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What does eating fruit do in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?

Time to get buff on fructose

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A villager in Animal Crossing: New Horizons stands among some trees Image: Nintendo via Polygon

While selling the fruit is a great way to make a lot of Bells, fruit has another purpose in Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Switch: Eating fruit actually gives you a buff that helps you perform feats of strength that you wouldn’t be able to do otherwise.

While there’s only two main things you can do with your fruit-based power, they are essential tasks for those looking to rearrange their islands before they can start terraforming.

What happens when you eat fruit

When you have a piece of fruit in your inventory, select the option that lets you “Eat 1.” After your adorable eating animation, you’ll notice a little counter appear on the upper left of your screen.

A villager in Animal Crossing: New Horizons looks at their menu screen
In this image, I’ve already eaten one piece of fruit
Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Each piece of fruit will increase this counter by one, topping out at 10. But what do these numbers mean? Each of these numbers is a strength buff that will let you do one of two things with each use:

  • With the shovel, you can dig up an entire tree, regardless of its maturity. That means you can move any tree at will.
  • With the Shovel or Axe, you can destroy rocks completely. Be careful when doing this on your island — especially if you need them for farming Iron Nuggets — because it takes time for rocks to reappear.

Performing either of those actions will remove one number. When you’ve run out, you’ll need to eat more fruit to gain the strength again.

But you may be wondering how do you get rid of all the numbers at once? Well, there’s an easy way to do that: use a toilet.

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