Animal Crossing Wiki
Animal Crossing: New Leaf Gallery

Animal Crossing: New Leaf (とびだせ どうぶつのもり Tobidase Dōbutsu no Mori?, Animal Forest: Jump Out), known as Animal Forest: Pop Out (튀어나와요 동물의숲, Twieonawayo Dongmul-ui Sup) in South Korea, is a life simulation video game released in 2012 for the Nintendo 3DS. The player takes on the role of mayor of a new town, and with the help of the townsfolk and Isabelle, an eager secretary, it will be their job to make the town a better place to live.

Compared to previous installments, New Leaf's aesthetics are more realistic, with more human-proportioned characters and more realistic flora. New Leaf introduces the most new features since Animal Forest e+.

On December 2nd, 2016, an updated version of the game, Welcome amiibo, was released. This update can be applied to the original New Leaf through the Nintendo eShop. All newly published copies of New Leaf contain the Welcome amiibo update pre-installed, which is signified by a banner under the logo on the front cover of the case.

Like previous games in the series, New Leaf supports multiplayer, allowing players to travel around towns and co-operate with up to 4 simultaneous players per town. Local wireless play, which allows for sharing players and towns across nearby devices, is a feature that was continued since Wild World. StreetPass is supported in New Leaf, supporting local networking features such as exploring additional houses in Happy Home Showcase. New Leaf also formerly supported internet services via WiFi, which the Dream Suite relied entirely upon; however, Nintendo stated on their Nintendo 3DS online service discontinuation announcement that internet services for the 3DS and Wii U will end on early April 2024. Since April 8th 2024, which shut down most online services for 3DS and Wii U, the only way of accessing online features of New Leaf is via unofficial methods.


Come and build your own happy town!

A cosy life with friendly neighbours awaits!

Now you're in control!

As the mayor, you decide what to build and where, and you make the laws! Make it a town that YOU would want to live in!

Customise your clothes and house!

Renovate and restyle your home! Even refurbish your furniture! Wear stylish shoes and accessories!

Play with Friends

Hang out with up to 3 others at your friends' towns or your own!

Chat and play minigames too!

Show off your home via StreetPass!

Explore others' houses at the Happy Home Showcase!


Main gameplay[]

In New Leaf, the player lives in a town consisting of between 4-10 animal villagers. The first player is the mayor, whose job is to run and develop the town. During initial gameplay, Isabelle guides the player to the basics of the game, introducing them to the town in addition to giving tips on outdoor tasks such as catching creatures or planting trees. In town, the citizens pay in a currency called bells, which buys tools, furniture, and certain services. As the player earns more income in bells, they can develop further town developments, unlocking new buildings and accessing further gameplay.


Starting the game[]

When a new save file is started, it begins on a train. A cat named Rover will ask if he can sit down. No matter what is said (Have a seat! or Go away, kitty!) he'll still sit down. Rover will ask questions like...

  • Where are you headed?
  • What is your name?

When the train arrives in town, there will be an announcement made by Porter, who will say...

Now arriving in (Your Town), (Your Town) Station!

When the player walks out of the station, a yellow dog (Isabelle) and three residents of the player's town will be waiting outside. They'll start whispering. The player will insist that they're not the Mayor.

Getting a house[]

Upon arriving at the Town Hall, Isabelle sends the player to Nook's Homes, which is on Main Street. At Nook's Homes, Tom Nook will acknowledge the player, and ask them where they want a house. When the player has chosen where they want their house, Tom Nook will reserve the space. But then he'll say the player needs a place to rest their head. He will give the player a tent. Once the down payment of 10,000 Bells is paid off, the player will be able to move in the next day.

Reporting back to Isabelle[]

After the player has gone to Nook's Homes & chosen a place for their house, they must report back to Isabelle at the Town Hall. Isabelle will ask... "Did you find a spot to call home?" The choices are...

  • It's Perfect!
  • It's Okay.
  • Perfect, but...

Isabelle will give different answers for each answer that the player gave. After that, she will go to the plaza with the player.

