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Can You Enjoy Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Without Spending?

 Throughout my years of gaming, I've grown bitter and cynical, in particular with mobile games. You see, I've tried many a game that has microtransactions that ultimately ruin the experience, be it for pay-to-win mechanics or heavily monetised things that start making it feel hard to be able to enjoy them. It's for this reason that I've begun to pay very close attention to microtransactions in games and how greedy they may or may not be.

In my journeys, I've stumbled upon Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, a charming little game made by Nintendo. The mobile entry of the Animal Crossing franchise has you running a small camp where you can host up to eight whimsical villagers ranging from barnyard animals to cephalopods; it's basically Animal Crossing with a hint of mobile.

The main goal in the game is to befriend all of the campers whilst also decorating the several areas that are offered to you: the campsite, the cabin, and your very own van. As such, you could guess that some of the furniture would be gated behind paywalls due to its mobile roots, and you wouldn't be wrong.

The premium currency in Pocket Camp is called "Leaf Tickets" with several ways to acquire them. Of course, the first and most obvious one is purchasing them with real currency, with prices ranging from $0.99 to $39.99, several deals that happen in events (such as the latest Black Friday sale), and subscription services that provide some benefits along with a few Leaf Tickets monthly.


It's okay, the thousands is normal where I live. It's actually $2.99 & $8.99

The second way of acquiring them is mostly through playing. Surprisingly, Nintendo can be very generous with these, especially to brand new players. There are several different ways to be able to acquire these, which include things like playing and levelling up, logging in daily, and participating in the monthly events. Although these don't net you a ton of Leaf Tickets, smart spenders will find these to be enough for some of the things they might want.

The main problem with the Leaf Ticket currency is how costly some things can be, along with how they continue becoming more expensive as time goes on. 

Some items are only available via Leaf Tickets; these are the most premium, such as "special" campers that you can place around your camp, like K.K. Slider, Brewster, and the notorious Tom Nook.

Aside from the special campers, players can acquire one fortune cookie that will contain one of 10 items with varying rarities, each one costing 50 Leaf Tickets. These fortune cookies work like loot boxes, and getting too many of these will often net several of the most common items whilst few or none of the rarest; in terms of cost efficiency, the fortune cookies feel like some of the least profitable options.

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My wife's toon and two special characters: K.K. Slider & Brewster.

These aren't the only premium items either. Not only are premium currency items common — with the gyroidite hunt event often releasing two or more premium items — but Nintendo also releases monthly clothes that you can only acquire through Leaf Tickets. The unfortunate part is that if you want to dress up all of your campers, you could be spending north of 1,000 Leaf Tickets to adorn them all and yourself. That's $39.99!

All hope isn't lost, however. Pocket Camp offers enough Leaf Tickets at times to feel satisfied and be able to acquire a lot of the items one wants. Although there are certainly some items that feel significantly less cost-efficient, like the aforementioned fortune cookies and clothes, you can acquire some of the items with enough farming due to how often you can get Leaf Tickets through the events. However, this does mean that acquiring cookie items becomes borderline impossible; the keyword being "borderline".

If you have a friend, you can get them addicted to Pocket Camp and exchange gifts with them. These gifts you can acquire through different means, such as participating in the latest event which rewards players with some unique gifts that have one of the latest cookies released; although this is only a chance at getting cookies, there is the + version of each gift that assures one of the cookies in the list. These gifts are given commonly enough that my wife and I have been able to get tons of random cookie items because we play regularly and trade.

Aside from the trading, Nintendo always gifts one of each of the new cookies every month in the "collecting" events that take part in-between the main events. These reward one of the latest cookies released, from which I've heard of some people getting ridiculous luck and getting the rarest item. You can also get a cookie through Timmy's and Tommy's stall, which resets daily and sometimes has one or two cookies for sale at the cost of bells, the free currency in-game.

tommy stall

As you can see, Timmy & Tommy hate me and refuse to give me special cookies.

And of course, the last and most efficient way to get cookie items is by purchasing the $7.99 Cookie & Depot Plan. This monthly plan offers the capability to choose five cookies from a large assortment of newly-released and ones dating years back to their original release. Not only does this plan help with gathering stamps that you can use to exchange for a specific cookie item, but it also has offered my wife the capability to acquire many cookie items that she wanted. The Cookie & Depot Plan is more cost-efficient because it offers five cookies less expensive than buying the Leaf Tickets to buy them, but it also lets you choose from cookies that are no longer available.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a great game to spend your time on, and although the monetisation can be frustrating at times, I think the best way to experience the game is being a low-spender; most players won't need to spend thousands of dollars to get what they want. Going free-to-play is definitely an option, but then it is imperative to keep in mind to wisely spend, and forget about being able to have everything you want due to how many premium items are released monthly. Nintendo can be generous with Leaf Tickets, but not that much.

Artura Dawn

Artura Dawn

Staff Writer

Writes in her sleep, can you tell?

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