To send a letter, the player must first obtain some stationery. Stationary can be purchased from Tom Nook's store, be given to the player from villagers, or found in lost property. The player can send letters to the following addressees: villagers in the player's town, other characters in the player's town, the Faraway Museum in Animal Crossing, and the player's future self.
Having selected the recipient, the letter may now be composed. In Animal Crossing, City Folk, and New Leaf, each letter has six lines to write on, whereas a letter in Wild World only has four. The lines containing the writer's name and the receiver's name can also be edited, but the recipient's name cannot be removed. Villagers will notice spelling errors the player makes, and may comment on them negatively if the letter comes up in conversation later.
In the inventory screen, the player can attach a gift to the present. All items, with the exception of fish, bugs, turnips, deep-sea creatures and villagers' items can be sent as a gift.
Letters will be received in the postbox outside the player's house, at 9am and 5pm, and 6am, when the game refreshes for a new day. Letters can be received from: other players; villagers; the museum in Animal Crossing; the player's mother; the player's father; from Nintendo, holding special items; special characters such as Jingle and Jack; the Happy Room Academy, with the results of the latest appraisal; and the Bank, notifying the player of how much interest they have earned.