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Popular hacked Animal Crossing items removed in Halloween update

Goodbye, Harv’s fence

Character wearing black and crying in front of Harv’s fence Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Hours ago, Nintendo updated Animal Crossing: New Horizons with its seasonal fall patch. It’s exciting — come Oct. 1, players will be able to plant pumpkins, collect candy, and dress up in elaborate Halloween costumes in-game. Players are so excited, in fact, that they’ve been prepping their islands in the days ahead of the release, eager to take on the new content as soon as it’s launched.

But the die-hard New Horizons fans — the ones looking for hacked items to perfect their island aesthetic — were bummed to update the game and find that their favorite decorations had slipped into the void.

Yep, that means the beloved Harv’s fence (and other hacked items) have disappeared into the ether. Anyone that had obtained the items and decorated their island with them will notice it immediately; the items are just gone. For a while, Harv’s items — particularly the fence — were some of the most popular hacked items in the game. The simple, log-styled fence matched a lot of aesthetics. (I have to say, it was perfect for fall.) Harv’s items, like the star fragment trees before them, were accessed by hackers able to adjust code in New Horizons to categorize the items as usable. Then, the items are duplicated and fence stacks are passed out to the community via trades, giveaways, and sales.

Players typically consider hacked items harmless; there really aren’t any advantages a hacked item can give a New Horizons player. However, the buying and selling of these items is likely against Nintendo’s player agreements.

“Gonna water my pumpkins with my tears of me mourning my Harv’s fence,” one Twitter user wrote.

The only way to keep your hacked items would be to leave your game on an older version — but that means no pumpkins. Some more obscure hacked items are still available in New Horizons, but at this rate, it’s safe to assume that Nintendo will eventually patch them out.

Elsewhere, players are reporting problems with New Horizons’ villager posters. Actual posters held or displayed by players are still intact, but players said that they’re no longer able to access posters from the catalog — unless it’s a poster they obtained from their own villagers or via an amiibo. That means players are no longer able to purchase posters from the catalog if they’d only been gifted a poster from a fellow New Horizons player. One practice that will be impacted is poster cataloging parties, which allow players to gain access to an item simply by picking it up. Then, they can give it back to the host.

Notably, Nintendo announced recently that it’s bringing back its Animal Crossing amiibo cards, which can be purchased for $5.99. This is a way for players to collect posters or bring villagers to their islands. It’s probably not a coincidence that the poster catalog trick has been patched out now.

New Horizons’ fall update went live on Sept. 30, but most of the seasonal activities and items won’t be implemented until Oct. 1.

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