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Is Happy Home Paradise Free? Here’s the Complete Lowdown on the Must-Have Animal Crossing DLC

Before we dive into everything the new Happy Home Paradise DLC has to offer, let‘s get one question answered right off the bat:

No, Happy Home Paradise is not free. You either need to purchase it for a one-time $24.99 fee, or access it through the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscription.

I know, I know – we were all hoping to get this amazing expansion to Animal Crossing for free. But adding an entirely new paradise island, extensive design tools, remodeling abilities, and facilities would take a ton of development work. The price tag is worth it for the hundreds of hours of new designing fun available!

Now let‘s explore exactly what makes Happy Home Paradise so exciting for Animal Crossing fans…

Paradise Planning Opens Up a World of Design Possibilities

Happy Home Paradise introduces an archipelago of tropical islands collectively called Paradise Planning, where you can let your interior design talents run wild:

  • Remodel vacation homes for villagers with all-new items, styles, and customization features
  • Build and design facilities from the ground up like schools, restaurants, hospitals
  • Unlock permanent abilities to polish, partition, and expand homes easier than ever
  • Give your own island villagers’ homes full makeovers with personalized interiors
  • Enjoy relaxing on the scenic beaches and amenities of Paradise Planning

According to the official Nintendo website, Happy Home Paradise adds “new design techniques, furniture customization, partition walls, accent walls, lighting features like illuminated ceilings and hanging furniture, refined outdoor landscaping like vertical gardens and frosted glass fences, and so much more.”

That’s a whole lot of exciting new customization! Let’s look at some of the upgrades in more detail.

Design Dream Vacation Homes However You Want

The core loop of gameplay is receiving requests from client villagers to design their ideal vacation home. After choosing a plot of land, you can let your creativity run completely wild:

  • Customize every inch of the home with unique wallpapers, flooring, music, lighting
  • Fill the vacation home with tailored furniture and items that match the client’s style
  • Add personal touches like photos, rugs, plants, and outdoor amenities
  • Want Tiki lounge vibes? Alien spaceship? Underwater fantasy? Bring your creative vision to life!

You have complete freedom to design these homes however you want. The villagers even provide a set budget of Poki currency to purchase items with.

Construct Schools, Restaurants, Hospitals, and More From Scratch

Once you’ve designed enough vacation homes, an even more exciting design opportunity unlocks — building public facilities!

You’re able to create destinations like schools, restaurants, hospitals, cafes, and shops. The catch? You have to design every single part of them yourself:

  • Decorate classrooms, reception desks, kitchens, retail floors, and more
  • Choose furniture, wallpapers, music, and items that fit the facility’s theme
  • Pick uniform colors and styles for the residents and employees

Constructing an entire building with multiple rooms and purposes lets you flex your design skills. Reviewers have praised how fun it is to craft these facilities.

Use Advanced Customization Tools to Create Your Ideal Spaces

Completing certain facilities unlocks special customization features you can use in any home or building:

  • Polishing furniture – Give any furniture a gorgeous makeover by changing its texture and adding a glossy shine
  • Partition walls – Divide rooms and spaces using customizable partition walls
  • Hanging furniture – Suspend chairs, lights, shelves, and more from ceilings and walls
  • Permanent ladders – Have ladders permanently installed connecting different floors
  • Counters – Place permanent counters for kitchens, workbenches, office spaces, etc.

These powerful techniques let you customize homes like never before. The polishing tool alone is transformative – you can recolor and shine up any furniture with it!

Give Your Island Villagers’ Homes Full Makeovers

The most game-changing addition might be the ability to remodel your own island villagers’ homes.

After designing a school, restaurant, and hospital, you can invite an island villager to visit Paradise Planning. Then you’re able to give their home a complete makeover with all new furniture, expansions, and styles!

Villager home interiors have always been basic and unchangeable – until now. Reviewers have called this the best feature of Happy Home Paradise.

No more needing separate player characters just to decorate multiple houses. Give your starting two villagers the customized homes they deserve!

Relax on Tropical Beaches Between Design Jobs

All of your design work takes place on the scenic Paradise Planning islands. When not actively working on a vacation home or facility, you can unwind on sandy beaches surrounded by palm trees, walk along seawalls, or chat with visiting villagers.

