Animal Crossing: New Horizons ladder recipe, explained

Moving up in the world

Animal Crossing: New Horizons encourages players to explore their island and make it their own. Oddly enough, though, much of the island is initially unavailable to you when you start the game. As such, you’ll need items like the Animal Crossing: New Horizons ladder to explore the far reaches of your island.

How to unlock the Animal Crossing: New Horizons ladder

Most of the items in New Horizons, like the shovel, require you to progress so far in the game to unlock them. In the case of the ladder, you need to complete some of the earliest parts of the tutorial to get it.

These include paying back your loan money to crooked ole Tom Nook for the tent he gives and have built your house. You’ll also want to have set down the first bridge on your island, too. Then you’ll want to invite three villagers on mystery islands by booking a flight at the airport three separate times.

After you have three houses built for your new friends, you’ll need to complete their tasks for them to fully move in. This involves creating whatever items they desire for their decor. After completing these tasks, Tom Nook will finally notify you of some new resources higher up on your island.

At this point, he will give you the recipe for the ladder, which you will need to craft to proceed in the game. In total, you can complete all of these tasks for unlocking the ladder in three days. But don’t feel too rushed to get this all done.

How to craft the ladder

Screenshot by Destructoid

The ladder recipe is quite simple: you’ll need 12 items in total:

  • Wood: 4 pieces
  • Hardwood: 4 pieces
  • Softwood: 4 pieces

This is where it gets a little complicated. What you’ll want to do is ensure you have an ax if you don’t already have one. Then go around your island, hacking away at trees to get wood. Keep in mind that you can only get three pieces of wood from each tree each day.

This limits your chances of obtaining the three different types of wood you need. As such, it may take you a couple of days of chopping trees to get all 12 wood pieces you need. When you’re ready, use those materials to craft your ladder. You’ll then be able to access the higher areas on your island.

Ladder set-up kit, explained

Screenshot by Destructoid

Oddly enough, the ladder situation in Animal Crossing: New Horizons doesn’t end with creating one. There are special ladder set-up kits you can unlock later on. These let you create permanent ladders at various locations around the island.

This ensures you can just climb up those ladders without having to pull out your ladder item each time you want to go up. You unlock the ladder set-up by building Nook’s Cranny. Check the miscellaneous items in the shop and you can purchase the ladder set-up kit recipe for 2,000 bells.

All you need are the following items to craft a ladder set-up kit:

  • An already crafted ladder
  • 5 pieces of wood

After crafting it, you can set up the permanent ladder wherever you like. This will make venturing around your island much less stressful and time-consuming.

Cody Perez
Freelance Writer - Cody has been a huge fan of Destructoid for more than a decade as well as a freelance writer for various publications. Now working for Destructoid, he has the chance to share his passion for Final Fantasy XIV, Pokemon, Call of Duty, and many more games.