All mystery island types in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

A list of all the mystery islands you can explore in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you can not only explore your own island but also a variety of mystery islands whenever you purchase a Nook Miles Ticket. To help give you a better idea as to what you can expect, we’ve put together a guide explaining all of the mystery island types in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

All mystery island types in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

All Mystery Island types in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
You can purchase a Nook Miles Ticket and explore a random mystery island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
© Nintendo

The island you call home is not the only island you can explore in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Whenever you rack up 2,000 Nook Miles you can purchase a Nook Miles Ticket and use it to explore mystery islands. To purchase a Nook Miles Ticket, you’ll first need to head to the NookStop in the Resident Services Center.

Once you’ve redeemed your Nook Miles, take your Nook Miles Ticket down to the Airport and ask to use it. In using it, you’ll be taken to a random island. You never know what island you’re going to land on, but there are a few specific island types that can crop up. Below, we’ve listed all of the mystery island types in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

UPDATE: If you want to see maps for each mystery island type, Redditor u/trollmz posted a comprehensive image with info from dataminer @_Ninji that features the layout, percentage, and resources for each mystery island as seen below. You can also view it in the original Reddit thread and in details posted by @_Ninji.

© _Ninji, u/trollmz

Normal Island

The most frequent mystery island to appear is a “normal” island that boasts all of the same assets and features as your island back home. For example, you’ll find all of the same fish, bugs, native fruit trees, and flowers, nothing new. If you’ve yet to invite new Villagers to your island, you’ll find one random Villager here.

You can also dig up a Fossil and earn an item by shaking the trees. Be sure to pick all the weeds before you shake the trees to ensure nothing gets lost. With the rocks, you can mine for useful resources like iron. If needed, you’ll find a crafting station near the airplane which you can use if your tools break. You can also purchase tools from Wilbur in exchange for Nook Miles.

Any normal island can be turned into a “tarantula island” by following a few basic steps which we’ve outlined in a previous guide.

Hardwood Island

Only trees on this island are hardwood trees but is otherwise a standard island type. Great for farming softwood, hardwood, and wood for crafting.

Bamboo Island

As the name suggests, the bamboo island type is full of bamboo trees. It’s strongly recommended that you dig these trees up, take them back to your island, and plant them in order to have bamboo as an accessible resource. You’ll also find similar resources to the normal island type here including rocks to mine for iron, flowers, bugs, and so on.

Scorpion Island

As noted by dataminers, there are two variants of scorpion island. One has a wealth of bamboo trees, while the other has an "A" shape water pattern at the center along with rocks that can be mined for resources like iron and gold. Keep in mind that, like tarantulas, scorpions can be sold for 8,000 Bells a piece so be sure to take your time and catch as many as you can.

Bamboo island is great because you can dig up bamboo trees and then plant them on your own island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Bamboo island is great because you can dig up bamboo trees and then plant them on your own island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
© Nintendo

Fruit Island

Similar to the “normal island” type, you’ll sometimes land on a fruit island. It’s referred to as a fruit island by Animal Crossing players because unlike the normal island type, fruit islands contain fruit that you don’t have. For example, if cherries are your native fruit, you may be able to find peaches or pears on this island.

It’s strongly recommended that you dig up these trees and take them back with you to plant on your island as they’ll continue to produce non-native fruit. Like the normal island type, you can find native bugs and fish and flowers, along with a Fossil, random item, and resources like iron should you need them.

Tarantula Island

This island type is infamous as a way to farm Bells. The reason for this is because tarantulas spawn constantly on this island as long as you travel at night (their normal spawn time). On the island, there’s a smaller island in the center and it’s here that you’ll want to be in order to catch tarantulas.

We’ve got a few pointers in our tarantula island guide when it comes to making the process as easy as possible.

Tarantulas sell for 8,000 Bells each so you’ll want to take the time to catch as many as possible before returning to your island. If the Nook’s Cranny shop is closed, you can store the tarantulas in containers by your house by selecting them in your inventory and picking the “place item” option. In the morning, collect the containers, sell the spiders, and profit!

Fish Island Types

Similar to the tarantula island, there are fish island types. For example, one is a "fin" island that spawns rare fish like sharks more frequently. It also boasts a center island shaped like a dorsal fin. Additionally, there are two other "fish island" types that focus on big fish like the Olive Flounder or the Oarfish.

Given that Oarfish sell for 9,000 Bells each, this can be a very profitable island for you to land on. Not to mention the shark spawn island with the Hammerhead Shark selling for 8,000 Bells, the Whale Shark selling for 13,000 Bells, and the Great White Shark selling for 15,000 Bells.

If you're hunting for a fish island, be sure to bring enough fishing rods and fish bait with you just in case you get lucky enough to land on one. You aren't going to want to miss the opportunity to bring home an inventory full of Oarfish, or your very own Great White Shark if you land on "fin" island! 

Bell Rock Island

In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, there are two mystery islands where you can farm Bells. What this means is that the rocks on these island types can be mined for Bells rather than rocks, clay, and iron.

You’ll know you’ve landed on bell rock island when you see no center island and a bunch of hardwood trees (plus rocks to mine) or a smaller island in the center with rocks laid out in a circle.

To reach these rocks on this island, you’ll need to smash the rock that blocks the path then vault your way over. Once on the mini island, you’ll want to use the hole trick to get the max eight hits per rock as outlined in our previous guide.

Unlike the roses on your own island, flower island has unique plants for you to collect in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Unlike the roses on your own island, flower island has unique plants for you to collect in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
© Nintendo

Flower Island

Again, this island is like your normal island type with the exception of the flowers and butterflies that linger among them. On this island, you’ll find unique, hybrid flowers that you can’t get on your own island. The same goes for butterflies, with rarer butterflies fluttering by (all those Animal Crossing puns).

We strongly recommend digging up these flowers and taking them back with you to plant on your own island. If you see any valuable butterflies like the blue Emperor Butterfly, be sure to grab them as they’re worth 4,000 Bells each.

Trash Island

This island is similar to the normal island type with all of your native resources on it from bugs to fruit. However, fishing on trash island is an interesting experience as you won’t get fish so much as you’ll get trash. Lots and lots of trash. For crafting, it can be useful to farm a bunch of tires and boots, but overall, this one has to be our least favorite mystery island.

In addition to the mystery islands listed above, there are a few other noteworthy islands that are pretty much your standard island but with some unique layouts.

  • Normal island set in an elaborate spiral design.
  • Normal island set in a "fidget spinner" design.
  • Normal island with a mountain layout.
  • Normal island with several waterfalls.
  • Normal island with a curled center water pattern and increased dragonfly spawns.
  • Normal island with zero bug spawns.

The most common mystery island spawn is the normal island, or normal island variants like spiral island. As previously stated, you can turn normal islands into tarantula islands if you want to farm them for additional profit as long as you visit them at night, which we recommend in order to make the most out of your Nook Miles Ticket (priced at 2,000 Nook Miles per ticket).

Now that you know all of the mystery island types in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, be sure to read through some of our other helpful guides including our comprehensive turnip guide for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, where to find all of Gulliver’s Communicator Parts in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and how to catch Surgeonfish in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Morgan is a writer, indie game lover, and socially awkward coffee addict. Need something? Morgan can be reached at morgan.shaver@allgamers.com or if you like, you can say hello using GIFs on Twitter.

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