Jul 23 2020

How to Overcome Animal Crossing Burnout

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Have you ever felt like playing isn’t fun anymore? As if the game you once loved is tiring, like you’re playing just for the sake of it? You’re getting frustrated with how your island looks, things aren’t going your way, and the spark has been lost…

Well, guess what! It’s a completely understandable and common feeling called burnout. I’m guessing you have questions because, who knows, maybe you’re feeling a little burnt out yourself!

What is Burnout?

Well, generally it means being emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted by overworking or the inability to meet constant demands. And yes! Of course, this also applies to simple hobbies such as games.

Animal Crossing is designed to be played at a slow pace; the in-game clock is synced to real time, most tasks like building bridges won’t be completed until the next day, villagers will even tell you to take a break as you play! However, just because this is how the game is designed, doesn’t mean that’s how many of us play. By changing the time on your console, players are able to time travel forwards or backwards. This means we can play multiple in-game days in the space of a few hours. While there is nothing wrong with how anyone chooses to play, sometimes this can lead to players feeling bored. The content that was meant to last a week has been consumed in a matter of hours, leaving you feeling as if the game has nothing left to offer you.

Of course burnout doesn’t just come from time travelling! Due to global lockdown, many of us are playing the game far more than the developers could ever have expected. The online community is also bigger than ever, meaning we are able to compare our island to others. It can be exhausting to consume so much content, no matter what it is. This is what most players are referring to as ‘AC burnout’.

What should I do?

We suggest taking things slowly. There’s a lot more to the game than decorating your island or terraforming all day! Here are some ways you might be able to overcome your AC burnout:

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  • Talk to your favourite villagers (without speeding through the dialogue). You could even find them the perfect present and wrap it up for them! This will remind you how cute this game can be, while also increasing your friendship points.
  • Spend the day catching bugs and fishing! Return to a simpler time and try to catch all the seasonal critters the game has to offer. You can even sell them to the Nooklings for more bells!
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  • Visit a friend. Whether they’re a real life pal, or someone from the online community, it’s always fun to take pictures and have a giggle. You can even invent your own mini games- whoever catches the most sea bass in five minutes wins!
  • Have fun on Harv’s Island. Have a sleepover with your villagers, enjoy a picnic in the park, captain a pirate ship- the possibilities are endless!

But if none of that helps and you still feel unmotivated to play, the best option is simply to take a break! You’ve been grinding your time paying off loans, building cliffs and lakes so now it’s time to relax and enjoy other recreational activities. Dabble in your other hobbies or play the other games you haven’t gotten around to playing [some honourable mentions are: Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild, Stardew Valley, My Time at Portia, Harvest Moon, Untitled Goose Game]. Tom Nook would agree that you should rest and recharge your creativity so that you can make your island even better than ever, yes yes!

When is the right time to come back?

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A week or two may be enough for you to feel better and ready to play the game, but you know yourself more than I do. So if you feel like a week is not enough, that’s okay. As long as you feel like the game doesn’t spark joy, take as much time as you need. Then when you begin to miss it, go for it!

The bottom line is: play Animal Crossing in whatever way makes you happy. Whether that’s time traveling, buying amiibos, or even building your own mini games for friends. But it’s important for us to tell you that you can enjoy the game and still take care of yourself. Animal Crossing will always be there, and your villagers will be patiently waiting for you in the meantime.

We hope this helped any fellow players who may be struggling with burnout. Take care of yourselves and have a nice day, yes yes!

The Crossing Board