Pirate Design Ideas For Animal Crossing: New Horizons

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Avast, me hearties! It’s time to board your ship and weigh anchor!

We’re off on another journey across the briny deep!

What better setting for a pirate theme than a remote tropical island?

You can turn your own slice of paradise into a seadog’s dream with in-game items and custom designs that will prove you’re no landlubber.

And these exciting pirate designs for New Horizons are sure to shiver your timbers!


15. Private Pirate Beach

Secret Beach With a Pirate Theme - ACNH Idea
Image Source by cariaislinn

If you need a spot to stash your booty, your secret beach makes the perfect hidey-hole for all of your treasures.

You don’t have to overhaul your island to celebrate the Seven Seas.

Instead, create a tiny pirate cove where you can hang out when you’re feeling particularly surly.

Mannequins decked out in your best adventurer’s attire make for excellent decorations.

If you get lucky, Gullivarr might bring you an Eyepatch, Pirate Dress, or other thematic costume items. But don’t count on completing your collection anytime soon.

As we know, our sleepy seagull pal tends to get lost between visits to our shores.


14. Oceanside Study

Outside study area near the ocean in ACNH
Image Source by @peonycrosser / @afterglow.horizons

Take a pirate away from the sea, and all you’re left with is a cranky guy with a messy beard and big hat.

Instead, set up a study where you can still hear the crashing waves and screeching gulls that marauders yearn for when they’re ashore.

It’s the small details that turn a regular study into the perfect cap’n’s quarters.

Use candles in place of lamps, crumpled papers scattered across the floor (pirates aren’t known for their neatness!), and a mini model of their ship in a bottle.


13. Buccaneer’s Black Market

Pirate black market area in ACNH
Image Source by ActuallyTofu

Redd, the resident art dealer, isn’t known for verifying his findings before selling them for a marked-up price.

A private black market where he docks his boat would make it much easier for him to supply you with all of the exotic artistic goods that he can get his hands on.

So this black market design is a quick and simple way to make your island a little more pirate-y.

Especially if you’re not sure where to start with your buccaneer theme.

All you need are a few items to stack up on the beach as Redd’s contraband packages.

My favorite part is the “Wanted” sign.

Redd seems like just the kind of shady character who would steal his own reward poster and display it proudly in the same place he conducts his nefarious deeds.


12. Pirate Study

Home study room with a pirate theme in ACNH
Image Source by Alfrreddo

Since there’s not an option to live on a houseboat in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (r at least not yet), you can create an indoor version of your captain’s quarters.

Stock your study with all your favorite treasures you’ve collected on your journey!

Use Gullivarr’s pirate-themed items to jazz up the place, like the Pirate Wall.

It has large windows that give the illusion your ship is out to sea, with a bright blue sky shining overhead.

You can also showcase some thematic Fishing Tourney prizes, like the Fish Painting and Anchor Statue.


11. Ahoy! Entrance

Tropical pirate-themed entrance for ACNH
Image Source by prisonerindurgesh

Welcome your fellow raiders to your island with a thematic entrance that sets the atmosphere for adventure.

Swapping out your evergreens for palm trees is a great way to give the space a little more tropical ambiance, without being confined to the sandy spots on your island.

It allows you to keep the pirate theme consistent, even after you’ve left the shore.

A rickety wooden bridge and humongous stone heads make it look like you’re making your way into a pirate-themed amusement park ride.

At the same time, the barrels adorned with skulls and crossbones remind visitors that you’re involved in serious pirate business.


10. Trading Post

Pirate trading post on the beach in ACNH
Image Source by DrDolathan

Perhaps your island isn’t inhabited by pirates, but you’re willing to play host when they pass through your waters.

In that case, all you’ll need is a tidy little trading post where they can pick up necessities, and you can check out their wares.

This creative player even included an accounting book in the building, where the outpost employees can record transactions.

Put some of your favorite “classical” items out on display, like a yellowing globe or skull fossil, for authentic representations of the oddities you’d expect to get from ocean-faring raiders.


9. Open-Air Tavern

Open-air outdoor pirate tavern - ACNH Idea
Image Source by HappyyItalian

Sea robbers prefer the open air and warm sunshine.

So tempt them into stopping by for a snack by building an open-air pirate tavern that serves up the best grog this side of the Southern Sea.

Be sure to use plenty of barrels to represent casks of ale, and candles for those nights when your pirate friends don’t want to stop spinning yarns with their compatriots.

My favorite part of this design, though, is that it’s built on top of a terraformed layer that keeps it isolated from the rest of the island.

Despite their good-hearted nature, even the friendliest pirates like to keep their illegitimate antics on the down-low.


