The environment rating, town rating, or town evaluation is a gameplay element featured in all installments of the Animal Crossing series. The only way to check a town's status is by checking the Wishing Well (Animal Crossing), talking to Pelly or Phyllis at the civic center (Wild World and City Folk), or asking Isabelle at either the front desk in the Town Hall (New Leaf) or at the Civic Consultation Counter at Resident Services (New Horizons).
After a number of conditions are met, the player may achieve "perfect town" status. This usually involves planting many trees and flowers (and in New Leaf, Public Works Projects) in addition getting rid of weeds and trash completely. The benefits of achieving perfect town status include getting the gold watering can, lilies of the valley, rare mushrooms (in City Folk and New Leaf), and new Public Works Projects (in New Leaf).
- 1 Factors
- 2 Evaluations
- 3 References
The town's environment rating can decrease if there are not enough or too many trees in one or more acres. They can only contribute to a town's rating when fully grown. The same rules apply to bamboo and bushes, both of which first appeared in New Leaf.
In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, each tree, bamboo, or bush adds one point to the island's nature score. However, having more than 220 nature points contributed through trees will render the player's island unable to reach perfect status, in which case Isabelle will notify the player that the island is overgrown.
Flowers are one of the simpler ways to improve the town's environmental status (with the exception of Animal Crossing, where they don't affect it). Placing at least one flower in each acre improves the town's environment immensely—a very high amount of them may cancel out other flaws in the environment, such as weeds. Any type of flower can be grown anywhere, but the player can keep it evenly distributed for a better environmental status. In all games before Animal Crossing: New Leaf, players must water their flowers often, as wilted flowers impact the town status negatively.
In NH, a different amount of nature points are given towards the players score depending on the growth stage of the flower; stage 1 flowers (seeds) are worth 0.5 points, stage 2 and 3 flowers (stems and buds, respectively) are worth 0.7 nature points, and stage 4 flowers (fully grown) are worth 1 point each.
A small number of weeds (two or three in most games) appear each day. The weeds will accumulate if they are not picked, so it is best for the town's status to pull weeds whenever they're seen. For a perfect town, no weeds should remain in a town overnight.
In New Horizons, the island immediately receives 30 development points if there are less than 100 weeds on the island; every weed after 100 slowly removes points. At 1000 weeds or more, the point bonus is zero.
Boots, cans, and tires fished out from the river or sea, as well as spoiled turnips, must never be placed on the ground, as they are considered trash and the environmental status of the town will immediately decrease. These items also attract the fly, an inexpensive bug. Trash should be placed in the Dump, disposed for a fee at Re-Tail, thrown away in the trash bin (which can be found in homes or built as a public works project), or sold.
Furniture, accessories, and other dropped items are considered trash. Therefore, items should not be left on the ground to reach perfect town status. Seashells, fruit, or other items naturally spawning on the ground (such as sticks or rocks) are not counted as dropped items.
Public Works Projects
In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, A certain amount of Public Works Projects are required to achieve perfect town status. Some projects, such as the Garbage Bin, detract from the town's score (but will not permanently keep it from attaining perfect status).
Bridges and Inclines
In New Leaf, bridges and inclines are considered Public Works Projects. However, in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, they're counted separately within the development points of a player's island. There may be up to 8 bridges and 8 inclines on an island, with each project contributing 15 points once they are installed.
As a new feature in New Horizons, players are able to decorate their island with any type of furniture that is not wall-mounted (the only placeable wall-mounted furniture outside are door plaques, which have no impact on the island's rating). In accordance with this, furniture is no longer counted as trash as long as it is displayed rather than dropped. Villagers will also gift the player furniture items and recommend that they place them outside to improve the island's rating (although doing so with that specific item is not mandatory).
Either the island's nature score or development score will improve depending what kind and how much furniture is displayed. Every piece of non-DIY furniture is worth at least 1 development point, and an additional 0.5 point is added to items that are labeled as "outdoor furniture". DIY furniture contributes to the nature portion of the points system; any furniture that is at least 3 squares wide is worth 1 point, while anything smaller is only 0.25 points. There is also a penalty for having more than 6 of the same exact item (not counting customizations) within a 64-square block of the island.
In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the player may place fences around their island. Each fence piece is worth 0.2 points towards the island's development score.
