Animal Crossing: New Horizon’s summer update just dropped, bringing in one major feature in addition to an expansion to players’ critterpedias. Here is a guide to introduce everything added to the free summer update wave 1.
Swimming in Animal Crossing at last
For being a deserted island getaway, the player’s tropical vacation was oddly restricted to land. Although gamers could travel to other islands and explore, they could not traverse beyond the islands’ sandy beaches.
This update does away with that arbitrary restriction, letting players dive into the ocean with reckless abandon. Although it’s restricted to a set perimeter outside the island, it’s better than nothing.
In order to access this new feature, players must purchase a swimsuit. They’re available via Nook’s Cranny store or the Nook Stop terminal in Residence Services, ranging from around 1000 to 3000 bells. The Nook’s Cranny option is recommended because users have immediate access to the swimwear, whereas purchasing anything on the terminal incurs a waiting period until 5AM the following day for purchases to be delivered to players’ mailboxes.
After acquiring the swimsuit, gamers are able to jump straight into the sea from ground level (sadly, you won’t be able to somersault dive from cliff sides). Once in the water, players can maneuver with the control stick but will immediately notice the insanely slow movement speed. Pressing the A button lets players swim at a much faster pace, albeit much slower than running on land.
In water, gamers will notice bubbles rising from the ocean floor. Swim to the source and dive under water by pressing the Y button. Once underwater, a dark shadow, akin to the silhouettes of fishes, are visible. Catch up to these shadows before they run away and press A to pick them up.
Congratulations, you’re now a deep sea diver/explorer. After accomplishing this, the first entry to the Sea Creatures tab on the critterpedia will be made, with countless more to find and catch.
Sea creatures occupy their own critterpedia page, separate from bugs and fish. The sea creatures also have their own “awake” periods and seasons, just like the fish and bugs. They also have their own Nook mile awards, awarding a plethora of new achievements for savvy islanders.
A few minor gripes with this update include the lack of adjustable camera angles and swimming speed. To less than patient players, catching sea creatures while swimming may come off as a chore, but doing chores is Animal Crossing in a nutshell.
Still, players are finally able to swim. An entire year of critter catching awaits!
Other Minor Additions
The update also brought along a familiar face for players to mingle with.
Meet Pascal! He’s a red, adorable sea otter with a penchant for philosophy who will appear once a day while gamers are at sea. To increase one’s chances of meeting him, they must obtain a scallop while diving.
Scallops are obtainable like any other sea creature. They have a medium-sized shadow and are available all day and night, across all seasons.
For every scallop the player gives to him, he exchanges them for mermaid-themed furniture recipes or pearls, which is an important ingredient for said mermaid-recipes (and all around nice-looking!).
Players are able to meet with him once per day, so keep an eye out for those scallops.
Another familiar face is making a grand re-return. It’s Gulliver, this time with pirate gear!
His quests largely remain the same, having players look for parts for his broken communicator but unlike the usual song and dance of digging in the sand for these parts, gamers must take to the ocean to find them.
Islanders must dive like they’re looking for sea creatures to retrieve the lost communicator parts. Expect the quest to take a little longer now (as well as be a little more aggravating, given how slow the player character swims).
The players’ troubles are not for naught, however. Gulliver, thanks to his new gig, now rewards helpful players with pirate-themed gear, ranging from hats, eyepatches, coats, and more. These additions will definitely spice up the summer wardrobe!
This update was just one of the many more that will soon be arriving on New Horizon’s shores. Datamined information hints at cafes, vegetable farming, and more. Previously datamined information, such as Redd’s ship and the museum art gallery expansion were proven true via in-game updates, so these claims will likely be true as well.
The sun has yet to set on the deserted island getaway!