How To Get Custom Art In Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons hasn’t even been out for a full week yet and some islanders are already showing off their insane creations– albeit some time-traveling might be at play. Although, one of the aspects of customization in New Horizons isn’t new to the series, it still may be a little daunting for new players to figure out on their own. Here’s one of the ways to import custom pixel art to your island!

Download The Nintendo Switch Online App 

The first part of this is going to be using your real world smart device to download the Nintendo Switch Online App and link it to your game. You’ll need to sign into your My Nintendo account and make sure it’s linked to your Nintendo Switch. Once you have connected your Nintendo account to your Switch and the app on your phone, we can head over to the next step. If you already have this app downloaded, make sure it is up to date and you should have no issues accessing the Animal Crossing suite built into the app.


Once you’ve made sure your Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Online App are connected to your My Nintendo account, go to the main menu of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. From here, press select/minus button to go to settings and click on the option for NookLink. Once you agree to that, Tom Nook will establish the connection and you can move over to creating the codes.

Visit An Animal Crossing QR Code Generator

You’ll want to use your smart device or computer to visit a website that can transform your digital pixel creations into QR codes that you can scan into your game. Some people are creating their own, some are transferring designs from New Leaf and Happy Home Designer, and others are using websites like the one our friend Greysun Morales put us onto, AC Patterns, which allows you to import images in that will get pixelated to work in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It’s part of the reason Joe’s house on Bella Isle looks like this:


Scanning QR Codes

Once you’ve created the image you want to use and have had AC Patterns, or another QR generator, create a code for use in New Horizons, you’ll want to get your smart phone handy. Open up the Nintendo Switch Online app and click on the icon for New Horizons. From here, click on the app square titled Custom Designs, which will then prompt you to scan your QR code. Once you’ve scanned the code, open up your design app within New Horizons and press the plus button/start button to initiate your download. It’ll ask you to choose a space in your custom designs section to overwrite.

Once you’ve sent over the design, you can repeat the steps to generate additional QR codes for new designs and migrate them one at a time over to your Nintendo Switch. Once you’ve moved over a custom design from a QR code you cannot edit that design anymore. You can save the images of your QR designs and share them with your friends if you desire. Like this design for our real life Play More Indies shirt, visualized in Animal Crossing form.



If you’re feeling creative of course, you can use the in-game creator to visualize your own concoctions. But otherwise, enjoy importing your previous designs or homages to your favorite indie games, music albums, and more by importing through QR codes! Happy creating!

For all things Animal Crossing: New Horizons and video game related, be sure to keep it locked to Pass The Controller. For a deeper dive on all things gaming and nerd culture, listen to the Pass The Controller Podcast with new episodes weekly on your favorite podcast platform. Want to continue the conversation with us and our community? Join our official Discord server.

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