How to get a Ladder in Animal Crossing

Hi Animal Crossing Explorers! Today I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about getting a ladder in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

You may notice when you first start playing Animal Crossing, that your island has varying cliff levels. This adds definition and interest to your island, but frustratingly there appears no way to get to higher ground and climb these cliff tops early on.

This also means – without the ladder to hand when you visit Nook Islands, you are unable to access the higher ground on these islands as well. This can put you on the backfoot and limit your ability to obtain anything up on those cliff tops (I mean, you have used 2000 miles for a Nook Miles ticket to get there after all!).

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The benefits of unlocking the ladder

The benefits of unlocking the ladder

Unlocking the ladder is a great milestone in the game, as it enables you to access every part of your newly inhabited island (and others you may visit) and start making it your own. Plus you’ll be able to access all the flowers, fossils and fish that spawn in the rivers and lakes up there.

How to get a ladder in Animal Crossing

How to get a ladder in Animal Crossing

There are two ways to get a ladder in Animal Crossings: New Horizons.

  1. Unlock the ladder for your island when you reach that point in the game.
  2. Have a friend give one to you.

1. Unlock the ladder when you reach that point in the game

You will no doubt have been running errands for Tom Nook since you set foot on your newly acquired island. Getting your hands on the ladder is no different – and is something you will be eager to unlock, pronto!

In a nutshell, you will need to have unlocked Nook’s Cranny on your island by following Tom Nook’s instructions throughout the game and then placing new houses for villagers (also per Tom’s instructions).

Nook's Cranny

Here is a breakdown of how you get to this stage. You can check your progress and how close you are to getting that sought after ladder!

Once your newly renovated Nooks Cranny has been built, Tom Nook will take a phone call during his morning announcements and allude that more islanders are interested in moving to your island.

You will then need to visit resident services and speak to Tom Nook. He should mention new villagers during this conversation. You then need to ask ‘What should I do?’.

Before the new villagers arrive, you will need to have built and placed your first bridge on your island. Don’t panic, you will be given the bridge construction kit by Tom Nook – then, once built, he will ask you to find a spot that you are happy with.

Again, don’t worry too much about placement at this stage, because you can move constructed items at a later date.

My advice would be to just place it in a high traffic area that will help you get around your island easily.

Your bridge will be built the next day.

Bridge building ceremony

Now you have your bridge construction underway, you can go back and speak to Tom Nook. This is when he will give you 3 housing kits for new villagers. All you have to do is find the ideal placement for them and mark the spot by setting them down.

After you have placed your second house kit, you will receive a phone call from Tom Nook to say that some of the furniture you need to craft for the houses require flowers on the cliff tops. At which point he sends you the DIY recipe for the ladder.

Now all you need to do is craft it!

2. Have a friend give one to you

Arguably, a quicker way to getting your hands on a ladder in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, is having one of your buddies give you one.

If you have friends on Animal Crossing, you can pick up a ladder from anyone who has the ladder DIY themselves. They will have to craft it for you and can give it to you in person, whilst on your island or visa versa. Alternatively if they are a best friend, they can send one to you through the mail.

Checklist for getting a ladder

  • Unlock Nook’s Cranny

  • Get the bridge construction kit from Tom Nook

  • Get supplies, build and place your first bridge

  • Go back and speak to Tom Nook where he will give you 3 housing kit

  • Place 2 of the housing kits – after which Tom Nook should call with the DIY recipe for your ladder!

How long does it take to get a ladder in Animal Crossing?

How long does it take to get a ladder in Animal Crossing?

This depends on how quickly you are able to progress through the game, you may need a little help from friends to speed up the process.

Waiting to be given the recipe by Tom Nook does depend on your ability to get the required materials quickly, to build Nook’s Cranny etc.

It can be tricky to get some of the materials promptly, this is because you need 30 iron nuggets which are mined by hitting rocks with a shovel.

Your rocks can spit out iron nuggets, but it is unlikely that they will provide you with enough initially. You will need to mine your rocks daily. You can also double your chances by visiting Nook islands and hitting rocks there too.

You could get a ladder very early on, if you are given one by a friend as mentioned previously.

What supplies are required to craft a ladder?

What supplies are needed to build a ladder?

Once you have secured the ladder DIY, all you need to do is grab your axe or supplies from your inventory and get crafting at your workbench!

You will need:

  • 4x wood
  • 4x hardwood
  • 4x softwood 

Now it is in your pocket and you’re ready to go up in the world!

Once you have learned a DIY recipe for something, it will always be in your DIY app in your Nook phone, for you to access whenever.

DIY recipe for ladder

How do you use a ladder in Animal Crossing?

How to use a ladder in Animal Crossing

So, you have the ladder ready and waiting. You need to know how to use it right?!

Access your tool kit and simply face the cliff that you want to climb with your ladder in hand – press A and you will be dancing up those rungs like nobody’s business! To climb down, you do the same.

Can ladders break in Animal Crossing?

Can ladders break in Animal Crossing?

When used frequently a lot of the tools break, which can be frustrating when you are in the middle of a task!

Fortunately, the ladder can’t break in Animal Crossing New Horizons, so rest assured, you won’t be left high and dry stranded atop a cliff!

So that’s a wrap on today’s post covering everything you need to know about getting and using a ladder. Enjoy exploring your island cliffs folks!

Keep exploring!