As a ravenous Animal Crossing fan hungry for the next mainline entry in the series, which was recently announced for Nintendo Switch, I’ve taken it upon myself to list out the most probable features and popularly discussed fan theories that could appear in the new game arriving in 2019.
Though 2019 may seem early for a full-fledged Animal Crossing release, many fans expect the game to be released next June, which is when the previous principal game, New Leaf (3DS), came out in 2013. If the game doesn’t release in June, the second theorized month is late November or early December—perfect timing for the holiday season and also when earlier counterparts, Wild World (DS) and City Folk (Wii), were released.
Features That Would Take Advantage of the Switch
Since the Nintendo Switch is both a handheld and a console, and it has larger internal memory and storage capacity compared to any other Nintendo system, it would make the perfect home for a new Animal Crossing. In the GameCube days, though the graphics were not HD, the original Animal Crossing had an incredibly large village map compared to recent games. The new Switch game could potentially have the largest map of them all, possibly even doubling or tripling the GameCube version’s map size.
Another major theory that could take advantage of the Switch’s internal size is diversity in customization of characters and landscapes. Similar to what we’ve seen in Happy Home Designer (3DS) and Pocket Camp (iOS, Android), Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch should include the ability to change character features, like skin tone, eye color, and hair color, to a more personalized level. If anything, the player character should no longer have to stand in the sun for hours to become a darker hue—a longtime player complaint.
Additionally, if the village map is expanding, there should be different landscapes, such as desert, beach, mountain, or jungle areas, depending on map location. These features were already included in the past two spin-off installments and would be easy for Nintendo to include in the new system.
There are a few other fan theories that would benefit from more system space, including:
- More item storage, perhaps with each furniture-type storage container having its own storage as separate units as a throwback to the GameCube version
- Villager NPCs with larger living spaces, such as an attic or side rooms
- More pattern slots, which was a slight issue in New Leaf if the player wanted to utilize those spaces for creating path tiles in the village.
Though many fans are speculating that being mayor of the town will still exist in the new game, I disagree. None of the other games had that feature, and I’d like to think Nintendo would take a different turn with the Switch version.
I could see the game characteristic of having a “job” expand in the new game. In past versions, the player could work for Tom Nook, Brewster at The Roost Café, and even Isabelle at the Town Hall for a brief period of time. My reasoning lies with the hints we received in the Animal Crossing for Switch announcement.
Strangely, Nook uses the verbiage, “So it’s back to work for me!” This could be a hint that we as players will be back working for him. It also looks as if Mr. Nook is in some kind of corporate office building, which leads to my next theory…
The game may have the player start off in a small apartment in the city and work their way up to owning a home in the ‘burbs or a larger loft apartment as one of the end goals.
I’m sure the game will keep the function of a metro shopping area split apart from the rural, countryside village, which may include a larger city center with many shops and offices. This area could host a variety of jobs, where you’re not working just for Nook but for familiar NPCs, like Leif at the garden shop or Harriet at the hair salon, allowing you to grind for Bells or rare items. This might also mean the Bell-grinding method of hunting rare beetles in New Leaf may cease to exist, which is fine by me—it felt a little like cheating the system at times.
Another hint we can take from the Nintendo Direct announcement is Isabelle’s line, “Maybe I should be the mayor instead…” Many, many fans speculate that Isabelle WILL be the mayor in the new game, which could allow the player to work for her, as well as at the Town Hall (or City Hall, perhaps).
Miscellaneous Theories and Additions
In a general mind-dump of theories, the following are some extra, heated fan theories floating around about the new game.
A lot of players expect the typical increase in the number of villagers but also the animal types of village characters—including the possibility of known NPC animal types as villagers, such as owls, skunks, chameleons, llamas, or otters.
It would also be cool to see more personality types, similar to what we’ve seen in Pocket Camp with the “hip,” “elegant,” or “rustic” personalities. Fans have mentioned wanting more creation abilities, too, such as cooking, painting, or gardening indoors, and additional activities, such as things to do when “hanging out” with villager NPCs.
There are many other theories out there, including some who adamantly want the “outdoor ball” function from the original game to return, but these are the ones I truly believe have the highest probability to make it into the new game.
With the hints that we’ve been given and knowledge of the game so far, what do you think may be included? Make sure to comment your theories below!
Keep an eye out on my blog, fortissimona.blogspot.com, as I will be branching out and doing some more game theories, reviews, and reactions in the near future. You can also follow me on my Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook at @Fortissimona!
If you liked this article, you may also want to check out our article on Pocket Camp: Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp — What It’s Like to Hit Level 99. Enjoy!