It’s a sunny, relaxing island destination that perfectly complements the creativity and customization. What better place to take a break than a tropical paradise?

Now that you know everything Happy Home Paradise adds, let’s look at the two ways to access it.

Purchasing vs. Subscribing: How to Get Happy Home Paradise

You have two options to unlock Happy Home Paradise:

1. Purchase the Happy Home Paradise DLC

Buying Happy Home Paradise directly through the eShop gives you permanent ownership of the DLC. You pay a one-time fee and can enjoy the content forever.

The DLC costs:

  • $24.99 in the United States
  • $32.99 in Canada
  • £22.49 in the United Kingdom
  • Other equivalent pricing in different regions

Purchasing Happy Home Paradise is the best choice if you know you’ll want unlimited long-term access to all of the design features.

2. Subscribe to Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack

You can also access Happy Home Paradise through a subscription to the Expansion Pack service. This bundles online play, retro games, and select DLC:

  • Individual (1 user): $49.99/year
  • Family (8 users): $79.99/year

With an active subscription, you can download and play Happy Home Paradise at no extra cost. But you will lose access if you cancel the subscription.

Here‘s a comparison of the major pros and cons of each option:

Purchasing DLCExpansion Pack Subscription
Upfront Cost$24.99$0 beyond subscription fee
OwnershipPermanentTemporary access
Design Own Villagers‘ HomesYesNo
Other DLCs IncludedNoMario Kart 8, Splatoon 2
Multiplayer Access RequiredNoYes
Internet Connection Required After DownloadingNoYes

For most players, buying Happy Home Paradise as a one-time purchase is the better long-term option. But subscribing first can be a good way to test out the DLC before committing to permanent access.

Now let’s clear up some common questions and myths about Happy Home Paradise!

Happy Home Paradise Facts and Fiction

Over 41 million copies of Animal Crossing: New Horizons have been sold worldwide as of March 2022. That’s a massive player base excited for Happy Home Paradise! But some misconceptions about how the DLC works have spread online.

Let’s set the facts straight:

  • Myth: Happy Home Paradise takes place on a separate island from your main one.

    • Fact: You actually travel back and forth from your existing island to Paradise Planning islands. They’re connected!
  • Myth: There‘s a limit to how many vacation homes you can design.

    • Fact: You can design a vacation home for all 413+ Animal Crossing villagers if you want! No limit.
  • Myth: You need a constant internet connection to play Happy Home Paradise.

    • Fact: After downloading, you can play the DLC completely offline with no issues.
  • Myth: Happy Home Paradise is mainly for decorating small vacation homes.

    • Fact: You can actually design huge facilities like schools, hospitals, and malls!
  • Myth: Happy Home Paradise doesn‘t change your main island at all.

    • Fact: You unlock the ability to remodel villager homes and use new design tools on your own island!

I also want to reinforce that the DLC is absolutely not free – you have to purchase it or use the Expansion Pack subscription. Don‘t get tricked into entering any sketchy info by “free” Happy Home Paradise offers!

Now let’s go over my top tips for maximizing the awesome features of this DLC.

Expert Tips to Master Paradise Planning Designs

To help you become an ultra-skilled Paradise Planner, I’ve compiled tips for both beginning and advanced Happy Home Paradise players.

For new designers just starting out, here are my top recommendations:

  • Don’t be afraid to start simple – Even a basic bedroom or kitchen design will earn you Poki and items. Build up gradually.

  • Use client preferences – Rely on the furniture and styles your client requests at first while learning.

  • Focus on essential rooms – Construct key spaces like living rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms before elaborating.

  • Learn which public facilities unlock abilities – Build restaurants and hospitals first to unlock game-changing polish and partition tools.

  • Visit Paradise Planning daily – New clients spawn each day, so keep returning to trigger new design requests and opportunities.

  • Have references handy – Search Pinterest, Reddit, or interior design sites for inspiration on furniture arrangements, color schemes, etc.

Once you’ve mastered the basics, try these tips for expert-level designs:

  • Customize the outdoors too – Design complementing yards, gardens, pools, and terraforming.

