Environment rating

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Isabelle notifying the player that the island rating has risen in New Horizons

The environment rating (conjectural name[nb 1]) or town rating (known as the Field Rank[nb 2] in Animal Crossing and island evaluation in New Horizons) 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 project (in New Leaf).

Appearances[edit]

In Animal Crossing[edit]

Checking the wishing well in Animal Crossing

In Animal Crossing, the town's status is determined by the number of trees, weeds, flowers, and garbage in each acre of the town. There are 7 different ranks of quality determined by a simple hidden points system. Each acre has its own point value and these points are added to determine the town's overall rating. The rating can be determined by interacting with the wishing well. This rating affects the chance that a fish or insect will spawn in an acre, the rate that balloon presents spawn, and the chance that new villagers move in before reaching the limit of 15.

For fish and insects, the chance that a fish appears and the chance that an insect appears are calculated separately when the player enters an acre. Only one fish and one insect can be spawned from an acre at a time. At the lowest town rating, the chance for them to spawn is 50% and at rank 3 or higher, the chance is 100%. Below is a table that shows the points required for each rank, what the wishing well says at each rank, and the chance that a fish or a bug will spawn under that rank.

Points Rank Fish/Insect spawn chance Wishing well quote
0 0 50% "I sense a great sadness about the land. You must reflect deeply on how to best tend to and care for <Town>."[nb 3]
1-2 1 75% -
3-4 2 87.5% -
5-7 3 100% -
8-9 4 100% -
10-12 4 100% "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."
13-16 5 100% "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."
17+ 6 100% "Everything is perfect! <Town> is a very liveable place."

Each acre's points are calculated based on the number of trees within the acre. An acre must have between 9 and 17 trees to receive points. If any acre has an amount of trees outside of this range, the wishing well will tell the player that there are too many or too few trees in that acre. Below is a table that shows the points an acre is worth based on the amount of trees it contains and what the well may say.

Trees Points Wishing well quote
0 - 8 0 "In areas where there is very little green... ...a feeling of despair overshadows all else. Go to Acre <Y-X> to see what is amiss.";
9 - 11 0.5 -
12 - 14 1 -
15 - 17 0.5 -
18+ 0 "Trees are things of beauty, but too many of the can spread sadness, not joy... They block out the sun and make a chore of finding paths. Go to Acre <Y-X> to see what is amiss."

Perfect town status[edit]

In addition to the points rankings, a "perfect town" status can also be reached. In order to reach this status, the town must be rank 6 and at least 17 out of the 30 acres in town must pass the following conditions.

  • There must not be any trash (Empty Can, Boot, or Old Tire) dropped anywhere outside or the town drops to rank 0 and the wishing well will say "I can abide this no more. There is no feeling worse than the prospect of being slowly buried in rubbish. You must clean up the trash in Acre <Y-X>!" Trash dropped at the dump does not count.
  • There must be less than 5 weeds or 4 fewer weeds than flowers in each acre. A flower offsets a weed, so an acre can contain 5 or more weeds only if there are enough flowers to offset them. If any acre contains too many weeds, the wishing well will say "When there are too many weeds... ...and areas in need of care and attention... ...a town feels very unsettled. Go to Acre <Y-X> to see what is amiss."

Once a perfect town status has been reached, the wishing well will say "Everything is perfect! <Town> is a very livable place." If the perfect town status is maintained for 15 days in a row, the spirit of the wishing well, Farley, appears at the well to give the player the unbreakable Golden Axe and tells the player "Your toil has made <Town> a truly wonderful place. Your efforts shall be rewarded with a golden axe."

Japanese version differences[edit]

In Doubutsu no Mori and Doubutsu no Mori+, the wishing well is instead a shrine. However, in Doubutsu no Mori, there is no appearance of Farley or the Golden Axe.

Unlike in Animal Crossing and Doubutsu no Mori e+, in Doubutsu no Mori and Doubutsu no Mori+, garbage placed in the dump will affect Field Rank.

In Doubutsu no Mori e+, a perfect Field Rank also results in the Lily of the Valley flower growing around town.

Unobtainable messages[edit]

The following messages are contained in the game's files but cannot be seen in normal gameplay. This is because the wishing well always opts to tell the player where there are too few trees instead of rating the town and if there are enough trees in every acre, the town must be rank 4, 5 or 6 at that point.

Points Rank Wishing well quote
1-2 1 "There is a rather blue feeling, all over the land. It is ideal to have neither too many, nor too few trees. One must also not forget the benefits of planting flowers and pulling weeds."
3-4 2 "The current state of things is somewhat disturbing. A barren town, lacking in greenery, is not what I long for. Neither do I wish for a jungle that cannot be traversed. Think carefully, and care thoughtfully."
5-7 3 "Things aren't too bad... ...but with just a little more care and attention, everything would be much, much better."
8-9 4 "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."

In Wild World and City Folk[edit]

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.

Generally, for perfect environmental status in Animal Crossing: Wild World and Animal Crossing: City Folk, eight of the acres should be classed as 'perfect' and the rest as 'good'. This can be achieved by disposing weeds and trash, planting trees and flowers, and using watering cans to prevent dead flowers. Maintaining a perfect environmental status for 15 days will result in the player being rewarded the Golden Watering Can by Tortimer.

