How to Swim: Swimming and Diving Guide | ACNH - Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)

Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH) - Swimming and Diving Guide: How to Swim and Dive

Animal Crossing: New Horizon (ACNH) lets you swim into the ocean. Learning how to swim and dive is crucial to find Sea Creatures and meet Pascal, so you'll wanna get the hang of it to catch deep sea critters!

Sea Creature Guides
Swimming and DivingSwimming and Diving Guide Sea CreaturesSea Creatures Catching TipsCatching Tips

Swimming and Diving Explained

ACNH - A screenshot from Nintendo Direct reading The Ocean Opens Up
Swimming and Diving was introduced in the first wave of the Summer Update in Version 1.3.0. Swimming allows you to explore the surrounding sea around your island, while diving allows you to collect sea creatures.

How to Swim

Buy Wet Suits from Nook's Cranny

ACNH - Nook
Wet Suits are back in New Horizons and are required to swim and dive. Wet Suits can be bought at the cabinet in Nook's Cranny for 3000 Bells!

Also available in Nook Shopping and for Miles Redemption

Nook Shopping Redeem Nook Miles

If you're more of an online shopper, Wet Suits are available via Nook Shopping's Special Goods or through redeeming Nook Miles.

Wear a Wet Suit

ACNH - A player finishes wearing a wet suit while on the rocky part of the beach to swim

A Wet Suit is needed before you can dive into that deep, blue ocean.

Both the sleeved and a non-sleeved Wet Suits are available, so our Southern Hemisphere friends can go for the full-body Wet Suit and stay safe and snug in their winter waters!

Press A to Swim

Press A to Enter the Ocean

Enter from Beach Jump from Rock
Jump from Pier Jump from Airport
ACNH - A player enters the ocean via a running flipRunning Flip!

Once your Wet Suit is on, get in the ocean by pressing A from the beach, the rocks, the pier and even from the airport platform! When you press A from a platform while running (holding B), you'll perform a front flip into the ocean!

Press A to Swim in the Ocean

ACNH - A player swims in the ocean
Button Swimming Speed & Method
Press A Once Swim for a small distance, then stop.
Perform 1 breaststroke.
Hold Left Joystick at 1 Direction Continuously swim at slow speed.
Wade through the water.
Hold A Continuously swim at normal speed.
Perform 1 initial breaststroke, then kick legs to swim continuously.
Repeatedly Press A Continuously swim at high speed.
Perform continuous breaststrokes, while kicking legs.

Once you're in the ocean, press A once to swim a small distance, hold A to swim continually for longer distances, or repeatedly press A to swim faster.

Can't Swim Beyond the Net

ACNH - A player is barred from swimming further due to the net enclosure

You see that net enclosure in the ocean? That's as far as you're allowed to swim.

How to Dive

Press Y while Swimming

Diving In Underwater - Overhead View

Once in the water, press Y to dive underwater. Diving can be performed while stationary in the water or mid-swim.

Press Y to resurface

ACNH - A resident resurfaces

While underwater, press Y to manually go back up to the surface.

You can only stay underwater for about 10 seconds

Based on our tests, you only have about 10 seconds underwater before you automatically resurface for air. You'll see a big air bubble rise from your spot, right before this happens.

What Can You Do While Swimming?

Find and Catch Sea Creatures

ACNH - A resident comes across bubbles while swimmingSea Creature Bubbles Sea Creature Shadow

List of Sea Creatures

Find and catch Sea Creatures while swimming. Bubbles and shadows will show you where they are, and they can all be donated to the Museum.

How to Catch Sea Creatures Easily

Best to dive when on top of bubbles

The best strategy for catching sea creatures is by diving when you're right on top or near the bubbles. Get near the sea creature's shadow, and you'll automatically dive deeper to catch it!

If you dive too early and swim to the bubbles underwater, you might run out of air before you reach the sea creature!

Pocket is disabled, except when swapping

ACNH - A resident is unable to interact with their pockets

Access to your pocket is disabled (all contents grayed-out) while swimming, except when you catch a sea creature and your pocket is full.

Pocket full? Swap... ...with sea creatures only

When this happens, you will only be able to swap your newly-caught sea creature with another sea creature already in your pocket.

If you don't have other sea creatures already in your pocket, you will be forced to release your newly-caught sea creature.

ACNH - A resident tries to release a sea creature in the beach
If you don't need to swap a new sea creature, you won't be able to manually release sea creatures while swimming. You have to swim back to shore and exit the water to release unwanted sea creature.

Keep things simple by emptying your pocket

Before entering the ocean for sea creatures, we highly advise to clear your pocket to make space for sea creatures!

Enabled & Disabled Features While Swimming

Pocket Features while Swimming
Enabled Disabled
When pocket is full, swapping in newly-caught sea creature, with other sea creatures.
When pocket is full, swapping in newly-caught sea creature, with non-sea creatures.
Usage of all pocket's contents.
Nook Phone Apps while Swimming
Enabled Disabled
  • Camera
  • Nook Miles+
  • Critterpedia
  • DIY Recipes
  • Nook Shopping
  • Custom Designs
  • Chat Log
  • Passport
  • Best Friends List
  • Rescue Service
  • Island Designer
  • Map

Meet Pascal

ACNH - A resident comes across Pascal while swimming
The beloved Otter character, Pascal, finally makes a return. He can appear when you find Scallops - his favorite!

How to Find Pascal

Return of the Mermaid Series

ACNH - A screenshot showing a room filled with items from the Mermaid Furniture series with a caption that reads Get DIY Recipes from Pascal
Get DIY recipes for the beautiful Mermaid Furniture series from Pascal. We're sure these will go perfectly with the Shell series, so you might want to collect those recipes as well!

Shell Series Furniture & Recipes

How to Exit the Ocean (Stop Swimming)

Swim to the Sand to Exit the Sea

ACNH - A resident swims back to the beach to resurface
When you're done swimming and you want to return to your island, simply swim towards the sandy part of the beach. You won't be able to exit the ocean at a rock or at the pier, so you may not want to swim too far away from the sand, if you want to return to your island quickly.

Use Rescue Service if You Swim Too Far

ACNH - A resident calls Rescue Service after swimming too far
Did you swim too far from shore? Don't worry! Just access the Rescue Service app from your Nook Phone and call Rescue Service to fly you back to your desired location on your island. Crisis averted!

How to Use the Rescue Service App

Swimming in Rivers

ACNH - A resident glitches into a pond
Due to a glitch found in the 1.10.0 Version update of Animal Crossing New Horizons (ACNH), you can now swim in rivers, sit in pools and baths on your island!

How to Swim in Rivers

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