How to Go Diving for Sea Creatures on 'Animal Crossing New Horizons'

Summer's here and you can swim around your 'Animal Crossing' island now. Here's how to go diving on ACNH for sea creatures and pearls.

Amber Garrett - Author

Jul. 7 2020, Updated 12:08 p.m. ET

how to go diving acnh
Source: Nintendo

Summer is finally here, and for indoor kids, there's a way to go swimming in the ocean without ever leaving the couch thanks to the latest update to Animal Crossing New Horizons. The latest version of the game has opened up the waters surrounding your island for swimming and diving, but before you get your virtual toes wet, there's some stuff you should know. Here's how to go diving on ACNH and what you'll find below the surface.

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How to go diving on 'ACNH': a comprehensive guide:

To enter the water, you'll first need a wetsuit, which you can purchase either through the Nook Stop catalog's Special Items menu or from the daily offering at Nook's Cranny. Ordering from Nook Stop adds a day's lead time to your wetsuit, while you can go swimming immediately by purchasing the suit offered that day in the Nook's Cranny cabinet where tools, plants, and other sundries are sold. Suits cost 3,000 bells.

acnh wetsuit
Source: Nintendo
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The wetsuit goes on over whatever clothes you're already wearing, and you'll find if you attempt to try on clothes at Able Sisters, you'll be told you can't enter the dressing room with your wetsuit on, much as you can't try on clothes while wearing a wand outfit.

Once you have on a wetsuit, you can approach the water from the shore, rocks, or even your docks, and press A. Your avatar will wade in if you're on the beach or dive in if you're on rocks or a dock. To swim, you press A and use the left joy-con to control your direction. If you hold A rather than repeatedly smash, your character will continue to kick but will not stroke with its arms, but either way, you will move.

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acnh diving bubbles
Source: Nintendo

Anywhere you see bubbles coming up from the surface of the water, you will find a sea creature of some type below the surface. To dive, press Y, and you will be able to swim — pressing A and steering with the left joy-con — below the surface toward the shadowed object. Pressing A when you are above the object will allow you to pry it up.

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Just like in real life, you can only swim below the surface for a little while before you eventually need to come back up for air. This can make it challenging to get sea creatures because some will move a lot faster than others. For particularly fast sea creatures, you may need to come back up for air several times during your chase until you eventually catch the sea creature.

acnh diving guide
Source: Nintendo
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Who is Pascal on 'Animal Crossing'?

If you happen to pry up a scallop, you will encounter a new character in the game, an otter named Pascal who loves scallops and will give you gifts and DIY recipes in exchange for one scallop per day. Most of the items Pascal gives you are mermaid-themed, such as DIY recipes to make mermaid furniture and outfits such as the mermaid fishy costume.

Pascal's recipes seem to require some combination of shells from the shore and pearls. This new DIY ingredient, like gold nuggets, is fairly rare, but you can find them either while diving for sea creatures or, occasionally, Pascal might offer a pearl in exchange for a scallop. If you somehow find yourself with an excess of pearls, you can also sell them at Nook's Cranny for 10,000 bells.

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acnh pascal
Source: Nintendo

Unfortunately, you can't pry them from the pearl oysters that are also found through diving. All pearls are dug up on their own or given as a gift by Pascal.

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What sea creatures are in 'ACNH'?

There are a total of 40 sea creatures to find, and as of July, only 24 of them are in season in the Northern Hemisphere. The remaining 16 will come available throughout the year. Some of the sea creatures, such as seaweed and sea anemone, are fairly stationary, whereas some will give you chase — often to the point of frustration.

acnh sea creatures
Source: Nintendo
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The fastest creatures so far in the Northern Hemisphere appear to be the gigas giant clam, vampire squid, and giant isopod. Here is a detailed list of the sea creatures available in the north as of July 2020 including their availability, size, and speed.

  • abalone: June to January, 4 p.m.-9 a.m.; medium; medium
  • acorn barnacle: all year, all day; small; stationary
  • gazami crab: June-November, all day; medium; medium
  • giant isopod: July-October, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and 9 p.m.-4 a.m.; medium; extra-fast
  • gigas giant clam: May-September, all day; extra-large; extra-fast
  • horseshoe crab: July-September, 9 p.m.-4 a.m.; medium; medium
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  • mantis shrimp: all year, 4 p.m.-9 a.m., small; medium
  • moon jellyfish: July-September, all day; small; extra-slow
  • mussel: June-December; small; slow
  • octopus: all year, all day; medium; slow
  • pearl oyster: all year, all day; small; medium
  • scallop: all year, all day; medium; slow
acnh vampire squid
Source: Nintendo
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  • sea anemone: all day, all year; large; stationary
  • sea grapes: June-September, all day; small; stationary
  • sea pineapple: April-August, all day; small; slow
  • sea slug: all year; all day; extra-small, extra-slow
  • sea star: all year, all day; small; extra-slow
  • sea urchin: May-September, all day; small, slow
  • seaweed: October-July, all day; large; stationary
  • slate pencil sea urchin: May-September, 4p.m.-9a.m.; medium; medium
  • spotted garden eel: May-October, 4 a.m.-9 p.m.; small; slow
  • tiger prawn: June-September, 4 p.m.-9 a.m., small; medium
  • vampire squid: May-August, 4 p.m.-9 a.m., medium, extra-fast
  • whelk: all year, all day; small; slow
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