Animal Crossing: New Horizons chat makes up most of the morning PC Gamer Slack discussion lately. Don't get us wrong, we're not losing focus. Half-Life: Alyx and Doom Eternal and the upcoming Mount and Blade: Bannerlord take up plenty of real estate in our brains. It's just been impossible to ignore the appeal of Animal Crossing in such stressful times like these
While I'm self-isolating and working from home, to stay sane I've been reading and playing Animal Crossing as soon as I wake up and before I go to bed. It's nice to exercise a little control and build something of your own, even if it's on a virtual island full of cute animals closed off from the uncaring whims of the universe.
Animal Crossing is a timely zen garden, and even if it's not on PC (though plenty of PC games scratch the Animal Crossing itch), we can still bring a little bit of our platform to the littlest one.
An integral part of the Animal Crossing experience comes from customizing your island, from your house down to your clothes, and an excellent web application makes expressing yourself pretty damn easy. ACPatterns.com lets you tinker around with custom designs in a web browser rather than the Nintendo Switch's much smaller screen. But the feature we're turning to is Convert, which imports local image files and translates them into a 32x32 pixel art format.
How to create and import custom designs
To make your own designs, hit up the ACPatterns editor, click "Convert," and import your image. Play around with a few presets to get it looking as legible as possible, then click "Generate QR code."
Getting the design into Animal Crossing takes a couple more steps, Nintendo being Nintendo. You'll need the Nintendo Switch Online app on a smartphone, which requires a bit of setup in the options of AC to get them talking. You can only store one QR pattern at a time in your phone, so have your Animal Crossing island loaded up too.
Open the Designs menu in the AC section of the Switch app and follow the instructions to scan a code. Once scanned, open up your tiny virtual phone in Animal Crossing, head to the Custom Designs app, then hit the + button to download the pattern.
You'll need to repeat the same steps for every pattern, which is pretty tedious if you want to get a bunch in at once, but the result is worth it. Once they're in, you can wear them on shirts, on your face, make floor tiles of them, hang them around your house—express yourself, you lovely nerd.
A lil PC treat
To kick start your home decoration journey, I put together a few simple designs based on some of our favorite PC games. I'm particularly proud of the Tub Geralt triptych.