Animal Crossing's Mysterious Diving Mechanic, Explained

animal crossing new horizons diving

In April, Animal Crossing: New Horizons data miner Ninji leaked source code for upcoming game updates. Much of the leak focused on May's now-available content drop, including Redd's arrival, the inclusion of paintings in the Museum and new garden flora for purchase. But the data also revealed a new 'Seafood' entry in the Critterpedia and a diving mechanic yet to be seen. While players still can't dive, it's likely the feature will appear in an upcoming update. Here's how it works.

Diving first appeared in Animal Crossing: New Leaf on Nintendo 3DS. It's yet to be fully confirmed for New Horizons, but the leaked game code combined with the strange rocks appearing below the surface of the water in-game suggest the mechanic may arrive in a future content update.

Many of the features in Animal Crossing: New Horizons have been adapted from past games, with extremely similar (but updated) mechanics used. In the case of fishing and bug catching, the only difference in New Horizons is the addition of new bugs and tool colours.

It stands to reason the New Horizons version of diving would be extremely similar if it does arrives on Switch.

How Diving Works In Animal Crossing

animal crossing diving sea creaturesImage: GameKult

In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, you can purchase a diving suit as a tool. Wearing it lets you enter the ocean waters around your town and hunt for rare sea creatures.

When your villager enters the water and swims around, you'll notice dark shadows and bubbles on the water's surface. This indicates there's a sea creature waiting to be caught. Every creature has a unique shape (small to large) and movement pattern (slow, fast, jittery or stationary).

You're also not alone in the ocean — jellyfish float in the water and can disrupt your catching with stinging barbs.


How To Catch Sea Creature In Animal Crossing

To catch a sea creature, you'll need to dive beneath the water's surface and have your shadow overlap the creature's. Once you collide with its shadow, you'll automatically catch it and add it to your inventory. Some creatures are faster than others, so you'll need to be strategic about when to dive and and attempt the catch.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf had entries for 30 sea creatures in its Critterpedia. In Ninja's data mine, 33 entries were unveiled for New Horizons, making it likely we'll be getting a few more creatures to catch in the new game.

Sea creature you could catch in Animal Crossing: New Leaf included abalone, flatworms, giant isopods, oysters, octopuses, red king crabs, sea anenomes, seaweed, scallops and prawns.


While the diving mechanic is still unconfirmed for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, it wouldn't be surprising to see it make a return, particularly as players begin to fill the pages of their bug and fish catching guides. Stay tuned for more news and updates on Animal Crossing: New Horizons' new and upcoming content as it drops.


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