How to turn 16 notes into a classic song for your Animal Crossing Island

Sixteen notes and yet so many possibilities.

In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you're the architect of your own island. You get to decide where each of the buildings will be, where every tree and flower grows, even which villagers stay and which go. You can also customize the music that plays in key parts of your island. We here at iMore have collected some of the best songs you can assign to your island tune.

What is an island tune anyways?

Whenever you talk to one of the residents of your island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you will hear a version of a short song, known as the island tune. These 16 notes are the same no matter which villager you're talking with — even Tom Nook and Isabelle. Once Isabelle takes up residence on your island, she will help you change your island tune whenever you want.

How do I change my island tune?

The actual process of changing your island tune is super simple. Once Isabelle has come to your island, you can change it anytime you want. You have 16 notes, each of which can be set to 16 different sounds:

  • Pause - no note will play.
  • Hold - will prolong the previous note.
  • Low G note
  • A note
  • B note
  • C note
  • D note
  • E note
  • F note
  • G note
  • High A note
  • High B note
  • High C note
  • High D note
  • High E note
  • ? - an odd chittering sound.

You then arrange these sounds and place them in any of the 16 note spots. If you have a bit of a musical background, you might already know what song you'd like to use, or maybe you're ambitious enough to compose your own tune. Either way, to change your tune, just follow these easy steps:

  1. Go to Resident Services.
  2. Sit in the right stool to speak to Isabelle.
  3. Press A to select Change the island tune.

  4. Using either the left joystick or the directional pad, change notes. Up and down change an individual note, and left or right switch between the notes.

  5. After selecting each note, press Y to preview the tune.
  6. If you are happy with your tune, press + to set the tune.

And just like that, you've changed your island tune.

Help! What song should I use?

Maybe your musical background isn't so strong or you want an easy way to set a familiar song for your island tune. Either way, we've got your back. We've tested a number of songs out as island tunes and can recommend all of the following songs for you!

Super Mario and friends?

We're playing on a Nintendo Switch, after all, so Mario and co. could be a perfect fit for your island tune.

The Super Mario Bros. Theme, perhaps?

How about Super Mario Odyssey?

Maybe Super Mario Sunshine is more your speed?

Everyone loves Super Smash Bros. Ultimate!

Yoshi has an island too!

Or maybe you'd prefer Yoshi's Story?


Maybe you've already brought Zelda clothes into your Animal Crossing: New Horizons wardrobe and want to complete the experience with one of these classic Zelda tunes?

Epona's Song

The Lost Wood's Theme

Gotta catch 'em all?

If you've already adopted these Ash Ketchum and Pokémon custom designs for your attire, maybe you'll want some Pokémon music to complete the theme?

The Indigo League Theme

The Lavender Town Theme

Toss a coin to your Witcher?

If this particular earworm has been stuck in your head since finishing The Witcher on Netflix, you can make it your island tune too.

Other video games

Plenty of other video games have songs that fit well.

Kirby's Dreamland - Ripple Field

The Mii Channel Theme

A Hat in Time - Mafia Town

Undertale - Megalovania

Classic movie tunes?

These classic movie songs might be exactly what you're looking for:

Somewhere over the Rainbow from the Wizard of Oz

The Imperial March from Star Wars

The Jurassic Park Theme

My Neighbor Totoro

Hedwig's Theme from Harry Potter

My personal fave

Personally, though, I prefer the classic Chocobo Theme from the Final Fantasy series:

Even more tunes

If none of the tunes we offered feel quite right, don't worry. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of other songs to choose from. There is even a Subreddit devoted to sharing tunes. There, players share their favorites and you can even make requests.


Do you have any questions about changing your Island Tune? Want to share some of your favorite tunes that didn't make our list? Drop them in the comments below and be sure to check out our other Animal Crossing: New Horizons guides!

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