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Usagi Shima: Cute Idle Bunnies Beginner’s Guide: Tips, Tricks & Strategies to Become the Best Caretaker

Back in 2014, a video of a woman being stampeded by adorable rabbits made rounds all over the internet. Of course, it’s unsurprising why this video became viral—unless you’ve got an extreme fear of rabbits, not a lot of people would pass off the chance to be dogpiled by these chubby fuzzballs! And so it was that Ōkunoshima, a small island in the Inland Sea of Japan, became somewhat of a tourist attraction with its hordes of rabbits making up the bulk of the population.

Nobody could really say for sure where the rabbits came from. Some say they were from a British couple who brought them into the island; others say that they were released by children from a nearby school as far back in the 1970s. Nevertheless, Ōkunoshima has become a haven for these creatures and has served as the inspiration for Usagi Shima, which quite literally translates to “Rabbit Island”—the nickname Ōkunoshima had earned.

Published by pank0, a one-person team, in August of 2023, Usagi Shima: Cute Idle Bunnies is a relaxing, beautifully drawn, and well-animated idle game where you’re tasked to be the caretaker of an abandoned island—except, as you’ll eventually find out, it’s not really abandoned after all as rabbits will start to appear out of nowhere!

usagi shima cover

As an idle game, the mechanics are pretty simple and intended to give the player a rather laidback but still enjoyable experience: all you need to do is decorate the island, which will entice the rabbits to come visit you. As these cute furballs keep dropping by, you’ll get the chance to interact with them in a number of ways. This will allow you to increase your friendship levels with them. As the caretaker of this island, your job is to primarily beautify the surroundings and make friends with your charming little visitors!

Apart from the soothing background music, what really makes this game a treat is the art style, which is reminiscent of Japanese woodblock printing. The soft colors and the textured feel of the environment, buildings, items, and even the bunnies themselves pleasantly align with the Japanese-themed appearance of the game as it features ponds, torii (Japanese temple gates), paper lanterns, stone lanterns, cherry trees, and many other period decor alongside delightful oddities like glow-in-the-dark ducks, strawberry houses, watermelon pillows, and the like.

usagi shima environment

Players will also have a convenient time switching easily between both landscape and portrait view depending on your preference. For the purposes of this guide, we’ll be featuring landscape-oriented screenshots to illustrate our points.

usagi shima landscape view

You also have a menu on the upper left-hand corner of the screen, which allows you to access several features, such as the shop, the Bunbook, the tip jar, photos, and the like.

usagi shima features

Additionally, the game also applies a day and night cycle based on your device’s time. For instance, if you play during the day, the island will look bright and sunny. However, come nighttime, the island will display an evening setting wherein you can further appreciate the island by peppering it with items that glow in the dark.

usagi shima items

Speaking of items, you can buy several items in the shop using carrots. Of course, what could be more precious to rabbits? Carrots come in two types: you have regular carrots, which are your basic currency, and you have golden carrots, which are your premium currency.

Regular carrots can be earned as rewards, as well as by interacting with your rabbit visitors. From time to time, you’ll also see carrots scattered all over the island, which you can dig from the ground to collect. Regular carrots are used for most toys, furniture, landscaping items, and headwear. When you unlock the beach (more on this later), you may also collect different seashells from the ground, which will be counted as regular carrots.

usagi shima carrots

Golden carrots, on the other hand, are mostly earned as rewards for completing daily tasks (more on this later). As a premium currency, golden carrots are used to purchase premium-grade toys, furniture, landscaping decor, headwear, and new buildings. Later on, golden carrots are also used to unlock a new area in the island. Of course, you can expect premium-grade items to be rather expensive, so it goes without saying that you need to spend your golden carrots wisely.

usagi shima golden carrot

Though the game has a rather laidback feel, there are still a handful of things you can do to speed up your progress when it comes to fulfilling your responsibilities as the island’s caretaker. In this beginner’s guide for Usagi Shima: Cute Idle Bunnies, we’ll teach you how to earn as many carrots as you can, entice more rabbits to visit frequently, make friends faster with these cute creatures, and get more bonuses by playing! Are you ready to be the best caretaker you can be? Let’s make some cute little bunnies happy!

Decorate, Decorate, Decorate

As mentioned, your job as the island’s caretaker is to make it a beautiful, enjoyable place for your rabbit visitors. Naturally, you can do this by decorating the island. In the beginning, you’ll have a rather empty-looking island with a few trees and not much else.

