Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been one of the most successful Nintendo releases in a long time, selling 5 million copies in just the month of March. While coverage of the game has cooled down a bit since its release, New Horizons has still retained a very large player base as well as being updated frequently. Its most recent summer update brought along many interesting new additions, like the ability to swim and dive, new DIY recipes, and fireworks. The update also added backup support for Nintendo Online members, so they can restore their islands if they lose or damage their Nintendo Switch.
One of the most interesting additions is dreams – a way for players to visit each other whenever they want. Simply put, you create a “copy” of your island and players can visit it with your special dream code. You can’t use any items or change the dream island, only look around and explore – but it’s still a lot easier than the normal hoops you have to jump through to visit other islands normally. Because dream islands are hosted online, using dreams requires a Nintendo Online membership, and this is where the conflict begins.
Players aren’t afraid to hack New Horizons, from simple things like time travel all the way up to doing things like hacking inventory capabilities or generating whatever villagers they want. One popular hack is altering trees to hold items other than just fruit – with the most popular mod being star fragment trees. While any form of hacking is against the rules and can be reported to Nintendo, in most cases it goes unreported, as hacking doesn’t negatively impact other player’s games in any way.
However, after Nintendo YouTuber Verlisify uploaded a video that encouraged players to report dream islands that utilized these types of mods and hacks, there’s been a sudden wave of dream islands getting taken down.
— erin☆☽ (@wallfloweracnh) July 31, 2020
New Horizons fans quickly took to Twitter to protest the takedowns, arguing that modding is harmless and that most players only hack for the sake of visual aesthetic.
Ok I’m gonna be blunt about if the folks reporting dream address are big ass babies who never played an animal crossing game before because new leaf because everyones islands were like this pic.twitter.com/ZM8dC0mB7B
— Foxglove ️ bIm (@arcadia_island) July 31, 2020
While that may be true, Nintendo has never been easy on hackers – getting caught hacking your Switch will get you permabanned from online – so this really shouldn’t come as a surprise. In reaction to the recent ban wave, many players with hacked islands are quickly taking their dream islands down, and some are even taking down their unhacked islands as a precaution.
ive taken down my dream suite
i’ve never had any hacked items or star trees (just bc i’m afraid of the save corrupting) but i don’t want people reporting my island for no reason. if you report people island for no reason or send your followers to, you’re a piece of shit ♀️
— kass (@tomnookslover) July 31, 2020
While the threat of having your island taken down can be scary, you shouldn’t worry too much – a report is required in order for your island to be removed, and most likely people will stop reporting, move on, and just enjoy all that New Horizons has to offer.