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Animal Crossing: New Horizons Narcing Is the Lamest New Internet Trend

Animal Crossing: New Horizons hackers are getting banned from dreaming, as Nintendo Switch YouTuber goes on a star tree reporting campaign.

Man, the Animal Crossing: New Horizons community has gone off the rails. I’ve heard of time travelling, and even inappropriate firework displays. But cheating? How can someone cheat on a non-competitive animal town-building simulator for Nintendo Switch? Supposedly, there is a way — and a series of lame YouTubers are doing their best to spoil people’s fun.

News comes by way of our friends over at, who noticed the uproar over the Nintendo Switch and Animal Crossing communities. Rolling back the clock, the story begins all the way back in May 2020 with the following Tweet:

For those outside of the Animal Crossing: New Horizons meta, the colorful trees wth glowing star shapes are not legitimately in the game. Instead, this is evidence of a hacked game where the player has managed to stick some of their item — specifically star fragments — on trees. Cool, neat trick; no harm and no foul.

In steps a pretty toxic side of the Animal Crossing community: the narcs. Led by YouTuber Verlisify, the YouTuber has made his case in the video below why this ‘cheating’ is a big deal and ultimately dragging down the broader community:

In all fairness to Verlisify’s argument, he notes that Animal Crossing: New Horizons is in a worse state for letting people engage in these hacks. Noting replies to the Tweet above, the YouTuber goes on to say that there are many younger kids playing the game who simply don’t understand that this is hacked, wasting time and sometimes real-world money in scams to get these trees. And while this (in his eyes) degrades the broader New Horizons community, there is no way to actively monitor or report these people without knowing identifying information.

The latter part changed — after the most recent Summer update, Nintendo has added in a dreaming mechanic to allow gamers to visit their friends. Unlike visiting a friend’s island, this doesn’t need the island owner to be online or actually approve that the person visits. It’s also a great way to get people reported.

Scanning social channels like Twitter for people with “star trees,” Verlisify and others have been combing through various hacked islands to report them to Nintendo. While receiving a fair amount of blowback from the hacked Animal Crossing: New Horizons community, he seems to be riding the wave on the controversy:

Thankfully, Nintendo seems to be taking all of this in stride and splitting the baby on the matter. While hackers are reportedly having their dream state islands removed, they aren’t being banned from the game or Nintendo services more broadly.

Going into a personal assessment, I just don’t really get it — even giving the argument a fair chance, it’s tough to make the case that people with nice-looking trees are gaining a distinct advantage in a non-competitive game. Even worse, saying that the knowledge of people making star trees is ruining your own experience or degrading Animal Crossing: New Horizons as a whole is lame. Unless I’m missing something, some of these people need to get a solid break from both lockdown and the game at large.

In any case, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available now exclusively for Nintendo Switch. If you don’t have it yet, and this story hasn’t scared you off from the community at large, you can get the game physically from Amazon to help support DualShockers.

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Lou Contaldi

Lou Contaldi specializes in both reviews and the business behind gaming. He began writing about tech and video games while getting his Juris Doctor at Hofstra University School of Law. He is maybe the only gaming journo based in Nashville, TN.

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