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Animal Crossing New Horizons QR Codes and Custom Designs: Download NookLink, open Able Sisters

While Animal Crossing: New Horizons comes preloaded with a huge choice of beautiful clothes, you can use Custom Designs to build a look that truly reflects your individuality.

Using QR codes you can download the best creations from around the world through the magic of black-and-white squares: including fresh clothes, fun flags, and even special fabrics and floors that are easy to add to your island home.

Or you can flex your own creativity and don your own custom designs featuring your snazziest motifs, as well as sharing them with the world using the Custom Design Kiosk: once you make friends with the Able Sisters and open their shop, you'll be able to input alphanumeric codes to share and download brand new custom designs too.

Below you'll find the basics of how to get started with custom designs, including instructions on how to download NookLink; how to open up the Able Sisters' Shop; and how to use the Custom Design Kiosk to download others' creations and upload your own. Then, read on for our picks of the best custom designs in ACNH.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons QR Codes - How to download NookLink

Before you can get started with QR Codes, you’ll need a smart device with access to either the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. This can be a smartphone or tablet.

Also, to get NookLink and scan Animal Crossing New Horizons QR Codes on your Nintendo Switch, you will need to pay for the premium Nintendo Switch Online service. It costs £18, 20€, or $20 for a full year for a single account - or £31.49, 35€, or $35 for a family pass of 8 accounts.

It can be purchased from the official Nintendo site, here. Yes, it’s not ideal, but Tom Nook’s fabulous Hawaiian shirts don’t pay for themselves.

Don’t make the mistake of just searching “NookLink” in your app store of choice. To download and scan Animal Crossing: New Horizons QR codes, you need to first download the “Nintendo Switch Online” App.

It’s picture is the Nintendo Switch logo of two Joy-Cons with “Online” underneath.

Once you’ve downloaded the app onto your device, you need to sign in with the Nintendo account you have linked to the console you play Animal Crossing on.

Now, open the app and you should see Animal Crossing: New Horizons as a “Game-specific Service”.

Next, you need to prepare Animal Crossing on your Switch console. Open Animal Crossing: New Horizons on your Switch, then press “-” (minus) on the title screen.

This opens the settings menu, where you’ll be able to enable NookLink in the NookLink settings.

With your smart device and console linked, you will now be able to transfer items generated by Animal Crossing: New Horizons QR codes between the two.

Go into your New Horizons game and you will be able to use the “Custom Designs” app on your Nookphone. To unlock the Pro part of the app - which lets you put designs on clothes other than tank tops - you need to visit the Nook Stop at Residential Services and unlock it with 800 Nook Miles.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Custom Designs - How to open the Able Sisters' Shop

After a few days on your Animal Crossing: New Horizons island, you will be able to upload your own custom designs once you gain access to the Able Sisters’ shop. They’ll give you your creator code and access to the online portion where you can generate codes for your own designs.

QR Codes are for patterns generated by older Animal Crossing Games. If you make a new design in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you receive an alphanumeric code that you can input at the Able Sisters’ shop to get an item.

To open the Able Sisters' shop, you first need to speak to Mable when she visits your town plaza selling clothes. Spend bells on the designs she has available, and after a couple of visits she'll see the opportunity to open a full tailor's shop.

Once you've opened the Able Sisters' shop, remember to speak to Sable as well as Mable every single day. She'll be prickly at first, be eventually tell you more about her backstory and give you custom designs of her own.

How to use the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Custom Designs Kiosk

A couple of days after you've picked out a spot for the shop, it will open. Inside, head over to the back wall of the shop and you'll find a computer kiosk.

Interact with the Kiosk and you will be able to connect to the internet. With a Nintendo Online subscription, you will be able to search for custom designs either with a creator code or item code - as well as share you own designs.

Where to find the best Animal Crossing: New Horizons Custom Designs and QR Codes

As for where you can find cool QR and code items for yourself, the best places to look are the online communities of Animal Crossing: New Horizons players.

These include the ACQR subreddit (link), and searching “Animal Crossing QR Codes” on Twitter (link).

Alternatively, you can create your own QR codes by uploading jpegs to ACToolKit (linked).

