How to Get a Ladder in Animal Crossing New Horizons

Ready to keep exploring your island?

A core tenet of the Animal Crossing: New Horizons experience is inviting villagers to your island. Getting a ladder is part of the in-game journey to expand your community. While ladders are unmissable if you progress the game naturally, they only become available at a certain point, and players aren't told when this happens before it happens.

How to Get a Ladder in Animal Crossing

You don't have to get far into the game before you can open up your entire island and get access to a ladder, which you can use to actually explore the rest of your island. Though, there are a few things you have to do in the early-game first that happen while playing normally.

  1. Attract villagers to your island. This can be done in a number of ways, like building up your island or opening a campsite. The easiest way to meet a new villager is to keep your eyes peeled whenever you travel to random islands with Nook Miles Tickets, because sometimes you'll run into new villagers you can invite to your island.

  2. Craft your first bridge. Once your island has some interest, Tom Nook will contact you and let you know it's time to build your first bridge so you can access the other parts of your island for future housing development. Later bridges will be purchased with bells from Tom Nook, but your first bridge you'll craft with four log stakes, four clay, and four stone.

  3. Place housing plots on the newly opened section of your island. After the bridge is completed, talking to Tom Nook about what's next will lead him to give you your first housing plots to place for future villagers to move into.

  4. Get your Ladder DIY recipe. While placing these plots, Tom will call you and let you know the furniture for the houses requires materials from flowers on top of the cliffs on the island. He will then send you the DIY recipe for a ladder. Craft your ladder at a workbench with four wood, four hardwood, and four softwood.

    The ingredients for a ladder in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Using a Ladder in Animal Crossing

As you might expect, simply equip the ladder like any other tool, and then press A with the ladder equipped when facing a cliff. That's all it takes to climb up something.

Using a ladder in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Do Ladders Break Over Time?

Unlike other tools in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the ladder will not break, so you won't have to worry about replacing it every so often.

Can You Give Your Friend a Ladder Early?

You can! If you have access to ladders but your friend doesn't, you can simply craft one and give it to your friend when they visit, or if you have the Ladder DIY recipe for sale in your Nook's Cranny, your friend can buy the recipe in your shop. While technically the ladder comes at a certain point in-game, there's nothing game-breaking you can do with it if you manage to find it early.

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