Animal Crossing’s Heart Crystals Reveal An ACNH Problem

Many Animal Crossing: New Horizons players likely ended June by putting a pocketful of unspent Heart Crystals into storage along with a variety of other seasonally-inert event-related items, revealing an area in which ACNH doesn’t use its content to its full potential. Island denizens obtain Heart Crystals from Wedding Season, a reoccurring ACNH event that takes place every June. But Wedding Season isn’t the game’s only annual event with unique currency, and while event items may be a sensible concept in theory, how easy they are to accumulate without purpose calls their implementation into question.

Heart Crystals are already limited in their usefulness. Animal Crossing‘s alpaca couple Reese and Cyrus give them as rewards in New Horizons for the player coordinating and taking photos for their anniversary. In turn, the player can exchange them with the couple for wedding and romance-themed items like wedding cakes, bouquets, reception tables, and pastel chapel décor. While the items are cutely-designed, their aesthetic specificity restricts their usability as decorations. Even for completionists, it’s easy to earn over ten Heart Crystals a day, and Cyrus gives some of the more expensive items as freebies and only requires Heart Crystals for extras.

Related: How Many People Are Still Playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons In 2022

But outside of June, Heart Crystals aren’t redeemable, and therefore they functionally can’t do anything but take up a player’s inventory or storage slots. And they’re not the only event item in Animal Crossing: New Horizons that invites this criticism. Nook’s Cranny sells candy throughout October that plays a role in ACNH‘s Halloween event but is otherwise a regular food item, and it’s easy for an island resident to buy more over the month than they’ll need on Halloween itself. Players can collect Easter eggs for a whole week before Bunny Day but only trade them into Zipper on the day itself – and Zipper’s rewards include DIY recipes, which are useless to collect more than once, apart from trading and gifting purposes.

Heart Crystals don’t even serve as ingredients in any DIY recipes despite Wedding Season having three associated DIYs. Meanwhile, Halloween candy, Bunny Day eggs, Festive Season ornaments, and Festivale feathers are technically useable outside their associated events as crafting ingredients. However, a few romantic DIYs would only do so much to add justification to saving Heart Crystals. While a creative player can find ways to implement anything in ACNH into a unique island design or room layout, the DIYs that require event items tend to be markedly festive in design. Most island residents aren’t likely to feel the need to craft Christmas trees or Easter egg arches during their ingredients’ off-season. DIYs that make less on-the-nose use of event items – or even ones that mix different kinds – could increase their value and the satisfaction in collecting them.

Efficiency with its gameplay elements and deeper variety to outlast novelty are unfortunately not ACNH‘s strongest suits. Many find that the game’s seasonal events are an area where this is particularly apparent, and those events’ exclusive items follow suit, ultimately less exciting and substantial than they could be. But for now, Animal Crossing: New Horizons players continue to make their own fun with what the game provides, even as the rewards of participating in its yearly grind diminish.

Next: What To Do With All Your Bells When You’re ACNH’s Richest Villager

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Author: Nigel Valentine