Animal Crossing: New Horizons' latest update was released late Wednesday night. It includes some amazing additions, like weekly fireworks shows and Dream Suites. But beneath the surface, Summer Update 2 also lays the groundwork for upcoming features. A datamine of the latest Animal Crossing: New Horizons update suggests that some long-awaited, Stardew Valley-like features might make their way into the game.
What was revealed in the datamine? While farming and cooking are prominent features in other life simulation games, like Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley, Animal Crossing's relationship with plants has never gone further than gardening. On July 29, Animal Crossing: New Horizons dataminer Ninji revealed some intriguing hints from within the game's code on Twitter.
In addition to the return of gyroids and hiding references to sewing and cooking, Nintendo apparently added: "New ‘VgtTomato’, ‘VgtWheat’, ‘VgtSugarCane’, ‘VgtPotato’, ‘VgtCarrot’, ‘VgtSquash’ map Fg items."
While it's possible this code will go unused, it appears Nintendo is laying the groundwork to introduce vegetables to Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Their inclusion would really only make sense if farming and cooking mechanics were added to the Nintendo Switch title.
The evidence for this isn't limited to July's second update either. In April, Ninji also found data for vegetables, dishes, and cooking within Animal Crossing: New Horizons code. Diving was also part of that datamine, and that feature made its way into the game in July. That makes farming and cooking now seem more likely than ever, despite the lack of confirmation from Nintendo.
When will Nintendo add farming and cooking? Three major updates for Animal Crossing: New Horizons have come and gone without the addition of cooking or farming. That said, there is a definite chance we will see these things added to Animal Crossing: New Horizons later this year. At the end of the trailer for Animal Crossing: New Horizons' latest update, another major patch is teased for fall 2020.
While Nintendo hasn't detailed the fall update, the promotional image features a pumpkin, an obvious clue of a Halloween theme. This update could also include new features themed around the fall harvest, like farming and cooking. All of the vegetables found in the recent datamine are eaten around the end of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, and data for growing pumpkins was found in the game all the way back in April.
The Inverse Analysis -- If Nintendo does plan on adding farming and cooking to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the fall update is the best opportunity to do so. The feature is prevalent enough within the game's code now to where it will be extremely surprised if it is not added. At this point, it's a matter of when not if.
I can't wait to see how these mechanics in Animal Crossing: New Horizons will stack up against the game's contemporaries like Stardew Valley. For sure, making me tend to a farm daily will suck me back into Animal Crossing: New Horizons all over again.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available now for Nintendo Switch.