Since swimming and diving was something that could be done in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, we've long suspected that these aquatic activities would be coming to New Horizons. Finally, three months after the game's release, players will be able to jump into the big blue and take part in several new oceanic activities.
Whether you're trading scallops with Pascal for Mermiad DIY recipes or looking for new creatures to take to Blather's museum, there are plenty of fun new experiences to discover. Here's how to unlock swimming in Animal Crossing: New Horizons along with a list of all the water activities that come with it.
- How to download the Summer Update
- How to swim & dive
- How to get a wet suit
- Sea creature museum donations
- Pascal, scallops, and mermaid DIY recipes
- Captain Gullivarr (Pirate Gulliver)
How to download the Summer Update Wave 1
If, for some reason, the new swimming festivities don't seem to have appeared in your game come July 3, then maybe you need to make sure your Switch downloaded the Summer update.
- From the Nintendo Switch's Home menu, hover over the Animal Crossing: New Horizons icon.
- Press + and the game information will display.
- Scroll down to Software Update.
- Select Via the Internet. The Switch will check for any new versions and will download them if necessary.
- Select OK.
Once these steps have been taken, your Switch will search for any Animal Crossing: New Horizons updates it might not have already. Hopefully that solves the issue and allows you to take part in the summer festivities.
How to unlock swimming & diving
In order to go swimming, players can either acquire a wet suit from the Nook Miles Kiosk or from the cabinet at Nook's Cranny.
How to Swim & Dive
- Equip the wet suit.
- Run up to the ocean and Press A to jump in. Note that you cannot go swimming in ponds or rivers.
- Press A repeatedly to swim forward.
- Rising bubbles indicate the presence of a sea creature. Hold down the Y button when you're above bubbles to dive.
- Now move the joystick until you touch the creature. You'll automatically surface once you've acquired the creature or you've run out of air.
How to get a wet suit
The new swimming gear looks super cool and it's just fun dressing up your avatar for various activities. Here's what you need to do to get one of the wet suits, the snorkel, and a pair of water shoes:
|Item||How to acquire||Cost|
|Horizontal-striped wet suit||Nook's Cranny glass cabinet||3,000 Bells|
|Nook Inc. wet suit*||Novelties section of Nook Miles Kiosk||800 Nook Miles|
|Leaf-print wet suit*||Nook Shopping||3,000 Bells|
|Snorkel||Download the Summer Update||Free gift in mailbox|
|Water shoes||Nook Shopping or Able Sisters||900 Bells|
*You will need to wait overnight for the wet suit to arrive in your mailbox.
Sea Creature museum donations
Upon jumping into the sea, players can dive and collect various critters hiding beneath the waves. You'll definitely want to take them to Blathers to complete the aquarium section of your museum. Of the creatures that can be collected, so far we know of the following:
|Sea Creature||Bell Value||Seasonality||Active Hours|
|Abalone||2,000 Bells||June-Jan||4 p.m. - 9 a.m.|
|Acorn barnacle||600 Bells||All Year||All Day|
|Chambered nautilus||1,800 Bells||Mar-June, Sep-Nov||4 p.m. - 9 a.m.|
|Dungeoness crab||1,900 Bells||Nov-May||All Day|
|Firefly squid||1,400 Bells||Mar-June||9 p.m. - 4 a.m.|
|Flatworm||700 Bells||Aug-Sep||4 p.m. - 9 a.m.|
|Gazami crab||2,200 Bells||June-Nov||All Day|
|Giant Isopod||12,000 Bells||July-Oct||9 a.m. - 4 p.m., 9 p.m. - 4 a.m.|
|Gigas giant clam||15,000 Bells||May-Sep||All Day|