Plaza Tree[]

When Isabelle leads the player to the plaza, they will be in the middle of it with her, in the dirt. All the villagers will be standing in the plaza. It is a ceremony for planting the tree. Once the player plants the tree, Isabelle will say... "I hope this tree grows just as strong & lively as (your town) does!" That's the key to getting the tree to grow. Do more in the town.


The game was originally unveiled at E3 2010, though very little was shown. A trailer was shown featuring updated features, and few new features. Shortly after, there was news that the player could be the mayor of the town, with the goal being to make the town a better place to live. A non-playable demo was also available on the show floor at Nintendo's booth as an example of 3D effects.

Animal Crossing E3 2011

The logo, as seen during E3 2011

At E3 2011 during Nintendo's press conference, the Animal Crossing logo among others, appeared on-screen as a list of upcoming 3DS games. Additionally, a new trailer was released. The trailer showed off a new feature in the game: swimming and diving in the ocean. A player was shown changing not only his shirt, but also his shoes and pants. A male player was also shown coming out of what appeared to be his tent-house. Throughout the town, benches and a beehive were shown, with a villager and later a player sitting on the bench. Isabelle was also introduced as the 'eager secretary' that helps the player throughout the game.

New features[]

Town customization[]


Celebration of a newly completed Public Works project

The town is now more customizable than ever before. The player has more power to choose which town to live in, by being given 4 random pre-set towns when starting the game. Once a town has been chosen, the player can determine the locations to build new buildings and features, set Town Ordinances and construct public works projects.

There are many projects available, including the return of the Police Station and the camp site that was last seen in Animal Crossing. It allows non-resident villagers to visit, who can then be encouraged to move in. Returning features include bridges or return of Animal Island. New features include benches for villagers and the player to sit on.

New buildings and locations[]

Main street

A map of fully upgraded Main Street

  • Re-Tail is a recycling store which buys items at 25% higher than Nook's old stores in previous games. Reese and Cyrus run it, with Cyrus allowing the player to add their own designs to furniture they bring in.
  • The Roost is now a separate building from the Museum. The player may also work behind the bar making coffee for other villagers as a part-time job.
  • The Town Tree, similar to the Wishing Well, is the centerpiece of each town. Most in-game festivals and events occur here.
  • Kicks is a new shoe shop run by the returning character Kicks.
  • Main Street is the main shopping district in the player's town, replacing the City. Many returning features can be found in the street, including Katrina's store, the Museum, and the town shop. New to New Leaf is Kicks store, owned by Kicks who first appeared in City Folk, including many other new buildings.
  • The island from the Nintendo Gamecube games makes a reappearance. Players can visit the island by going to the pier where Kapp'n will take them, as well as any extra players connecting over Wi-Fi. Tortimer now resides on the island, hosting multiplayer mini-games and awarding medals to the winner.
  • The Gardening Store is owned by Leif. He sells a variety of outdoors-related items, including flowers, watering cans, axes, and saplings. It becomes a part of Timmy and Tommy's Home Center once it reaches the T.I.Y upgrade, where it also begins to sell bush saplings and indoor plant items.
  • Nook's Homes is owned by Tom Nook and staffed by Lyle. The player can upgrade the appearance of their house and can expand and add rooms, rather than upgrade their house in a set order.
  • Club LOL is the new entertainment venue replacing The Marquee. Dr. Shrunk and K.K. Slider make appearances, with their role remaining the same as in previous installments. K.K Slider appears everyday apart from Saturdays as DJ K.K., performing either regular or 8-bit remixes of his songs.
  • The Happy Home Showcase is managed by Digby. It utilizes the StreetPass feature in the 3DS, by adding the homes owned by other players who have been within range of the player's 3DS into their outdoor lobby. If the player has the Happy Home Designer game, they can link their progress into Animal Crossing: New Leaf Happy Home Showcase feature.
  • The Dream Suite is a new building managed by Luna. Players can visit the towns of other players using their dream codes. Wendell also appears in the dreams to give the player patterns made by the player who owns the town, but he will only appear if the player allows it.
  • Nookling Junction is the shop that is run by Timmy and Tommy and it functions like Nook's Cranny did in previous installments. It can be upgraded into the T.I.Y, then it is joined with the Gardening Store, along with Gracie's Fashions.
  • Gracie's Fashions is a store that can be unlocked by completing tasks from Gracie, a giraffe who appears in the plaza on certain days. It is later built in to the T.I.Y. Most of these fun features can be upgraded or are needed to be unlocked by doing certain actions or completing certain tasks.

