In this post I’m going to touch on the three different hacks that are available for Animal Crossing: New Leaf–the LeafTools hacks, the RAM editor, and the map editor–including general requirements and tips for all of them. This isn’t going to go into step-by-step details on every aspect of every hack, but it will give you a general idea of what they do and how to use them, if you can.
General Requirements + Tips
To hack your 3DS/ XL/ 2DS with any of the following, you must have the software version 9.x up to 9.5.0-22. If you have updated to 9.5.0-23 or higher, you will not be able to use these hacks, no exceptions. The creators of all the hacks have stated there is absolutely no way around this yet.
These hacks can be used on both physical and digital copies of New Leaf. It doesn’t matter how many copies you have; you can hack them all!
The number one thing you have to do before using any of these hacks is to back up your save file, explained in steps 1- 7 here. LeafTools also provides a way to back up your save file, but I recommend the one I link to, because that will also be the save file both the RAM editor and map editor use to edit your town. By backing up your save file, you guarantee that your game can be restored if it happens to corrupt from hacking.
Things you can do with LeafTools:
- Backup/ restore multiple save files
- Water flowers, unbury items, pull weeds
- Max out your bank account
- Max out your island medals
- Fill your town with/ remove all grass
- Unlock all Public Works Projects
- Unbox a moving villager
- Rig the stalk market
- Duplicate items
- Move out an unwanted villager
- Remove/ add rocks
- Put a train station locker in a house
- Generate items*
- Create, move, or destroy buildings*
These hacks are all activated by visiting specific URL’s on your 3DS’s internet browser while your game is running. The creators’ thread provides these URL’s, along with instructions for each individual hack. For all of them, you must be playing as your mayor for them to work. Some of the hacks can be done anywhere, but some require you to run it as soon as your game loads, be inside a building, place an item in a certain place, etc.
The linked guide lists some hacks as “easy peasy,” a few as “tricky tricks,” and two as “hardcore mayors only.” The “tricky tricks” aren’t really tricky; they just require you to do something a little more than step inside a building, but they aren’t very risky so don’t worry! The “hardcore” ones are the two hacks marked with a * on my list, which are the more complicated and dangerous ones. Again, the linked guide explains them in detail, but I just wanted to urge caution when approaching these hacks. Don’t attempt them until you’ve run other hacks multiple times and feel confident.
Things you can do with the RAM editor:
- Place items (clothes, furniture, songs, etc.) in your town/ island
- Place nature (trees, bushes, flowers, etc.) in your town/ island
- Lay down patterns from your characters’ design slots
- Remove items, nature, rocks, and patterns
- Place items in your characters’ storages
- Exchange a villager for a new villager
- Move existing buildings/ PWP’s
- Change your native fruit, grass shape, town hall/ train station color
The RAM editor is an online program found here that you can use to do the above to your town. It edits your town using the file on your SD card (called acnlram.bin) that was created when you backed up your save file earlier.
The program has five different sections: Map, Dressers, Island, Villagers, and Buildings. On the Map section, it shows your town map, identifying items, nature, and patterns with different colored blocks. On this page you can place items from a drop down menu and remove existing items. On the Dressers page, you can place items in your characters’ storages. The Island page allows you to interact with your island map in the same fashion as the original Map page. The Villagers page shows a list of your current villagers. You can choose to replace any villager with any other villager from the drop down menus here. The the Buildings page lists every building and PWP in your town with their X and Y coordinates, which you can change in order to move the corresponding building in your town. Keep in mind that there isn’t a way to place buildings or PWP’s that aren’t already there. This page also provides drop down menus to choose your native fruit, grass shape, and town hall/ train station color.
The main things people use the RAM editor for are to place items/ buildings/ PWP’s where they normally can’t go. You can put trees right on cliffs, houses in rivers, PWP’s on the beach, bushes around your town tree, etc etc. The creative possibilities are pretty endless with the RAM editor!
Once you’re done editing your town, you’ll save the file, replace the old acnlram.bin file on your SD card with the new one, eject your SD card, put it in your console, and follow steps 11- 15 here to make the changes appear in your town! I’ll be sure to make a more thorough RAM editor guide soon. Check my Helpful Links page to see if I’ve added it by the time you’re reading this!
Things you can do with the map editor:
- Move/ alter rivers
- Create multiple rivers
- Choose locations for ReTail, town hall, town plaza
- Choose stone plaza shapes for above areas
- Move/ alter beaches
Things you can’t* do with the map editor:
- Move your waterfall/ make another
- Make a map with no side beach
- Switch which way your map faces
- Get rid of the beach your dock is on
- Move the dock and have it function properly
- Remove the town plaza
- Have more or less than two beach entrances
- End more than one river at the cliff
- Town hall and ReTail will not move when moving the stone, you must move them with the RAM editor
*i.e.- shouldn’t because it will corrupt your game, rendering it unplayable
The map editor is an application you can download from here and use to, erm, edit your map (duh). It’s an .exe file so it only works on Windows. If you have a Mac, you can use a Windows emulator to run it or WineBottler to turn it into a .app file you can use!
You will use the file on your SD card (called acnlram.bin) that was created when you backed up your save file earlier. The program will open up your current town map divided into 16 grids. You can scroll through the different land types on each grid to create a custom map, keeping in mind the limitations listed above. After you’re done editing it, close the program (it will automatically save), eject your SD card, and insert it in your console. To make the changes appear in your town, you’ll inject the edited save file, explained in steps 11- 15 here.
There is a more thorough guide to the map editor here!