Having trouble discovering some of the most interesting and rare Kapp’n Islands in Version 2.0 of Animal Crossing: New Horizons? There might be an explainable reason, besides just bad luck!
One of the best additions to Animal Crossing: New Horizons with the Version 2.0 Update are new mystery islands to visit from Kapp’n Boat Tours at the pier of your island.
But with players only allowed to go on a single boat tour from Kapp’n per in-game day, some might be wondering why they’ve been repeatedly visiting the same islands that don’t feel particularly interesting.
Thanks to extensive datamining, we now have some detailed information on how the behind the scenes process of choosing which Mystery Island you visit during a Kapp’n Boat Tour works. With the help of those details, we’ll explain why you might be having trouble finding rarer islands, beyond simply bad luck.
Rare Islands Are Locked By Character Creation Date
The main reason you might be having a hard time finding some interesting Kapp’n Islands in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is due to your character’s creation date, particularly if you’re a player who just recently restarted their Animal Crossing: New Horizons island for the Version 2.0 Update in the past few weeks!
That’s because some of the rarest and most interesting islands that you can visit from Kapp’n are locked from the random selection of possibilities until your character is old enough to have experienced an island’s date already.
For example, the Winter Island featuring Snow on the ground and Snowflakes in the air takes place on February 24th in the Northern Hemisphere towards the end of the winter season. If you created your character on October 15th with the Version 2.0 Update reveal, then you won’t be able to find this Kapp’n Island until February 24th in the next year.
Although these restrictions mostly apply to seasonal islands preventing you from seeing the seasonal crafting materials that haven’t already passed on your home island, the rare Star Fragment island is included as well — a popular destination for many players!
To be clear though, this is simply working off in-game dates that can be easily effected by time traveling if you desire — Nintendo isn’t employing any sort of real date checking or anything like that. But if you’re going to time travel that far anyway, there’s not a huge reason to care about seasonal islands anyway.
If You’re Locked From A Rare Island, You Get Sent To A Normal One
Making matters even worse for rare island hunters, the mechanics in Animal Crossing: New Horizons for selecting a fallback island after being locked from a rare island are punishing too.
If the game determines that the date of a rare island that was selected for you is not possible to visit due to when your character was created, then it will simply fall back to one of the ‘normal’ islands, rather than checking for a different rare island that you’re eligible for.
In other words, your failed attempt to visit a rare island that isn’t considered accessible for your character is completely wasted without any attempt to visit another available rare island. This increases the likelihood even further of continually visiting more common islands when using Kapp’n Boat Tours.
What’s Considered A Rare Island Or Normal Island?
We’re using the terms ‘rare island’ and ‘normal island’ in this article quite often, so let’s go over what exactly is considered rare by the standards of the game! Note that we are outlining general ‘types’ of islands — there are minor variations within some of these types.
There are four main types of islands that are considered common having relatively high probability rates in comparison to the rare options, in addition to not requiring any specific conditions to be matched.
When setting out on a Kapp’n Boat Tour, you have a 78% chance of visiting one of the following ‘normal’ island types:
- Gyroid Fragments Island: The most basic and most common type of island where Brewster is initially met.
- Vegetables Island: A common island with ‘abandoned’ farms that contain a random type of Vegetable, like tomatoes.
- Vines & Glowing Moss Island: The somewhat less common island featuring special Vines, Glowing Moss, and Plumeria Bushes.
- Raining Full Gyroids Island: A relatively rare island where the weather is raining and full gyroids can be dug up without fragments.
Though these four islands are probabilistically considered ‘normal’ and don’t have any special requirements to access, many players will likely still consider the latter two to be somewhat special regardless, due to their included items.
There are seven main types of islands that are considered as having very low probability rates in comparison to the common options, and also require character creation date conditions to be met.
When setting out on a Kapp’n Boat Tour, you have a 22% chance of visiting one of the following ‘rare’ islands:
- Winter Snowflakes Island: Rare island set in the Winter season with Snowflake materials and recipes.
- Spring Cherry Blossoms Island: Rare island set in the Cherry Blossom season with Cherry Blossom materials and recipes.
- Spring Bamboo Island: Rare island set in the Spring season with Spring Bamboo materials and recipes.
- Star Fragments Island: Rare island set in the Summer season with Star Fragments everywhere.
- Summer Shells Island: Rare island set in the Summer season with Summer Shell materials and recipes.
- Autumn Maple Leaves Island: Rare island set in the Autumn season with Maple Leaf materials and recipes.
- Autumn Mushrooms Island: Rare island set in the Autumn season with Mushroom materials and recipes.
As explained earlier in this article, all of these islands require that the in-game date the island is set at has passed since your character was created.
Unlock Dates For Rare Islands
As a handy summary, here’s a table of all the rare islands that have special unlock conditions, depending on your character’s creation date:
|Island||Date (NH)||Date (SH)|
|Winter Snowflakes||February 24th||August 24th|
|Spring Cherry Blossoms||April 10th||October 10th|
|Spring Bamboo||May 31st||November 30th|
|Star Fragments||June 15th||December 15th|
|Summer Shells||August 31st||February 28th|
|Autumn Maple Leaves||November 25th||May 25th|
|Autumn Mushrooms||November 30th||May 31st|
The dates above represent when on the calendar each island’s date is set to. In order for one to become ‘unlocked’, the date needs to have passed since your character was created.
Of Course, Bad Luck Happens Too
To state the obvious, it’s easily possible for just horrifically bad luck to be the reason why the rarest Kapp’n Islands aren’t showing up for you in Version 2.0 too.
But given how many Animal Crossing players may have restarted their islands for the big update, we think it’s likely that the issue is partly related to these locked date islands for many fans.
Finally, if you’re an unlucky player who has yet to experience any of the main four ‘normal’ islands yet from Kapp’n, it’s worth mentioning that Nintendo has kindly built in a form of bad luck protection to help you out.
If the previous seven Kapp’n Islands you’ve visited didn’t include any of these regular four types of islands, you’ll be guaranteed access to one of the ones unvisited in the last seven trips, chosen at random.
So if you haven’t yet visited the Vines & Glowing Moss island for example, hold out hope, because Nintendo has… sort of got your back! A particular type of good fortune from Katrina can trigger that island as well.
We’re still working on updating our Kapp’n Boat Tours & Mystery Islands guide here with every new detail learned from datamining, but we thought this important information about locked islands was worth sharing immediately! If you recently restarted your island, hopefully it clears up the situation a bit.
A huge special thanks to asteriation for their hard work datamining and analyzing the game’s code providing valuable information used in this article.
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