Animal Crossing and Doubutsu no Mori e+
In Animal Crossing and Doubutsu no Mori e+, the player may access their town evaluation and learn about anything keeping their town from reaching "perfect" status through the Wishing Well. The spirit of the Wishing Well, who is later revealed to be Farley, will tell the player the following:
- Too many weeds: "When there are too many weeds... and acres in need of care and attention... a town feels very unsettled."
- Too many trees: Message starting with "Trees are a thing of extraordinary beauty, but..."; gives coordinates for a specific acre.
- Too few trees: Message starting with "In areas where there is little green..."; gives coordinates for a specific acre.
- Faring well: "It appears that things fare well, by and large. If you were to search out areas where there are too many, or not enough, trees... then things would be faring even better."
- Almost satisfactory: "Things aren't too bad... but with just a little more care and attention, everything would be much, much better."
- Satisfactory: "Yes... yes. Things feel as they should. This is certainly a satisfactory level of prosperity... but with just a little more effort, things could be even better."
- Perfect: "Everything is perfect! <Town> is a very livable place."
- Obtaining Golden Axe: "Your toil has made <town> a truly wonderful place. Your efforts shall be rewarded with a golden axe."
Animal Crossing: Wild World and Animal Crossing: City Folk
In Animal Crossing: Wild World and Animal Crossing: City Folk, when talking with Pelly or Phyllis about the town's environmental status, the designated pelican will relay messages that other villagers have given her. Her response will inform the player if the town is prospering or not. Here are the responses that either Pelly or Phyllis will tell the player:
- Horrible: "This place is the pits! Everything that can go wrong has gone wrong! There's not a single thing I like in this town!"
- Bad: "I'm not sure what good it will do to write this, but... Could you try and be a bit more thoughtful about your town? Because at this rate..."
- Neutral: "Hmm... it's not a passing grade, but it's not a failing grade either. It's like more than milk, but not quite a milk shake, you know what I mean?"
- Good: "This town is fantastic! But even so, it still seems to be missing something"
- Perfect: "Fantastic! <Town> is in great shape right now! Yep, it's pretty sweeeeet!"
After Pelly or Phyllis relays the message, she will give a player a hint regarding how to make the town healthier. For example, at the "getting there" phase, Pelly may tell the player that some areas have inadequate green, which is a tip to plant more flowers and trees in areas lacking them. Phyllis's messages tend to be a little more straightforward about what the player needs to do.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, a points system is used instead, which is divided into three hidden categories. Public works projects are necessary for a positive rating, and the requirement for a specific number of trees/flowers in each acre no longer applies.
- "Hmmmm... It's not a passing grade, but it's not really failing either... So middle ground! It's like this town is more than friends but not ready to be a couple yet. It needs real commitment!"
- — Timmy and Tommy, Needs work
- "I think it's riding the so-so rails. So average!"
- — Timmy and Tommy, Needs work
- "Well, they're certainly giving it their all! The difficult challenge is the reason town building is so worth it!"
- — Digby, Almost perfect
- "Goodness gracious! Even from an academic standpoint, I must say this town is becoming quite good! If the town grows like this, I have no doubt that its value will keep soaring even higher, eh wot?"
- — Blathers, Almost perfect
- "It seems that <town> is starting to gain some attention as a popular sightseeing destination! I hope they continue to work hard to really keep revitalizing this town! Eek eek!"
- — Porter, Almost perfect
- "It's great! The very best town ever! I wouldn't mind being mayor again for a town that looks like this!"
- — Tortimer, Perfect
- "Why, it's amazing, and I truly mean that! This town is simply the best! They've clearly worked very hard! This old man is really pleased!"
- — Phineas, Perfect
- "Great galloping grasshoppers! Were I to give this town a rating, I'd say that it's exemplary, old bean!"
- — Nat, Perfect
- "Woohoo! What a glorious town! Pavé wants to just sprawl out right here and caress the ground... Viva <town>!"
- — Pavé, Perfect
- "Goodness gracious! I can say that, even from an academic standpoint, this town is simply the best! Hoo!"
- — Blathers, Perfect
In New Leaf, the Flower Clock and Town Hall renovation Public Works Projects become available after the town achieves perfect status.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, islands are rated on a five-star system, with five stars representing a perfect town. The overall rating is determined by the number of points earned within two categories: nature (regarding the amount of trees, bamboo, bushes, flowers, and DIY furniture) and development (regarding the amount of buildings, structures, and non-DIY furniture). Villagers also factor into development points, and an island can not reach past a 2-star rating without more than 7 villagers.
