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How to swim in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

The Animal Crossing: New Horizons summer update is finally here, bringing with it a host of new content. Players will be able to interact with a new non-player character (NPC), craft a bunch of new furniture, and — most importantly — swim out into the water surrounding their island.

There’s a lot of stuff lurking out in the ocean, but thankfully Nintendo has made it easy to navigate this exciting new feature. Here’s everything you need to know about swimming in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Further reading

  • Everything included in Animal Crossing’s summer update
  • Where to find New Horizons’ rarest fish
  • How to get golden tools in New Horizons

Gather the proper equipment

Jon Bitner / Digital Trends

Before going out to the beach, you’ll need to buy yourself a wetsuit. Head on over to Nook’s Cranny and look in the cabinet that usually holds plants, tools, and wallpaper. You’ll now see a randomly selected wetsuit design. Purchase one of these — our horizontal stripes wetsuit cost 3,000 bells — and put it on to enable your swimming ability.

You also have the option of wearing a snorkel, but from our testing, it didn’t seem to have any impact on gameplay. While a wetsuit is mandatory to entire the ocean, snorkels look to be nothing more than a fashion statement.

Jump into the water

Jon Bitner / Digital Trends

Once you’ve slipped into your wetsuit, head down to the nearest beach and stand at the water’s edge. To jump in, simply press the “A” button on your controller. Keep tapping or holding down the button to start swimming. To get back to land, you just need to steer your islander towards the shore, and they will automatically wade out of the water when close enough.

Diving underwater

Of course, before you leave the water, you’ll probably want to take advantage of the new diving mechanic. While swimming, press the “Y” button to dive underwater. You’ll only be able to hold your breath for a few seconds before automatically surfacing, but there’s no limit to the number of times you can dive before needing to exit the water and take a break.

Look for sea creatures

Jon Bitner / Digital Trends

Swimming and diving are fun diversions on their own, but New Horizons has also introduced a brand new page of the Critterpedia for players to uncover in the form of sea creatures. These can only be found out in the ocean, and players must dive underwater to find them.

Jon Bitner / Digital Trends

Sea creatures can easily be spotted while swimming by looking for a constant stream of bubbles. Head toward this indicator, then dive below the surface. The camera will shift to a more vertical position, allowing you to clearly see a shadow underwater. Position your islander on top of this spot, and they’ll nab the unknown object, subjecting you to a whole new set of puns.

Donating sea creatures to the museum

Unlike the update that introduced Redd and the Art Exhibit, sea creatures have not been given a new wing of the museum. Instead, they are placed in existing tanks in the Fish section of the museum. Bring your first sea creature to Blathers, and he will promptly display it with all your other catches.

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