Animal Crossing New Horizons: How to Catch a Great Purple Emperor

Animal Crossing New Horizons: How to Catch a Great Purple Emperor

We explain how to catch one of Animal Crossing New Horizons' rarest insects, the Great Purple Emperor butterfly.

Appearing in the late spring of Animal Crossing New Horizons, the great purple emperor is a large butterfly that's very rare. Fortunately, we'll show you how to catch a great purple emperor butterfly for yourself, and how much it's worth when sold.

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How to Catch a Great Purple Emperor in Animal Crossing New Horizons

If you want to catch a great purple emperor in Animal Crossing New Horizons, you'll need to be at the right time and place. Keep note of the following:

  • Great purple emperors cannot be caught all year round. They appear between May and August (in the Northern Hemisphere) and November to February (in the Southern Hemisphere).
  • They have a chance to spawn during daylight hours, between 4:00 AM and 7:00 PM. There's no way to catch a great purple emperor during the night.
  • During this time, you can find a great purple emperor anywhere on your own island, or on the mystery islands you can explore with tickets bought with Nook Miles.
  • Even with all these conditions met, great purple emperors are still very rare, so you'll likely have to spend a while looking for one. Make sure you always have a net in your inventory, and look for large butterflies with purple and black wings, dotted with pale yellow spots.
  • They're most likely to spawn around flowers, though as far as we know they don't have a particular preference for any one kind or color.
One of the more colourful animals in the game, the Emperor is a rare, valuable catch. | Joel Franey/USgamer, Nintendo

How Much Do Great Purple Emperors Sell For?

Great purple emperor butterflies can be sold to Nook's Cranny for 3000 bells, which means you should definitely catch one if you see it. You can also sell them to Flick for an increased price of 4500 bells (if you're not sure when Flick will next show up on your island, we've listed the details at our guide here). Make sure you donate one to Blathers first, and check this guide here to see what other bugs and fish have been added recently.

There's plenty more Animal Crossing content where this came from! Caty's endearing review of New Horizons can be found here, or enjoy Nadia's thoughts on the game's unspoken romance.

Joel Franey

Guides Writer

Joel loves books, games, comics and drinks that make a person feel like they just got kicked in the head by a mule. He has a Masters in writing from Sussex, which he somehow got by writing about Superman. He is absolutely NOT three children in a long coat, so please stop asking.

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