How to make the Vaulting Pole, the most important new tool in 'Animal Crossing: New Horizons' that lets you access the rest of your island

animal crossing vaulting pole


With the Vaulting Pole, you can access more of your island.

  • The Vaulting Pole is by far the most important tool in "Animal Crossing: New Horizons," the latest entry in Nintendo's best-selling life simulator series.
  • In the early game, you'll need the Vaulting Pole to leave the starting area and explore most of your island.
  • To make the Vaulting Pole in "Animal Crossing: New Horizons," you'll need to donate at least five unique fish or bugs to Tom Nook, and then wait until the next morning.
  • Once you have the Vaulting Pole recipe, you'll need to find five softwood pieces to build it.
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Friday marked the release of "Animal Crossing: New Horizons," the fifth installment in the adorable life simulator series by Nintendo. While previous games in the series have seen your character move into a new town to make friends or even become mayor, "New Horizons" features a different premise: you're dropped onto a deserted island, and expected to turn it into a vibrant, nurturing community.

To do this, you'll need a variety of tools, including bug nets, watering cans, and more. The most important of these tools, however, is the Vaulting Pole.Advertisement

In the early game, most of your deserted island will be blocked off by impassable rivers. You won't be able to build bridges over these rivers until much later, and until then, you'll need the Vaulting Pole to cross.

With the Vaulting Pole, you can leap straight over these rivers, no bridges required.

To get the Vaulting Pole, you'll need to put in a bit of work. Here's how to get the Vaulting Pole in "Animal Crossing: New Horizons."

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Catch 5 unique fish or bugs, and donate them to Tom Nook

Catch 5 unique fish or bugs, and donate them to Tom Nook

Before anything, make sure that you've gone through the game's tutorial, gotten your NookPhone from Tom Nook, and have taken his DIY workshop. If you still haven't taken Tom Nook's workshop and don't have a fishing rod, follow our "Animal Crossing" first hour guide until you get one.

Head outside with your fishing rod and bug net and start hunting. You'll want to catch five unique species — this can be five bugs, five fish, or a mix of both.

At this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere, you'll be able to easily find three different types of butterflies in your starting area. Some shells on the beach will hide hermit crabs, which you can catch with your net as well.

Between your ocean and rivers, there are over 20 different types of fish available to you right from the start. Catching multiple fish in succession without scaring any away might even earn you bonus Nook Miles.

Once you've caught five, head to Tom Nook and talk to him. You'll find that a new option has appeared: "I found a creature!"

Keep giving your critters to Tom, and when he asks you if he can send them to his "old friend," accept.

As soon as you give him your fifth catch, he'll receive a call from this friend: Blathers, a famed museum curator, is coming to town, and needs somewhere to stay. Tom Nook will give you a new tent to set up, which you should then place down anywhere on your island.

Wait until the next morning

Wait until the next morning

Your island "resets" at 5 a.m. each day. What this means is that if someone tells you that a character or building will arrive "tomorrow," you'll have to wait until 5 a.m. the next day.

Once 5AM hits, you can boot up the game and head to the spot that you placed Blathers' tent. Go inside.


Talk to Blathers

Talk to Blathers

Once you're inside the tent, talk to the owl who's there. This is Blathers, the museum curator, and he's looking to start a museum right here on your island!

There's one issue, though: he doesn't have enough specimens to fill an exhibit, let alone a whole museum. As such, Blathers is tasking you with finding him enough bugs, fish, and fossils to fill the building.

To assist with this, Blathers gives you the DIY recipe for the Vaulting Pole, which will help you cross the rivers.

But this is just the recipe — to actually get the Vaulting Pole, you'll need to craft it.

Craft the vaulting pole

Craft the vaulting pole

Use the vaulting pole recipe in your inventory to "Learn" it, so it'll be added to your list of DIY recipes.

Now, you'll need five pieces of softwood. You get softwood by hitting trees with an axe. If you don't have an axe, you can craft one with five tree branches and one stone.

When you hit a tree with your axe, a piece of wood will pop out. You can hit any given tree three times before it'll stop giving wood.

There are also three different types of wood, which will drop (mostly) randomly: wood, hardwood, and softwood. You'll want the last kind, which is lighter colored than the rest.

Once you have your five softwood, head back to the crafting bench and build your Vaulting Pole! It won't ever break, so don't worry about crafting more than one.


Enjoy vaulting!

Enjoy vaulting!