One of the neatest aspects to Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the ability to take trips to remote “Mystery” islands. These Mystery Tours are a subtle, but enjoyable feature that gives players something extra to partake in and mixes up the gameplay. On top of this, it allows players to extend their means of resource gathering and even lure new villagers who reside on these desolate islands.
It’s a fun endeavor that provides some great benefits, to be sure. Yet, given its randomness and the costs involved in doing this, it’s important to go in with a plan of attack, as it were.
This list will outline 10 key tips, techniques, and means of preparation to help maximize each Mystery Island trip.
10 Be Sure To Clear Up Inventory Space
Inventory management tends to be an ongoing task in New Horizons. Yet, this is particularly the case when embarking on a Mystery Tour, as these are one-and-done trips that remove access to home storage and item pawning.
Even those who have maxed out their inventory space will likely find it filled up rather quickly, given all of the unique and often valuable goods to gather at these locales. There will likely be ample fruit, wood, rocks, and even hybrid flowers. Before setting out, be sure to sell and/or store anything that isn’t essential to bring on the trip. A good rule of thumb is to leave at least half of the inventory space clear for newly-obtained items.
9 Bring A Ladder And Vaulting Pole To Travel With
While these Mystery Islands will be small, they’re also typically loaded with terrain that can be tricky to traverse without the right tools. Of course, gathering resources and goods are key – but so too is the equipment to get around obstacles to get these goods in the first place.
It’s certainly possible to stumble upon a simpler, more traversable island. Still, the fairly-common “Spiral Island,” “Falls Island,” and the elevated “Mountain Island” essentially demand Ladders and Vaulting Poles to cover all the ground needed. Be sure to bring these items, or at least the resources necessary to craft them while there.
8 Bring Materials For Building
Speaking of building materials – these can be a key element for optimal island plundering. Basic building blocks such as wood, stone, and Iron Nuggets can come in handy in crafting or replacing various tools often needed to gather key items. Even something as simple as weeds can be useful, as they can help one prepare for an unexpected hornet onslaught by way of medicine-crafting.
As each Mystery Island will come with a Simple DIY Workbench, it makes sense to take advantage of this.
7 Stock Up On Nook Miles Ahead Of Time
Each Mystery Tour trip will require 2,000 Nook Miles, which is initiated by procuring a Nook Miles Ticket at the Nook Stop Terminal in Resident Services. Given this fairly steep price, it’s usually a good idea to load up on several thousand Nook Miles before making this investment.
It’s certainly tempting to impatiently take the plunge and burn through your remaining Nook Miles. Yet, by doing so, you risk the potential of wasting precious Miles and being unable to return to another, potentially more lucrative island.
6 Prioritize Mining Stones
Resource-gathering is an important task to partake in when exploring a Mystery Island, but this is especially true when it comes to mining rocks. You’ll definitely want to “leave no stone unturned” as it were and gather all the precious stone, clay, and nuggets you can. For one, the odds of unearthing a valuable Gold Nugget are significantly increased by doing so.
And it’s important to keep in mind that home islands only have 4-5 stones, which only yield resources once per day. So assuming tools and/or time is limited, this handful of rock formations should definitely be a focal point when exploring a Mystery Island.
5 Travel By Night To Reach Potential Scorpion Or Tarantula Islands
Highlighting a technique that’s a bit more nuanced – one potentially lucrative move in venturing to these islands is to wait until nightfall. Doing so will increase the chances of stumbling upon an island that’s home to Tarantulas or Scorpions (depending on the season).
Why should these pesky bugs be sought after? Well, it so happens that they’re among the most valuable assets to obtain in the wild, selling for a whopping 8,000 Bells apiece! Just be ready to put up a fight – as they will pounce!
4 Ample Tools To Get Resources
As it’s briefly been mentioned, tools are an important element to maximizing a Mystery Island trip. A number of tools should be brought – or at least crafted on-site – in order to gather fruit, wood, fish, bugs, and resources from stone.
This means having fishing rods, axes, nets, and shovels ready to go. Easily-breakable “Flimsy” tools should be avoided here unless used as a last resort. Rather, sturdier, newly-made objects like the Stone Axe should be used in this scenario.
Consider even bringing a backup of the tools that’ll likely be used more often when exploring. As Wilbur mentions – once you leave, there’s no coming back, so plan accordingly!
3 Gather Foreign Fruit
One of the biggest draws and sources of value for these Islands is their potential to yield foreign fruit. The universally-foreign coconut can usually be found on their beaches, but players will often be lucky enough to find a variety of trees with fruit that doesn’t grow on their island.
To compare – native fruit will sell at Nook’s shop for 100 Bells each. Meanwhile, coconuts yield 250 apiece, and non-native fruit goes for a whopping 500 each. Basically – get ready to do plenty of tree-shaking and chopping.
Fruit-gathering can be further exploited by planting some of them on your island to grow trees. This will multiply one’s earnings – and the fruit will still sell for non-native prices even after being grown on one’s home island.
2 Look Out For Large Fish In Oceans
Fishing can be a source of both fun and ample cash in New Horizons. Yet, this activity can be particularly fruitful when doing the Mystery Tour. You’ll want to focus on scanning the coastline for some larger shadows in particular, as this increases the odds that rarer, more valuable fish will be caught.
Though rarer fish can, of course, be obtained on one’s home island, the chances of these encounters increase with some Mystery Islands. This includes the uncommon “Big Fish Island,” and the rare “Finned Fish Island.”
1 Tarantula/Scorpion Farming
Going back to Tarantulas and Scorpions – there’s another trick that can potentially yield more of these rare critters. This technique is a bit ambitious compared to most on this list, though it’s also one that can be quite lucrative if pulled off successfully.
Basically, the goal is to coax the spawning of Tarantulas/Scorpions by way of clearing out the island of growth – and thus, other bugs that get in the way.
Do this by chopping down all trees and removing their stumps, picking flowers, clearing out rocks, and removing other insects. Excess resources can be dropped on the corner of the beach. After some time, there’s a chance a number of these critters will spawn. This is because the flat, bare grounds provide the conditions for these bugs. Again – this will have to be done at night (7pm to 4am).
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