An island evaluated with a 5-star rating

Island evaluation is a service in New Horizons offered by Isabelle at Resident Services after the player completes the campsite on the deserted island and the first campsite visitor finishes moving in as a resident. The task force to survey island residents and visitors, Isabelle scores the island's popularity on a scale of 1 to 5 stars.

Increasing the island's star rating unlocks new milestones and rewards. After achieving a 3-star rating for the first time, Tom Nook ends Project K by asking K.K. Slider to hold a concert on the island. K.K.'s concert occurs the next day, or on the day after any pre-scheduled event, after which Tom Nook presents the player with the Island Designer app and K.K. visits the island every Saturday or Sunday (formerly Friday). After achieving a 5-star rating for the first time, Isabelle rewards the player with the DIY recipe for the golden watering can and one lily-of-the-valley spawns on the island every week as long as the rating holds.

Ratings and requirements

To find out your island evaluation score, visit Resident Services and sit at Isabelle's counter. When she asks you what she can help you with, select "Island evals". Here she tells you your island's star rating, a review from a villager or special character on your island, and tips on how you can improve your island.

The island evaluation system is based on an internal point system that is translated into a simplified rating of 1–5 stars. The star rating values are split into two separate categories: development and scenery. In order to increase your star rating, you must meet certain thresholds in both of these categories.

  • 1 star: The starting rating. 6 villagers or fewer (besides the player), 80 points or fewer in development, or 200 points or fewer in scenery. If you have 6 villagers, what should otherwise be a 2-star rating drops to a 1-star rating.
  • 2 stars: 7+ villagers (including those who have moved away), 80–159 points in development, and 200–269 points in scenery. If you have 7 villagers, what should otherwise be a 3, 4, or 5 star rating drops to a 2-star rating.
  • 3 stars: 8+ villagers, 160–399 points in development, and 270–349 points in scenery.
  • 4 stars: 8+ villagers, 400–664 points in development, and 350–449 points in scenery.
  • 5 stars: The highest rating. 8+ villagers, 665+ points in development, and 450+ points in scenery.

Ways to improve island rating

Island scenery

  • Adding flowers and trees (including bamboo and coconut trees) around the island.
    • Trees are 1 point, and bushes are worth 0.5 points each. The combined sum of these two values cannot exceed 190.
    • Flower Sprouts are 0.5 points each.
    • Flower Buds and Flower stems are 0.7 points each.
    • Adult flowers are 1 point each.
  • Decorating the island with DIY furniture:
    • Furniture placed is graded on an 8×8-tile basis known as a block.
    • Each unique piece of furniture that is 3×1, 3×2, or 3×3 tile size is 1 point.
    • Furniture points are calculated using the number of furniture placed × 0.25 and if you have more than 10 unique types you get a bonus of the number of types × 0.75.

Island development

  • Buildings and structures
  • Decorating the island with any (both DIY and catalogable) furniture:
    • Furniture placed is graded on an 8×8-tile basis known as a block.
    • If there are fewer than 5 unique types of furniture placed: number of pieces of furniture × 1.
    • If there are 5 to 10 unique types of furniture placed: number of pieces of furniture × 0.5 + number of types of furniture × 0.5.
    • If there are greater than 10 unique types of furniture placed: number of pieces of furniture × 0.25 + number of types of furniture × 0.75.
    • If 6+ of the same item in the block, all extra copies of any item lose 0.5 points each. If 11+ of the same item in the block, extra copies of any item lose 0.75 points each.
  • Furniture type and bonuses
    • If the placed furniture is recommended for the outdoors: number of outdoor furniture × 0.5 additional points.
    • The placed furniture costs 2,000–20,000 bells: number of applicable furniture × 1.
    • The placed furniture costs over 20,000 bells: number of applicable furniture × 2.
    • Placed fences are worth 0.2 points each.
  • Removing weeds
    • When there are 100 weeds or fewer on a given island, a bonus of 30 development points are given to the island.
    • Past 100 weeds on a given island, a bonus of (1000 − weeds) / 30 are given to the island.
  • Inviting more villagers
    • There is a development bonus of 15 if there are nine villagers, and a development bonus of 30 for 10 villagers.

Negative conditions

If any of these conditions are met, your island can achieve no more than 4 stars until they are rectified.

