Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is Nintendo’s laid back, animal-befriending simulation series’ first foray into mobile. Like its predecessors, Pocket Camp lets players forage for fruit and insects, build relationships with a variety of villagers, and decorate their own little corner of the world. While the beauty of any Animal Crossing game is being able to explore and expand at your own pace, we have a few tips to help you get started as a Campsite manager and expert recreationist.

This guide covers things in a fairly general sense. If you’re looking for tips on a particular area not covered here, try checking our more specific guides:

The Basics

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The goal(s): In past Animal Crossing games, you moved to a new town, purchased a home, and then simply began living your life as a new neighbor (or mayor) to a selection of animal villagers. Pocket Camp places you in the role of a Campsite manager and tasks you with decking out your campground to make animal campers want to stay there. You still have your own “home,” in the form of your RV, but the Campsite is where most of your actual decorating attention will be focused.

While there’s no specific “end” to the game, the current selection of activities creates a variety of goals you can work toward:

  • Befriend animals by completing requests for them
  • Reach level 20 friendship with all 40 animals
  • Invite animals to your Campsite (invite all 40 animals)
  • Level up by improving your friendships
  • Expand your RV and pay off your loan
  • Craft and collect all furniture and Amenities
  • Purchase or earn all clothing
  • Complete all stretch goals

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Daily schedule: The most efficient way to work towards the above goals and to get as much as possible out of each day in Pocket Camp is by following the game’s rotating schedule. Every three hours, the animals that are visiting the islands outside of your Campsite will change. The animal that appears at each island is random except it will never be someone that is currently visiting your campground.

The times for this rotation are based on your location and time zone. You can see when the next rotation will happen by checking the Map and looking at the “Moving in: … ” time. In EST, rotations happen at 7AM, 10AM, 1PM, and so on. (The Market Place–where the Able Sisters sell clothing, etc. rotates every six hours–so 7AM, 1PM, 7PM, 1AM.) Animals that are visiting an island will always have three requests and one dialogue available that will award items and friend points. Once you’ve completed these requests, you can still talk to them until the three hours are up, but they won’t give you anything else.

If you want to earn all the items and friend points possible in a given day, you’ll want to check in within each three-hour block and complete all the requests the new group of animals has for you. Animals at your Campsite do not rotate and only leave if you choose to send them away, but they also do not have three requests at one time—you can usually receive one request or dialogue from them every hour.

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Leveling up: There are two types of levels to earn in Pocket Camp: friendship levels are specific to individual animals and are earned by completing red item or dialogue requests (when you talk to an animal, if they have a line of conversation in a red font, it will award friendship points). Most requests award two or three friendship points, so on a single rotation you can usually improve your friendship with a given animal by eight or more points if you complete all of their requests. Your friendship with one animal has no effect on your friendship with anyone else—so you could have a level 3 friendship with Apollo, a level 10 friendship with Cherry, etc. You can see your current friendship level with a given animal when you talk to them—it’s the heart that pops up when you complete a red dialogue item—or by viewing their info page from the Contacts screen.

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The other type of level is your personal experience level. This is visible in the upper-left corner of the screen. This level increases by one point each time you gain a friendship level with an animal. So, if you improved your friendship with Goldie to level three in a single day, you would have earned three EXP points toward the next level during that time. Improving your EXP level unlocks new animals that will be added to the random camper rotation (and who unlock new pieces of furniture you can craft), and it also awards a variety of different items depending on what level milestone you have reached. Item rewards include Bells, Leaf Tickets, Request Tickets, additional inventory space, extra Market Box slots, and more. By the time you reach level 36, all 40 animals will be unlocked and any EXP levels earned after that will simply award items.

Both friendship levels and your EXP level require more points the higher they are. It’s very easy to improve your friendship with lower-level animals since they only require one or two points to reach the next level. As your relationships improve, however, the requirement to reach the next level will go up.

Quick Tips

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You’ll earn a lot of Leaf Tickets just by playing. Pocket Camp’s premium currency is Leaf Tickets. While you can purchase these for real money, there’s very little reason to do so. There are a ton of ways to earn Leaf Tickets in-game—you can easily get over 500 without buying a single one–and we explore these ways in greater detail in our How to Earn Leaf Tickets guide.

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Spend Leaf Tickets on crafting slots and inventory expansion. There are a number of uses for Leaf Tickets, including speeding up timers or buying crafting materials if you don’t have enough. However, we recommend first spending your tickets on buying the two additional crafting spaces in Cyrus’ crafting menu, which will let you build up to three pieces of furniture (and one Amenity) at once. If you have more Tickets leftover, buy additional inventory slots (you can expand your inventory by five slots for 20 Leaf Tickets). If you use your Market Box a lot, expanding your available sales slots is useful as well.

