Island Designer Construction Permit

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The player making paths.

The Island Designer Construction Permit (also known as simply Island Designer) is a permit in Animal Crossing: New Horizons that allows the player to customize their deserted island however they want.

After achieving a three-star island rating and attending K.K. Slider's performance the next day, the player will receive the Island Designer app on NookPhone from Tom Nook. However, if a player that has already received the Island Designer app from a developed island moves to a new island, the Island Designer app is available from the start. Selecting the app lets the player wear a white construction hat with a leaf icon. The player can place pathways and make them curve, they can also switch to Cliff-Construction Permit to add or remove cliffs or Waterscaping Permit to add or remove water areas, this also allows the player to create waterfalls on cliffs. The Cliff-Construction and Waterscaping Permits are unlocked separately for  6,000 Nook Miles each.



A player creating a path

The app comes with 2 default functions: tools for path making, and an option to clear items around the player and move them to the recycle box in Resident Services. The pathing tool comes with grass and dirt paths, with more styles like brick and stone available in exchange for Nook Miles.

Cliff-Construction Permit[edit]

After unlocking the Island Designer app, if the player heads over to the Nook Stop, they will be able to exchange 6,000 Nook Miles for a Cliff-Construction Permit. With this permit, the player can put up cliffs and tear them down, allowing them to shape their island to their liking. This is the only way to have a fourth tier on the player's island; however, inclines cannot be placed against cliffs of this higher tier, and the game will claim it is too dangerous to climb any higher if they attempt to climb it with their Ladder.

Waterscaping Permit[edit]

After unlocking the Island Designer app, if the player heads over to the Nook Stop, they will be able to exchange 6,000 Nook Miles for a Waterscaping Permit. With this permit, the player may edit water on their island, allowing them to make their own rivers, ponds, and waterfalls.

Island Designer App Manual[edit]

Basic User Guide[edit]

Starting and Stopping Construction: "Please use the app to properly begin and end construction."

Switching Between Permits: "During construction, you can press the + Button to switch permits."

"Please note: Your permits for Island Designer app are only valid for use on <Island Name>. If you leave the island, construction will end. Always wear a helmet, and always work with safety in mind!"

Path Construction[edit]

Path Construction Guide: "Press A while on grassy areas to create or remove paths."

Selecting Path Designs: "Press the + Button to select from path designs you've obtained."


Waterscaping Construction Guide: "Press A to dig into the ground and create new rivers, ponds, etc. You can also fill them in."

Creating Waterfalls: "Try digging atop a cliff to create a Waterfall."

Cliff Construction[edit]

Cliff Construction Guide: "Press A to create cliffs, round the edges of existing cliffs, or destroy existing cliffs.

Building Cliffs On Top Of Cliffs: "You can stack cliffs, but not right at the edge. No building giant walls! Start by making a big base with lots of surface area before moving up to the next tier."

Destroying Waterfalls: "First use the waterscaping permit to fill in the waterfall. After that, you can destroy the cliff at will."

Cleanup Service[edit]

Cleanup Service Guide: "Sometimes, when you're working on construction projects, you might accidentally find yourself in a pinch. Perhaps something you put out keeps you from moving around, or you can't grab an item up on a cliff. The cleanup service is for these moments where you need the items around you cleaned up a bit. The cleanup service will only work on placed items, fencing, and trees in your immediate vicinity. Make sure you get close to the items causing you trouble before you apply for the service. Items picked up by the service will be deposited in the recycle box at Resident Services. So don't delay in picking up those items from the box!"


There are a few parts of the island that can not be constructed or have paths placed on.

  • Resident Services' Plaza.
  • Airport Dock.
  • The large rock formations found along/near the beach.
  • Beaches and the border to the beach.
  • River exits to the sea.

There are also some restrictions to what the player can do while using the Island Designer Construction Permit:

  • The player cannot go on a flight or open their airport gates. This will immediately turn off the app if this occurs.
  • The app will shut down if the player goes into the Able Sisters' changing room.
  • The player cannot change their clothes using a closet.
  • The player cannot dream with the app on.

The Island Designer app cannot be opened on a Mystery Island, while the player's gates are open, on Harv's Island, or on another player's island.