Fortunately, you’ll have access to a shop, which sells all that you need to make your island the best place to live for your rabbit visitors. The shop is actually the very first building that will be on the island. At the shop, you can find different items for purchase divided into their own respective sections:

usagi shima toys and furniture
  • Toys and furniture: Items in this part of the shop are composed mostly of things that the rabbits themselves can interact with. Some examples are balls, umbrellas, logs, beds, tents, light fixtures, and many others. Toys and furniture items are perhaps the most important items that you can buy since having a specific item on your island can entice a specific rabbit to visit as each one has their own favorite toy or thing (you can find this information in the Bunbook, which we’ll discuss later) they love to play with.

    Try to purchase as many new toys and furniture and place them on the island so more rabbits will be inclined to visit. Though rabbits have their own favorite toys, that doesn’t mean they’ll only interact with those specific items all the time—you can still find them trying out different toys and fixtures on the island. The bottom line is that the more toys and furniture you have, the more bunnies can enjoy their stay on the island!
usagi shima landscaping
  • Landscaping: Items in this section are mostly for decorative purposes, such as plants, trees, flowers, stones, lights, etc. They don’t seem to have as much of a direct impact to your rabbit visitors compared to toys and furniture, but landscaping items still help beautify the island and make it a wonderful, cozy environment.
usagi shima buildings
  • Buildings: Buildings are various structures that rabbits can interact with and make your island look more like a thriving community. Some examples of buildings you can buy are ponds, bridges, a tea shop, a bakery, a shrine, a dango shop, and the like. When you add buildings on your island, you’ll see different bunnies interacting with these buildings by hanging out or ordering at the tea shop, fishing at the pond, eating at the bakery, etc. Unlike other items in the shop, buildings can only be bought using golden carrots.

    Of course, some buildings tend to be more expensive than others. A few buildings can also be classified as transparent, meaning when you click on them, you can see what’s inside and how the bunnies interact with the furniture. These usually apply to buildings that are worth 25 golden carrots, which is by far the most expensive buildings you’ll encounter as a beginner.
usagi shima headwear
  • Headwear: The headwear section of the shop can only be accessed when you’ve managed to accomplish an achievement, specifically when you’ve made friends with 20 rabbits. A new shopkeeper will appear on your island, thus giving you access to the headwear section of the shop. This is where you can buy various hats and headwear that you can put on individual rabbits.

    However, keep in mind that some rabbits already have headwear by default or have an item on their head. One such rabbit is Yuzu, a yellow bunny that has a leaf sprout on its head. Another rabbit that already wears a hat by default is Kinoko. As such, neither Yuzu nor Kinoko might appreciate it when you buy any kind of headwear for them. Take this into consideration when you want to buy headwear for your rabbits. Remember, you want to make them happy, not annoyed!

The shop only sells a limited number of items but it resets its offerings every so often regardless of whether or not you’ve purchased anything. You’ll notice that some items in the shop have a lightbulb next to their icon, which indicates that they can light up during the evening cycle. Though the game itself changes between night and day, items offered in the shop will not be affected by the time of day you buy them. For instance, you can still purchase lanterns or glow-in-the-dark items during daytime, provided they’re available in the shop’s list of items for sale.

One other thing you’ll notice about the shop is that you can purchase the same items multiple times. For instance, if you already bought one ball and placed it on the island, you’ll get to buy the same ball if it appears in the shop again. Buying the same items, of course, is optional, though it can work to your advantage to have more than one of the same item if more than one rabbit lists this particular item as their favorite toy. With this, you have a higher chance of both rabbits visiting the island at the same time.

Maximize the Island’s Available Space

In the beginning, you’re going to have an ample amount of space for toys and other smaller items on the island. However, as you continue to keep decorating and buying more stuff for your rabbit friends to enjoy, you’ll eventually have to maximize the space you’re allotted. The good news is that there’s a small portion of the island that you can still unlock, which is the beach area. Basically, what you’ll be unlocking here is the shoreline, which is a strip of accessible land area near the water. It costs 10 golden carrots to unlock and use the beach area. 

usagi shima beach locked

We recommend saving up your golden carrots for the beach area first instead of spending them on buildings. This is because having some extra space means that the building items you invest in later can all fit on the island without you having to move around their initial layout too much. If you’re the more organized type of player, planning out the island’s layout early on can save you the trouble of rearranging the items and buildings you’ve already bought.

However, if that isn’t really your style, you can still opt for a more whimsical approach to decorating your island, though keep in mind that some items cannot be placed too close to each other as you will have to reserve some space for the rabbits to stay in when they arrive and want to interact with a specific item. Some items can accommodate two or more rabbits at once depending on their appearance. For instance, the hanging carrots on a pole can have two rabbits sitting next to it at the same time.

unlocking the beach in usagi shima

Regardless of how you want to make your island look like, it’s best to unlock the beach first before adding in buildings. It can take a little while to save up your golden carrots to unlock the beach, but this is also far easier to do compared to buying buildings, which can cost up to 25 golden carrots for just one building. Additionally, unlocking the beach early also means you get to access new beach-themed items in the shop, such as the beach ball, umbrella, radio, sand castle, etc.

