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The Bug Off is a bug-catching event that is held during the Summer, when bugs are most active, in Wild World, City Folk, New Leaf, and New Horizons.

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

New Leaf - Award fanfare

In Wild World, the Bug Off takes place on the third Sunday of the months of June, July, August, and September, and runs from 12pm to 6pm, hosted by Tortimer. In City Folk and New Leaf, the event takes place on the third Saturday of the same months, 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. Rare bugs can be caught at the remote island where Island tour's take place. Therefore, the event is not limited to the town but expands to the island for bugs to be caught. 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.

Note that during the 3 minute timer, Nets will not break, but will lose durability during the time given, and if you catch a bug during the final seconds of the timer with your net at the lowest durability, upon closing the initial text box, your net will break. This also applies to Fishing Rods during the Fishing Tourney.

Scoring

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.

Prizes

Name Image Price (Buy) Price (Sell) Source Variations Customize? Size
Artisanal bug cage NH-Furniture-Artisinal bug cage.png N/A 450 Bells Flick N/A No
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Spider doorplate NH-Furniture-Spider doorplate.png N/A 90 Bells Flick N/A Yes
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Spider web NH-Furniture-Spider web.png N/A 25 Bells Flick N/A No
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Termite mound NH-Furniture-Termite mound.png N/A 550 Bells Flick N/A No
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Toy centipede NH-Furniture-Toy centipede.png N/A 50 Bells Flick N/A No
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Toy cockroach NH-Furniture-Toy cockroach.png N/A 70 Bells Flick N/A No
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Bug wand NH-Tool-Bug wand.png N/A 1,500 Bells Flick N/A No
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Ladybug umbrella NH-Umbrella-Ladybug umbrella.png N/A 80 Bells Flick N/A No
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Ladybug rug NH-Furniture-Ladybug rug.png N/A 375 Bells Flick N/A No
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Butterflies wall NH-Furniture-Butterflies wall.png N/A 840 Bells Flick N/A No
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Bug cage NH-Bags-Bug cage.png N/A 122 Bells Flick N/A No
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Butterfly backpack NH-Bags-Butterfly backpack.png N/A 210 Bells Flick N/A No
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Bug aloha shirt NH-Tops-Bug aloha shirt.png N/A 240 Bells Flick N/A No
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Trivia

  • 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.
  • In New Horizons, while the northern hemisphere Bug-Offs are on the fourth Saturday of the month, the southern hemisphere Bug-Offs are on the third Saturday. This may have been done to avoid the possibility of the event overlapping with Toy Day (which is on the fourth Saturday of December whenever it falls on a Saturday such as in 2022).

Gallery

New Leaf

New Horizons

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