How to Get a Ladder in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

The complete guide of how to get a ladder in Animal Crossing. Including how to get the ladder DIY recipe and set-up ladders.

8 Min Read

Are you currently scratching your head and wondering how to get a ladder in Animal Crossing? That isn’t surprising, as the ladder is a very useful tool in the game. However, new island residents don’t have access to the item straight away. But look no further, as the following guide will teach you how to get the ladder in Animal Crossing!

All About Ladders in Animal Crossing

For those unfamiliar, ladders are a tool in ACNH. Ladders are used to climb cliffs on your island and can even be used on deserted islands. The tool can be equipped and held just like other equipment and can be used in the same way.

Ladders can also be crafted further into a furniture item called set-up ladders. This furniture item can be placed next to a cliff on your island. The benefit of this is that you can place ladders around your island, reducing the need to carry one. They can also be used as a fun way to decorate your island’s cliffs.

Unlike other tools in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, ladders do not break. Both ladders and vaulting poles can be used an infinite number of times. This includes set-up ladders.

The DIY recipe for a ladder in Animal Crossing.
The ladder DIY recipe that Tom Nook will give you.

How To Unlock Ladders in ACNH?

So, as mentioned, new island residents don’t have access to ladders initially. The ladder DIY recipe is given to players after they progress through Tom Nook’s various tasks. The major milestones that you must complete before you get the ladder recipe are:

  • Completing the introductory first day
  • Paying off your tent payment
  • Building your first home
  • Building Nook’s Cranny
  • Building a bridge
  • Placing three new house lots for new residents
A player on one of their first nights on their new island.

Once you have placed all three housing lots, Tom Nook will tell you to begin decorating them. You will be given a list of items to craft, and one of these will require flowers. You may have noticed flowers growing on top of the higher cliffs that should be inaccessible to you.

To solve this issue, Tom Nook will give you the recipe to create a ladder. This recipe will then be seen in your recipes and when crafting. As previously mentioned, ladders will help you to climb cliffs – allowing you to access these flowers.

To craft a ladder, you will need four of each wood; regular, softwood, and hardwood.

On a sidenote, a lot of the Tom Nook tasks also require iron nuggets. If you are stuck on trying to accumulate enough, I have a guide on how to get iron nuggets in Animal Crossing also!

How To Get Set-Up Ladders in ACNH?

Once you have progressed enough through Tom Nook’s arduous tasks, you will gain access to the set-up ladders. Set-up ladders are another craftable item – the DIY recipe of which is available from Nook’s Cranny.

The Ladder Set-Up Kit recipe for sale in Nook's Cranny.

If you can’t find the DIY recipe, it is possible you still haven’t progressed enough through the tasks. Like many things in this game, you just need to be patient! Otherwise, there will be a Ladder Set-Up Kit Recipe in Nook’s Cranny. It is purchasable for 2,000 Bells, and you buy the recipe that you can then learn.

To craft a set-up ladder, you will need five pieces of regular wood, as well as a normal ladder. To craft it, simply go to a workbench with the items in your inventory and select the set-up ladder recipe from the crafting menu.

A player purchasing a DIY Recipe from Nooks Cranny.

How To Use the Set-Up Ladder

Now that you know how to get a set-up ladder in Animal Crossing, it’s time to use it! The first thing to do is make sure you have crafted it, and that it is in your inventory. Once that’s out of the way, you then want to find a cliff.  

Set-up ladders can be placed alongside a cliff wall. As with normal ladders, however, they cannot be placed to reach anything higher than two levels above ground.

Once you have found a suitable cliff, stand in front of the area you want to place the ladder. Open your inventory and click on the set-up ladder. In the options, you should see ‘Set Next to Cliff’. If you don’t you see this option may be too far from a suitable cliff.

A player setting up a Wooden Ladder Set-Up Kit next to a cliff in Animal Crossing.

Clicking ‘Set Next to Cliff’ will place the ladder against the cliff. You can then use the ladder by walking next to it and pressing the A button. If, for some reason, you aren’t able to climb or place the ladder, make sure it isn’t being blocked by furniture or that it is too high.

Why Your Island Needs Set-Up Ladders

You may be wondering why you should use set-up ladders on your island. Set-up ladders have many benefits, which make them very useful.

For starters, building inclines is expensive – the cheapest option being a natural ramp for 98,000 Bells. Set-up ladders basically work the same way, as they allow you to access higher levels.

Set-up ladders are also more visitor friendly. Maybe you have ran out of available inclines. Or maybe you just want a more compact and subtle way to access a higher level. Set-up ladders can be used by visitors meaning they don’t need to bring a ladder of their own. This is especially useful for people visiting your island in a dream, as they can’t bring tools.

A player setting up a Wooden Ladder Set-Up Kit next to a cliff in Animal Crossing.

Furthermore, set-up ladders can also just be used as a fun design piece. Even if they aren’t going to be used, they can be used in builds. Set-up ladders break up barren cliff sides nicely, when used appropriately.

So, you should now understand how to get a ladder in Animal Crossing: New Horizons after reading this article. It isn’t hard to get, but as with most things in the game just takes a bit of time. If you enjoyed this article and want to read more Animal Crossing guides, check out the others that I have wrote!

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By Miles
Miles is a passionate writer, with a keen interest in writing engaging and intriguing content on all things Nintendo. Franchises such as Animal Crossing, The Legend of Zelda, and Mario have provided Miles with countless hours of fun, thus why he happily writes about them!
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