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How to make custom paths in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Sometimes the game’s default paths aren’t enough

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An Animal Crossing character considers what type of pathing to use Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon
Julia Lee (she/her) is a guides producer, writing guides for games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Genshin Impact. She helped launch the Rift Herald in 2016.

To add some spice to your Animal Crossing: New Horizons island, consider adding custom-made pathing.

Once you unlock it, the Island Designer Nook Phone app has nine paths, but if you want more options, you can use the custom pattern tool to quickly slap some more paths onto the ground. Note that you can place these patterns down manually by choosing “Display on Ground” from your Custom Designs app, but using the Island Designer app is much faster.

The “custom design path permit,” which allows you to use custom patterns in the Island Designer app, can be redeemed for 2,300 Nook Miles at the Nook Stop.

How to find and download custom pathing patterns

There are multiple ways to get custom pathing patterns. You can make them yourself or you can download them using QR codes or from the terminal in the back of the Able Sisters’.

If your chosen design uses a QR code, you’ll have to download the Nintendo Switch Online app for iOS or Android. After you snap a picture of the QR code in the app, you’ll have to open your Custom Designs app on your Nook Phone in New Horizons and press the Plus button. This will download that pattern and allow you to place it among the rest of your patterns.

If the custom path uses an alphanumeric code, you can input it into the terminal in the back of the Able Sisters’ store. You will need an Nintendo Switch Online subscription to use this, though.

Here are some great place to snag some custom path patterns:

How to place custom path patterns

Once you have your path pattern, open the Island Designer app, press Plus, and select the custom pathing tool on the bottom right. It will let you choose from your patterns and you can quickly use the trowel to place them on the ground.

Unlike the game’s built-in paths, these function a little differently. By pressing Y while standing next to the pattern, your character will kick away the pattern with their foot. If you spend a lot of time placing patterns on the floor, be careful not to kick your custom patterns away.

An Animal Crossing character kicks some dirt over custom pathing, erasing them Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

You also cannot bevel your custom paths to get the rounded texture, but you can outsmart the system by placing transparent custom paths on top of existing default paths. This will make your custom path take the same shape as the path it’s placed on top of, though the design needs to have at least one pixel of transparency in it to do this.

An Animal Crossing character in a hard hat after laying down a custom stone pattern on top of a hardwood path Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

As a nice improvement from Animal Crossing: New Leaf, items can be placed on top of patterns on the ground. This means you can shake fruit off of trees and they’ll fall onto the pattern. (New Leaf had the items bounce off of the patterns, sometimes bouncing into the void if there wasn’t enough room.)

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