Animal Crossing: New Horizons Summer Update Wave 1 guide — How to swim, get a wet suit, collect sea creatures, and more

Animal Crossing New Horizons Swimming Laughter
Animal Crossing New Horizons Swimming Laughter (Image credit: iMore)

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 Wave 1

Animal Crossing New Horizons How To Update

Animal Crossing New Horizons How To Update (Image credit: iMore)

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.

  1. From the Nintendo Switch's Home menu, hover over the Animal Crossing: New Horizons icon.
  2. Press + and the game information will display.
  3. Scroll down to Software Update.
  4. Select Via the Internet. The Switch will check for any new versions and will download them if necessary.
  5. 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

  1. Equip the wet suit.
  2. Run up to the ocean and Press A to jump in. Note that you cannot go swimming in ponds or rivers.
  3. Press A repeatedly to swim forward.
  4. Rising bubbles indicate the presence of a sea creature. Hold down the Y button when you're above bubbles to dive.
  5. 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

Animal Crossing New Horizons Getting Wet Suit

Animal Crossing New Horizons Getting Wet Suit (Image credit: iMore)

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:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ItemHow to acquireCost
Horizontal-striped wet suitNook's Cranny glass cabinet3,000 Bells
Nook Inc. wet suit*Novelties section of Nook Miles Kiosk800 Nook Miles
Leaf-print wet suit*Nook Shopping3,000 Bells
SnorkelDownload the Summer UpdateFree gift in mailbox
Water shoesNook Shopping or Able Sisters900 Bells

*You will need to wait overnight for the wet suit to arrive in your mailbox.

Sea Creature museum donations

Animal Crossing New Horizons Sea Urchin

Animal Crossing New Horizons Sea Urchin (Image credit: iMore)

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:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Sea CreatureBell ValueSeasonalityActive Hours
Abalone2,000 BellsJune-Jan4 p.m. - 9 a.m.
Acorn barnacle600 BellsAll YearAll Day
Chambered nautilus1,800 BellsMar-June, Sep-Nov4 p.m. - 9 a.m.
Dungeoness crab1,900 BellsNov-MayAll Day
Firefly squid1,400 BellsMar-June9 p.m. - 4 a.m.
Flatworm700 BellsAug-Sep4 p.m. - 9 a.m.
Gazami crab2,200 BellsJune-NovAll Day
Giant Isopod12,000 BellsJuly-Oct9 a.m. - 4 p.m., 9 p.m. - 4 a.m.
Gigas giant clam15,000 BellsMay-SepAll Day
Horseshoe crab2,500 BellsJuly-Sep9 p.m. - 4 a.m.
Lobster4,500 BellsApr-June, Dec-JanAll Day
Mantis shrimp2,500 BellsAll Year4 p.m. - 9 a.m.
Moon jellyfish600 BellsJuly-SepAll Day
Mussel1,500 BellsJune-DecAll Day
Octopus1,200 BellsAll YearAll Day
Oyster2,000 BellsSep-FebAll Day
Pearl oyster2,800 BellsJune-Jan4 p.m. - 9 a.m.
Red king crab8,000 BellsNov-MarAll Day
Scallop1,200 BellsAll YearAll Day
Sea anemone500 BellsAll YearAll Day
Sea cucumber500 BellsNov-AprAll Day
Sea grapes900 BellsAll YearAll Day
Sea pig10,000 BellsNov-Feb4 p.m. - 9 a.m.
Sea pineapple1,500 BellsAll YearAll Day
Sea slug600 BellsAll YearAll Day
Sea star500 BellsAll YearAll Day
Sea urchin1,700 BellsMay-SepAll Day
Seaweed600 BellsOct-JulyAll Day
Slate pencil urchin2,000 BellsMay-Sep4 p.m. - 9 a.m.
Snow crab6,000 BellsNov-AprAll Day
Spider crab12,000 BellsMar-AprAll Day
Spiny Lobster5,000 BellsOct-Dec9 p.m. - 4 a.m.
Spotted garden eel1,100 BellsMay-Oct4 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Sweet shrimp1,400Sep-Feb4 p.m. - 9 a.m.
Tiger prawn3,000 BellsJune-Sep4 p.m. - 9 a.m.
Turban shell1,000Mar-May, Sep-DecAll Day
Umbrella octopus6,000 BellsMar-MayAll Day
Vampire squid10,000 BellsMay-Aug4 p.m. - 9 a.m.
Venus' flower basket5,000 BellsOct-FebAll Day
Whelk1,000 BellsAll YearAll Day

Pascal, scallops, and mermaid DIY recipes

Animal Crossing New Horizons Mermaid Diy

Animal Crossing New Horizons Mermaid Diy (Image credit: Nintendo)

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)

Animal Crossing Pirate Gulliver

Animal Crossing Pirate Gulliver (Image credit: Nintendo)

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 Clothes

  • 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 Decor

  • Pirate Cannon
  • Treasure Chest
  • Horizontal Barrel
  • Pirate Wheel
  • Pirate Barrel
  • Pirate Rug
  • Pirate Wall
  • Pirate Flooring

Dive in!

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.

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

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.