Possibly the biggest update to ever come to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the 2020 free summer update brings with it the ability to swim and dive! You’ll need to get yourself a wetsuit but once prepared, you can explore the vast ocean, search for pearls and new sea creatures to trade and collect! You might even meet Pascal the otter on your travels. Read on for the good stuff.
There are numerous ways to collect bells and discover new insects and plants on Animal Crossing: New Horizons. However we’re always on the lookout for new creatures and now with swimming and diving being added to the repertoire, aside from just splashing around in the ocean, you can also find and collect a host of new sea creatures. These creatures might prove to be invaluable to you as they are currently the only way you can earn the rare Pearls on Animal Crossing. You’ll need these Pearls in order to craft the new mermaid-themed DIY recipes which you might be able to squeeze out of Pascal the otter in exchange for some exotic sea creatures.
If you want to dip those toes in the ocean, we advise you to fully shut down your Switch and turn off the game in order for the update to be installed, otherwise you’ll be watching your friends splashing about from the sandy shore.
As in real life, there are numerous places you can get your wetsuit on Animal Crossing but we recommend you go directly to Nook’s Cranny and look inside the cabinet. It is the easiest and fastest way of getting a wetsuit but with only one variation per day available to purchase from the Nook nephews, be sure to find the one that best suits you.
A wetsuit will set you back around 3,000 bells but you also have the option of using your Nook mikes to purchase a special Nook range wetsuit in Residential Services. The sleek black and turquoise wet suit will set you back about 800 Nook Miles and you will only receive it the day after purchase, worth bearing in mind if you’re eager to get swimming.
First you need to get suited up and this is the same procedure as getting dressed every day. Simply find the wetsuit in your inventory and select ‘wear’. It will appear over your normal clothes (so you’ll still be wearing shoes), not exactly the best fashion statement but you’ll be good to go. You will also find a snorkel that you have been gifted and other swimming items but these won’t have any impact on your ability to swim.
Now that you’re suited up, it’s time to let the good times roll and get in the ocean. You can either walk in through the waves or jump off one of the stony areas around your island by pressing A. Swimming itself is easy, just keep pressing A and use the left analog stick to steer the direction you want to go in. If you press nothing whilst in the water, you will simply tread water and if you keep repeatedly tapping A whilst moving around, you will swim faster. We should mention that unfortunately you cannot swim as far as other new islands as there is a boundary a few meters off the coast, at least you don’t have to worry about getting lost!
You will need to dive in order to discover what hidden treasures await you under the water. When you see bubbles on the surface of the water, press Y to dive down and discover what kind of creature it is. Remember you’ll need to collect sea creatures in order to eventually find those Pearls, so have no fear, dive down and collect whatever you can find.
It’s worth noting that Pascal the sea otter will trade you mermaid DIY recipes for any scallops you find and you’ll need some Pearls to complete these recipes so keep your eyes peeled.
Now that you know how to manoeuvre yourself in the sea, it’s all about exploring this domain. As mentioned above, bubbles on the surface of the water often indicate a creature in the water below you. If you’re positioned correctly over the bubbles and press Y, you will dive down and come back up with a new sea creature such as a sea star or sea anemone. You can also dive underwater and swim towards any shadows you come across. (Note that once you’re underwater, the camera will tilt and give you a better view of what’s below you.) Once you swim to the shadow while under water, you’ll automatically collect whatever is there.
In addition to new sea creatures you might also find new types of vegetation including seaweed, sea grapes and more. In your Critterpedia, you will find a new section called ‘sea creatures’ and anything you end up collecting while swimming will end up in there.
As previously mentioned, you can trade in certain creatures with the otter Pascal for new DIY recipes, you can donate some of the wildlife you find to Blathers museum, you’ll need to use the pearls you find while diving to complete mermaid-themed DIY recipes and as with all other ‘normal’ wildlife, you can place it as decoration on your island.
Get cracking enjoying this great new summer update and stay tuned for the next big update due in August 2020. In the mean time, if you’re looking for more tips and tricks to improve your island life, have a look at this article or if you’re a bit strapped for cash check this one out.
Image: © Nintendo