In this entry in the Animal Crossing series, the player takes the role of a new employee at the Tom Nook Housing Center. As part of their job, they have to help animal villagers design homes. Every aspect of the customer's property can be customized, including location, exterior appearance, and furniture. Animals may have specific requests, such as a mother kangaroo who wants a child-friendly house. Other animals may ask for specific furniture styles or themes, and some pre-selected furniture items will be required to be used in the home design. The player will need to watch their client's reactions as they design the home, as it is possible for an animal to be unhappy with the final result.
By completing requests, the player gains more customization options to choose from, and can choose to go back to completed homes to make adjustments. Progression in the game will also unlock community buildings for the player to refurbish and redesign, such as schools, hotels, and shops. Completed projects can be visited by the player, where they can watch the town's animals going about their daily lives.
The player can scan in amiibo cards made specifically for this game, which will cause new animals to appear in town, interact with the current residents, and make their own design requests. Some animal villagers are amiibo-exclusive.