The ocean is fully open for business in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and if you're the type of player who genuinely enjoys cataloging every last creature (or you just can't seem to help yourself) then you'll want to go for a dip. Today's update added diving and more than three dozen sea creatures to collect.
To go swimming in the ocean, you'll need to grab a wetsuit for 3,000 bells from Nook's Cranny – they're sold from the cabinet containing saplings, flimsy tools, and starter DIY recipes. After you put it on, you can walk up to the shore, press the A button next to the ocean, and continue pressing A to swim.
The area surrounding the island is larger than I was expecting. It's also weird seeing the airport and other spots from alternate angles. Diving is a straightforward activity – be on the lookout for bubbles, and press Y when you're close enough to plunge – but the sea creatures are varied and fun to catalog.
One of the first things I found was a sea slug, which sent me down a Wikipedia rabbit hole to learn more about nudibranchs. Running through the list of critters in July, I have a lot of work ahead of me.
As teased in Nintendo's promo video for this summer update, our old pal Pascal can show up if you pluck a scallop from the seafloor. You can trade with him to get mermaid-themed furniture items. If you're wondering about pearls, you can find them underwater like anything else, but they're rare.
The timing of the diving update couldn't be better. I recently topped off my fossil collection (after being one away for weeks), I'm near the end of my final home loan, and I was starting to wind down my New Horizons schedule in general. With a whole new tab to fill out in the Critterpedia, I'm hooked all over.
The first time I walked into New Horizons' ocean reminded me of just how much I miss the beach.