Publication date of the original Japanese article: 2021-10-01 14:03 (JST)
Translated by. Ari Clark
Animal Crossing: New Horizons has reached its second October. The Northern Hemisphere is buzzing with the sounds of autumnal bugs. The Southern Hemisphere is bursting with cherry blossoms in full bloom. All sorts of seasonal events are in progress on our various islands. Preparations have also begun for Halloween, which will be celebrated at the end of October.
And since it was announced that a major free update will drop in the coming month of November, raising the hopes of fans of the series, there’s probably a not-insignificant number of islanders returning to their islands for the first time in a long while, and finding themselves up to their necks in weeding chores.
This article is intended to introduce all the changes that will be coming to our islands as we enter October 2021, and the various seasonal events and so on that you can enjoy before the month is out.
Changes in the critter lineup
First, let’s take a look at the changes happening in the critter lineup as we enter October. The Northern Hemisphere will remain heavily populated with distinctive autumn insects, carrying over from September. Swiftly-flying, brightly-colored Red Dragonflies. Tunefully-singing Crickets and Bell Crickets. All these traditional emblems of the autumn season ought to add another layer of delightful seasonal atmosphere to our Animal Crossing experience.
However, looking at our islands overall, aside from the appearance of Yellow Perch and Spiny Lobsters, the number of new critter species appearing this month is pretty slim. The aforementioned Red Dragonflies and Bell Crickets will only be around until the month of October is out. It seems like a lot of critters will begin preparing for winter in the coming month of November, which heralds the turning of the seasons. Players who are trying to fill out their encyclopedia entries should make sure to check them off before October ends.
On the other hand, in the Southern Hemisphere, lots of critters will be appearing, coaxed out by the warm weather. Especially striking is the abundance of butterfly species, from Common Bluebottles to Agrias Butterflies and Rajah Brooke’s Birdwings. The fish lineup is also thriving, with species like Neon Tetras and Guppies. Go ahead and try catching as many as you like, even just to enjoy looking at them!
The Halloween seasonal event is coming again this year!
Next, let’s take a look at the seasonal events. The crown jewel of October is the major seasonal event of Halloween, which is coming to both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The Halloween event will happen on October 31 this year, the same as last year. For the duration of the month from October 1 until Halloween, all sorts of preparations will be underway for the event.
One thing you can do to prepare is collect lots of Candy to use on the day of Halloween. You can buy one piece of Candy per day at Nook’s Cranny, at the price of 120 Bells. You can also get Candy on the day of Halloween itself, but you’ll want to have plenty to use that day. Be sure to drop by Nook’s Cranny whenever you can, and gradually build up your supply day by day.
Another crucial part of your preparations will be decorating your whole island in a Halloween theme. Throughout October, Nook’s Corner will have a rotating daily lineup of Halloween items. Three new items have been added as fresh elements for 2021, including the Spooky Treats Basket.
In addition, the Able Sisters tailor shop will also have a rotating daily lineup of various costume components. As long as you’re buying Candy, why not check them out, too? The Halloween items for sale at Nook’s Corner will also include DIY recipes that you can grab. A lot of these Halloween items can be made in different variations, and crafting items from materials is good for your wallet, too. There’s really no good reason not to snag some recipes!
While you’re preparing for Halloween, you can also get DIY recipes by popping the balloons floating over your island, or by talking to villagers who are hard at work crafting in their houses. Personally, I recommend the talking-to-crafting-villagers method, since it has a higher success rate for getting recipes than the balloon-popping method.
However, according to players who’ve checked, you can only get one recipe from a crafting villager every three hours or so, and even if you have ten villagers on your island, there seems to be an upper limit of about three recipes maximum that you can get in a single day.
Therefore, it might be best to treat getting recipes like getting candy, and make the rounds of your villagers’ homes daily to gradually gather more. Then, on days when you have time to spare, you can also go looking for balloons floating over your island to pop while you’re making the rounds of your villagers’ homes.
You’ll also need lots of Pumpkins to craft (and make variations of) Halloween items. Pumpkins have to be grown from Pumpkin Starts, and they ripen three days after planting. If you use your watering can to water it every day, you can harvest as many as three pumpkins from one start. Then, after harvesting a start, it’ll ripen with more pumpkins two days later.
