How To Get Pearls in Animal Crossing

Two ways to get this rare crafting material

Pearls are a rare crafting material in Animal Crossing: New Horizons that you’ll need to get your hands on if you want to decorate your house with mermaid-themed furniture. Introduced alongside the same update that brought swimming to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the only way to obtain pearls in Animal Crossing is to slip into a swimsuit and explore the waters around your island.

How To Get Pearls in Animal Crossing

There are two ways to get pearls in Animal crossing, and they both involve swimming.

  • Diving: Each time you dive for a sea creature, there’s a small chance you will find a pearl.
  • Trading: A visiting otter named Pascal will sometimes trade pearls for scallops. He also trades mermaid furniture instructions for scallops, so this isn’t a guaranteed method.

How To Dive For Pearls in Animal Crossing

Diving for pearls in Animal Crossing isn’t hard, but it can be time-consuming. Pearls are scarce, so you could easily spend hours looking before you find one. The key is persistence.

Here’s how to dive for pearls:

  1. Obtain a swimsuit.

    Buying a swimsuit in Animal Crossing.

    The easiest way to get a swimsuit is to buy it from Nook’s Cranny for 3,000 bells.

  2. Press X to open your inventory, highlight the swimsuit, and press A.

    Inventory in Animal Crossing.
  3. Select Wear and press A.

    Putting on a swimsuit in Animal Crossing.
  4. With the swimsuit on, approach the ocean and press A.

    Approaching the ocean to swim in Animal Crossing.

    If you're holding a tool, like a shovel or fishing pole, put it away first.

  5. You will enter the ocean and start swimming.

    Swimming in Animal Crossing.
  6. Look for bubbles, and press Y to dive.

    Bubbles spotted in Animal Crossing.
  7. If you don’t dive in the exact right spot, you can use the left analog stick to continue swimming underwater until you touch the shadow generating bubbles.

    Diving in Animal Crossing.
  8. When you touch the shadow, you will surface automatically with whatever you found down there. If you’re lucky, it will be a pearl.

    A pearl caught in Animal Crossing.

How To Trade For Pearls in Animal Crossing

Pearls are rare and difficult to find, but you don’t have to devote a lot of time to find them all at once. If you have some patience, you can accumulate them at a slower pace by trading for them once each day.

When you dive and find a scallop, an otter named Pascal will appear one time per day. He will offer to trade for your scallop. If you agree, he will either give you a recipe you can use to craft an item of mermaid furniture or place a pearl in your inventory. You won’t necessarily get a pearl, but this is a good way to get either a recipe or a pearl every day.

Here’s how to trade for pearls in Animal Crossing:

  1. Put on your swimsuit, and enter the ocean.

  2. Approach a column of bubbles, and press X to dive.

  3. If you find a scallop, Pascal will appear behind you.

    Catching a scallop in Animal Crossing.

    Some players have reported needing to find several scallops before Pascal shows up, but he will come once each day if you're persistent. If he isn't showing up for you, make sure the Animal Crossing daily reset has occurred since the last time you saw him.

  4. When asked, agree to trade the scallop.

    Trading a scallop to Pascal in Animal Crossing.
  5. After trading, check your inventory. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a pearl there.

    A pearl in Animal Crossing.

Tips To Find Pearls in Animal Crossing

Finding pearls in Animal Crossing isn’t easy because you are far more likely to find random sea creatures like sea slugs and anemones. Here are some tips to keep in mind when diving for pearls:

  • Pearls typically have small shadows.
  • Pearls typically generate fewer bubbles, and the bubbles don’t wave around a lot.
  • If a shadow moves around a lot, it isn’t a pearl.
  • Ignore shadows that clearly aren’t pearls to speed up your search.
  • Press the A button repeatedly to swim faster while looking for pearls.
  • Pearls come from oysters in real life, but you can’t get them from oysters or pearl oysters in Animal Crossing. Feel free to donate those to the museum or sell them.
  • Pascal will only trade one scallop per day, so don’t hoard your scallops. Feel free to donate or sell them as you like.

What Are Pearls for in Animal Crossing?

Mermaid Flooring recipe in Animal Crossing.

Pearls are a crafting material that you can use to craft mermaid-themed furniture, wall coverings, and flooring. Each time you trade a scallop to Pascal, there's a chance that he'll give you a mermaid-themed DIY recipe in return. Take your pearls to a DIY station, and you can use them to build those recipes.

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