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How To Make A Tarantula Island In Animal Crossing: New Horizons

You can farm tarantulas in New Horizons, but it's not easy.


Tarantula farming quickly became one of the most lucrative money-making schemes in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, next to playing the stalk market, but nobody ever said it was easy. If you've given up on finding the illustrious tarantula island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, we have good news: you can just make your own. Instead of spending 2,000 Nook Miles per ticket on the chance of finding the rare deserted island that's overrun with these spiders, which are desirable for how many bells they're worth (especially when sold to special visitor Flick), any deserted island can become a tarantula farm if you just know how to generate one. If your island is in the Northern Hemisphere though, you better act quick--tarantulas go out of season after April, which means tonight is your last chance to to farm tarantulas or catch one for your Critterpedia and museum if you haven't already.

How Does Tarantula Farming Work?

The key to tarantula farming is understanding how the spawn mechanics in Animal Crossing: New Horizons work. Bugs require certain conditions to spawn, including months of the year, the weather, and the environment. Tarantulas require it to be nighttime (7 PM - 4 AM specifically) and during the correct months. In the Northern Hemisphere that's November through April, while Southern Hemisphere players will need to be playing from May to October. Tarantula farming is all about manipulating spawn rates, which we'll explain more below. You can always change your time and date in the Switch settings to fit these requirements, although time-skipping can have unintended consequences.

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Tarantulas can be sold for a whopping 8,000 bells each (though you should put your first one in the museum of course), which means you can make some serious bells with this method. Make sure to purchase all the inventory upgrades first to get the best results, and ensure you aren't carrying more than you need to when you commit to creating your first tarantula farm.

How To Make A Tarantula Island

The first step is to purchase a Nook Miles Ticket from the Resident Services building or tent. This costs 2,000 Nook Miles, so make sure you have enough before going to buy one. Once you have the ticket, run down to Dodo Airlines and use the ticket to fly to a deserted island. At this point it will need to be the correct time and date for the tarantula to spawn, so make sure to only fly after 7 PM.

If you're lucky, you may get the tarantula island without doing anything, but most likely you won't. Preferably you will want a single-level island, because islands with higher ground can make this more difficult, so feel free to try again to get a flatter island if you have the Nook Miles to spend.

The most important part of this method is to remove all of the resources on the island, removing the chance of other kinds of bugs spawning. Chop down the trees, dig up the stumps, break all the rocks, pick all the flowers, and remove all the weeds. To break rocks, just eat a piece of fruit and hit them with a shovel, sometimes they even have bells inside.

Don’t worry about digging up all the flowers on the island, just plucking the flowers is enough to stop bugs from spawning on them, press A when standing in front of a flower to pluck them.

You can dump all of these items onto the beach to free up inventory space, as the raw items won't affect how bugs spawn.

While this clears out the majority of the bugs, you will still have to clear bugs such as wharf roaches, mosquitoes, and crickets manually. Either catch and release these bugs or chase them until they run away.

How To Catch Tarantulas

The next step is to dig some trenches. Holes are an excellent defense against the ferocious tarantulas and their bite. The best method is to dig four holes, one on each side of you, all over the island. The idea is that you run back to these traps when a spider is chasing you and jump over the holes into the center. Tarantulas (and scorpions) can't reach you when you do this, leaving them running in circles within arm's reach. From here you can use a net to scoop them up safely.

Run laps around the island, chasing or catching other bugs as you go until a tarantula spawns. Once you do get a tarantula spawn, make a beeline for the closest trap. Continue using this method until your inventory is full, or until you run out of nets. If you've run out of shovels for digging trenches or forgot to bring one, you should be able to craft one using the materials you cleared out and dumped on the beach earlier. Just head to the simple DIY workbench near the dock. You can also purchase flimsy tools from Wilbur for 100 Nook Miles each while on the island.

If you don't want to dig trenches, the best method for catching tarantulas with nothing but the net is to approach them slowly before you've aggro'd them, firmly stop in your tracks when they raise their legs, and then continue approaching them slowly when they've let down their defenses. Keep that up until you're close enough to scoop them up with the net.

When To Sell Tarantulas

Once you've filled your inventory, you can head back home and cash in at Nook's Cranny for 8,000 bells per tarantula--but you may also want to wait for Flick to visit your island, as he buys bugs for 150% of the usual price. That means he'll buy each tarantula for 12,000 bells instead of the usual 8,000.

How To Deal With The Giant Water Bug

The new April bug spawns have made tarantula farming a lot more difficult as it's introduced a competing bug, the giant water bug, into the mix. Tarantula farming isn't broken and hasn't been patched out, but it has become more difficult and time-consuming, as the giant water bug can affect the tarantula spawn rate if your deserted island has any body of freshwater on it. The giant water bug will spawn on freshwater and can't be scared away via the usual methods, so you'll have to catch and release each one to eliminate them from the map. They do sell for 2,000 each, and while that's not nearly as much as tarantulas, they do seem to appear a lot more frequently. If you want to make money farming bugs in a hurry, they're not a terrible choice--though it still isn't ideal.

As of right now, the only way to really get around the giant water bug problem is to only attempt tarantula farming on bamboo islands, where there is no freshwater for the giant water bug to spawn on.

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