Introduction: Animal Crossing New Horizons Mapped

Update: Version 3 is now up and is base game compatible.

I made this map editor for Animal Crossing New Horizons.

First you need a copy of Photoshop, Photopaint or a free image editing software like GIMP.

The Download this file and load it into your program of choice.

  • Program skills you will need:
    • Copy and Paste
    • Create a new layer
    • Hiding and Showing Layers
    • Group and Ungroup
    • Combine objects together
  • I made this on Corel Photo Paint. If you use a different program, what things are called might be different. (Eg.Layers = Objects)

Disclaimer: This is a work in progress. As of 25/2/2020 The game hasn't been released so I've based my map scale on the width of the rivers shown in the ACNH Direct video. The other scale I used was Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer. This gave me a brief idea of how big Houses, Items etc might look in New Horizons. Other assets like trees I have based off AC:New Leaf.

I will be updating this when the game comes out.


Photoshop, Photopaint or a free image editing software like GIMP.

Step 1: Basic Map

Warning: This way of map making is incredibly tedious.

  • When you open the file this is what it should look like.
  • In your software the layers tab needs to be open. All groups should be collapsed.
  • On the left side a basic map should be shown. This is my guess at what a simplified terrain will be.
    • Note: the rocks to the north are already in place but I have included a basic rock asset in Rocks => North Rocks.
  • Each group of layers holds multiple assets to organize them.
  • At the top of the layers is Grid. This is a grid for the entire map. Turn Big and Small grid on or off as needed.
  • At the Bottom of the layers is Map Minimum, Map Original and Background.
    • Map Minimum is the map currently shown
    • Map Original is the map that I based this project off. Turn it on to get an idea of what your map can look like.
    • Background is locked so it can't be moved.

Step 2: Assets

  • On the right hand side of the screen are white boxes with assets.
  • Each asset is divided in to 3 categories: Building, Pre-made Terrain and Terrain Tiles.
    • Each individual asset is organized inside a group in the Objects/Layers Tab.

Terrain Tiles and Pre-made Terrain

Terrain Tiles are organized into Grass, Water, Sand, Rock, Fence, Path, Plants.

  • Under each group are sub-groups. Grass Tile, Grass Corners etc.
  • Asset names are abbreviated to fit these groups.
    • Grass Tile is GT, Water Tile is WT.
    • Grass Corner is GC, Water Corner is WC.
  • Grass and Water tiles are separated into 3 colors for each of the terrain heights.
    • 1GT or 1WT is for the lowest height
    • 2GT or 2WT is the middle height
    • 3GT or 2WT is the highest.
  • Corners are abbreviated as TL (Top Left) TR (Top Right) BL (Bottom Left) BR (Bottom Right)
  • All tiles have a size that relates to the grid.
    • 2X4 is measured 2 tiles up/down, 4 tiles left/right.
    • Tiles with 2X4 V is the vertical orientation (4 up/down, 2 left/right).

Pre-made Terrain is organized into Rocks, Water, Grass and Secret Beach.

  • Pre-made Terrain is found in the same groups as Terrain Tiles which are:
    • Rock => Rock Assets
    • Water => Estuary
    • Grass => Grass Point
  • An Estuary is where a River meets the Sea.
  • Estuaries have both a water and a rock asset that fit together
    • Rock => Rock Assets => R Estuary V L (Rock Estuary Vertical Left)
    • Water => Water Estuary => W Estuary V L (Water Estuary Vertical Left)


  • Town Hall can be placed anywhere.
  • Dodo Airlines needs to be placed on the Southern Beach.
    • These buildings might not be movable in the game so use your best guess.
  • I've Included multiple sizes and colors of buildings to do with as you wish.
  • Purple and Pink buildings are my guess at house size.
  • Orange is a guess at shop/museum sizes.
  • Yellow are for objects.
  • Light Brown are Stairs
  • Grey are Bridges
  • Dark Brown is the Pier
  • I have included an alphabet that fits into the grid.
    • To use go to Alphabet and select a row (A1,A2, A3, A4) then copy and paste your letter.
    • To change the color use the smallest square brush and turn off anti-aliasing.

Disclaimer: The scaling is all a guess. Some assets like trees could be 1X1 or 2X2. I will update all of this once the game comes out.

Step 3: Building a Map

Using Assets

  • All assets need to be copy and pasted from the right hand side boxes.

Selecting Assets

  • Click on the first group layer to select all of the assets in that category.
  • Click on layers inside the group to select items individually.
    • Note: Some assets at their most basic are made up of two elements. The asset itself and a grid that is colored specifically for that asset. You can use the asset with the grid or without.

The Grid

  • All Assets have a dark outline. This is to help place them on the grid.
  • The dark outline should overlap with the asset next to it.
  • All assets should line up with the Big and Small Grid.
    • If they don't I've made a mistake.

Organizing Your Maps Assets

  • You can name your copied item to make it easier to find later.
  • You can group assets together if you still need to move them individually.
    • You can group or un-group as needed
  • You can combine assets together to form larger blocks.
    • This works best for Terrain.
    • Note: You can't un-combine (unless you use undo)
  • You can group all of the assets I've made into one group and all of your copied assets into another to make things super tidy.

To Finish

  • Save your image as both a .psd (so you can keep working on it) and a.jpg (which combines all the layers) to share online.
  • You can also crop your .jpg to get rid of the default assets.