Like in New Leaf, players may access their island's rating by talking to Isabelle (once Resident Services is built) and requesting "island evals." Many different factors from the past games return, and new factors, such as outdoor furniture placement and the amount of villagers in the town, have been added. The town needs at least a three-star rating in order to host K.K. Slider concerts.
When talking to Isabelle about town status, she will relay a critique given to her by another character (anonymously, but usually identifiable by their speech patterns):
According to Isabelle, all of the 1 star evaluations are provided by the same person (implied to be Wisp).
- "It's great that there isn't too much going on. I hope it'll stay nice and unassuming, like me."
- — Wisp, 1 star
- "I like how there aren't any ghosts around. It's a place where free spirits like me can just be free!"
- — Wisp, 1 star
- "It's a place I've been quietly watching. It's a secret to everybody. I don't want it to be famous."
- — Wisp, 1 star
- "It's like when a snowperson is built juuuust right. Sure, it's a good thing to be well made and to feel the love. But I don't know that a snowperson would get the proper attention here. That's my take, anyway."
- — Snowperson, 2 stars
- "I keep hearin' all things should be in moderation, but an island's image is worth workin' hard for, ain't it? Well, me an' my bro'll be backin' you up from behind the scenes, so you better just do your best, capice?"
- — Mr. Resetti, 2 stars
- "I've been shipwrecked there a few times, so I consider myself an authority—and I've got ideas! Here's one. I feel like a fella's rescue party might arrive a BIT sooner if that place had more stuff going on. Add some hustle! Add some bustle! Make your island a port of call that'll turn heads and drop anchors."
- — Gulliver, 2 stars
The first time the 3 star rating is achieved, Isabelle will relay the following quote:
- "<island>, man... Hearing about how chill it is... I'd go if I had the chance."
- — K.S., 3 stars
Hearing this evaluation will complete "Project K" and schedule a K.K. Slider concert for the next available day.
After this, the following quotes will rotate randomly:
- "I look forward to my Sunday visits. When Gram-Gram's knees get better, it'd be swell to bring her with me!"
- — Daisy Mae, 3 stars
- "It's been growing real nice, like a big tree that's getting plenty of love and care. I'll be visiting a lot, tryin' to copy its secret sauce for success for my artists' collective!"
- — Harvey, 3 stars
- "Talkin' as one of two birds who've seen EVERYONE come and go from here, this place is goin' places! Keep up the good work! We'd love to need a second plane someday."
- — Orville, 3 stars
If the player's island has a 4 star rating, Isabelle will say,
- "This is big! We're a regular on many folks' list of top ten places they'd like to visit!"
- — Isabelle, 4 stars
After this, she will read one of the following three quotes from other characters.
- "This is a good island, filled with good feet that know the value of a good rug. Visitations are pleasant."
- — Saharah, 4 stars
- "I started visiting the island because my brother moved here, but I instantly fell in love with the place! Many communities build themselves so big and bright that you can hardly make out a star in the night sky... Not on <island>! I shall be a regular visitor to its shores—and skies!—for some time."
- — Celeste, 4 stars
- "Back in my day, the key to a good life was a low reset rate. Ya feel what I'm gettin' at? What I'm sayin' is, this here <island> ya got goin' on? This is one sharp locale! Got that?"
- — Mr. Resetti, 4 stars
If the player's island has a 5 star rating, Isabelle will say,
- "Our island has become so popular that people dream about living here!"
- — Isabelle, 5 stars
After this, she will read one of the following three quotes from other characters.
- "Number one on the list of islands that snowpeople want to be born on at least once: <island>! Next winter, I want someone who lives on this island to roll me up and give me life!"
- — Snow Person, 5 stars
- "This roiled throne of bugs, this sceptered isle, this hive of majesty... This infested plot, this earth, this terrarium, this <island>."
- — Flick, 5 stars
- "I've got reel strong feelings for that island. It's SUCH a catch. As soon as I made landfall, I knew I was hooked. Even the scale of the place schools the rest. Plus, everyone there's, like, my chum. Yeah, it's fintastic! Nyuk!"
- — C.J., 5 stars
After giving feedback, if the rating is under five stars, Isabelle will suggest actions the player may take to improve their town status (for example, placing more outdoor furniture and fences, planting or trimming foliage, moving in villagers, or building more stores). If the rating is five stars, Isabelle will congratulate the player for achieving a perfect score. The first time, she will give the player the DIY recipe for the golden watering can. Subsequent five star ratings will have her encourage the player to maintain the rating.