Animal Crossing: New Horizons 1.3 update – Pascal, wet suits, and how to swim

The new summer Wave 1 update is live now in Animal Crossing and it adds a whole new underwater world of sea creatures and mermaid furniture.

There’s a new update waiting for you if you log into Animal Crossing: New Horizons today and it’s one of the most substantial yet, although it does require a few different steps before you can go swimming.

Once the update is downloaded and you start the game Isabelle will mention that the seas around the island have been declared fit for swimming.

Then when you leave your house, you’ll find you’ve got a special gift of a snorkel and mask sent from Nintendo – but what you also need is a wet suit.

How to get the wet suit in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

There are a few different ways to get the wet suit but oddly none of them involve the Able Sisters, as they don’t seem to be sold at the hedgehog sisters’ shop.

You can buy one, and a different snorkel, with Nook Miles at the Nook Stop machine but that will take a day to arrive in the post. (There’s also a new seasonal item at the moment, that you should make sure you order: a wish tree for the Japanese Tanabata festival.)

Although they’re randomised you’ll also probably find a different wet suit available via Nook Shopping, either at the Nook Stop machine or via its app – but again that will take a day to arrive.

The only way to get one straight away is to visit Nook’s Cranny and look in the cabinet. There you’ll find a horizontal-striped wet suit that costs 3,000 bells.

Tommy (or is it Timmy?) will explain the basics of how to swim and dive and then give you the chance to buy it.

How to swim and dive in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

First of all, you need to put your wet suit on, which oddly you can’t do at a wardrobe. Instead you have to get changed outside, where you’ll probably also want to take off your shoes and socks and other extra items.

To get in the water all you need to do is press the ‘A’ button when you’re at the water’s edge. But if you want to do a flip into the water than take a run up and press ‘A’ just before you get to the edge.

You can even jump in the water from a cliff edge, which is pretty cool if you go to the highest point on the island and jump from there.

To swim around just press ‘A’ but if you keep tapping the button you’ll go faster. To dive you just press ‘Y’, where you’ll have a few seconds to swim around on the bottom, still by pressing ‘A’.

To catch the new sea creatures that are now in the game you’ll see bubbles coming up from the water, indicating their position, then a shadow in the water. There are three shadow sizes, and some of them move, but if you dive down close to them you should be able to catch most fairly easily, just by moving up to them.

There’s a whole separate new page of the critterpedia for the new underwater denizens – 40 in all – and Blathers will grateful receive them all to exhibit at the museum.

How to meet Pascal and get mermaid furniture in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

The update also brings with it a new character: Pascal the sea otter. To get him to appear you need to find a scallop, at which point he’ll suddenly appear out of the water and chat to you.

Pascal loves scallops and will trade DIY recipes for them. And not any old DIY recipe but special new mermaid themed ones that use seashells and the new pearl items.

Pearls are rare and only appear as the smallest of underwater shadows, but you’ll need quite a few for most of the recipes.

You can only talk to Pascal once a day but each time he’ll offer a new DIY recipe, in exchange for his favourite food.

Also part of this update is a new pirate version of Gulliver the seagull, although, as usual, whether Gulliver appears or not is random and it could be a good few days till he shows up on your beach.

When he does though he brings with him a suite of new pirate-themed items, including a cannon.

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