Player customization[]

Player characters are taller than previous installments, allowing for customization of pants, shorts, and skirts purchased from the Able Sisters shop. Shoes and socks can also be purchased from the Kicks store in different colors and varieties.


Villagers are now more diverse. Not only are there new characters, bringing the total up to 335, but also new hamster and deer species. Two new personalities have been introduced: smug and sisterly. Villagers that have moved out can also visit the Main Street.

Each personality of villagers now has their own pitch of Animalese, before the variants were limited to male, female, and cranky male. The pitch of normal and lazy villagers sound very similar to the generic male and female voices in previous games. Peppy villagers use the voice that was once reserved for the female villagers' voice in Wild World. Likewise, jock villagers sound like lazy villagers, but are a bit high-pitched. Snooty villagers use the voice that was once reserved for Joan. Cranky villagers sound exactly the same as they do in City Folk. Smug villagers sound like Lazy villagers, but slightly low-pitched. Sisterly villagers sound like Snooty villagers, but a bit higher-pitched.


There are 72 bugs and fish in the game, up from 60 in City Folk. The player can sneak up on bugs with the net, a returning feature from the Nintendo GameCube games. It is now possible to store bugs and fish in closets and dressers.

New Leaf adds a new class of collectables to the series: deep-sea catches. These are obtained by donning a wetsuit and swimming in the ocean. Small shadows will move across the sea floor, and the player can dive down and grab creatures from these shadows.


With New Leaf comes the return of Wi-Fi play. Much like the previous installments, this allowed players to visit other players' towns, and have other players visit their own. However, the Wi-Fi for this game has been shut down for official servers from Nintendo. This means that players will need to play unofficial methods of online access to still play online features. Wi-Fi is also necessary for using the Dream Suite.

Prologue Music[]

Prologue Music
Train Arriving Coming Out of the Station So This is Our New Mayor?
Welcome to Our Village! (Mayor) Welcome to Our Village! (Player) Go See Tom Nook
Where Do You Want Your House? House Location Chosen After Choosing House Location
Sapling Ceremony 1 Sapling Ceremony 2 On This Day, You Become Mayor


XL Bundle

The New Leaf bundle (US version)

New Leaf was released in Japan on November 8th 2012, in South Korea on February 7th 2013 and in North America on June 9th 2013. It came out in Europe on June 14th 2013. Both Australia and New Zealand shared the same release date of June 15th 2013. New Leaf is also the first in the series available through the Nintendo eShop.

3DS XL bundle[]


Promotional figures

A Nintendo 3DS XL promotional bundle featuring New Leaf was made available during the game's launch. It comes with New Leaf preinstalled onto the system. If preordered from certain retailers, plastic figures of Isabelle and the Town Hall were given as freebies.


New Leaf has received very positive reviews from critics. It has an average score of 88/100 on Metacritic, and thus rated as the 15th highest Nintendo 3DS game on Metacritic.

The game is the first 3DS title to sell over 3 million copies in Japan alone. As of December 31st, 2013, New Leaf has worldwide sales of 100 million copies, making it the 5th best-selling game on the Nintendo 3DS.

Welcome Amiibo[]

Main article: Welcome amiibo

On November 2nd, 2016, an update was released worldwide for New Leaf which introduces amiibo compatibility and various other features.

The update is available to download digitally via the Nintendo eShop or through selecting "Update data" on the title screen. It is also available as part of a physical bundle with the new Animal Crossing amiibo update pre-installed. Amiibo figures or cards are compatible as well. The name of the game on the eShop was changed to Animal Crossing: New Leaf: Welcome Amiibo.


  • The shutdown date of the New Leaf servers, April 8th 2024, is the same shutdown date as the servers for many other Nintendo games, excluding Pokémon Bank.
    • This also affects SpotPass.
    • Nintendo America made an announcement, stating that online services for the 3DS and Wii U would end on 4pm PDT on April 8, 2024.