How to Swim in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

A detailed guide covering how to swim in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Including how to get a wetsuit and how to dive for underwater creatures.

7 Min Read

In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, players are able to swim in the sea surrounding their islands. This feature was introduced in the 1.3.0 Free Summer Update that was released in July 2020. You know, back when ACNH actually got updates…

The following article will cover how to swim in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, as well as cover some useful swimming-related information that new players should know.


In order to swim in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, players first need a wet suit. Wet suits are clothing items that can be worn over your outfit and do not take up clothing slots. Players are only able to swim when wearing a wet suit.

You can find wet suits for sale in a few places:

  • Nook Mileage Reward program: Exchangeable for 800 Nook Miles.
  • Nook Shopping: A wet suit is always available for 3,000 Bells. The design will vary from day to day.
  • Nook’s Cranny: Another variation of the wet suit is available here for 3,000 Bells.
The Nooklings explaining how wet suits work.
Timmy explaining wet suits when you first purchase one.

Once you have purchased a wet suit, you can equip it in your inventory the same way you would equip a piece of clothing. As mentioned, it will not unequip the clothing you are currently wearing.

When you are finished swimming, to unequip a wetsuit you just need to click the item in your currently equipped clothing and remove it.

A wet suit for sale in the daily Nook Shopping selection.
The Leaf-print wet suit available in the Nook Shopping app.
The Nook Inc. wet suit for sale in the Nook Miles rewards program.
The Nook Inc. wet suit.

How to Swim in Animal Crossing

Now that you have obtained a wet suit, you are ready to dive into the water! But wait, where can you actually swim? Sadly, you cannot swim in lakes, ponds, or rivers that naturally form on your island or are terraformed in. You can only swim in the sea that surrounds an island. Yes, that’s right – you can swim in the sea surrounding a deserted island, or a Kapp’n island.

First thing is first – you will want to equip your wet suit. Once you have it on, you can make your way to the sea to begin diving for goodies!

To begin swimming, just hit the A button while standing next to the water. Your character will then enter the sea. Movement is the same as if you were on the land; you use the left analogue stick to swim around.

A player swimming in the sea in Animal Crossing.

If you hit the A button again while swimming this time, your character will do a sort of breaststroke-like motion that will propel themselves a bit further. You can keep pressing the A button after the animation has stopped to continuously perform this motion. This is a much faster way of swimming that the normal ‘doggy-paddle technique’ that your character will do.

To dive, just hit the Y button and your character will plunge under the water for 10 seconds at a time. After 10 seconds, your character will resurface and catch their breath. Whilst diving, you can even make use of tapping the A button to speed up your swimming.

A player swimming in the sea in Animal Crossing.

Jumping Off of Rocks, Cliffs, or Piers

Did you know that you can dive off of rocks, cliffs, or piers? As long as you have your wet suit equipped, standing near the water, and pressing the A button will cause your character to jump.

A player jumping from the pier into the sea in Animal Crossing.

You can jump off of the following structures, so long as they are next to the sea:

  • The rocks that form in various places around your island. Such as the ones in the upper-left and upper-right corners of your island.
  • Terraformed and naturally occurring cliffs that are next to the sea.
  • The pier that Kapp’n docks at, and the one by your airport.

What Can You Find in the Sea?

Now that you have learned how to swim in Animal Crossing, you may be wondering what the point of it all is. Ever wondered what you can find at the bottom of the deep blue sea that surrounds your island?

Unfortunately, you can’t find treasure… although I wish we could! When diving underwater, you can find sea creatures that can be collected and donated to Blathers at the museum. These sea creatures can also be sold to Nook’s Cranny.

Additionally, you have the chance to find scallops when diving, which you can trade with Pascal for DIY recipes. These recipes usually are from the mermaid set and require pearls. Pearls can be found underwater as well.

A player talking to Pascal in the sea in Animal Crossing.

How to Catch Sea Creatures in Animal Crossing

As mentioned, sea creatures can be caught in the sea when diving. However, it might not be very intuitive for new players. When swimming in the sea, you will see dark shadows underwater that usually move around. Don’t worry; these aren’t sharks!

These shadows represent underwater sea creatures. To catch one, you simply need to be underwater and swim into one of the shadows. Your character will then resurface with the caught creature.

Once you have located a shadow, just press Y to dive underwater and then swim into the shadow. Some creatures are capable of swimming very fast (these tend to be the rarer creatures) and so it will take a bit of getting used to. If you read through the section about how to swim in Animal Crossing, you will know about tapping the A button to speed up. You will need to use this technique to chase faster creatures.

A scallop found in Animal Crossing.

And that’s about all you need to know to learn how to swim in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Swimming can be a fun pass time, a decent way to make Bells, or necessary activity to complete your museum collection. I hope you have enjoyed this guide and found it useful. Feel free to check out my other Animal Crossing guides!

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By Miles
Miles is a passionate writer, with a keen interest in writing engaging and intriguing content on all things Nintendo. Franchises such as Animal Crossing, The Legend of Zelda, and Mario have provided Miles with countless hours of fun, thus why he happily writes about them!
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