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Tarantula King: Making millions of Bells in Animal Crossing New Horizons by Spawning Tarantulas at Will.

by Jeff Barton 01 Apr 2020

If you are playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons for the Nintendo Switch, you are likely to have come across the fabled, “Tarantula Island.” This rare island is randomly accessed through the Nook Miles travel system so long as it is past 7pm local time. This distinct island is easily recognizable by the stream that encircles a small portion of land in the middle of the island swarming with infinitely spawning tarantulas. At $8K bells a piece, these money-making arachnids are worth the time and potential frustration to collect as many as your pockets will allow, resulting in a huge payday back at your home store. This island, however, is indeed at random and rare, and at 2,000 Nook Miles per visit to an island, attempting to chase the island may not be worth the means.

There is another way in your quest for millions….

As many others across the internet have found and reported, you can actually manipulate an island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons to spawn tarantulas, effectively creating your own “Tarantula Island.” Nearly regardless of where you land after accessing the Nook Miles travel system, you can change the conditions of the island to force the game to spawn these eight-legged money machines. Naturally, we wanted to try this out for ourselves, and provide you with the conditions and tips to capitalizing on this cash-grab for yourself. Here’s what you need to know:

  • You must spend 2,000 Nook Miles to access a random island past 7pm local time (when tarantulas begin appearing in game).
  • The island you land on needs to spawn insects. (There are a few islands that do not spawn insects – The money rock island, and some 3-tiered islands).
  • This can be tedious and time consuming, but extremely lucrative.
  • Be prepared: Axes, shovels, nets.

There is a bit of luck involved. As you land on an island, hope for the ideal island conditions, like we landed on here. The bamboo island has no ponds, streams, or additional leveled terrain. Just a large flat island, perfect for making money through the tarantula trade. We have tested this on other islands as well, and all can be forced to spawn tarantulas with the exceptions of those listed earlier. Other islands can take more time to fill your pockets due to the terrain and difficulty in catching tarantulas on tiered islands. Our favorites are the bamboo island, and the island with the spiraled stream.

First things first, you will need to completely clear the island of trees, stumps, flowers, and rocks. We are effectively going to eliminate anything that an insect would normally be found on. With nowhere else for the game to spawn insects to, it will be forced to spawn ground insects only: tiger beetles, wharf roaches, and TARANTULAS!

You will more than likely need an additional axe to clear all the trees. IF you did not bring more than one or need additional tools, you can visit the Dodo on the pier for flimsy tools at 100 Nook Miles a piece. An axe, however, will need to be created at the DIY station with materials you may not have with you, or not found on the island. It is better to travel with 2 axes to be safe as hoping the limited number of palm trees provide you with exactly 3 wood is a gamble.

Once all of the trees have been removed, you will need to also remove all of stumps, rocks, and flowers. Again, having an extra shovel would be useful, but you can get that flimsy version to finish the job should you need it. Leaving behind some holes is not a bad idea either. Should you be surprised by a tarantula and they give chase, you can use the holes to slow the tarantula so it can be captured. The coconuts on the island will provide you with enough fruit to demo each of the rocks by eating one and then smashing the rock with an axe or shovel. 

Flowers do not need to be dug up to be removed, but they do need picked and cleared.

As you go, you can collect and move all of the island’s cleared resources to the beach. Simply pick up everything and drop it out of the way. While you can leave things in place, having items left everywhere make it difficult to see the insects you are hunting. Fortunately, Animal Crossing: New Horizons allows you to place things on the ground just about anywhere.

With a bare island, let the fun begin! If you have cleared everything correctly, Animal Crossing: New Horizons will be forced to spawn 1 of 3 insects for the remainder of the time spent on the island. Simply use a short burst run to chase away the tiger beetles and wharf roaches as you pass and wait for the tarantulas to appear. I personally run around the island counterclockwise, chasing away the insects I do not want as I look for those that I do. As we mentioned earlier, this can be time consuming and certainly not the rapid spawning that takes place at the real “tarantula island,” but it is worth the investment when you are bringing home $200k+ bells per trip.

If you are new to catching tarantula or simply miss from time to time, unlike at home, you will just reappear at the dock to continue your hunt should you be bitten. With little penalty involved, this is a good time to practice the timing of catching tarantulas. The easiest way is to engage in a stare-down with net drawn. Creep forward until the tarantula raises its legs and stop. Once, it drops its legs again, creep forward. Repeat this until you are close enough to deploy your net.

With practice, and as you repeat this venture multiple times, you can simply walk up to a tarantula until it hops in the air to start its charge. Once the animation begins for the hop, stop moving forward and swing your net. As you learn this timing, this entire process will speed up simply from you no longer needing to stop moving as you clear the unwanted insects and snag the once-illusive tarantulas as you encounter them.

With time and patience, you can return home with pockets filled to the brim with tarantula at $8,000 per. If you are willing, this can be repeated multiple times in an evening, pulling in millions in bells. Admittedly, I stick to just one or two times a night, but rake in over $500,000 in bells per night.

Millions in bells? Absolutely. Tedious? Also, true. However, paying off mortgages and pricey infrastructure bills with ease is worth the time and effort, especially considering we are all stuck indoors right now with nothing but time. Now go out there and be the millionaire Tarantula King you were meant to be! Good luck!


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