How to Move Rocks – Rock Garden Guide – Animal Crossing: New Horizons Wiki Guide

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For this process, you will likely need the following items:

  • A Shovel
  • 6 Fruit
  • A blank area for your new rocks to live (like a 7×5 grid, or 9×7 if you plan to fence the area in)
  • A spare custom art design you aren’t using and can easily change or
  • Island Designer paths (both dirt/sand and hard path surfaces)
  • Several hours of free time

Before you do anything else, you’ll want to allocate a section of your island where you want your 6 rocks to be placed. Where you place them is entirely up to you – they can all go in a nice box somewhere, or strategically placed in front of a plateau full of DIY stones, or whatever else you’d like.

However you want to decorate – you’re going to want to be incredibly sure about this, as the process can take a long time, and if you mess up or have second thoughts, things will take that much longer.

Remember – if you want your rocks to grow from custom paths like sand or dirt that you’ve put down, you must place it down before you start regrowing the rocks, as you can’t place paths under a rock that’s already formed!

If you’re looking to create a small “pen” for your rocks, we recommend creating fencing in a 9×7 box, allowing for two rows of three rocks with one space between them, and one space away from the fencing.

Once you’re finally sure you want to go ahead with this plan, you’ll need to begin the process by removing all rocks from your island. This can easily be done by eating some fruit, and striking a rock with an Axe or Shovel to break the rock apart. It’s probably best you do any resource gathering you need before breaking these rocks – as you won’t see them all again for awhile.


Rocks will only respawn one per day, so this process can take a long time for all your rocks to reappear, so only do this if you are OK not being about to a full amount of resources for a few days.

Now for the most tedious part: in order to ensure your rocks begin to appear in the place you’ve designated – and nowhere else – you need to ensure no other place is suitable for a rock to reform.

Luckily, there are certain places a rock cannot appear, such as:

  • Touching the edge of a river
  • On the edge of a cliff (top or bottom)
  • Adjacent to an existing building

There are also less permanent situations where a rock cannot spawn, namely it anything is obstructing the ability for resources to drop in a 8 tile grid around it. This means it cannot appear on hard paths like stone or wood, nor can it appear next to placed furniture, fencing, and other impassible objects.

With this in mind, you can essentially stop new rocks from forming by placing something down every few tiles of land to make rocks look for somewhere else to appear.

Remember – Rocks can still appear adjacent to flowers and weeds. If unsure of what areas to block off – play it safe and don’t take chances!

There are a few ways you can do this, and it largely comes down to how long you want to spend obstructing your island, and then cleaning it up again. Here are few different methods:

The Path Method[edit]

Using the Island Designer tool, you can place hard paths down (like stone, brick, or wood) to stop rocks from appearing on that tile. By covering all parts of your island that are grass and turning them into harder paths, you’ll prevent the rocks from appearing – except the spot you’ve designated. They can however spawn adjacent to a path, so you’ll need to be thorough.

However, the downside is that you’ll have to then cleanup all the paths you’ve created once the job is done, and unless you want your island free of grass, this may take a long time to cleanup. Thankfully, you can use this method in conjunction with others if parts of your island already have a lot of hard paths.

The Ground Pattern Method[edit]

Similar to the path method, you can also place down custom art (via your Custom Designs App, not the Island Designer). This allows you to place any art you’ve made as a 1×1 tile, much like paths, and stone cannot grow on top of them (but they can grow adjacent).

The upside of this method is that unlike the Island Designer App, you can rapidly select and place designs on the floor if you keep pressing A to re-select (Display on Ground), and will automatically expand around you to a maximum 3×3 radius until there’s no more room to place designs down. Then, you can simply move to a free path of ground and continue laying down designs.

You can also clean up your designs a bit easier as you’ll be able to wipe away the designs as you would a hole in the ground by pressing X. There will still likely be a lot of designs to wipe away, and you can’t simply edit the design to get rid of them.

The Mannequin Method[edit]

Since rocks can’t appear next to solid objects, you can place physical items on the ground every fourth tile to stop a rock from spawning nearby (as it needs space on all sides to appear. Though you may not have 1,000 small items to throw all over your island, your Custom Design App is actually a free source of physical objects in the form of mannequins. When selecting Display Here, you can choose to place it as mannequin to spawn a moveable design that will stay in place.

Since its placement will conflict with rock appearances to a wider radius, you won’t have to place as many of them as you would ground tiles or paths. If you’re unsure, just dig two holes with a shovel, place a mannequin, dig two more, and repeat in all directions.

While the downside is that you’ll have spend several days on your island trying to navigate around a veritable forest of mannequins, the good news is it boasts the easiest cleanup process of all the methods. Unlike the floor designs, the act of editing the existing pattern in any way, and then saving the changes, will cause all mannequins bearing the original design to vanish – ridding your entire island in the blink of an eye!

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