Animal Crossing City


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Two players, one with a Level 4 tan.

During the summer, (the second half of July–September) it is possible to get a tan, as real humans would. In order to do this, the player must stand in the sun long enough (note that there must be a clear sky outside and it must be during daytime), the player's skin will go up through levels. There are five different levels, each one having a darker hue than the other. Unlike the older games, City Folk and Wild World, you start to notice the tan right away, but you can only achieve 1 level per day.

Getting a Tan

The player can get a darker tan in the summer by standing in the sun for long enough (approximately 15 minutes in Animal Crossing: New Leaf). If a player has the darkest tan (Level 5), it will stay Level 5 and will not get any darker. But if they take a break and don't go into the sun, their tan will change into Level 4 and so on. A tan will disappear a little bit every day if you haven't been walking around in the sun each day. Also, a tan will begin to disappear on rainy or cloudy days.

The player can get a tan from July 16 to September 15. There must be a clear sky outside and it must be during daylight hours. In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, the player can get a tan anytime in the year, as long as they visit Tortimer Island in the morning. The only thing that stops a tan from appearing is an umbrella.

The second option to get a tan is to use a Mii Mask, and you can obtain one by paying 3,000 Bells for a makeover at Shampoodle or if it is your first time receiving one it is available for free. Everytime you change the Mii from the Mii Channel, the Mii's face changes so it is not necessary to waste 3,000 bells on purchasing a new one. (Note, in New Leaf, once you take off the Mii Mask, your character will go back to their original skin color. Your arms will not be the same color as your mask.)

Another tip for knowing if the player is actually tanning is to make a plain pattern that is pale colored (Palette 10/16) and wear it as a shirt while you stand in the sun (without an umbrella). As the player tans, you will start to notice that their character's skin becomes gradually darker than the shirt, and it will become very noticeable after about 2 to 3 hours.

When getting a tan on New Leaf, it's best to wear clothing that can expose some of the arm and leg. Wearing a hat, facial adornment, long-sleeved top or dress can prevent the tan or make it take longer to appear. For best effect, the player should wear a short-sleeved top or a tank with a pair of shorts or a skirt. An alternative method is to wade in the ocean with a wetsuit on for about 15 minutes.

Tips and Warnings

Preventing a Tan

To prevent a tan, go out with an umbrella, don't go out while it's daytime, or stay inside. Drastic measures include Time Traveling or staying off the game for long periods of time. Hats will not stop tans from appearing in WW and CF, but in NL it has been proven wide-brimmed hats, such as a straw hat, will prevent tanning.

Animal Crossing CF 018

Going out with an umbrella on sunny days will prevent a tan.

Removing the Tan

  • Take precautions. When going outside on sunny days, the player should use an umbrella or anything that will block out sun completely.
  • Wait it off. Tans will fade after a while, and with some extra help it should be gone in no time.
  • Stay in a building for about an hour. Turn the game off and save, time travel to the next day, and then repeat. Keep doing that for a while and the player's tan should eventually start to fade.
  • Time traveling also removes tans, since you are basically sleeping for the whole time.

Keeping the Tan

  • In the afternoon, 3 pm is the best time for tanning.
  • (For Animal Crossing: Wild World and Animal Crossing: New Leaf) If one decides to leave their character outside, unattended, for a tan make sure to leave the Nintendo 3DS or Nintendo DS open otherwise there will be no effect.
  • To get a tan, it has to be between the 16th of July and the 15th of September.
  • Try to go out as much as you can!

Levels of Tan

Shade Time (spent tanning) Result
TanColor1 0 days Tan1
TanColor2 1 day Tan2
TanColor3 2+ days Tan3
TanColor4 3+ days Nia
TanColor5 4+ days Tan5
TanColor6 5+ days Tan6

Shades are slightly different in Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

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