Top Games

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Mystery Island Types Guide

Here is a breakdown of the Mystery Island Types currently available in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Here is a breakdown of the Mystery Island Types currently available in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. / Image courtesy of Nintendo

This Animal Crossing: New Horizons Mystery Island Types guide is here for those looking to embark on the leisure activity operated by Dodo Airlines.

As a brief refresher, Mystery Island Tours can be had in-game in exchange for a Nook Miles Ticket by speaking to Orville at the airport. These tours allow players to visit a random deserted Mystery Island. Each Mystery Island can contain rare flowers, money rocks, bamboo, insects, fruits and plenty of other special items not often accessible. Of course, players can also harvest materials for crafting, catch rare bugs and fish, find fossils, grab DIY recipes from inside Message Bottles, and even meet villagers at Mystery Islands on rare occasions.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Mystery Island Types Guide

There have long been no official names for the Mystery Islands, but there are 18 unique layouts of them at the moment:

  • Spiral River Island: 9.68% Encounter Rate. Has a river that winds in a spiral. It is one of four "starter" islands that players will randomly arrive at for their very first mystery tour.
  • Big Pond Island: 9.68% Encounter Rate. Has a large pond in the middle and a small second level to the northwest. The pond's shape is often compared to a fidget spinner thanks to its pond, which has plenty of pond fish such as koi. It is one of four "starter" islands that players will randomly arrive at for their very first mystery tour.
  • Short River Island: 9.68% Encounter Rate. Has two layers, with a river that begins on a small second layer in the north, flows down a waterfall, and turns to the east. It is one of four "starter" islands that players will randomly arrive at for their very first mystery tour.
  • Short River and Pond Island: 9.68% Encounter Rate. Almost is the exact same layout as the short river island but with a pond in the southwest. It is one of four "starter" islands that players will randomly arrive at for their very first mystery tour.
  • Arachnid Island: 2% Encounter Rate. Can only be encountered once per day, only between 7 p.m. and 4 a.m., the time when both insects are active. A one-layer island where the only bugs that spawn are tarantulas or scorpions depending on the time of year. Has an octagonal stream that surrounds a smaller island in the center.
  • Bamboo Island: 10% Encounter Rate. With the highest encounter rate, it is statistically the most common layout that will be encountered. Has one layer where bamboo is found. There are no fruit, hardwood, or cedar trees.
  • Money Rock Island: 5% Encounter Rate. Requires the Resident Services building upgrade. Has nothing but money rocks surrounded by water. By eating fruit, the player can break a rock to the north which will open up space for the player to vault to the central island. The rocks in the central island are all money rocks and will drop a total of 80,500 Bells. If you break the rock at the north to get to the center island before hitting it once, you get an additional 8,000 Bells, totaling 88,500 for the whole island.
  • Scorpion and Money Rock Island: 1% Encounter Rate. Can only be encountered once per day. Has four small triangular cliffs in each of the corners, and no water. The ground between the cliffs is scattered with money rocks and flowers. This island also has an abundance of scorpions, depending on the time of year.
  • Trash Island: 1% Encounter Rate. Can only be encountered once per day. Seemingly the only "fish" that spawn in the river are trash items. This island is good for farming Nook Miles and DIY recipes that use trash, as well as any bugs that spawn on water. It also has an increased dragonfly rate.
  • Fin Island: 0.5% Encounter Rate. Can only be encountered once per day, only during times of the year when finned fish spawn Requires the Resident Services building upgrade. Has a rectangular pond with rectangular cliffs inside. The only fish that spawn here are the fish that have fins sticking out of the water (e.g. great white sharks). No fish will ever spawn in the river, not even if fish bait is used.
  • Waterfall Island: 10% Encounter Rate. Has three layers with cliffs, rivers, and waterfalls. Is useful for getting cliff-top fish (e.g. stringfish), and farming river-mouth spawning fish (e.g. sturgeon).
  • Mountain Island: 8% Encounter Rate. Has three layers with hardwood or cedar trees, fruit trees, and flowers and rocks. Only ocean fish can be caught. All bugs spawn as expected. If you clear out all of the island, you can farm ground-spawning bugs.
  • Sister Fruit Island: 10% Encounter Rate. Has 19 special "sister fruit" trees and a short river with an outlet on the west.
  • Big Fish Island: 3% Encounter Rate. Can only be encountered once per day. Only size four or larger fish spawn. Has a small river island in the center. Has four rocks, four palm trees, four trees of the player's native fruit, and six deciduous trees.
  • Gold Rock and Scorpion Island: 0.3% Encounter Rate. Can only be encountered once per day. Requires the Resident Services building upgrade. Has a single rock in the middle that only drops gold nuggets when hit, surrounded by a rectangular pond with a cliff to the south. The only insects that spawn are scorpions during the season they are available.
  • Rugged Tree Island: 1.5% Encounter Rate. Can only be encountered once per day. Requires the Resident Services building upgrade. Has no water features and no fruit trees other than coconut trees. It has three small cliff areas and densely-packed hardwood trees. The only insects that spawn are those associated with trees (e.g. goliath beetle).
  • Hardwood Island: 1% Encounter Rate. Can only be encountered once per day. Almost has the exact same layout as Bamboo Island, but with hardwood trees instead of bamboo. The only insects that spawn are those associated with trees (e.g. walking stick).
  • Curly River Island: 8% Encounter Rate. Has a single, square-shaped cliff in the northeast with a waterfall that feeds a river. Only dragonflies and insects associated with water spawn here. It seems that big fish and fish with fins also spawn more regularly here.