How to Use QR Codes in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Scan and download all kinds of custom designs for your island

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a fun and sociable game where you can develop your own village and make friends with the local inhabitants. You can also add your own personal flourishes with custom designs, as well as download other people's custom designs for all manners of things. To do so, you'll need to set up NookLink within the game as well as know how to scan the designs using your smartphone and QR codes. Here's everything you need to know about using QR codes in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. 

This guide applies to all Nintendo Switch versions of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and requires you to have an active Nintendo Switch Online membership

How to Set up NookLink in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Before you begin scanning QR codes, you need to set up a NookLink connection between your game and the Nintendo Switch Online app on your smartphone. Here's what to do.

Download the Nintendo Switch Online app from the App Store or Google Play Store, and make sure to log in using your Nintendo Switch Online details. 

  1. On your Nintendo Switch, open Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

  2. Press - on the title screen to open Settings.

    Animal Crossing: New Horizons main menu with Settings highlighted
  3. Wait for Tom Nook to finish speaking then tap NookLink.

    Animal Crossing: New Horizons NookLink setup screen
  4. Tap Yes Please.

    Animal Crossing: New Horizons NookLink setup with Connect to Internet highlighted
  5. Wait for the connection to be established. 

  6. You can now scan Animal Crossing: New Horizons QR codes via your smartphone. 

How to Scan QR Codes on Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Now that you can successfully use an Animal Crossing: New Horizons QR code, it's important to know how to scan them. Here's what to do.

QR codes are predominantly there for sharing designs from Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. You can also use https://acpatterns.com to create QR codes and designs in your web browser.

  1. Open the Nintendo Switch Online app on your smartphone.

  2. Tap Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

  3. Tap Next.

  4. Tap Start.

    Nintendo Switch Online app with NookLink highlighted
  5. Tap Designs.

  6. Tap Scan a QR code using your camera.

  7. Hover your phone's camera over the QR code you wish to scan until the phone registers it.

  8. Tap Save to save the design.

    Nintendo Switch Online app with NookLink open and downloading designs via QR codes
  9. The design is now available to use on your Nintendo Switch.

How to Download Designs to Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Now that you've scanned some designs, you'll want to use them in-game. Here's how to download them to your village in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. 

  1. Open Animal Crossing: New Horizons on your Nintendo Switch.

  2. Open your Nook Phone by tapping ZL or tapping the Nook Phone icon.

    Animal Crossing: New Horizons with Nook Phone highlighted
  3. Tap Custom Designs.

    Animal Crossing: New Horizons with Custom Designs on Nook Phone highlighted
  4. Tap + to download a new design.

    Animal Crossing: New Horizons with Custom Designs open and Download highlighted
  5. Tap OK.

    OK button highlighted for downloading a custom design in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  6. Choose an empty Design slot then tap A.

    Empty Design slot on Nook Phone in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  7. Tap Overwrite it.

    Overwrite It highlighted on a newly downloaded design on Nook Phone

    Make sure it's an empty slot so you don't lose any content.

  8. The design is now downloaded to your game.

How to Use Custom Clothing Designs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Downloaded your designs? Using them is easy when you know how. Here's how to apply the custom clothing designs you've just downloaded.

  1. Open Animal Crossing: New Horizons on your Nintendo Switch.

  2. Open your Nook Phone by tapping ZL or tapping the Nook Phone icon.

    Animal Crossing: New Horizons with Nook Phone highlighted
  3. Tap Custom Designs.

    Animal Crossing: New Horizons with Custom Designs highlighted on Nook Phone
  4. Tap A on your chosen design.

    Animal Crossing: New Horizons with Custom Design open and A select highlighted
  5. Tap Wear.

    Animal Crossing: New Horizons with Wear highlighted on a custom design

    You can also use the designs in other ways such as by displaying them as a painting or mannequin.

  6. Choose to wear as a top or as face paint.

    Animal Crossing: New Horizons with custom design open and a choice of wearing one as a top or face paint
  7. You're now wearing the design.

How to Share Your Custom Designs Using the Custom Design Portal in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

If you want to share your own creations with other users, you'll need to complete a few tasks to make it possible. Here's how to share your own designs using the Custom Design Portal and using alphanumeric codes.

You need to have the Able Sisters location unlocked first to be able to share designs.

  1. Go to the Able Sisters shop.

  2. Use the pink terminal in the top-right corner of the shop.

  3. Tap Access the kiosk.

  4. Tap Post.

    Find other users' designs by tapping Search by Design ID or Search by Creator ID.

  5. Choose the design you wish to share.

  6. Share the code that's generated with other users. 

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