You can buy Pumpkin Starts from the cabinet at Nook’s Cranny for 280 Bells apiece. You can also buy them at half-price from Leif’s Garden Shop stall when it’s set up in front of Resident Services, for 140 Bells apiece.
Pumpkins come in four colors: orange, white, yellow, and green. The color of the pumpkins that grow from the starts at Nook’s Cranny and the Garden Shop stall is randomized. The orange pumpkins that you’ll need for item crafting appear at the highest rate.
If you’re going to make variations of an item, you’ll need pumpkins that aren’t orange, but once you’ve grown at least one of them, it’s easy to get more. You can produce more starts in the color you want to grow by planting a pumpkin of the desired color directly in the ground. Players who are experiencing the Halloween event for the first time this year should probably focus on growing the orange pumpkins you’ll need for item crafting.
Buying candy, buying seasonal Halloween items, collecting DIY recipes, and growing pumpkins…that just about sums up the preparations you can do while looking forward to Halloween!
On the day of Halloween, the villagers celebrate by dressing up in all sorts of costumes. The pumpkin-headed character Jack will also show up in the vicinity of the Plaza. Jack is obsessed with the aforementioned Candy, and if you give him some, you can get a costume that will make you look like Jack. If you also give him the special candies called Lollipops, you can get special items only available on that day in exchange.
You can get Lollipops by giving Candy to villagers who want some. When you give a villager Candy, you can also receive things like furniture, DIY recipes, face paint, or reactions. If you run out of Candy, you can replenish your supply by putting on a spooky costume like the Jack’s Head or Mummy Mask hats and talking to villagers who are in their houses. You can also get Candy by talking to villagers outdoors while completely dressed up as Jack.
In other words, even players who haven’t gathered enough Candy and recipes by the day of Halloween can still make the most of the event and gather lots of Halloween items if they work hard at it.
Seasonal events like the Fishing Tourney begin
Finally, let’s look at the other seasonal events aside from Halloween. On the second Saturday of the month, October 9, there will be a Fishing Tourney held in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. You can get ready for the big day by digging lots of clams (to use for Fish Bait). You can also enjoy the nut gathering event in the Northern Hemisphere and the Young Spring Bamboo gathering event in the Southern Hemisphere, which are carrying over from last month (see related link).
Also, in the Southern Hemisphere, the cherry trees will burst into full bloom on October 1, and Cherry-Blossom Petals will flutter through the air all over the island. You can gather these petals with your Net to get items in the cherry-blossom craftable furniture set. This furniture set includes items like the Cherry-Blossom Flooring and the Cherry-Blossom Pond Stone, which are brimming with fresh springtime charm. They’re just the thing to use if you want to decorate your island with a distinctive springtime color scheme. The Cherry-Blossom event will be open until October 10.
By the way, another new seasonal item, the Marigold Decoration, will also make its debut. This item is associated with the Mexican Day of the Dead, which is similar to the Japanese O-Bon festival. It’s a piece of decorative furniture with a motif of fresh orange marigolds, that you can use to decorate an altar. It’ll be available to buy from October 25 until November 3. That’s a narrow window of opportunity, so don’t forget to order it!
Next free update coming in November
In last month’s Nintendo Direct presentation on September 23, it was announced that the highly-anticipated next free update will drop in November. The specifics will be unveiled in the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct planned for October.
If you watch the announcement video, you’ll see a familiar doorway appear on the lefthand side of the second-floor landing in the museum. The signboard outside reads, “The Roost, Open 24-7”. It seems unmistakable that The Roost café, a beloved series standby, will be added in the next update.
In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, the previous game in the series, The Roost was a great place to enjoy private conversations with villagers, or with the café owner, a Gyroid-loving pigeon called Brewster.
You could also take a job as a barista at the café to slowly become friendlier with Brewster, who could be standoffish at first. By choosing the type of coffee bean, the amount of milk, and the number of spoonfuls of sugar, to brew just the right coffee to suit the tastes of the villagers who visited as customers, you could get special café items as pay.
We’re definitely looking forward to being able to enjoy the soothing environment that you can only find at The Roost in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, too!