|Horseshoe crab||2,500 Bells||July-Sep||9 p.m. - 4 a.m.|
|Lobster||4,500 Bells||Apr-June, Dec-Jan||All Day|
|Mantis shrimp||2,500 Bells||All Year||4 p.m. - 9 a.m.|
|Moon jellyfish||600 Bells||July-Sep||All Day|
|Mussel||1,500 Bells||June-Dec||All Day|
|Octopus||1,200 Bells||All Year||All Day|
|Oyster||2,000 Bells||Sep-Feb||All Day|
|Pearl oyster||2,800 Bells||June-Jan||4 p.m. - 9 a.m.|
|Red king crab||8,000 Bells||Nov-Mar||All Day|
|Scallop||1,200 Bells||All Year||All Day|
|Sea anemone||500 Bells||All Year||All Day|
|Sea cucumber||500 Bells||Nov-Apr||All Day|
|Sea grapes||900 Bells||All Year||All Day|
|Sea pig||10,000 Bells||Nov-Feb||4 p.m. - 9 a.m.|
|Sea pineapple||1,500 Bells||All Year||All Day|
|Sea slug||600 Bells||All Year||All Day|
|Sea star||500 Bells||All Year||All Day|
|Sea urchin||1,700 Bells||May-Sep||All Day|
|Seaweed||600 Bells||Oct-July||All Day|
|Slate pencil urchin||2,000 Bells||May-Sep||4 p.m. - 9 a.m.|
|Snow crab||6,000 Bells||Nov-Apr||All Day|
|Spider crab||12,000 Bells||Mar-Apr||All Day|
|Spiny Lobster||5,000 Bells||Oct-Dec||9 p.m. - 4 a.m.|
|Spotted garden eel||1,100 Bells||May-Oct||4 a.m. - 9 p.m.|
|Sweet shrimp||1,400||Sep-Feb||4 p.m. - 9 a.m.|
|Tiger prawn||3,000 Bells||June-Sep||4 p.m. - 9 a.m.|
|Turban shell||1,000||Mar-May, Sep-Dec||All Day|
|Umbrella octopus||6,000 Bells||Mar-May||All Day|
|Vampire squid||10,000 Bells||May-Aug||4 p.m. - 9 a.m.|
|Venus' flower basket||5,000 Bells||Oct-Feb||All Day|
|Whelk||1,000 Bells||All Year||All Day|
Pascal, scallops, and mermaid DIY recipes
After collecting your first scallop, Pascal the otter, will swim up to you and will offer to give you mermaid-themed DIY recipes in exchange for the scallops you collect. These recipes will often require pearls, coral, sand dollars, iron nuggets, and giant clams for crafting. For more detail about how to craft these items go here. Here are all of the recipes we know of so far:
- Mermaid Bed
- Mermaid Dresser
- Mermaid Chair
- Mermaid Sofa
- Mermaid Table
- Mermaid Wall Clock
- Mermaid Shelf
- Mermaid Flooring
- Mermaid Lamp
- Mermaid Screen
- Mermaid Clock
- Mermaid Rug
- Mermaid Vanity
- Mermaid Wall
Captain Gullivarr (Pirate Gulliver)
In addition to the other watery festivities, players can randomly encounter Captain Gullivarr (pirate Gulliver), washed ashore on their beaches. After waking him, he'll ask you to gather his communicator, only this time, it will be at the bottom of the sea. Unlike sea creatures, the communicator won't move around under water. The rewards for helping him are special pirate-themed decor or clothing. It should be noted that regular Gulliver will also continue to show up, but he won't give out any pirate goods.
To see what these pirate-themed rewards look like, go here. Now, here's a list of all the rewards we've discovered so far:
- Pirate Bandana
- Pirate Hat
- Pirate Treasure Crown
- Pirate Eyepatch
- Pirate Beard
- Pirate Treasure Robe
- Pirate Dress
- Pirate Outfit
- Pirate Coat
- Pirate Pants
- Pirate Boots
- Pirate Clothes
- Pirate Cannon
- Treasure Chest
- Horizontal Barrel
- Pirate Wheel
- Pirate Barrel
- Pirate Rug
- Pirate Wall
- Pirate Flooring
That's all there is to know about the Summer Update Wave 1. There are plenty of new creatures to collect, a new character to interact with, and plenty of new ways to have fun with your friends. Have fun diving into the depths around your island. I hope you can find all of the creatures you're looking for to fill out Blathers' museum.
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Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.
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