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How to Restart Your Island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Restarting an island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons isn't something to be taken lightly, but it can be refreshing and satisfying to completely begin again. Restarting an Animal Crossing: New Horizons island isn't the same as starting a new character or erasing a previous one who isn't the Resident Representative for the island.

Restarting a character in Animal Crossing: New Horizons keeps all residents and features intact and allows island progress to remain. By contrast, restarting the island means all non-playable characters, flora, buildings, and progress will cease to exist. Players will want to be absolutely sure before restarting an island over starting a new character. Here's how to restart an Animal Crossing: New Horizons island.

Related: How to Get the New Obon Festival Items in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

If players want to keep their island but start a side character in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, they must add a new user from the System Settings page on their Nintendo Switch. Once created, they should stay on the new profile and load Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Any new character will have to complete the introduction stages again, from starting at the Dodo airport to using the Nook Phone for the first time. There are plenty of benefits for one person to create a new character on an existing island, such as taking advantage of each character having separate money rocks and trees.

Trying to restart the island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons requires players to leave the game and delete their saved data. It's a relatively quick process, and perhaps the hardest part about it is coming to terms with the fact that everything on the island and all customizations will be deleted. Restarting the island completely means heading to the Switch's Home Menu and following the steps below:

  • Enter System Settings
  • Scroll down to Data Management
  • Scroll down to Delete Save Data
  • Choose Animal Crossing: New Horizons Save Data
  • Confirm, and delete

Along with all saved data in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the island and its native fruit tree will be gone the next time the game is launched. Starting anew does mean that the new island's name can be changed, but, more importantly, the layout will be fresh, with new rivers, hills, and beachfront.

Shortly after starting a new game and flying to the island, new NPC villagers and the island's fruit will be introduced. If for some reason the new island layout, fruit, or first two residents aren't satisfactory, players can close Animal Crossing: New Horizons as soon as the plane lands and repeat the process above to reroll everything.

More: What Fish In Animal Crossing: New Horizons Are Worth The Most

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available on the Nintendo Switch.

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