A message bottle (originally known as a note in a bottle in Wild World) is an item in Animal Crossing: Wild World and Animal Crossing: New Horizons that can wash up on the beach containing a letter. In Wild World, notes in bottles can be purchased from Tom Nook's store and sent to random players through Tag Mode, and in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, message bottles contain a letter from a villager alongside a DIY recipe.
In Wild World
In Animal Crossing: Wild World, a note in a bottle can be purchased from Tom Nook's store for 200 Bells, and an unlimited amount can be purchased per day. The item is placed with the letters in the player's pockets, and like a letter, a message can be written and an item can be attached. A written note in a bottle can be released at the beach; once one has been released, the player can access Tag Mode from the title screen. While in Tag Mode, the note in a bottle that was sent out can be received by any nearby player who is also in Tag Mode, and vice-versa. Additionally, notes in bottles containing DLC items and messages written by Nintendo were sent out through Tag Mode via a special Game Card in DS Download Stations.
The ability to send and receive notes in bottles through Tag Mode can be turned on and off from the phone in the player's attic.
In addition to notes in bottles received through Tag Mode, notes in bottles with pre-written messages can wash ashore at any time. There are a total of 40 pre-written bottle mail messages, many of which are from unseen characters or organizations.
In City Folk
In Animal Crossing: City Folk, an unused note in a bottle item, likely leftover from Wild World, appears in the game and can only be obtained through the use of memory editing. It has no functionality, but it can be sold for 50 Bells.
In New Horizons
In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, one to two message bottles wash ashore on the island each day, and they contain a letter from a villager alongside a DIY recipe. Each villager personality has different letters and recipes, which are the same recipes that can be given by villagers in-person.
Message bottles can also appear on Mystery Islands and boat tour islands. After completing the fifth vacation home in Happy Home Paradise, message bottles can appear on the beach on the Paradise Planning island. Message bottles found on some boat tour islands and the Paradise Planning island can contain unique recipes.
In Gekijōban Doubutsu no Mori
Throughout 🎬 Gekijōban Doubutsu no Mori, Ai finds several notes in bottles on the beach that tell her to plant cedar trees for the Winter Festival and are implied to be sent from an alien. It is later revealed that Gulliver sent the messages to impress the residents of Animal Village while he masquerades as an alien.
Animal Crossing: Wild World (sprite)
Five notes in bottles in the observatory in Gekijōban Doubutsu no Mori
A Bunny Day-themed egg message bottle on the beach in New Horizons
Names in other languages
Note in a bottle