Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Balloon Guide: What Are They and What Do the Colours Mean?

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Animal Crossing New Horizons, the player is stood on a rock near the edge of the ocean and they are holding their slingshot. Their eyes are closed.

As well as major events, there are small occurrences that can happen during your day in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. One such occurrence is the periodic appearances of Balloons floating across the sky with gifts tied to them. We've put together a balloon guide to tell you what balloons are, when they spawn and what each balloon colour means.

Read More: Animal Crossing New Horizons: How To Catch Floating Gifts

What are Balloons?

Balloons float over your island from one direction to another, and that direction changes every 12 hours – although it seems there is no fixed changeover point. The balloons will have small gifts attached to them and you need to shoot the balloon with a slingshot to get the gift to drop down to you. If you listen carefully, you will hear a distinct "whoosh" sound when one is nearby. If you have your volume up, then you can usually locate the balloon by tracking this noise.

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The player is standing looking down at a present they dropped from a balloon. The image has been shot from an overhead viewpoint and the player is standing near the museum. There is a thought bubble over the head of the player and it says "present"

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How Often Do Balloons Spawn?

Balloons float over on the fourth and ninth minute of any given 10-minute cycle, so if you're playing at 7 am you'll see them at 7:04, 7:09, 7:14, and so on. We have a guide that shows you how to get Balloons to Spawn if they don't show up.

What Do the Balloon Colours Mean?

If you look at the balloons that the gifts are attached to, you should see that they can occasionally be different colours. Each colour will give you an indicator of what item may be inside the gift.

  • Red Balloons – More likely to be furniture
  • Yellow Balloons – More likely to be Bells, the game's currency.
  • Blue Balloons More likely to be crafting materials.
  • Green Balloons – A mixed bag!
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Once the gift has dropped down, all you need to do is pick it up and open it to see what is inside.

Balloons and floating gifts are a small part of your life in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. There is a lot that you can do to make the most of your island and we have some guides that can help you. We have a guide on how to unlock Brewster and The Roost. Also, we have a guide that shows you how to grow a money tree.

Updated November 23rd by Marie Pritchard.