Box art - Animal Crossing: New Horizons

How to spin the shovel in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

If you’ve spent any amount of time in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you’re likely well aware of the shovel. You hold it in your hands, you dig some holes; it’s the usual story. But what about when you see someone with a spinning shovel? What does it mean, and how do you spin the shovel in Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Keep reading to find out more details.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Spinning Shovel | How to spin the shovel

spin the shovel animal crossing new horizons spinning

It’s not possible to deliberately spin the shovel in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Instead, the spinning shovel seems to appear any time the game is experiencing lag, such as input or communication delays. More specifically, it often appears when the game hangs slightly during multiplayer sessions.

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That’s right: You can’t spin the shovel in New Horizons on purpose. It only ever happens on its own, more often than not in the times when you’re playing with others online.

It’s so far unclear exactly what happens to trigger the spinning shovel animation. What we do know is that it seems to happen more often when more users are playing together. Still, it would be nice to know exactly what causes it. Several dedicated players theorize that the spinning animation simply serves to close the gap in time between digging a hole and the hole appearing. From what we know about the game, that certainly sounds about right.

Never seen the spinning shovel before? Check out this video submitted to the Animal Crossing subreddit by user Glaiceana.

I’m starting a new sport; Shovel Spinning! from AnimalCrossing

It’s a neat effect for sure, but the spinning shovel is not tied to any character ability. There’s no way to spin the shovel in Animal Crossing: New Horizon, at least not by choice. It’s just an animation that sometimes appears when matched up with other users online.