Make Friends with the Bunnies

With a well-decorated island, it won’t be long until more bunnies start to visit! There are about 30 rabbits that you can encounter in the game and you’ll be able to check their individual profiles using the Bunbook. This is where you’ll be able to log all the rabbits that have visited your island.

A new entry will appear once a new rabbit has visited. You need to be logged into the game and encounter that new rabbit yourself for its profile to be included in the Bunbook. We mention this specifically as some new rabbits can visit the island while you’re not logged into the game. In cases like these, that new rabbit won’t be included in the Bunbook until you see it yourself.

usagi shima bunbook

Each profile in the Bunbook will contain a rabbit’s photo along with their name, personality, friendship status, favorite toys, keepsakes, headwear, photos, and whether or not a rabbit has become a resident of the island. 

usagi shima momo

True to the staple idle game format, each rabbit will visit at random as there isn’t any preferred visiting time indicated in the Bunbook. Thus, we recommend checking back into the game every couple of hours to see if you have a new visitor. With each new rabbit, you get the chance to not just complete all the profiles in the Bunbook, but to also increase your friendship status with them. You can do this by interacting with the rabbits in five ways, namely the following:  

rubbing momo back and forth in usagi shima
  • Rub: Rabbits that want to be rubbed will have a hand icon appear over their head or next to their photo on the lower right-hand side of the screen. If you click on this specific rabbit, you have to swipe your finger over them back and forth, mimicking a rubbing motion, until all the three heart meters above their head are filled.
playing hide and seek in usagi shima
  • Play hide and seek: Clicking on a rabbit that wants to play hide and seek will make the rabbit disappear from their initial location and hide away in an area anywhere on the island. You have a limited number of seconds to find the hiding rabbit. This sounds a bit easy in the beginning, but it can be rather difficult to accomplish when you already have a lot of items and buildings on the island as they tend to be distracting.

    One trick to quickly find a hiding rabbit is to swipe over the screen until a prompt pops up noting that the rabbit is somewhere nearby. When this prompt pops up, it means that this hiding rabbit is within the current frame on your screen. If there’s no prompt, it means the rabbit isn’t within the frame you’re currently at.

Some common hiding places for rabbits are rooftops, tree tops, behind tree branches, and behind buildings. Be sure to keep an eye out for their faces or their tails. Keep in mind that even though you haven’t unlocked the beach area yet, some rabbits can hide behind the trees in that area so be observant!

brusing maru back and forth in usagi shima
  • Brush: Brushing a rabbit works similarly to rubbing them. Rabbits that want to be brushed will have a brush icon next to their image or on top of their head. Click on the brush and keep moving it back and forth over the rabbit until the three star meters above its head are filled.
taking a photo in usagi shima
  • Take a photo: From time to time, rabbits would also like to have their photos taken! You’ll know a rabbit wants to have its Kodak moment when a camera icon appears next to their image or on top of their head. If you click the camera icon, you’ll take a photo of the rabbit interacting with an item on the island. You may choose to save its photo, which will be sent to the photo album by default. From the photo album, you can click on a photo and move it to a specific rabbit’s photo collection, which can be viewed in their profile in the Bunbook.
feeding in usagi shima
  • Feed: If a rabbit has a food dish icon next to their image or above their head, this means they’d like to eat! If you click on a hungry rabbit, you’ll have to shake a packet of pellets above their food bowl. Once the packet is empty, this will disappear and you’ll get to watch the rabbit munch on its pellets for a few seconds.

Every time you interact with rabbits in these five ways, you’ll be able to gain regular carrots as a reward while also increasing your friendship status with them. At the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, you’ll be able to see which rabbits want to interact, wherein clicking their image from here will transport you to where that rabbit is on the island. Thereafter, you can start interacting with them. A list of three rabbits at a time will be displayed. Continue to interact with the rabbits until the list doesn’t feature any more rabbits.

usagi shima interactions

The type of interactions rabbits may want are at random, and some rabbits may choose to interact with you multiple times or not at all. If you interact with these rabbits enough, you’ll be able to fill out 10 hearts in the friendship status section of their Bunbook profile. You’ll start out as strangers and work your way up to becoming a rabbit’s best friend! When you become a bun’s bestie, you’ll have the option to invite them as a resident of the island.

usagi shima resident rabbit

Once a rabbit is a resident, they won’t leave and you’ll always have at least one bunny to keep you company. If you manage to invite three rabbit residents, you’ll earn an achievement!

