As someone who’s already put over 300 hours into the cultural phenomenon that is Animal Crossing: New Horizons since release and still manages to find plenty to do each day, it’s not as though it’s lacking in content. With that said, New Horizons is missing certain features from past games, and with datamines and an interview with the developers indicating regular updates over the course of the next two to three years, there’s still plenty that can be added to this massive game. Summer is around the corner, and while we could likely list as many as 30 additions that could come to the game eventually, let’s focus on five probable additions that we may see in the imminent summer update.
1. Kapp’n / Tortimer Island
Kapp’n is one of Animal Crossing’s most iconic characters, appearing in every game to-date, and is even the first face you see in the only Animal Crossing feature film. His absence up until now is awfully conspicuous, but also somewhat understandable on a temporary basis, given the new mechanics in New Horizons and Kapp’n’s likely role. In New Leaf, he ferried the player to Tortimer Island, a vacation spot where he and his kappa family lived with Tortimer, the former Animal Crossing mayor. Here, you could play minigames for medals which could be exchanged for prizes, catch rare bugs, fish, and sea creatures, and acquire exotic fruits such as lemons and bananas. You’d think Kapp’n and Tortimer Island might be a day one inclusion, but given the extensive exterior decoration, terraforming, and photo modes that were added in New Horizons, it’s very possible Nintendo held off because they felt online multiplayer minigames might distract players from new content. This won’t be a problem this summer, which feels like an ideal time to have our kappa friend occupy our barren piers to whisk us away to a different sort of tropical paradise.
2. Diving / Seafood / Museum Update
Along with the addition of Kapp’n should come another summery activity and corresponding museum update: diving for sea creatures. Diving was introduced in New Leaf and makes no better sense in any Animal Crossing game than it does in New Horizons. Dataminer Ninji (who accurately predicted the arrival of bushes and artwork) found evidence of diving and seafood in the game’s code, and the manila clam itself seems to hint at such an addition, as it is currently the only creature that cannot be donated to Blathers. I’d expect that to change this summer alongside an expansion to the aquarium section of the museum.
3. Reese & Cyrus as visitors / Gemstone mining
As Leif was the mascot for the recent Earth Day event, so are Reese & Cyrus the mascots of the month long Wedding Season, recently newlywed. They’ll be busy having their pictures taken in June, but don’t be surprised if they don’t just disappear for 11 months until it’s time to run the event back. In New Leaf, these two ran Re-Tail, a shop where you could sell your goods for maximum profit, put up items for sale to villagers and guests, and have furniture crafted from gemstones mined from fake rocks. In New Horizons, Reese could offer better prices for unwanted furniture clogging up your storage, while Cyrus could maintain his role with the addition of gemstones. Many of us now have more stone, iron, and clay than we could ever need, so adding diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and the like when mining rocks would be more than welcome. Similar to how the fish and bug models work in New Horizons, you could provide Cyrus with a select number of gemstones and he could craft you a piece of unique furniture to arrive in the mail the next day.
4. Vegetables / Farming
The brand new addition to the Animal Crossing series that will likely see its debut this summer is farming. While cooking will likely wait until fall, summer is a prime time for growing vegetables. This one, like bushes, will cause players to re-engage with island design as they make small tweaks to squeeze farmland onto their island. Similarly to diving and seafood, Ninji has also found evidence of this update in the game’s code. This isn’t far-fetched either: farming has been at the core of many life sims and Animal Crossing taking the step to finally include it makes sense.
5. Fireworks shows / (Maybe) 1-2 other holidays
Finally, we have our summer holidays. Summer is the lightest season for holidays in Animal Crossing historically, with the only true staple being the fireworks shows. We should expect those to return, but based on New Horizons cramming in left-field events such as May Day, International Museum Day, and Wedding Season, we may see one or two new holidays. As to what they could be is anyone’s guess, and they could settle with just the fireworks shows (they spread out across months and the above content combined with Bug Off season should give players plenty to do), but it’s certainly not outside the realm of possibility.
While we fully expect additions such as The Roost, gyroids, cooking, and others, these seem like updates for fall and beyond. Let us know if you have ideas for what might be included in the summer updates.