Winning the Bug Off awards trophies. In New Leaf there are 3 trophies for the top 3 places and special bug-themed furniture to acquire. In New Horizons, the player earns points for catching bugs, with the points redeemable toward bug swag items; three trophies can also be earned for high lifetime point totals.
In the games
In Wild World, City Folk, and New Leaf
In Wild World, City Folk, and New Leaf, the Bug Off takes place on the third Saturday of the months of June, July, August, and September, and runs from 9am to 6pm. The event is hosted by Nat, who asks players to catch and bring him bugs.
Each entry in the Bug Off is rated in points according to size, rarity, and color/luster. Rarity is the only scale which is invariable; the other categories may vary even among insects of the same species. This means that a low-rarity insect which is especially large and colorful/lustrous may score higher than an unexceptional specimen of a rarer type. An insect's color/luster cannot be determined until after Nat has examined it, making it difficult to tell how many points any given insect may score, excepting its rarity.
During the day of the competition, each time a player gives a bug that achieves a new high score, they receive a gift from Nat. In New Leaf, Nat gives the player an item from the Insect Series every time a new high score is set. At the end of the competition, the winner of the Bug-Off receives a mention on the Bulletin Board as well as a trophy through the mail. New Leaf winners stand on a podium at the end of the competition.
The Bug-Off is the counterpart to the Fishing Tourney, which runs during the other eight months of the year. Unfortunately, the largest fish come out during the summer, so a keen fisher must keep their fish in their home until October to gain an advantage for the Autumn competition. However, the Bug-Off is different from the Fishing Tourney, due to there being only one type of competition - bugs are caught according the color, rarity, luster and size - nothing else, unlike the Tourney, which has two competitions - size and type.
In New Horizons
In New Horizons, the Bug Off takes place on the fourth Saturday of June, July, August, and September in the Northern Hemisphere, and on the third Saturday of January, February, November, and December in the Southern Hemisphere. The event is hosted by Flick. While Flick is present on the island, he will also buy any other bugs that the player wants to sell. Unlike his regular random appearances, he does not offer crafted models of specific bugs provided by the player during the Bug Off. Flick accepts Bug Off entries between 9am and 6pm, and remains at his tent to buy bugs and redeem points for prizes until 8pm. The first competition of the day is free, but the player can participate in more competitions until the deadline by paying an entry fee of 500 Bells for each one.
During the Bug Off, the player's villagers will be seen wandering the island with their nets in search of bugs. Unlike New Leaf, they do not serve as competition and are not awarded trophies following the conclusion of the tournament. Some villagers will stay inside their homes during the duration of the event, having unique dialogue about their not participating if they are interacted with.
In a departure from previous Bug Offs, the players will have 3 minutes to catch as many bugs as they can. Every bug is valued at one point and can be sold or retrieved from the bug cage at the end of the timer. The player will receive 2 bonus points for catching more than 3 bugs. If playing co-op, if 5 or more bugs are caught between all players on the island there will be an additional 5 points awarded to every player, even if they did not catch any bugs; if 10 or more are caught, 7 points will be awarded instead; if 15 or more are caught, 10 points will be awarded instead.
Points earned from Bug Offs can be redeemed for bug swag with Flick, with each swag item costing 10 points. There are a total of 13 items to collect, and the player will receive a different one until all 13 have been rewarded, after which subsequent prizes will be random repeats. In addition, after achieving a net 100 points, Flick will mail a bronze Bug Off trophy to the player's home the next day, while 200 points awards a silver trophy and 300 points awards a gold trophy. Flick will save any of the player's unspent points for future Bug Off days.
|Name||Image||Price (Buy)||Price (Sell)||Source||Variations||Customize?||Size|
|Artisanal bug cage||N/A||450 Bells||Flick||N/A||No|
|Spider doorplate||N/A||90 Bells||Flick||N/A||Yes|
|Spider web||N/A||25 Bells||Flick||N/A||No|
|Termite mound||N/A||550 Bells||Flick||N/A||No|
|Toy centipede||N/A||50 Bells||Flick||N/A||No|
|Toy cockroach||N/A||70 Bells||Flick||N/A||No|
|Bug wand||N/A||1,500 Bells||Flick||N/A||No|
|Ladybug umbrella||N/A||80 Bells||Flick||N/A||No|
|Ladybug rug||N/A||375 Bells||Flick||N/A||No|
|Butterflies wall||N/A||840 Bells||Flick||N/A||No|
|Bug cage||N/A||122 Bells||Flick||N/A||No|
|Butterfly backpack||N/A||210 Bells||Flick||N/A||No|
|Bug aloha shirt||N/A||240 Bells||Flick||N/A||No|
- Handing over the same insect twice does not produce the same results, meaning the same insect may be able to overwrite an already existing entry.
- During the Bug-Off, Tom Nook will announce over the PA system 'Your attention please, today is the bug off, try to get lots of good ones, thank you'.
- In New Leaf, if the player is not present when the Bug-Off ends, the award ceremony will be cancelled, and an envelope with the bug trophy in it will come in on the next day if the player scored in 3rd, 2nd, or 1st place.
- On rare occasions in New Leaf, the Summer Solstice will be on the same day as the Bug-Off. If this happens, both events will continue as normal, with slightly different dialogue and Isabelle will be standing in front of the Town Hall instead of the Plaza. The standee will also appear, with the tent for the Bug Off and Nat next to it. However, dialogue for villagers will be for the Bug-Off until 6 pm.
- All villagers outside will be carrying a net. If a bug is nearby, they will freeze and sneak towards the bug. Once close enough or the bug pauses, they will swing their net to attempt a catch. If they miss, they will react disappointed, much like when a villagers shakes an empty tree. In New Horizons, they will always miss.