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The catalog is a feature that appears in all Animal Crossing series games. It is a feature in Tom Nook's Store that allows the player to browse all items they have bought or received as gifts. Most of these items can be purchased from the catalog, but some items, such as academy paper and work uniforms are not available.
The catalog keeps track of furniture, gyroids, fossils, clothes, stationery, and tools (Animal Crossing only). Exclusive items, like gifts from Tortimer or some event items, cannot be bought, though they can be browsed. Only five items can be ordered from the catalog each day in Animal Crossing and New Horizons. In the rest of the games, the player can order up to ten orders per delivery period.
Orders come at the normal mail delivery times, which are 9 AM and 5 PM. In Animal Crossing, the items simply arrive the next time the character was used. Stationary that the player has not purchased but have previously received in letters from other villagers will appear in the catalog and can still be purchased.
In New Leaf, the catalog is unlocked after the player upgrades Nookling Junction to the T&T Mart. The catalog can be found in a red machine in the corner of the shop. A new addition is the search option.
Players cannot purchase items only found in Fortune Cookies.
In New Horizons, the catalog is unlocked once Nook's Cranny has been built and can be found in the Nook Shopping section of the Nook Stop, which is in the bottom right corner of Resident Services. Only five items can be ordered per day, including any items ordered from the daily selection of Special Goods.
Many clothing and furniture items in New Horizons are available in different colors, some of which are received through customization. The catalog can be used to keep track of previously encountered color variations, but no crafted furniture or clothing can be ordered. The player cannot order un-customizable furniture, like humidifiers or tape decks, in colors they have not obtained before, and any customization replaceable with a custom pattern is not considered a different variation by the catalog. As such, completing the catalog requires players to obtain clothing and furniture in as many variations as possible. Note that some furniture items have variations as well as further customizing options (e.g. the bunk bed has different variations for its frame color, but the mattress/pillow covers can also be customized with a customization kit).
There is no marker indicating that the player has received all variations of a particular piece of furniture or clothing, but items that have no other variations will not have a description in the lower left corner of the screen. Variations are not considered new items by the Nook Miles task of adding more to your catalog.
Posters of villagers and special characters through the use of Photopia or amiibo cannot be found in the catalog, nor can promotional items like those for Pocket Camp, though these can still be purchased. The game still keeps track of which of these items you've owned before, as shown through the Photopia furniture selection.