If you're planning out your island adventure in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, one particular choice may give you some pause: which hemisphere do I set my island in?
Like everything else in Animal Crossing, there are no wrong answers here, but it has more of an effect on your game than you might think. Here's what changes when you pick a hemisphere for your island.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons - North Hemisphere or South?
In New Horizons, seasons are hard-coded to shift on the first day of specific months: April, July, October, and January. This changes the weather on your island, which in turn affects which activities you can pursue.
Naturally, just as in the real world, the seasons are flipped by hemisphere in Animal Crossing.
Spring starts in April for islands in the northern hemisphere, and October in the south. You can harvest cherry blossom leaves and spring bamboo at this time of year.
Summer begins in July in the northern hemisphere, and in January for southerners. You'll see lots of fruit at this time of year, along with a higher chance of finding bugs to catch on your island. Visit the beach to find summer shells, which can be used to make items like the Shell Wand.
In autumn, which begins in October up north and April down south, you can collect fallen maple leaves, pinecones, acorns, and all kinds of mushrooms.
Finally, winter starts in January for northern-hemisphere islands and in July in the southern hemisphere. Bugs become extremely rare in this weather, and the island will be covered in snow. Now's a good time to build snowmen, and pursue other winter-related activities. You can use your bug net to catch snowflakes, which are used to construct all sorts of winter-related furniture and decorations.
Unlike past Animal Crossing games, the local populations of fish and bugs in New Horizons are on a rotating schedule by month, rather than by season. The primary effect of the seasons is on the specific materials you'll be able to find, and you'd probably do better to save much of your bug-hunting for the summer months.
In general, your choice of hemisphere comes down to how much you'd like your island to reflect the world outside your window. If you're coordinating your Animal Crossing time with friends, however, it might be useful if one or two of you decide to pick the opposite hemisphere from everyone else, so you can broaden the number of activities open to your group.
It also means you can open your island up for anyone who wants to go foraging for certain materials, like mushrooms, in their off-season. It could even foster a sense of international cooperation, as you can go play in the snow in July with your friends from the other side of the world.
We've got a lot of articles on the newest Animal Crossing on our game hub, ranging from fun lockdown stories to in-depth guides. Check some out:
- Invite visitors to your island to help you grow your flowers faster
- How to navigate the May Day Maze
- Where to find all the recipes for golden tools
As you may have guessed, your choice of hemisphere in Animal Crossing: New Horizons isn't really an issue of efficiency or fun so much as personal preference. Still, if you want to get an early start on building that ice castle of your dreams, you'll want to either go south or make friends with someone who did. Talk about your winter wonderland design plans with us via our official Twitter, @PrimaGames.