8. Boxes of Booty

Treasure Chest with Custom Coin Pattern - ACNH
Image Source by Bluebear255

The treasure chest is already an item you can snag from Gullivarr. But you can make it even more realistic with custom design tiles that look like coins scattered around your overflowing assets.

Use a single tile design (like this design) that doesn’t cover up the tiles you’ve already laid down.

You want it to look realistic so that all your villagers know you’ve been hard at work plunderin’ and pillagin’.

With enough treasure chests, you could create a little horde of dishonestly-won goodies, then turn it into a bank vault when you’re ready to pivot from pirate to private lender for your island’s residents.


7. Sea-Life Security

Beach with Cannons and Pirate Decor - ACNH
Image Source by kemijskasan

If you’re in the business of keeping pirates out instead of inviting them to stop by, arm your dock to the teeth with marine life, ready to defend their home from those devious devils.

This designer put a slightly smaller version of the mighty Kraken in one tank, and what I can only imagine are fearsome, flesh-eating piranhas in the other.

These oceanic observers are well-trained in taking down even the saltiest of seadogs.

Or just in case an aquatic arsenal isn’t enough, you can do as this creator did and setup a line of cannons, loaded and ready to fire at the first Jolly Roger that approaches the coast.


6. Pirate Pier

Pirate Pier and Beach Design in ACNH
Image Source by elonmusksbitch

I’d say this designer cranked things up to 11 with this extremely well-done pier design.

Turn the idea of a fun summer boardwalk on its head by transforming your beach space into a pirate paradise.

Build market stalls where marauders can show off their ill-begotten goods, like animals from foreign lands and golden headpieces that once crowned the heads of royalty.

The skeleton in the back is also a nice touch.

It serves as a warning to pickpockets and scallywags who try to plunder these privateers.


5. Interactive Treasure Maps

Custom Pattern for a Treasure Map - ACNH Idea
Image Source by @AcnhSummer

Host a crew of your favorite shipmates for a treasure-hunting expedition that’s sure to shiver yer timbers!

Redraw your island’s map as a custom design, then draw out a path for your friends to follow.

You can make it as hard or as easy as you want, as long as the end goal is something worth searching for.

You can truly flex your puzzle master muscles by turning it into a scavenger hunt where the end goal is finding a particular item hiding in plain sight.

Give out clues using the chat function, then watch your best pals betray each other in the hopes of capturing the prize.


4. Beware of Pirate Bay

Beware of Pirates Sign in ACNH
Image Source by Bluebear255

Pirates are big fans of keeping their exploits hush-hush, lest the law finds out they’ve been smuggling jewels and robbing royal ships.

But what’s a Resident Advisor to do once they’ve run out of space on their island, but are still packed to the gills with ideas?

Create “hidden areas,” of course!

While these “areas” aren’t really there, you can use signage to pretend that there’s a secret hideout behind the waterfall, or a bootlegging operation under a trap door at Nook’s Cranny.

In fact, you may want to stock up on DIY Wooden Signs for all of your newly discovered caves, coves, and secret entrances.


3. Drop a Few Bells (Literally)

Bells and wanted poster in pirate beach - ACNH Idea
Image Source by @nookspiration / @afterglow.horizons

While real pirates would never be caught dead leaving doubloons scattered on the ground, you can spare a few bells to stand in for gold coins on the shoreline.

Use rustic-looking wooden plank paths for trekking your way across the hot sand, then drop your loot along the way.

It’ll look like a crewmate tipped the coffer on his way to town to cash in his bounty.

Like the customized Shell Speaker and black rose, other details make this little space a shining example of cottagecore’s scruffier cousin: piratecore.


2. X Marks the Spot

Custom Pattern for X Marks The Spot - ACNH Idea
Image Source by gimmedembells

Is there anything more embedded in pirate iconography than the infamous “X Marks the Spot?”

No marauder’s island is complete without at least a couple hidden treasures.

Custom designs come to the rescue once again, with options readily available via the Able Sisters’ in-store Custom Design Portal.

If you prefer to chart your own course to buried booty, you can also get creative with your Nook Phone and draw your own version customized for your island’s aesthetic.


1. Dress the Part!

Custom pirate coat design for ACNH
Image Source by @vox_corvi

You can’t be a true buccaneer if you’re not dressed for the occasion.

I mentioned earlier that Gullivarr offers a range of ensembles, but you can mix it up with the seemingly infinite designs perfect for a professional pirate.

If you don’t see something you like online, you can also try your hand at drawing your own designs.

For the lads, you’ll want white billowy shirts with a gold-adorned waistcoat and jacket.

Lassies could dress up in red and black striped dresses, leather pants, and plenty of frills.

If you prefer to leave the captain job to someone else, you could also dress up as a crewmate in something a little less formal.

Ragged-edge pants, linen shirts, and a bandana featuring the Jolly Roger design is all you need to look the part!

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