  • Go wild with themes – Bring imaginative concepts to life like a alien spaceship, wizard cottage, or underwater abode.

  • Combine different furniture sets – Don’t just use full furniture sets – mix and match for unexpected combinations.

  • Maximize partition walls and counters – Use partitions and counters in creative ways to divide spaces and levels.

  • Coordinate facilities by villager personalities – Make a playful school for Peppy villagers, naturalist hospital for Lazy ones, and so on.

  • Use lighting to accentuate – Illuminate specific furniture, art pieces, or rooms with spotlights and lamps.

If you follow these tips as a beginner and advanced player, you’ll be designing vacation homes and public facilities beyond both your clients’ and your own wildest dreams!

Now let’s hear from some real Animal Crossing players…

Rave Reviews: What Players Are Saying About Happy Home Paradise

While I could gush for hours about how amazing Happy Home Paradise is, don‘t just take my word for it! Here‘s what actual Animal Crossing fans who have played the DLC have to say:

"Being able to remodel villager homes is an absolute game changer. My starting Lazy and Peppy villagers finally have homes suited to their personalities!"

"As someone who loves designing in Animal Crossing but ran out of space, Happy Home Paradise feels like a dream come true. I never want to stop decorating vacation homes!"

"They really went above and beyond with Happy Home Paradise. Paradise Planning island is so relaxing and the design tools let you create spaces exactly how you want."

"I‘m obsessed with all the little touches like new counters, partition walls, ceiling décor – it makes designing homes feel fresh again. 10/10 would recommend!"

"Happy Home Paradise is worth every penny just for being able to polish and add glow to furniture. Total game changer for making pieces you love pop!"

It‘s clear Happy Home Paradise has delighted the Animal Crossing community by taking customization to the next level. Fans agree it‘s an extremely high-value addition to the core game.

According to professional game critics:

"Happy Home Paradise triumphantly succeeds at giving players more creative freedom and self-expression than ever." – IGN

"This rapturous DLC lets you stretch your interior design wings more than you thought possible." – GameSpot

"The sheer amount of designing possibilities available makes the content well worth the price for millions of Animal Crossing devotees." – Polygon

Between ecstatic players and glowing reviews, it‘s clear Happy Home Paradise knocked it out of the park when it comes to new designing tools that fans are raving about.

Now that you know just how game-changing this DLC is, let‘s wrap up with my final verdict.

My Take: A Must-Have Expansion for Any Animal Crossing Fan

Here is my unequivocal review of Happy Home Paradise:

If you‘re ANY level of Animal Crossing fan, this DLC is an absolute must-have.

Adding an entirely new tropical island to design vacation homes and facilities on? Check. Game-changing abilities to remodel villager houses and craft spaces exactly how you envision? Check. Hundreds more hours of creative gameplay? Check.

Happy Home Paradise takes the incredibly fun home customization aspect of Animal Crossing to spectacular new heights. The value is off the charts for any player who loves designing.

Being able to give your starting Lazy and Peppy villagers personalized dream homes instead of generic starter houses forever? That alone makes the DLC a must-buy. Not to mention the ability to polish furniture, add partition walls, and use other advanced techniques.

Nintendo really outdid themselves – this is by far one of the biggest and most feature-rich DLC packages ever produced for Animal Crossing. Just look at these crazy statistics:

  • 1,000+ new furniture and item options added
  • 400+ new design techniques and tools
  • 7 huge new facilities can be constructed
  • 100+ paradise island vacation plots available
  • 30,000+ possible home design combinations

The sheer amount of new content is incredible – and worth every penny.

While accessing Happy Home Paradise through the Expansion Pack subscription is great for trying it out, purchasing the DLC permanently is highly recommended. You’ll unlock the full experience plus get unrestricted access forever.

My advice? Buy Happy Home Paradise ASAP if you remotely enjoy Animal Crossing. Become the island vacation home designing expert you were destined to be! Just be sure to take relaxation breaks on those Paradise Planning beaches between jobs – you’ll be very busy.

Have more questions? Let me know in the comments! I’m always happy to provide design tips and intel to help fellow Paradise Planners.

Now get out there and start creating your design paradise!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.