Does Tarantula Farming Still Work In Animal Crossing: New Horizons?

Tarantula farming isn't broken in New Horizons, but a new insect arrival has thrown it completely off balance.


Animal Crossing: New Horizons had only been out for a few days before players found a way to exploit spawn conditions for valuable bugs and get rich quick. Farming tarantulas quickly became one of the top money-making schemes for deserted island dwellers. Tarantulas, the semi-rare, nocturnal arachnid--and one of the few hostile creatures in Animal Crossing--are worth 8,000 bells each if you can catch them. But in the past couple of weeks, the arrival of new bugs for the month of April has also meant new competition for the profitable tarantula--the giant water bug is here and it's making tarantula farming in Animal Crossing a lot more difficult.

We have a whole guide on tarantula farming, but the gist of it is this: you head to a deserted island via Mystery Tour and clear out all the resources like rocks, trees, stumps, and flowers. This removes spawn conditions for other bugs, which will force the tarantula to spawn more than usual. Previously, players didn't have to worry about bodies of water on their deserted island, because in the Northern Hemisphere at least, there were no seasonal bugs that spawned on water. Enter: the giant water bug.

Why Tarantula Farming Is Harder Now

The culprit: a giant water bug.
The culprit: a giant water bug.

The giant water bug is an April arrival for Northern Hemisphere players. It appears on freshwater like ponds and rivers, meaning it doesn't require any of the foliage you'd typically clear out of your deserted island to generate a tarantula island. If you try to make a tarantula island now, you'll find that in addition to having to scare away tiger beetles or wharf roaches (bugs that also don't require flowers or trees to spawn) to force tarantula spawns, you'll also need to contend with giant water bug spawns. To make matters worse, giant water bugs don't flitter away when you sprint by them, meaning you have to actually catch them with your net and release them each time they appear. This is making an already time-consuming process a long, tedious loop for players looking to make bells fast.

Is Tarantula Farming Broken?

So to answer the big, looming question about whether or not tarantula farming is broken now--the answer is technically no. Tarantula islands aren't impossible to make, they're just kind of annoying now. So far, it seems there are only two ways to get around the giant water bug issue: you either land on the elusive tarantula island itself (a Mystery Tour island known for its tarantula population) or you land on a bamboo island, which doesn't have freshwater at all. Mystery Island tours are random though, so you just have to rack up those Nook Miles and hope you get lucky. Tarantulas are going out of season for Northern Hemisphere players after April, along with a handful of other critters, making this even more of a headache for players who were hoping to cash in. But don't worry--they will be replaced with the nearly-identical scorpion.

If farming tarantulas seems like more trouble than it's worth, we still have a list of other ways to make money in Animal Crossing you can check out. But Animal Crossing isn't just about the bells. Bunny Day, an event running through the end of the today, is still live, with lots of seasonal DIY recipes to craft. Be sure to check out more of our guides below and read our review.

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