Over the last week, playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons has given me a much needed serotonin boost since I haven’t been able to feel proper sunlight in *checks notes* a looong time.
But, before I even began my adventure, like you, I had to tackle the game’s biggest challenge. The hardest decision in your entire life. The one that’ll keep you up at night, second-guessing why you did what you did.
What should I name my Animal Crossing island?
Well, for those of you that are struggling, allow us to assist you with this handy little guide.
First and foremost, remember to name it something you actually like
It’s hard to imagine when you first start playing, but whatever you name your Animal Crossing island, it’s going to stick with you during your entire time playing. Whenever you’re chatting to your villagers about local events; donating a fossil, bug or fish to Blathers for your island’s museum collection; or, one you can’t avoid, booting up the game everyday and listening to Tom Nook’s daily broadcast.
If it’s something you don’t like or something that feels unnatural to you, it’s going to ruin your whole chill island ‘everything is fine’ immersion. It might be funny to read one of Animal Crossing’s adorable little pals say, “and i oop,” in game, but that joke might become incredibly dry to you by your third week playing.
Key point here: just don’t just try to name it something silly to be cool. Because to paraphrase the words of an ancient Greek philosopher, you’re not going to make fetch happen so stop trying to make fetch happen.
Make sure your Animal Crossing island name makes grammatical sense
Your island is going to be [insert name] island, so using a word that doesn’t actually register as a noun or adjective isn’t going to read very well. That’s just pure basic grammar, babyyy.
Name it after something or someone you love
Animal Crossing is a personal game. It’s a game that relaxes you. It’s a game that we need right now to escape from the scary world around us. So, why not name it after something that soothes you?
While you can play with other players and visit each other’s islands, you can have just as much fun playing solo. In fact, historically, the series didn’t even offer any multiplayer components, it was purely a game about you, virtual animal creatures, building your town and the connections you made along the way.
As Twitter user Mike Horizons (@hitmeupman) told Syrup, his island, Flamboyán, comes from the name of a species of trees that grow in a part of Puerto Rico where his family is from. For Peak Distapan (@Coconut_soil), “my island is called Everbrunch, the land of always brunch,” because, well, he loves to munch and crunch food you eat at brunch.
Or, as my friend Alex shared in our group chat when I asked what we all named our islands, it’s an opportunity to live out your role plays and name it after your OCs. For her, that’s New Pixbury, a place that exists in her work in progress (WIP).
Name your Animal Crossing island after your dream fantasy location
If you don’t want to get too personal, why not make it the ultimate fantasy and name it after your next big dream holiday. Fancy a trip to Rome, Italy in ancient times? Or why not explore the beautifully freeing fantasy world of Hyrule, The *real* Good Place, The Leaf Village or New Donk City.
As my friend and ultimate Charli XCX stan Michael explained, Huntopia, is an island utopia for all hunties. Everyone is welcome there. The vibe is unapologetically gay, wholesome and celebratory. Where the music is, much like the lonely travelling country singer and guitar slinging dog KK Slider, popping.
“Well, it was KK Flamenco for a while,” he said, reflecting on what kind of music plays at Huntopia, “but I bought KK Pop today, so hopefully, it’s a KK bop and everyone gets to party tomorrow.”
It truly is a desired holiday destination, one that I’d happily visit once the international travel ban lifts.
If you fancy a chuckle, name your Animal Crossing island after a meme
If you can’t stop thinking about that one meme between you and your group chat, then, maybe, name it after a meme. I don’t recommend this imo, because again, you’ll probably lose interest in the name pretty quickly.
Name it something cute and colourful
Fall into the adorable and wholesome chibi aesthetics of Animal Crossing and name it something wholesome and fluffy.
Here’s a few ideas: Fluffy Island, an island where you can cozy up to a nice big fire with friends, warm up some toasties, sink into beds like imaginary clouds and watch the stars in the sky. Sunshine Island, a warm and friendly village of animal friends who love the sunshine, outdoors and sitting by the beach. Cuddle Island, a home for those who want to see their friends and family during a period when we can’t physically meet.
Accept that 2020 is the end of days and name your Animal Crossing island something appropriately cursed
Look, 2020 has been an absolute clusterfuck of a year. We’ve been hit with harsh bushfires across the country, human rights abusing world leaders wanting to be presidents for life, a virus that’s continuing to shut down most of the world and leave many young people unemployed. It’s only natural during these dark times to accept the inevitable, and admit the facts, we’re in Purgatory.
Look, I won’t lie to you, naming my Animal Crossing home Purgatory Island completely changes the vibe of it. Anytime I’m casually pulling out weeds, attending to my makeshift garden or talking to my fuzzy neighbours, they remind me that we’re being punished for our internet crimes.
Our souls are trapped on this tiny island filled with nothing but oranges, spare coconuts and a handful of iron nuggets (c’mon, papa Nook needs a new shop). When the otherworldly fragments of Wisp the friendly ghost’s spirits split apart and I have to find them, I slowly am piecing together the memories of a lost hero, a forgotten saint or sometimes, a friend.
Or, you can be in complete total denial of the outside world and, like my friend Victoria, call it after Ba Sing Se from Avatar: The Last Airbender. There’s no coronavirus in Ba Sing Se. There’s no unemployment in Ba Sing Se. There’s no debt or weeds in Ba Sing Se.
Other names in this format I’ve seen include, Lonely Island, Little Hope Island, Despair Island, Murder Island or Vibing Island.
Either way, if you go this route, imo, it’s as Thanos would say, “Perfectly balanced as all things should be.”
And, if you’re really lost, try the Animal Crossing Island Name Generator, lol
If you really can’t come up with anything, or your name is Chidi Anagonye, might we suggest you use an island name generator.
Web designer Samuel Fine has designed a website that combines the names of irl islands with species in-game to create some genuine sounding locales. All you have to do is answer five questions about your ideal holiday, tropical adventure and nature, and it generates a name for you on the other end.
When we tried it, we got Apple Claw Island. Personally, I’ll stick with Purgatory, thanks.
But, as Rodeo, the lazy bull villager admits, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about your Animal Crossing island’s name.
“Hating pineapple on pizza is trendy. Like saying you’re afraid of clowns or the word “moist.” [But,] you’re better than that. Be your own person. Know the truth about pizza… ”
Just like pizza, your island names can be “whatever toppings ya love – onions, peppers, pineapple, moist clowns, and hot, melty cheese.”
Thanks Rodeo, bbby.