing’s wholesome community has been a welcome respite from all of the bad stuff in the world as of late. I’ve been playing an awful lot of this super-cute sandbox game, and I’ve slowly discovered that Animal Crossing: New Horizons has managed to deliver something magical right when we all needed it.

I played solo for my first few days in the game, but I soon wanted to get my money’s worth out of my Nintendo Switch Online membership. I was concerned about getting scammed at some point — that’s always a risk in games like this — but Animal Crossing’s wholesome community has genuinely surprised me with how wonderful they are.

So many people are polite

Animal Crossing's wholesome community queue

There are basically two reasons to play multiplayer: hanging out with people for fun and trading. Unlike the relaxed atmosphere of doing some fishing with your friends, the trading market is brutal and lightning-fast. Most people want you to get in, buy your things, and get out. It doesn’t help that Animal Crossing: New Horizons multiplayer can be genuinely awful at times — especially with a 3-minute cutscene to load into a world. This means that there is sometimes an awful lot of waiting.

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For example, one common scenario is that a villager will be making a DIY recipe. Anyone who comes to the island can get it, so some people will invite others to come visit and get a DIY recipe. Based on a few weeks in the trading community, I’d say that roughly half of the players require an entry fee to visit the island and the other half are just happy to accept voluntary tips.

When players do show up, they’ll form an orderly queue. There’s no huge rush, we have all the time in the world. It’s okay if the villager stops crafting; these things happen sometimes. It’s super chill.

And then there’s the shopping. I do so enjoy checking out Nook’s Cranny and Able Sisters, but I also don’t want to hold up the line. I always ask if I can take a look at the shops. I must have asked this question a hundred times in the last two weeks. I have never had anyone say no in all of my visits.

Animal Crossing’s wholesome community is generous, too

Animal Crossing's wholesome community generous


Most of the players I’ve met aren’t just polite — they’re generous, too. This is one of the standout ways that Animal Crossing’s wholesome community is good for the soul.

Browse any related social media and you’ll find tons of people just giving stuff away, no strings attached. I’ve probably acquired a couple hundred items (and some DIYs) over the last few weeks thanks to people giving them away for free. There were no tips demanded of me, no Nook Miles Tickets entry fees. They were just being nice.

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I believe in being a positive force in the world, and I apply that to Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I’ve corrected people who almost made a serious mistake now and again. I’ve given away items to people who needed them or just because I can. One story, however, has become my absolute favorite.

A young woman had posted to a trading community looking for a spacesuit. It wasn’t for her, though — it was for her much younger sister. This little girl had become quite enamored with Animal Crossing: New Horizons of late. She also had shown a keen interest in spaceflight, and her older sister was willing to pay an arm and a leg to get the two spacesuit pieces she needed for a complete set.

Animal Crossing's wholesome community spaceship

Fortunately, I happened to be browsing the trading community at the time and saw the request. I got a warm, fuzzy feeling from seeing someone who loves her sibling so much, so I couldn’t help but tell her that she could have one for free. I crafted her a Rocket, too — after all, a budding astronaut needs a spaceship!

I thought that was that. I’ve helped people here and there and people rarely contact me again. I instead received a most welcome surprise: I was invited to visit their island so the both of them could say thank you. I took a tour and saw for myself that yes, this precocious girl is indeed very obsessed with space.

In any other game, delightful interactions like this are a rarity. In Animal Crossing’s wholesome community, it’s the norm — and that’s wonderfully rare.

Animal Crossing's wholesome community spacegirl