When does the game determine which fossils are which? When they are "buried" at 5am? When I dig them up? Or when Blathers assesses them?

For example, if I dig up a fossil, does the game already know that it is a Diplo Skull, or is that determination not made until I hand it to Blathers?

Just curious.

Consider this scenario:

Let's say there is a rule that each day's new fossils are distinct. (Is there such a rule? That would be another question.)

I dig up my four and take one to Blathers. He tells me it's a Diplo Skull. Now I send the other 3 to my friend on another island. ... Can I be sure that none of the remaining three are Diplo Skulls? ... or will her Blathers decide based on her island's state?

  • Why does it matter? Even if it is determined before you hand it to Blathers, you have no way of knowing until you hand it over. Aug 2, 2021 at 18:39
  • 1
    @StephenOstermiller savescumming could be a potential use-case. if you know when the fossil is determined, you know at what point you can savescum until you get the fossil you want.
    – Rapitor
    Aug 3, 2021 at 13:50
  • Thanks @Rapitor. I had to look that up. I never knew there was a word for it. Aug 3, 2021 at 14:32
  • well, it seems to me the best way to figure this out would be to attempt savescumming. If the fossil changes type when you do, it probably is determined when Blather assesses them, but if it never changes it's type, it determines it before, most likely when you dig them up. I don't personally have the game, so I can't try it myself.
    – Millard
    Aug 3, 2021 at 15:11

1 Answer 1


To answer this question is simply impossible without opening the code. Also, pretty sure the fossils assessment is a simple diceroll. It doesn't particularly look at what you got and what state your island is in. It will just roll something from the fossils table and give you it. So assessing on your island or your friends island doesn't change much.

Save scumming is also impossible in Animal Crossing: New Horizons because as soon as you stop talking to Blathers after assessing the fossils, the game autosaves. So by the time you can look at your inventory to see what you got, the game is already saved and its impossible for you to go back to the 'non-assessed fossil' state.

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