The first big Animal Crossing: New Horizons update of the summer is here, giving villagers the ability to swim in the clear blue waters off the coast of their island paradises, diving for sea critters and being badgered by otters. Let’s get wet, shall we?

The swimming and diving update went live last night around 9 PM Eastern time, giving players on the East Coast one hour to snag the required wetsuit before Nook’s Cranny closed for the evening. Those lucky enough to snag one were treated to a little night swimming, which was very dark and hard to see, though still pretty exciting.

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My favorite undersea object description so far.
My favorite undersea object description so far.
Screenshot: Nintendo/Kotaku

A wetsuit must be worn at all times in order to enter the water. It’s a special piece of clothing that is worn over the player’s outfit, so your villager doesn’t have to strip to their skivvies to take a swim. The striped wetsuit in multiple colors seems to be the default, but this morning there was a stylish leafy number in my Nook Shopping app. In honor of the new update, players also score an official snorkel. Fancy.

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I am a fashion plate.
I am a fashion plate.
Screenshot: Nintendo/Kotaku

Entering the water is a simple as walking up to the edge of the shore and pressing the A button. Your villager wades right in. For a more dramatic entrance, press A on the end of a dock for a mighty leap.

There’s not a lot to do in the water, frankly. You can swim about, fenced in by ropes surrounding your island, or you can dive for undersea goodies. Bubbles rising up from the water indicate the presence of sea creatures, plants, or rare pearls used in water-specific crafting recipes. You cannot access your inventory while swimming, but you can access your phone (thank goodness for waterproof cases). For a splashing new time I recommend turning on the camera app and using the “Delight” reaction to clap in the water.

Delightful!
Delightful!
Screenshot: Nintendo/Kotaku
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There’s a whole new page in the Critterpedia dedicated to the flora and fauna found under the sea. Turning in sea urchins, sea anemones, crabs, and octopi to Blathers in the museum adds them to your tanks in the fish wing of that fine establishment.

Collect the whole set!
Collect the whole set!
Screenshot: Nintendo/Kotaku
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And should you collect a scallop in the water you may get a visit from Pascal, the incredibly stoned otter. He’ll trade new Mermaid recipes and items to you for your scallops. Then he’ll lay some super-heavy wisdom on you.

Dude’s got issues.
Dude’s got issues.
Screenshot: Nintendo/Kotaku
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Swimming and diving add a new dimension to our Animal Crossing islands. It’s not a complex dimension, but it’s something new to do. I only wish my animal friends could join me frolicking in the ocean, and not just so I could drown Scoot the duck and weigh down his body with rocks.

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Kotaku elder, lover of video games, keyboards, toys, snacks, and other unsavory things.

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DISCUSSION

can you dive on the Nook Miles islands, or is it confined to your own island? I haven’t had time to download the update, but I’m curious.

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