In these places you’ll find fabric, tops, dresses, shorts, hats, and prints, all emblazoned with absolutely anything you can think of.

There are cute, fashionable clothing designs, cosplays of your favorite characters, but most of all: memes. Memes as far as the eye can see.

For flat prints, you will only need one QR code. But if the design is stretched out over a 3-d object like a t-shirt, then you will need 4 QR codes to catch each side. Otherwise, just input the code at the Able Sisters for freshly created patterns.

Below are a few of our favourites we’ve seen so far.

The Best Animal Crossing: New Horizons Custom Designs: Theme Your Island For Winter

Winter is well and truly here in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (assuming you're playing in the northern hemisphere). Here are just a few of our favourite seasonal designs.

Isabelle's sweater:
But for anyone else who suffered major pangs of envy when Isabelle donned her gorgeous cold-weather sweater, help is at hand thanks to Twitter user @llymiint:

Snowy path
For anyone who'd like their snow-covered island to look a little more natural this winter, u/moonlitt_ has created this path design:

Christmas clothing
There's no shortage of Christmas clothing available in the game, but that hasn't stopped ACNH creatives from introducing their own unique designs to compete with what the Able Sisters offer, such as this series of designs uploaded by u/petit_chou_:

Christmas in summer
This collaborative effort between half a dozen users, uploaded under the u/ACNH_SKdesigns account, might prove especially popular with players in the southern hemisphere: a collection of Christmas and New Year holiday-themed clothing that's nevertheless suited to warmer weather.

Ugly sweaters (with a gaming theme)
Fandom-themed ugly sweaters have been a hot ticket item for real-life geeks over the past couple of Christmases. Bring that same energy to your ACNH avatar with these Nintendo-inspired designs uploaded by u/heartphilialive:

Cat hoodies
If you're a fan of cute cats, comfortable clothing, and Christmas cheer (and since you're an ACNH player it's a fair bet you're at least one of the three), this series of cat hoodies and holiday sweaters uploaded by u/interrobang__ may just be the custom design you didn't know you needed:

The Best Animal Crossing: New Horizons Custom Designs: Timeless Designs for All Year Round

No matter what the time of year, these custom designs will get you well on your way to making your island that little more personalised, from cosplaying as your favourite fictional characters to livening things up with a few more varied designs.

Link’s Breath of the Wild Tunic:

Uploaded by u/Zilto1d

Distressed cobblestone paving:

Uploaded by quadepresso, by spookykitty666

Baby Yoda:

This season of the Mandolorian might be over, but we all still love Baby Yoda.

Destiny jackets:

North Face jackets:

Uploaded by goobyofpls

A cute leopard print sweater:

Uploaded by u/catgirrl

A top-tier My Neighbour Totoro hoodie:

Uploaded by u/milkytf94

Ash's hat and jacket from the Pokemon anime:

Uploaded by Poiosaurio

A Team Aqua outfit from Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire:

Adidas Sportswear:

Uploaded by Hotbunsinyourarea (codes linked here)

Matt Smith-era Doctor Who outfit:

Naruto Headband:

Uploaded by Mouse-flavored

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine uniform shirts:

Uploaded by u/valgal9697

For even more designs, there’s this video from NerdAttack! floating of 500 Animal Crossing QR codes, featuring the likes of Assassin’s Creed, Persona, Marvel and DC superheroes, and many more, so you can fill your island to your heart's content!

Here's an alternative video for if you'd prefer a showcase of items you can download with Able Sisters codes rather than just QR:

And finally, here's a showcase of cheeky items that are a little more 'out there'. Don't get into trouble downloading some of these!

For more information, check out our full page of Animal Crossing: New Horizons guides.

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Animal Crossing

Nintendo GameCube

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Nintendo Switch

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About the Author
James Billcliffe avatar

James Billcliffe

Guides Editor

With 7 years' experience, James (he/him) suffers so you don't have to, creating expert guides for the toughest games and reviews for the biggest blockbuster releases. He has a Master's degree in Journalism and a BA in Linguistics that he never got a chance to flex until Wordle came along.