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Animal Crossing: New Horizons guide — How to get permanent ladders

Should you build ladders or inclines?

A permanent ladder in Animal Crossing: New Horizons Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

In this Animal Crossing: New Horizons guide, we’ll explain how to unlock permanent ladders. This guide will show you where to get the Wooden ladder set-up kit so you can build ladders. This guide also explains the cost and time difference between building permanent ladders and inclines.

How to unlock permanent ladders

Before the 2.0 update to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the best way to get around to higher cliffs in the early game was getting a ladder. The ladder is a tool you can craft and equip to climb up and down cliffs. While this makes for an easy way for you to get across your island, visitors will need to have their own ladder to get up and down your island, if you haven’t built any inclines yet.

Now that the Animal Crossing: New Horizons 2.0 update is live, you can finally build permanent ladders for your island. Setting up permanent ladders on cliffs on your island means you won’t have to pull out your ladder to get up and down. It also means visitors to your island can get around your island without needing their own ladder.

Buying the Ladder Set-Up Kit recipe for 2,000 Bells in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
For 2,000 Bells, you can buy this DIY recipe
Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

To unlock permanent ladders, you’ll need to buy the Ladder Set-Up Kit Recipe from Nook’s Cranny. This recipe costs 2,000 Bells, but once you have it, you can craft as many ladders as you like.

After you learn the recipe, you’ll unlock the ability to craft a Wooden ladder set-up kit. These ladders can be placed on any cliff and they only need 1 ladder and 5 pieces of wood to craft.

Once your kit is crafted, walk up to a cliff and select Set Next to Cliff. After that, you’ll have a ladder permanently set up on a cliffside. To remove your ladder, press Y to place it back in your pocket.

Should I build permanent ladders or inclines?

One of the things you might be wondering is whether you should build permanent ladders or inclines to get across your island. There are a few things to consider when deciding between the two.

Building inclines is not only costly, it’s time-consuming. Each incline requires you to first unlock the ability to build inclines, but also a hefty price tag plus a day of building time to set up.

A series of stairs and ramps which are all labeled with the numbers one through eight
There are multiple styles of inclines
Image: Julia Lee/Polygon | Source images: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo

Here’s much you need to spend to build each incline:

  1. Stone staircase – 168,000 Bells
  2. Red steel staircase – 228,000 Bells
  3. White-plank ramp – 128,000 Bells
  4. Natural ramp – 98,000 Bells
  5. Log staircase – 168,000 Bells
  6. Blue-plank ramp – 128,000 Bells
  7. Blue steel staircase – 228,000 Bells
  8. Brick staircase – 198,000 Bells

While inclines are aesthetically pleasing while also highly functional, not all players will want to make the financial investment or spend time waiting to build them all. Not only that, you can only build a single incline a day. So if you have certain plans for getting around your island, it can turn into a lengthy — and costly — project.

On the other hand, creating permanent ladders is relatively inexpensive. Once you’ve crafted a permanent ladder, you can place them and move them immediately. While they may not be as aesthetically pleasing as inclines, they are much faster to produce and you can put many more of them across your island within a short amount of time.