How to Get Iron Nuggets in Animal Crossing

A detailed guide explaining how to get iron nuggets in Animal Crossing as efficiently as possible. Including how to maximize iron nugget output per rock node.

7 Min Read

Iron nuggets are one of the most important materials in Animal Crossing. It’s used in a lot of crafting recipes and is even a requirement early in the game to construct Nook’s Cranny. And yet, this innocuous lump of rock can get pretty elusive and even rare at times!

But fret not, eager miner, we’re here to help you with your iron nugget woes. Whether you’re crafting your next Ironwood furniture, just starting your game, or even restarting your island, here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how to get iron nuggets in Animal Crossing. We’ve even included a tip to get the most iron nugget drops.

Ready? Let’s rock.

Steps in Getting Iron Nuggets

Follow these easy steps to know how to get iron in Animal Crossing.

Step 1: Find a Rock

Yep, you don’t need to dig or go spelunking in a cave for iron nuggets – they actually come from rocks.

Finding a rock for iron nuggets

Check your entire island for some rocks that look like mini boulders. Each island gets six rocks that are scattered in the area. Five of them will drop materials, while one will be a Money Rock. Find each of them and remember their location so you can easily visit them the next day.

Step 2: Ready Your Shovel or Axe

As cool as it sounds, you can’t punch rocks with your bare hands to get nuggets. You need a tool to hit the rock with.

Preparing your tool to get iron nuggets

You can either use a shovel or an axe as your rock-mining tool of choice. For beginners, you can easily acquire these tools the more you play the game. Island Representatives, or player one, will get it as they play and naturally progress in the game, while secondary players can get it from Nook’s Cranny.

Step 3: Hit Rocks With Your Tool

Well, these rocks won’t drop nuggets by themselves – time to start hitting!

Position yourself in front of the rock with your shovel or axe in your hand and press ‘a’. A material should drop from the rock, and pray that it’s not clay for the hundredth time.

Showing how to get iron nuggets in Animal Crossing

With every hit, you’ll be pushed back a little from the force. Keep hitting until there aren’t any more materials dropping from the rock. You can get materials once a day per rock, so visit the rock again the following day for more nuggets.

Reminder: Don’t hit rocks after you’ve eaten something! Eating food in Animal Crossing will give you stamina, which will let you break rocks or dig up tree stumps. But don’t worry, a destroyed rock will randomly reappear the next day, with multiple destroyed rocks respawning one rock per day.

The Best Way To Hit Rocks in Animal Crossing

So you now know how to get iron in Animal Crossing, but do you know the best way to do it? Buddy, strap in for some advanced rock mining that can maximize your rock drops!

Each rock can give you eight materials per day if you hit it consecutively. However, the force from hitting a rock can push you back, which delays your next hit. Losing that combo will stop the rock from dropping more materials.

But there is a way to stop you from getting pushed back. If you look at the grid in the image below, there is a 3×3 space around the rock where materials will drop.

The grid lines show where to stand to do the rock trick in Animal Crossing

Position yourself in any of the corners of that 3×3 space. In this example, place yourself at the top left corner of the grid. Dig two holes to the side and behind you as shown in the image.

These will stop you from getting pushed back and you can now dig to your heart’s content.

What Is the Fastest Way To Get 30 Iron Nuggets?

Early in the game, you will be asked to give 30 iron nuggets to finish the construction of Nook’s Cranny. A lot of new players are often caught off-guard at this request since iron nuggets are hard to come at that point in the game.

Here are some tips to quickly get 30 iron nuggets:

  • Hit all six of your rocks: As mentioned above, each island has six rocks. Make sure you hit all of them before the day ends. 
  • Do the rock trick: Stop yourself from getting pushed back when hitting rocks by digging two holes behind and beside you. Scroll up for a detailed tutorial on the best way to hit rocks.
  • Go to Mystery Islands: If you’ve exhausted all six of your rocks, go fly to a few Mystery Islands to hit rocks there. To visit Mystery Islands, get Nook Miles Tickets through your Nook Stop and head to your airport.
  • Go to Kapp’n Islands: Going on a boat tour with Kapp’n will land you on deserted islands that are similar to Mystery Islands. There will be a few rocks there for you to hit.
  • Prepare extra tools: Axes and shovels break after a certain number of hits, so make sure you have extra tools with you before going to deserted or Mystery Islands for rocks.
Gathering all materials from one rock

And that’s how to get iron nuggets in Animal Crossing in the best and fastest way possible. Good luck out there and may the nuggets rain with every hit!

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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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