Congrats! It’s your first day and the game is now synchronized to your current time (in real life)! Now, you are technically free to do whatever you want to do, but you won’t get very far without doing what the game wants you to do.
Let’s get starting on Day 1!
(1) Ooo… a smartphone! For me? Yes. Tom Nook will grant you a NookPhone, which is very handy and used quite often throughout the game. You can activate it using ZL. Before heading off to the next step, take some time to familiarize yourself with your new NookPhone. The most important apps are Nook Miles and Custom Designs (although Nook Miles is used more often).
(2) Head to the resident services tent. Tom Nook and Timmy will be there (Tommy will be roaming outside). You can sell stuff you no longer need to Timmy for a certain number of bells. First, talk to Tom Nook. You can ask him three things, “What should I do?”, “About that workshop…”, and “About my moving fees…”. You should select the workshop option.
(3) You need to find five tree branches to make a flimsy fishing rod! Remember that you can shake trees until the A button falls off, meaning that every tree spawns unlimited tree branches. Don’t settle for just five… gather a few more just in case 😉
(4) Head back to Tom Nook. You will be introduced to the world of crafting! Craft a flimsy fishing rod, and you can admire the other recipes he gives you. You should also craft those recipes ASAP as well.
(5) Assuming you are the first person to settle on the island (Resident Representative), you have lots of responsibility! You will be in charge of starting up the first few buildings, upgrades, and more. For example, the Resident Rep should receive a recipe in the mail for a Simple DIY Workbench (so you don’t have to use Tom Nook’s anymore!), while other users will not receive this. More info on this later.
(6) Go out and catch fish and bugs with your new tools! Press A to activate either of these. Your goal today is to gather a total of five fish or bugs (five total, not five of each). Show one creature to Tom Nook to unlock a new app for your phone! This is the Critterpedia app and can be used to find more information on fish and bugs you caught! Other rewards are given for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th creature you give (Flimsy Axe recipe, flowers, and Flimsy Watering Can recipe, respectively). The fifth unique creature gets Tom Nook a call from Blathers! Find a nice spot for him and his museum (you can change this later on, but it costs quite a chunk of change).
(7) To wrap up your first day, go ahead and collect more fish, bugs, and items from your beach to sell to Timmy! You should definitely start looking at the Nook Miles app on your NookPhone, you still have a loan of 5000 miles waiting to be paid!
That’s all for the first day, stay tuned for more information about your second day on your new island paradise.