  • Clutter
    • If there are 10+ of certain items dropped on the ground, Isabelle reports there are "too many items lying around". Items that are dropped onto furniture as well as the message bottles on the shore used to penalize the rating.
    • Items the island natively drops—tree branches, stones, shells, and message bottles—and planted and dropped weeds and meteorites are exempt.
    • All other items that come from player interaction of food such as fruit, turnips, bamboo shoots, eggs, candy, and mushrooms, seeds such as packets, acorns, and pine cones, floral droppings such as blossoms, petals, and wasp nests, timber such as wood and bamboo, minerals such as clay, nuggets, and pearls, bells, paper such as DIYs, tickets, and wrapping paper, packages such as presents, fish bait, and medicine, forgotten lost items, clothing, trash, props such as flooring, wallpaper, and handwares, tools, furniture, and fossils must be dropped onto furniture such as a zen cushion, stool, critter case or tank, bench, table, stall, refrigerator, or vending machine to avoid clutter. Presents from balloons and newly-lost items never land on furniture and can't be dropped.
  • Traffic hazard
    • Traffic hazard is gauged in the same 8×8-tile divisions as furniture.
    • If 45+ of 64 tiles are covered in the block, Isabelle reports "freely moving around" is important.
    • Buildings, bridges, buried items, rocks, cliffs, rivers, and inclines do not count towards this.
  • Too rural
    • If the island has 220+ grown trees and bushes (including bamboo), Isabelle reports the "overabundance of trees" and "people getting lost in the woods and fearing for the worst".
    • This can be solved by digging up or cutting down trees until the total number of trees falls below the limit.

Evaluation feedback

Alongside the island's star rating, Isabelle also reads a feedback statement from one of the respondents to her surveys, usually a special visitor. In the case of feedback for 1-star islands, all statements are provided by only one respondent, Wisp, due to the island's insufficient population and low tourism.

1 star

I like how there aren't any ghosts around. It's a place where free spirits like me can just be free!
Wisp


It's great that there isn't too much going on. I hope it'll stay nice and unassuming, like me.
Wisp


It's a place I've been quietly watching. It's a secret to everybody. I don't want it to be famous.
Wisp


2 stars

I keep hearin' all things should be in moderation, but an island's image is worth workin' hard for, ain't it? Well, me an' my bro'll be backin' you up from behind the scenes, so you better just do your best, capisce?
Resetti


I've been shipwrecked there a few times, so I consider myself an authority—and I've got ideas! Here's one. I feel like a fella's rescue party might arrive a BIT sooner if that place had more stuff going on. Add some hustle! Add some bustle! Make your island a port of call that'll turn heads and drop anchors.
Gulliver


It's like when a snowperson is built juuuust right. Sure, it's a good thing to be well made and to feel the love. But I don't know that a snowperson would get the proper attention here. That's my take, anyway.
Snowman


3 stars

(player's island), man... Hearing about how chill it is... I'd go if I had the chance. -K.S.
K.K. Slider (only seen after achieving 3-stars for the first time)


It's been growing real nice, like a big tree that's getting plenty of love and care. I'll be visiting a lot, tryin' to copy its secret sauce for success for my artists' collective!
Harvey


Talkin' as one of two birds who've seen EVERYONE come and go from here, this place is goin' places! Keep up the good work! We'd love to need a second plane someday.
Orville


I look forward to my Sunday visits. When Gram-Gram's knees get better, it'd be swell to bring her with me!
Daisy Mae


4 stars

I started visiting the island because my brother moved here, but I instantly fell in love with the place! Many communities build themselves so big and bright that you can hardly make out a star in the night sky... Not on (player's island)! I shall be a regular visitor to its shores—and skies!—for some time.
Celeste


Back in my day, the key to a good life was a low reset rate. Ya feel what I'm gettin' at? What I'm sayin' is, this here (player's island) ya got goin' on? This is one sharp locale! Got that?
Resetti


This is a good island, filled with good feet that know the value of a good rug. Visitations are pleasant.
Saharah


5 stars

I've got reel strong feelings for that island. It's SUCH a catch. As soon as I made landfall, I knew I was hooked. Even the scale of the place schools the rest. Plus, everyone there's, like, my chum. Yeah, it's fintastic! Nyuk!
C.J.


This roiled throne of bugs, this sceptered isle, this hive of majesty... This infested plot, this earth, this terrarium, this (player's island).
Flick


Number one on the list of islands that snowpeople want to be born on at least once: (player's island)! I can't wait for one of your island residents to roll me up and give me life in this beautiful place!
Snowman


Number one on the list of islands that snowpeople want to be born on at least once: (player's island)! Next winter, I want someone who lives on this island to roll me up and give me life!
Snowman


Trivia

  • Flick's 5-star review parodies a speech about England from the Shakespeare play Richard II.
  • One of Wisp's reviews mentions "It's a secret to everybody", a reference to The Legend of Zelda.
  • There is a misconception that DIY furniture only contributes to scenery/nature points, likely due to the fact that the official companion guide states it.


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