Tarantula Island is Dead. Long Live Tarantula Island

Tarantula Island is Dead. Long Live Tarantula Island

A PSA for Animal Crossing: New Horizons players: A new bug has crushed our self-made tarantula island dreams.

Since Animal Crossing: New Horizons' release, my partner and I have developed a new routine at night. We turn on Giant Bomb, we make some tea (me, plain oolong; him, Earl Grey with way too much milk and sugar), and then we embark on our individual Nook Miles adventures. Like many others who have fallen into the lucrative pothole, we're using Nook Miles Tickets to travel to deserted islands. We uproot all trees, rocks, and flowers there, and then lie in wait: patiently awaiting the infinite tarantulas that will spawn.

But last night on April 1, it wasn't working. We searched through Reddit and Twitter and found waves of people echoing these hardships: making your own tarantula island doesn't really work anymore. At least not like it used to. The best we can hope for is landing on the frightening actual tarantula island, wherein four tarantulas endlessly spawn within a flat center island.

Tarantulas are worth a lot of Bells, which is what's made farming the terrifying big spiders popular amidst the Animal Crossing community. Selling them to Timmy and Tommy nets you 8,000 Bells, while hoarding them to sell to Flick when he rolls into town earns you a staggering 12,000. At the moment, my house storage is teeming with tarantulas, patiently waiting for Flick to visit. Selling tarantulas en masse is a get rich quick scheme.

RIP. | Caty McCarthy/USG, Nintendo

And now, it's a lot harder to take advantage of it. (And before you get on my case because of my article dissing time travelers last week: This is not cheating! This is min-maxing!) It's all because on April 1, a host of new critters and fish joined our islands in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, both in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. In the Northern hemisphere, we've gotten the likes of Darner dragonflies, Crawfish, Surgeonfish (a.k.a. Dori in Finding Nemo!), and much more.

There's one new bug that's particularly ruined all our tarantula farming hopes and dreams though: the Giant water bug. The Giant water bug is a... giant water bug that hops around water. And there's a catch: they're extremely difficult to scare and scamper off. Your only option, basically, is to catch them to get them to go away. It's a true April fool if I've ever seen one.

This has emerged as a major problem for all us tarantula farmers, considering when you self-make a tarantula deserted island, part of the process is scaring away other critters to help enable the tarantulas to spawn. With big-ass water bugs being unphased by your careless sprinting, it makes it harder for tarantulas to pop up and hiss at you before you swipe your net. In my tarantula pursuit last night, I stupidly spent accidental hours catching the water bugs, releasing them, and then patiently waiting for a tarantula to spawn once more. It's inefficient, and honestly, not even worth it. I wasted precious time.

Most folks I've seen online and within my multiple Animal Crossing Discords are cutting their losses and just stuffing their inventory with both tarantulas and water bugs, the latter are still worth 2,000 Bells, so visiting deserted islands aren't a complete waste of time. Otherwise, Nintendo's kept up with patching out other exploits. An item duplication exploit, for instance, was patched out last week.

It's likely Nintendo's aware of how everyone destroys deserted islands in the hopes of summoning demon tarantulas to our plane of existence, but perhaps because it's not bending the rules of the game itself, it's seen as a-okay. After all, its systems encourage players to pool their knowledge together otherwise, such as when it comes to monitoring the randomized Stalk Market to find the best rate to sell turnips, or trading the items wherein every player has different colored furniture. (I, for example, have black snack and drink machines in my ATM-bound shop, while a friend has blue and red.)

So while everyone's favorite get rich quick scheme is less lucrative now, that doesn't mean we're devoid of money making options. With new bugs and fish in the world, we have new ways to earn income to pay our ever-growing debt to the rascally raccoon Tom Nook. Just be sure to catch all the tarantulas you can before the end of April in any case, as they'll go away and stop chasing you at the end of this month and won't return until November. For more ways to make lots of Bells, check out our big Animal Crossing: New Horizons moneymaking guide.

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Caty McCarthy

Senior Editor

Caty McCarthy is a former freelance writer whose work has appeared in Kill Screen, VICE, The AV Club, Kotaku, Polygon, and IGN. When she's not blathering into a podcast mic, reading a book, or playing a billion video games at once, she's probably watching Terrace House or something. She is currently USgamer's Senior Editor.

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