How to Get a Floating Present in Animal Crossing

Want a surprise? Just look up!

Want a new DIY recipe, a sofa for your living room, or some extra cash? Just look up! The skies of Animal Crossing: New Horizons are filled with floating presents attached to balloons. Pop the balloon, and the present will come tumbling down.

First, You Need a Slingshot

A Slingshot is the only way to pop the balloons that hold floating presents, so, naturally, you’ll need one. Players can purchase the Slingshot DIY recipe from Timmy after completing Tom Nook’s DIY workshop during the tutorial. After that, you can buy a Slingshot from Nook’s Cranny if you don’t feel like crafting one.

Animal Crossing Slingshot DIY Recipe

How to Get a Floating Present

  1. Start by finding a floating present. Scan the horizon for the present’s silhouette. You can also locate them by sound. Floating presents are accompanied by the sound of gentle gusting wind, which grows louder as you walk closer.  

    Animal Crossing character with floating present on the horizon
  2. Look for the balloon’s round shadow on the ground as you approach the floating present. This lets you know you’re nearly in position. 

  3. Equip your slingshot, then tilt your camera to put the floating present in view. Position yourself in the floating present’s flight path. The slingshot fires upwards and slightly towards the north, so you’ll want to stand slightly south of the flight path.

    Animal Crossing character near a floating present
  4. Press and hold the A button on your controller to pull back the Slingshot. Wait for the floating present to cross the path of your fire, then let the button go to shoot a pebble at it. 

    Floating presents will drop straight down once the balloon pops. If the balloon is over water, the present will drop into the water and disappear.

    Animal Crossing character preparing to fire slingshot at a floating present
  5. If your aim is true, the balloon will pop, and the present will drop to the ground. If you miss it, don’t worry. You can try again.

What Can You Get From Floating Presents?

Floating presents can contain any of the following: Bells, materials (such as Iron Nuggets or Clay), DIY recipes, furniture, and clothing.

Community data mining suggests that Bells are most common, appearing in about 38% of presents. Materials are the next most common, occurring in 32%. Recipes appear in about 17% of them, furniture in about 9%, and clothing in almost 4%.

Animal Crossing character looking at present on the ground

The color of a balloon seems to influence what’s in a floating present.

  • Yellow balloon: Floating present is very likely to contain Bells but may have other items.
  • Blue balloon: Floating present is very likely to contain materials but may include other items.
  • Green balloon: Floating present is likely to contain a DIY Recipe or Clothing and might hold Furniture. It will never have Bells or materials.
  • Red balloon: Floating present is likely to contain Clothing, Furniture, or a DIY Recipe. It will never have Bells or materials.

Advanced Tips for More Floating Presents

You can’t 'farm' floating presents by forcing them to appear. However, if you’re interested in maximizing your gains, you can improve your chances with a better understanding of how and when they appear.

  • Floating presents only appear on your island's eastern and western shores, and they follow an east-to-west (or vice-versa) flight path. You can improve the odds of spotting a present by searching your island’s eastern and western shores.
  • Presents switch the side on which they appear on a 12-hour, night-an-day cycle. In other words, if you see a floating present appear on the eastern side of your island during the day, you can expect additional ones to appear on the east side until that night.
  • Time matters, as well. Floating presents appear at times that end in a 4 or 9, such as 3:24 or 3:29. It’ll take about a minute for the present to reach the shore of your island. They’re not guaranteed to appear at these times, however.
  • Floating presents won’t appear if you have a visitor on your island.
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