Animal Crossing's summer update will let you swim for sea critters

Image via Nintendo
Image via Nintendo
Taylor Hatmaker

There's huge news today for Animal Crossing: New Horizons players still devoted to the most pleasantly addictive way to stay kind of sane stuck at home during the pandemic. In the biggest update yet to the Nintendo Switch hit, players will soon be able to explore the water around their island. Oh — and Gulliver is a pirate now.

The free update will arrive on July 3, marking the first of two waves of new content due out in the summer season (for players in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway!). The update invites players to plunge into the ocean and swim around to collect anemones, starfish, eels and other sea-faring creatures, which can then be donated to their museum collection. The mysterious second half of the update is due out in early August.


The game will also add another new character, Pascal, a sea otter who you can hit up for new recipes. Anyone who's played past Animal Crossing titles will recognize Pascal as a chill guy who doles out equally chill pearls of wisdom while casually treading water.

For a game that revolves around familiar cycles — collecting fruit, pulling weeds, shaking trees to find nice living room furniture — the addition of swimming and diving is actually a pretty big change. And it's probably a good reason for anyone who went hard on New Horizons in the early days of the pandemic and ran out of things to do to revisit the game. It'll be interesting to see what else Nintendo has in store for New Horizons, as it's the first Animal Crossing title in a gaming era that expects plenty of post-release downloadable content already plotted out on the roadmap.

It's also the perfect time to casually stroll out among your villagers while acting like no time passed at all if, like me, your wife accidentally broke one of your Switch controllers and you haven't played in three weeks. Lolly, if you're reading this, I want you to know they were back-ordered and this doesn't change anything between us. Really.

We need more video games that are social platforms first, games second


More From

  • CBP says it's 'unrealistic' for Americans to avoid its license plate surveillance

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection has admitted that there is no practical way for Americans to avoid having their movements tracked by its license plate readers, according to its latest privacy assessment. CBP published its new assessment — three years after its first — to notify the public that it plans to tap into a commercial database, which aggregates license plate data from both private and public sources, as part of its border enforcement efforts. The U.S. has a massive network of license plate readers, typically found on the roadside, to collect and record the license plates of vehicles passing by.

  • Daily Crunch: Rackspace is going public again

    The cloud computing company first went public in 2008, before accepting a $4.3 billion offer to go private from Apollo Global Management. Rackspace says it will use the proceeds from the IPO to lower its debt load. New report outlines potential roadmap for Apple’s ARM-based MacBooks — Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that a 13.3-inch MacBook powered by Apple's new processors will arrive in the fourth quarter of this year.

  • Google’s Fitbit deal could avoid EU antitrust probe by agreeing not to use health data for ads

    Google announced its plans to acquire Fitbit for $2.1 billion back in November. As of this writing, the deal has yet to go through, courtesy of all the usual regulatory scrutiny that occurs any time one large company buys another. Citing “people familiar with the matter,” Reuters notes that Google may be facing down some scrutiny in the form of an EU antitrust investigation if it doesn’t make some concessions.

  • LA-based Replicated adds former GitLab head of product as its chief product officer

    Replicated, the Los Angeles-based company pitching monitoring and management services for Kubernetes-based applications, has managed to bring on the former head of product of the $2.75 billion-valued programming giant GitLab as its new chief product officer. Mark Pundsack is joining the company as it moves to scale its business. At GitLab, Pundsack saw the company grow from 70 employees to 1,300 as it scaled its business through its on-premise offerings.