The main takeaway here is that it’s best to spend your Leaf Tickets on permanent unlockables: the crafting, inventory, and Market Box slots are yours forever once you purchase them, and they are things you cannot get otherwise. Crafting materials and time are something you can earn in-game with enough dedication and patience.

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You don’t need to keep furniture at your Campsite once an animal accepts your invitation. We mentioned this in our Managing Your Campsite Visitors guide, but it’s worth repeating. You have to set up a specific collection of furniture at your Campsite in order to invite each animal to visit. However, once they accept your invitation, you are free to remove that furniture. Any animal you have previously invited can be invited back at any time and they will come, even if your Campsite is completely empty. Additionally, having items they like in your Camp won’t improve their friendship any faster. The only use for furniture requests is getting them in the door initially.

But, even if you remove furniture, we recommend keeping it in your inventory. Your furniture inventory is unlimited and the amount of Bells you can get for selling an item is barely worth the time and materials you spent making it. Plus, future animals may request an item you’ve already made and it’s handy to have it ready.

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Animals have a primary crafting material and Essence they give as rewards. When you complete an animal’s request, level up their friendship, or chat with them at your Campsite, they will give you Bells, crafting materials, and Essence. Every animal has a specific type of crafting material and Essence that they always give: the Essence is based on personality, so “Cool” animals like Apollo and Tex will award Cool Essence. Cute animals give Cute Essence, and so on. We go into greater detail about this in our How to Earn Essence guide.

Crafting materials are less predictable, although the same species of animal will give the same crafting material. So, for instance: Rosie awards Wood for completing her requests. All other cats in the game, like Punchy, will also award Wood. Tex gives Cotton, and so does the other penguin, Roald.

When you complete a request for an animal, whatever material they give you first (and the most of) is their “primary” material that they will always award. There’s an extremely handy chart on the Pocket Camp subreddit that shows animals’ personality / Essence type as well as the materials they award.

You can use this knowledge to work on 1) raising your friendship level with animals that give a resource you need and 2) focusing on completing requests for those animals. For instance, let’s say we’re low on Cotton and Tex is one of the animals in the current three-hour rotation. We’ll do all of his requests first to ensure we get as much Cotton as possible. We’ll then likely move him to our Campsite and work on building up his friendship level since animals at level 10, 15, and 20 give more items when offering rewards.

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Balance inventory space with requested items. Your inventory has a limited amount of space to hold the fruit, fish, insects, and shells you collect. When running around picking up items, keep an eye on what you already have in your inventory and make a note of what animals are asking for. You can see what an animal wants before speaking to them by opening the island details on the Map screen (more uses for the Map can be found in our How to Use the Map to Save Time guide). If someone wants Flounder, head to the beach and aim specifically for the largest fish shadows. If they want Fruit Beetles, don’t stuff your pockets with butterflies.

Try to complete requests for items you already have to free up space and then pick up the remaining stuff you need. We have more tips on keeping your pockets uncluttered in our Inventory Management 101 guide.

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Send Kudos to get friends’ attention: If you’re having trouble getting help to enter Shovelstrike Quarry, try this: send Quarry requests to friends that have logged on recently (they’ll be at the top of the list). Then, visit their Campsite and give them Kudos. Quarry requests do not send friends an alert–the red dot that appears on the upper-right hamburger menu when you have a new friend request, mailbox item, etc. But Kudos do send this alert, so if you give Kudos right after asking for Quarry assistance, they’ll be more likely to check their friends page and see you need help.

On the other end, try to check your friend list regularly and scout for any orange shovel icons. It’s very easy to help someone in the Quarry–just tap on their name and select “Lend a hand”–and it can be really beneficial if they’re low on resources. Since your friends list is sorted by last login time, you don’t need to scroll past anyone who hasn’t logged in since you last checked.

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Connect a My Nintendo account to transfer your save data. We strongly recommend connecting your game to a My Nintendo account before getting too far along. You can do this from the menu screen upon first opening the game, or by choosing the “More” tab and then “My Nintendo.” Not only is this how your save data is backed up—and transferred, if you get a new device—but you’ll also receive 100 Leaf Tickets just for connecting. There are also My Nintendo Missions related to Pocket Camp—such as “Complete 10 camper requests”—which award coins you can use to buy in-game rewards. (If you’re wondering where to get the OK Motors hat and jacket, it’s a My Nintendo award.)

Once you connect your account, be sure to check the My Nintendo area from the More section on a regular basis. Mission rewards must be manually collected from this area once they are completed.

Play around: One of the nice things about Animal Crossing and Pocket Camp is that there’s no “wrong” way to play. Take your time and enjoy the experience. You can’t miss out on an animal or lose friendship points for ignoring them. If you spend all your resources on an item and then can’t afford something else, you’ll just have to complete more requests to get more resources. The only thing you can really lose in the game is time.