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Animal Crossing 2.0 Datamine: Why Some Players Can't Visit Rare Islands

Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ massive 2.0 update added a ton of new characters and content to the game, including Kapp’n and his Island Tours. Players can pay 1,000 Nook Miles to set sail across the sea and explore a random island, but some may have been frustrated to find themselves on the same type of island over and over again rather than finding the rare seasonal islands like the Cherry Blossom island or Snow Crystal island. These seasonal islands allow players to collect materials to complete DIY projects outside of the current season on their island, but thanks to an extensive datamine of the 2.0 update, the reason that some players have been unusually unlucky with their island tours has been revealed.

In order to prevent players from getting seasonal items early in their game, Animal Crossing actually “locks” certain rare island types until their corresponding season has been played in the game. While players don’t necessarily have to be active on their Animal Crossing island during that time, the player character must have been created before or during that season for players to be able to visit an island of that type. Not only does this prevent players from being able to visit certain rare islands, but the way Animal Crossing selects a replacement makes it even less likely that players will find themselves somewhere seasonal. There are four “normal” island types and seven “seasonal” or rare island types that players can be sent to when they embark across the sea on an island tour with Kapp’n.

Related: Animal Crossing: Every Island Ordinance (& Which You Should Choose)

The normal islands include the Gyroid Fragment island, the Vegetable island, the Glowing Moss island, and the Full Gyroid island where players can find many of the new materials and items that were added to Animal Crossing in the 2.0 update. The rare islands, conversely, each feature one of the game’s seasons, and players can collect materials that they wouldn’t normally be able to get on their island until that season rolls around. The DIY recipes found on the beaches of these islands will also match the island’s season, giving players a chance to find any recipes they may have missed during that season on their home island. Additionally, a gyroid fragment will always be buried on the island regardless of its type, so Animal Crossing's gyroid collectors are guaranteed to find at least one per tour.

When players climb aboard Kapp’n’s boat, Animal Crossing will roll to determine whether they will be sent to a normal island or a seasonal island, and from there the game will roll again to select the specific island type that players will find upon arrival. There’s a 78% chance that the game will send players to a normal island, and a 22% chance that they’ll arrive on a seasonal island. While all rare islands have an equal chance of being found, the normal islands all have different probabilities of being selected, with the Gyroid Fragment island in Animal Crossing being the most common:

  • Gyroid Fragment, normal, 30%
  • Vegetable, normal, 22%
  • Glowing Moss, normal, 18%
  • Full Gyroid, normal, 8%
  • Snow Crystal, rare, 3%
  • Cherry Blossom, rare, 3%
  • Spring Bamboo, rare, 3%
  • Star Fragment, rare, 3%
  • Summer Shells, rare, 3%
  • Maple Leaves, rare, 3%
  • Mushrooms, rare, 3%

However, the 2.0 datamine revealed that each rare island type has to be “unlocked” before players will be able to find these islands on Kapp’n’s tours. Each seasonal island’s date is set to a specific date in each corresponding season, and in order to unlock a seasonal island, the player’s character must have played past that date on their own island. This means that some players are not just unlucky with their rolls, but are actually unable to visit certain seasonal islands. Until the character “unlocks” the season, either through patience or time travel, that seasonal island type will remain unavailable in Animal Crossing, preventing players from gathering DIY materials and recipes from seasons that haven’t happened since their character’s creation:

  • Snow Crystal: February 24 (Northern Hemisphere) / August 24 (Southern Hemisphere)
  • Cherry Blossom: April 10 / October 10
  • Spring Bamboo: May 31 / November 31
  • Star Fragment: June 15 / December 15
  • Summer Shells: August 31 / February 31
  • Maple Leaves: November 25 / May 25
  • Mushrooms: November 30 / May 31

Related: Animal Crossing Villagers That Are Great For Fall Seasons

Animal Crossing bases its island tour selection on the player character’s data rather than the island or even the game file itself, so even players who started playing the day it was released may still be unable to visit certain seasonal islands if their character hasn’t been around the whole time. This mechanic not only applies to players who started New Horizons recently and haven’t unlocked all the seasons, but also to those who have restarted their Animal Crossing islands within the last year and haven’t made their way through all the seasons again. Additionally, players who have started a new character on an island that has seen every season will not be able to visit the seasonal islands that they haven’t unlocked yet.

While this can become frustrating for players who haven’t put in a full year on their island yet, the way that Animal Crossing handles rolling a “locked” seasonal island makes it even more likely that a repeat island will be selected. Rather than sending players to a different rare island if the seasonal island they rolled hasn’t been unlocked yet, the game will automatically send them to one of the normal islands instead. This makes the chances of finding a seasonal island even slimmer for those who haven’t seen every season in Animal Crossing and results in more repetitive normal islands for unlucky players.

Animal Crossing does, however, adjust its island selection process for players who have found themselves on the same type of island several days in a row. If there’s a normal island type that players haven’t visited in 7 tours or more, the game will randomly select a normal island from the ones that have not been visited for the longest amount of time to ensure some variety. The counter will also factor in rare island visits, so lucky players who have gotten 7 rare islands in a row will find themselves on a normal island on their next tour. However, this counter resets every 20 days, so players who don’t go on 7 island tours within that period will have to rely on luck alone.

Katrina’s daily fortunes can also affect the type of island that players discover on tour. If players have received the “bad belongings” fortune for the day, they’re guaranteed to wind up on a Gyroid Fragment island - and to make matters worse, the buried gyroid fragments will be replaced with clay. The “good belongings” fortune, though, will ensure that players find a rare island if they’ve unlocked every season. However, if a rare island that hasn’t been unlocked is selected in this lucky roll, the player will not be sent to a different seasonal island and will instead be sent directly to a Full Gyroid island. As such, Animal Crossing: New Horizons players will have to improve their luck by playing throughout the year.

Next: Animal Crossing Holiday Gift Guide 2021

Source: ACNH Datamine

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