The item polishing mechanic introduced in the excellent Happy Home Paradise DLC for Animal Crossing: New Horizons starts off harmlessly enough, giving players a way to add a bit of sparkle to their home furnishings. But when all of the new features’ options are unlocked, including the ability to use custom patterns with different effects, polish becomes a powerful creative tool that clever players are using to take their creations to the next level. You could say it’s setting the New Horizons’ world on fire.
That’s certainly the case for redditor Doubledaare, who discovered the ability to swap out the polish tool’s particle effects for custom patterns last week. All it took was applying the unique design to one the existing effects to create roaring flames. As you know, fire tends to spread, so around that the same time Doubledaaare set their Animal Crossing home on fire, redditor Dblrynbw (via Polygon) took the combination of talking animals and flaming furniture to the next logical step.
To gain access to the new polishing tool, you must own Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ Happy Home Paradise DLC. After decorating four homes,you unlock the basic version of polish, which simply allows you to add a sparkle effect to items both in your home and in the homes you design for customers.
Once you’ve helped a total of 12 customers in Happy Home Paradise, lovable monkey friend Niko teaches you additional polish effects, giving you 14 presets to play with, each with different appearances and behaviors. The initial polish effect, sparkleblast, creates a cascade of little stars that emanate from your polished items. Pitterpat creates little hearts that rise up from your items. steamshine adds smoke to an item, perfect for hot tubs or barbeque pits. Check out the cool shot Koo Kuunen posted on Twitter using the default Zappamatic polish effect.
The default settings are neat, but unlocking all 14 also give you the ability to apply your own custom patterns. For example, the flutterflap polish effect adds little butterflies that fly around your polished objects. Artist Rachel Briggs created her own Rosie Maple Moth design and applied it to flutterflap, transforming the effect in dramatic fashion.
Fans are using the same flutterflap effect to create flying creatures like bats, birds, and fairies. Others are turning steam, ice, and the dark and mysterious gloomswirl effect into spooky ghosts and spirits, just in time for *checks calendar* Spooksgiving. Want to have a tub haunted by your favorite villager? Apply their photo as the texture for the steam polish effect like Redditor Reocyx did with poor Sherb.
Players are discovering cool new ways to apply their custom designs to the polish tool every day, so stay tuned to Reddit, Twitter, and wherever Animal Crossing: New Horizons fans gather in large groups to stay abreast of the latest.