How Animal Crossing's Farming & Cooking Work | Screen Rant

In Animal Crossing: New Horizons players have been able to create their own little piece of island life, though the culinary options on these islands had been lacking. Nintendo plans to change that with its 2.0 update for the game, which will include new crops and a selection of recipes players will be able to unlock and craft with their harvested goods. The free 2.0 Animal Crossing update will release on November 5, 2021.

At least five new crops will be added in the update; with wheat, sugarcane, carrots, tomatoes, and potatoes being confirmed in the announcement. It's not clear if there will be any additional new crops, perhaps the mysterious islands that players may visit with Kapp'n will produce rare and edible vegetation. These new islands are said to be home to special flora, but not much more is known at this time.

Related: Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Orchard Design Ideas & Tips

Crops themselves aren't a new addition to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, with many players creating extensive orchards populated with the six fruits available at launch: apples, cherries, oranges, peaches, pears, and coconuts. Five types of mushrooms are also already available in the game, and at least some of them are confirmed to be involved in a few recipes like mushroom salad and mushroom soup. Players may have also already gotten into the farming lifestyle with pumpkins in Animal Crossing last year. These are available in four different color varieties, and will almost certainly be involved in making new recipes. Fish are another island resource that will be used to cook some of the savory meals. In the announcement, a plate of fish and chips is seen as well as a baked fish dish. It's currently unknown if specific species of fish will be required for these recipes, but it would not be too far-fetched of an assumption.

Players will likely be able to purchase starts for the newly added crops the same way pumpkin starts can currently be bought, from Leif's short-term shop at the plaza. Though Leif will be one of the NPCs opening a new shop on Harv's Island, so it may be necessary to unlock this shop to access these new farming opportunities. It's possible the new starts will simply be sold at Nook's Cranny, though it isn't likely as pumpkin starts can only be bought here during October. It is also likely players will be able to expand their farms by planting some of their harvested vegetables as is possible with pumpkins and fruit.

The farming mechanics for the new crops appear to be the same as the mechanics used to farm pumpkins. During the Animal Crossing Direct, the new crops are showcased in a cultivated field with all plants seeming to be at full maturity, though they have varying amounts of harvestable produce. This mirrors pumpkin farming in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, as they will mature on their own after four days, but will only produce the maximum yield of three pumpkins if players remember to water the plant every day it is growing. Once a pumpkin plant is harvested, it will take two days to produce more ripe pumpkins, and must be watered each day of its growth to again yield the maximum of three pumpkins. Based on the similarities already observed between the crops, they will probably share this mechanic as well.

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Players will be able to unlock the new cooking recipes by spending miles at the Nook Stop Terminal. The DIY expansion is titled 'Be a Chef! DIY Recipes+' and can be redeemed for 2,000 Nook Miles. A couple of new tabs will be added to the DIY Recipes app to house the cooking information, with separate tabs for sweet and savory dishes. A whisk will also appear next to the hammer symbol on the Craftable tab of the app, implying this section will now tell players what meals they can cook with the items they have in their inventory.

Minestrone soup is one of the confirmed dishes available for New Horizons' update and requires two tomatoes, one potato, and one carrot to cook. Some of the new crops will need to be processed further to be used for certain recipes - for example, flour requires five wheat to craft. A veggie sandwich will need wheat to make as it requires two sacks of flour, one tomato, and one carrot.

In the Animal Crossing Direct, jars of preserved fish can be seen on the coveted ironwood kitchenette, and what appears to be a basket of freshly harvested goods from the farm can also be spotted in the back of the room. The recipes for what looks like tomato soup, potato salad, and french fries (among many others) are shown during the brief scroll through the app. It seems players can look forward to a large variety of craftable meals becoming available with this New Horizons update.

Related: Animal Crossing 2.0: Every New Shop At Harv's Island Market

Cooking will most likely share the same mechanics as crafting DIY recipes in Animal Crossing since they share the same app and both seem to require a special workbench to begin creating. The stonework kitchen is shown as an example of a cooking workbench, and while this item isn't currently available, it is likely coming out in the 2.0 update as a new furniture item. After unlocking the recipes, players will likely be able to cook them from most kitchen sets, and possibly even smaller kitchen items like the gas range or campfire cookware.

The most obvious use for cooked food, of course, is to eat it. During the Animal Crossing Direct, the player eats a pizza they had made, earning them five boosts of strength. This is a massive amount of strength compared to the amount other edible items in the game provide. Eating a piece of fruit will only give one boost of strength, and Redd's Raffle treats from the Fireworks Show event in New Horizons can offer the player up to three boosts to their strength before they are used up.

This cooking and farming expansion will be a welcome addition to the game, with the farming alone allowing for more variation in decor for players with rural islands. The new cooking recipes will also have a wide variety of applications. These dishes could be used to bring a kitchen to life with mouth-watering creations, build specialty restaurants that serve only certain foods, or just used for those boosts of strength in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Next: Animal Crossing Farming: Every New Crop

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