WHAT TO DO ON FIRST DAY
You’ll start by picking your campsite location as well as the campsite locations of the other two villagers you’ve been handed. Pick carefully because you won’t be able to change these locations for a while (and even then, at some significant expense).
Once you’ve placed everyone’s tents, Tom Nook (the big raccoon in the sweater) will give you some simple objectives (collecting Tree Branches and Fruit). Finish that and head to the party. Feel free to take a nap after this, which is when the real game will start.
Once you wake up, you’ll be playing in real time (meaning it will be nighttime if it’s nighttime where you live). Make sure you speak to all of the villagers, as you may get some free furniture or a recipe for being a friendly neighbor.
Nook will give you the recipes for “flimsy” tools. You’ll want to make a Flimsy Fishing Rod and a Flimsy Bug Net.
DONATE 5 FISH OR BUGS TO TOM NOOK FOR STUDY
Use your fishing rod and net to collect the various bugs and fish you’ll see on your island. On your first day, you’ll only need five unique critters. After donating five, Nook will grant you an axe recipe and a watering can recipe. He’ll also call his buddy, Blathers the Owl, and tell him to come to the island to open a museum.
Decide where you want Blathers’ Museum to go. You’ll want to pick something central as you’ll be going there quite a bit.
If you’ve collected more than five creatures on your first day, make sure you save any unique finds in or around your tent. If you run out of space, you can plop items on the ground in front of your tent. Don’t worry: They’ll be safe. If you find two of the same creature, feel free to sell the duplicates.
WHAT TO DO ON NEXT DAY
When you wake up, you’ll see that your tent has been upgraded to a house. Congrats! You’re well on your way. Head to Tom Nook, who will congratulate you and give you a new mortgage for 98,000 Bells for the next house upgrade. Time to get to work.
DONATE 15 FISH AND BUGS TO BLATHERS
If you played a lot on Day 1, you were probably able to find 15 different species of bugs and fish (not counting the five you donated to Tom Nook on the first day). If so, bring them over to Blathers the Owl. He’ll give you a recipe for the Flimsy Shovel and the Vaulting Pole, the latter of which you can use to cross over rivers in your town.
Good news: Blathers’ museum is being built! Bad news: You can’t actually donate anything while it’s under construction, so keep your new discoveries in your house for the time being. Don’t worry: The museum will open tomorrow.
FINISH THE STORE
If you managed to collect the required resources for the Store, it’ll be open today. If you’re still trying to collect 30 Iron Nuggets, you’ll undoubtedly hit that number after hitting all of your island’s rocks on Day 3. Make sure you deliver the requested haul to Nook’s tent, and the Store will be built on the next day.
This is going to be a big day. Blathers’ Museum is going to be fully open, which means you can take everything you’ve been saving over to him for donation. If you’ve already donated something, it’ll be grayed out, so it’s a good idea to fill your inventory with potential discoveries to see what he’ll take. Afterward, you can sell everything that’s grayed out.
Where do you sell it? Timmy and Tommy’s Store, of course! Nook’s Cranny will be your new shopping destination for new furniture. You can also sell off unneeded items and check the board in front of the store for an in demand item that sells for far more than normal.
BUILD A BRIDGE
Talk to Tom Nook, who will mention that there are new people interested in moving to your island. But first he wants to make sure there’s enough space for them. He’ll give you a recipe for a Wooden Bridge, which will make traveling across a single river far easier. It’ll require a handful of Wood to create the components, but you’ve been harvesting every day, right? So you should be fine!
Think long and hard about the placement of your first bridge, though. While the first bridge is free, subsequent bridges will cost a lot of Bells, so make this one count. Put it somewhere that you think will get the most use based on your island layout.