Get Gifts and Bonuses

Making friends with bunnies and making sure the island looks as pretty as it could be could take some effort, but your hard work won’t go unrewarded! Aside from interacting with your bunny visitors, there are a couple of ways you can get carrots, which will definitely come in handy when you’re eyeing an expensive purchase or multiple items in the shop. By completing a few simple tasks or logging into the game regularly, you can get more carrots and other rewards through the following:

usagi shima caretaker's daily to do list
  • Caretaker’s daily to-do: Every day, you have a set of tasks you need to accomplish, each of which will get you 10 regular carrots whenever you tick them off your checklist. These tasks basically include accomplishing various interactions with a number of bunnies. For instance, whenever you rub five bunnies, you get to tick this task off your checklist and get 10 regular carrots. Upon finishing all the items in your daily to-do list, you’ll be able to get one golden carrot.
usagi shima stamp card
  • Stamp card: Each day you log in, you get to claim a reward from the stamp card. Rewards aren’t limited to carrots as you can also get golden carrots, new toys and items, and even buildings. Though rewards are at random, you already get to see what you can claim each day so don’t forget to login daily if only to claim the stamp card rewards.
usagi shima achievements
  • Achievements: Achievements are similar to the caretaker’s to-do list, except these feature more long-term tasks that are achievable over the course of your gameplay. Some of these include making friends with 20 bunnies, having lots of decorations on the island, unlocking the beach area, and so on. Unlike the daily to-do list, achievements will not reset once you’ve accomplished them.
collecting tips from the tip jar in usagi shima
  • Collect tips from the tip jar: Every time you log out of the game and come back a few hours later, you’ll discover that your bunny friends have left you some goodies in your tip jar! Basically, they’ll be leaving carrots in your tip jar, which really comes in handy if you’re saving up to purchase more stuff from the shop. However, keep in mind that the tip jar can only accommodate tips from 10 bunnies so check the game from time to time to empty out the tip jar even if you don’t intend to play or interact.

    In the beginning, only a few bunnies will leave tips, but as you get more visitors on the island, you’ll find that your tip jar gets full faster! From time to time, you might see bunnies with “???” under name when you view who’s left tips in your tip jar. This means that this is a bunny who’s visited but you weren’t logged into the game to interact with them. Don’t worry, though, as they’ll come back eventually and, hopefully, you’ll be around to catch them!

Watch Ads to Double Your Rewards

It’s one thing to get rewards, and quite another to double them! Who doesn’t want to double their bonuses anyway? One simple method of accomplishing this is to watch a couple of short ads. We know, we know—ads can be a bit annoying or distracting at times, but the good news is that Usagi Shima: Cute Idle Bunnies doesn’t force you to watch ads frequently.

Whenever you have the chance to watch ads, a prompt will always appear wherein you can either agree or refuse to watch ads. We recommend taking advantage of this opportunity as the ads are fairly short and when you do watch them, it’s double the rewards you can claim. Here are three instances when it’s a good idea to watch ads:

usagi shima 3-minute double rewards
  • 3-minute double rewards: On the lower right-hand corner of the screen, just above the number of carrots you have, you’ll see a green icon that has a heart, two carrots, and a play button. If you click on this, you’ll be asked if you want to watch an ad, which will double the amount of carrots you can collect for 3 minutes whenever you interact with bunnies during that time frame. When the 3 minutes is up, you can watch another ad to double your rewards if there are bunnies that still want to interact with you.

    Keep in mind that after a while, there won’t be any more bunnies who’d want to interact with you so when you’ve noticed that the bunnies want to chill out by themselves, there’s no need to watch ads anymore. Until then, we recommend making the most of the 3-minute double rewards as it’s an easy way to get as many carrots as you can!
usagi shima double rewards
  • Double rewards when collecting to-do rewards: Whenever you manage to tick an item off your caretaker’s to-do list, the game will ask you if you want to watch an ad to double your rewards. We recommend doing this as well! Each item on the caretaker’s to-do list gives you 10 carrots upon completion so watching an ad will give you an instant 20 carrots for each accomplished task. When you’ve finished all the tasks in the list, you can receive one golden carrot, which you can turn into two golden carrots if you opt to watch an ad before collecting the reward.
skipping build times in usagi shima
  • Skip build times: Once you’ve saved up enough golden carrots, you might be thinking of buying a building to spruce up the island. But since it’s a structure, it needs some time to be built and completed—specifically 8 hours! If you can’t wait to have a particular building on your island, then all you need to do is watch a quick ad to skip the entire building time.

    You can do this by clicking the play button on top of the construction site. If you really think about it, it’s not a bad deal: just watch a 30- to 45-second ad and skip 8 hours of waiting for a building to complete. It’s a win-win!

This concludes our beginner’s guide for Usagi Shima: Cute Idle Bunnies. Hopefully, you were able to learn how to make fast friends with your furry visitors, save up tons of carrots, and be the best caretaker of this cozy little island. Chill out, have fun, and don’t forget to leave your thoughts in our comments below!