In New Leaf[edit]

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. Obtaining perfect town status can be achieved by building more public works projects (with the exception of building the trash bin and tire toy) and keeping the town clean of weeds and/or trash. The latter can be remedied with the Keep <Town> Beautiful ordinance or by asking Leif to clean their town from weed.

Advice to get a perfect town is given by various special characters in the game, relayed through Isabelle when speaking to her at the Town Hall. Each quote designates what the quality of the town is.

"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. Maintaining a perfect town status for 15 days will result in Isabelle giving the player the Golden Watering Can.

In New Horizons[edit]

In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the player's island is rated on a five-star system, based on two main factors: development points and scenery points. The islands rating can be viewed by speaking to Isabelle at Resident Services. Isabelle will also relay a quote from another character about the island and suggest actions the player may take to improve their island rating (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.

Obtaining a 3-star rating is required for K.K. Slider to visit the island and as a result, for the player to receive the Island Designer Construction Permit. Once the island reaches a 5-star rating, Isabelle gives the player the Golden Watering Can.

Rank Development points Scenery points Resident Services quote(s)
1 star 0–80 0–200 It's great that there isn't too much going on. I hope it'll stay nice and unassuming, like me.

I like how there aren't any ghosts around. It's a place where free spirits like me can just be free!

It's a place I've been quietly watching. It's a secret to everybody. I don't want it to be famous.
2 stars 80–159 200–269 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.

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?

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.
3 stars 160–399 270–349 <Island>, man... Hearing about how chill it is... I'd go if I had the chance. K.S.[nb 4]

I look forward to my Sunday visits. When Gram-Gram's knees get better, it'd be swell to bring her with me!

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!

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.
4 stars 400–664 350–449 This is a good island, filled with good feet that know the value of a good rug. Visitations are pleasant.

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.

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?
5 stars 665+ 450+ 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!

This roiled throne of bugs, this sceptered isle, this hive of majesty... This infested plot, this earth, this terrarium, this <Island>.

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!

Development[edit]

The island's development points are based on buildings, the number of villagers living on the island, and items placed outside.

If there are six or more of the same item in the same 8x8 area on the map, 0.5 development points are deducted for each duplicate. If there are eleven or more, 0.75 points are deducted for each duplicate.[1]

Building/item/status Development points[1]
Museum 15
Able Sisters 15
Bridge or incline 15
9 villagers 15
10 villagers 30
100 weeds or less 30
More than 100 weeds (1000 - # of weeds) / 30
Fence 0.2
Any placed item[nb 5] 1[nb 6]

Scenery[edit]

The island's nature points are based on the number of trees, bamboo trees, bushes, flowers, pumpkins, and DIY furniture items on the island.

Flora/item Scenery points[1]
Fully-grown tree/bamboo tree 1
Fully-grown flower 1
Flower stem/bud 0.7
Flower seed 0.5
Bush 0.5
Pumpkin start .5
Ripe pumpkin plant 1
DIY furniture 0.25[nb 7]

Factors[edit]

Vegetation/Plants[edit]

Various plants impact the player's town's environment. Sometimes, villagers will also comment about the town's environment when talking to the player.

Trees[edit]

Main article: Tree

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[edit]

Main article: Flower

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.

Weeds[edit]

Main article: Weed

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 receives 30 development points if there are less than 100 weeds on the island; every 30 weeds after 100 removes 1 point. At 1000 weeds or more, the point bonus is zero.

Trash[edit]

Main article: Trash

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 a trash bin furniture (which can be found in homes, built as a public works project, or placed outside), used in a DIY recipe, or sold.

Dropped items[edit]

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.

Decorations[edit]

Public works projects[edit]

Main article: Public works project

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[edit]

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.

Furniture[edit]

Main article: Furniture

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.

Fences[edit]

Main article: Fence

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.

Notes[edit]

  1. The title of this article is conjectural as an official name for this subject is unknown. The name for this article has instead been taken from one that is commonly used within the community.
  2. Internal name, not stated during gameplay (GetFieldRankbyFGoodBlock)
  3. This message only appears if the player's town has five or more garbage items in it.
  4. This quote only appears the first time the player speaks to Isabelle after obtaining a 3-star rating
  5. Wall-mounted items on the player's door do not award points.
  6. Items that have a buy price of least 2,000 Bells award a 1-point bonus, items that have a buy price of 20,000 Bells award another 1-point bonus, furniture classified as 'outdoor' awards a 0.5-point bonus, and furniture that is at least three squares wide awards a 0.75-point bonus.
  7. Furniture that is at least three squares wide awards a 0.75-point bonus.


Isabelle NH Character Icon.png
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Edit this page and add a little something to make it just right.
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To-do list: This page could do with some improvements!
Edit this page and add a little something to make it just right.
  • Expand Wild World, City Folk, and New Leaf sections, then remove the "Factors" section.
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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Stoney#9215, Phil#6666. "Island Evaluation Breakdown (Animal Crossing: New Horizons)". Google Docs. Retrieved March 24, 2021.