Nintendo has been beefing up “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” with regular free updates. On Thursday morning, they offered arguably the biggest announcement since April’s update, which expanded the museum and added Crazy Redd’s art shop to the game. Starting July 3, you can swim in the ocean, which introduces a range of new items, museum exhibits, character interactions and DIY recipes.
After downloading the free update, players can don a wet suit and snorkel to dive into ocean waters, where they’ll find sea creatures — including sea stars, sea anemone and spotted garden eel — all of which can be donated to Blathers at the museum or sold at Nook’s Cranny. As you explore the deep sea, you’ll encounter Pascal, a red otter that will offer new DIY recipes to you, used to build mermaid-themed decor and furniture.
The update also changes how you interact with Gulliver, the seagull that randomly appears on your beach after being stranded ashore. Normally, he sends you on a fetch quest to find all his missing communicator parts, but Nintendo is teasing a new encounter with him. In the reveal trailer, he’s wearing pirate clothes rather than his usual sailor outfit; that might be a hint.
Swimming was a feature in New Horizons’s predecessor, New Leaf, and many felt its omission at New Horizons launch. Data miners scrubbed through the game’s code, however, and offered a glimmer of hope, suggesting it would come later in an update. They were right.
Nintendo has more in store for the summer. A second summer-themed update arrives in early August, though its content and release date have not been announced.