Animal Crossing: New Horizons Bug Off — How to catch the most bugs

Animal Crossing New Horions Flick Hero
Animal Crossing New Horions Flick Hero (Image credit: iMore/Casian Holly)

In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the bug-fanatic Flick will occasionally come to your island to host a special Bug Off tournament. This fun little extra has you compete with your villagers for prizes. To win, you'll need to catch as many bugs as you can within three minutes and hope that you've outdone your opponents. However, three minutes isn't a lot of time, and bug spawns can be rather tricky, so winning this competition isn't as simple as you might think. Thankfully, though, you can take a lot of steps to make it much easier on yourself. Here are some tips and tricks that will make taking home the gold in the Bug Off a breeze.

Plant flowers!

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Image credit: iMore)

One of the best ways that you can ensure you'll never have trouble finding a bug to catch during the Bug Off is to plant flowers all over your island. Type and color don't matter a whole lot here (although we encourage variety since it will help you get rare, unique bugs down the line) — essentially, you just want to place a healthy amount of flowers all over the place.

Many different types of bugs are programmed to either spawn on or stick close to flowers. So, the chances of you coming across one (or several!) when you're running near flower fields will be high, which is perfect for a timed competition like Bug Off.

Plan a circuit

Animal Crossing New Horizons Terraforming

Animal Crossing New Horizons Terraforming (Image credit: iMore)

Another great way to maximize your bug-catching during Bug Off is to plan your hunting route ahead of time and stick to it. This way, you can avoid wasting precious seconds on trying to navigate tricky random pieces of land on your island. On top of this, you can also plan your route so that you run near flower fields, patches of woods, rivers, and other types of terrain that tend to spawn bugs commonly. Just make sure that your circuit is large enough so that the parts of it you aren't running on can go offscreen, allowing bugs to respawn.

If you have a hard time remembering what your planned route was, you can use the Island Designer app to create a pathway to follow. If you haven't unlocked the Island Designer path yet, you can alternatively use some dropped items to mark the path as well.

Prioritize easy-to-catch bugs

Animal Crossing New Horions Peacock Butterfly

Animal Crossing New Horions Peacock Butterfly (Image credit: iMore/Casian Holly)

When you're on the clock, spending time trying to creep up on a sensitive critter takes a lot of time. Plus, if you screw up and scare the bug away, you'll have spent all of that time to catch it and will have ended up with nothing to show for it. Thus, going after these types of bugs is risky during the Bug Off.

Instead, we recommend trying to prioritize bugs that don't get scared of you, such as the numerous butterfly species, crickets, and giant water bugs. If the only bugs you see are the sensitive variety, go for them. But if you ever have to choose between a butterfly and a beetle, go with the butterfly. Quantity matters the most for the Bug Off, so focus on getting the easy and risk-free catches first and the hard ones afterward.

Don't always sprint

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Bug Catching

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Bug Catching (Image credit: iMore)

In cases where you don't immediately spot bugs in areas that are likely to spawn them, remember to slow down to a walking speed instead of sprinting nearby full-throttle. Yes, you only have three minutes, but it's better to slow down for a second or two while taking a closer look than it is to keep sprinting and accidentally scare a bug. Every catch matters during the Bug Off, so being reckless will make it harder for you to rack up more points.

Bring a few extra nets

Animal Crossing New Horizons Bug Catching Stump

Animal Crossing New Horizons Bug Catching Stump (Image credit: iMore/Casian Holly)

It's easy to forget that bug-catching nets have limited durability while you're frantically hunting for critters in a Bug Off round. Still, you'll swiftly be reminded when the one you're using breaks halfway through your time limit. Not paying attention to your net's durability can be your downfall. Therefore, we recommend bringing a couple of spare nets with you before participating in the Bug Off. Since they're so easy to craft, this won't be hard for most players to do.

It's beneficial to know how many bugs you can catch with a net before it breaks as well. Flimsy nets break after 10 catches. Regular, colorful, star, and outdoorsy nets break after 30, while the golden net will break after 90 catches.

You're now ready to go!

And with that, you're equipped with everything you need to know to be a Bug Off master! If you exercise all five of these tips, you'll have no problem catching loads of bugs for Flick during his competition.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available now for $60 on Nintendo Switch.

Brendan Lowry