ACNH Villagers Guide (Top 25 Important Tips for Players)

Get out there and socialize!

Customization is the focal selling point of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but the villagers are the heart of the game. You can't play any Animal Crossing game without the villagers—it's in the name. Villagers help the game feel more immersive and make the experience worthwhile. In this guide, I'll be giving you 25 tips that will help you better understand the importance of villagers and how they impact the quality of life on your island.


  • Like all Animal Crossing games, New Horizons is a simulation of social interaction and daily activities. As more villagers come to your island, the bigger your island community grows. Without them, we wouldn't have much reason to keep playing.


  • As you play New Horizons, you'll grow attachments to your villagers. There are many reasons why players cling to certain villagers, such as popularity or personal tastes. After a while, you'll start to miss your faves and boot up the game just to see them again.


  • From recurring villagers to iconic mainstays, there are many recognizable faces in the Animal Crossing franchise. New Horizons isn't represented by just one or two characters alone. The vast array of villagers  is enough to capture anyone’s attention.


1. Introduce Yourself

Whenever a new villager moves to your island, the very first thing you'll want to do is greet them. Visit their house and make them feel welcome. If you do, you'll get a glimpse into their style and what type of animal they are. But there's no rush. You can always run into your neighbors at a later time.


2. Mystery Island Tours

Mystery Island Tours are essential for gathering resources, especially in the early days of building your island. Another thing you can do in these uncharted lands is meet villagers. If you have less than ten villagers, you can easily invite these tourists to move in and they'll show up on your island a few days later.


3. Campsite

You may not always run into another villager on the island tours, so having a campsite built is a good alternative. The campsite will become available for you to build once Resident Services is upgraded to a full building. Using the campsite allows you to speak with the camper and occasionally be prompted to play a card game to gain furniture or trigger a move-in opportunity.

However, don't expect a camper to show up every day. Campers will randomly visit your island, but at least potential villagers will now come to you instead of the other way around.


4. Amiibo Cards

Another way to invite villagers is by scanning their respective amiibo cards (or figures for special characters). You have the option to scan these cards at the Nook Stop in the Resident Services building once the Campsite has been constructed. Scanning amiibo cards this way lets players invite the villager to the campsite. Instead of the usual card game, the camper will request a DIY furniture item be crafted and delivered to them. Once this is done, the player may suggest the camper move to the island. Be prepared to get rejected the first and second time you ask, but the third time's the charm.

Amiibo cards can also be scanned at Photopia on Harv's Island, at The Roost once it's been added to the Museum, or at Paradise Planning in the Happy Home Paradise DLC expansion once the amiibo scanner is available. Aside from obtaining villagers, you can use amiibo cards in Photopia where characters can be used in a photo shoot similar to regular island villagers, even special characters. Scanning a character's amiibo will also unlock a poster of them to be purchased from the Nook Stop for 1,000 Bells.


5. Conversation

Having conversations isn't unique to New Horizons, but it's one of the biggest things you'll do while playing the game. You should speak to villagers to hear their thoughts and pass the time. Doing so may reward you with various items that will help you make progress, such as DIY recipes, clothing, furniture, and more. Plus, it's an easy way to rake up friendship points.


6. Trading

Sometimes while talking to villagers, you might be carrying an item that they've been searching for. This will lead them to propose a trade in exchange for something else. You can either make their day and accept the trade or decline the offer. Players may also be prompted to trade items during special events, just take Pavé’s Festivale for instance.


7. Selling

The most common place to sell things in New Horizons is through Timmy and Tommy, as well as a few other special characters. Talking to villagers is another way to go if you're looking to get rid of something. While it's not a reliable option, villagers may sometimes express interest in an item that's in your pockets. They'll even pay you bells if you're willing to part ways with it. In some cases, villagers may try to negotiate a price if you decline their first offer which you can accept or stand firm on your decision.


8. Gifting

Another thing you can do while talking to villagers is to offer them gifts. If they like your gift, you might even get a thank you present in return. It's an easy way to strengthen friendships and make villagers feel closer to you. You can wrap your gifts with care or pick them straight out of your pockets.


9. Errands

When your villagers are in a jam, they'll come to you for help. They'll often ask you to complete a favor for them. This can range from little quests like delivering gifts or returning lost items to their owners. Just don't peek and make sure you finish the errand by the end of the day. Your villagers are counting on you!


10. Favors

Similar to errands, your villagers will speak of something they want and ask you for a favor. This could be fish, bugs, furniture, clothing, etc. Your job is to accept and get the item they've been dreaming of. You don't always have to take on these tasks as you can also encourage villagers to get what they want on their own. Although it's an easy way to shut a villager down, you might miss out on receiving a reward.


11. DIY Recipes

If you want to get more creative in New Horizons, you'll need to acquire lots of DIY recipes. With DIY recipes, you can build a multitude of items and customize them to your liking. Fortunately, the villagers have you covered. You might stumble across them crafting away while visiting their homes. Just talk to them and ask what they're making. They'll give you the recipe and you'll have something new to build. And in case you end up with a DIY recipe you've already learned, you can easily give it away to someone else on your island.


12. Reactions

In almost all Animal Crossing games, the best way to express yourself is through the use of Reactions. New Horizons marks the first game where you can learn these expressions randomly by talking to villagers. Players can learn one Reaction per day. Some Reactions are only available from villagers with certain personalities, others may require a high friendship level with the villager.


13. Moving

Not everything lasts forever. There will come a time when a villager is ready to leave your island. You have the choice to let them go or ask them to stay. Luckily, you'll always be informed of a potential move in New Horizons unlike in previous games. And it's easy to spot when a villager is ready to move. You'll see a thought bubble appear above their head before they ask the player if they should move. But keep in mind that a thought bubble can transfer to another villager if you don't interact with the villager with the initial thought bubble that day.


14. Personalities

Once you have a decent amount of villagers on your island, you'll quickly notice how each resident behaves distinctly. They'll often have unique phrases, preferences, and act accordingly under specific archetypes. These are commonly known as Personalities. There are a total of eight personalities: lazy, jock, cranky, and smug for male villagers, and normal, peppy, snooty, and big sister for female personalities. 

If you happen to have two villagers with the same personality, you'll catch on to similar dialogue patterns which can be repetitive at times. New Horizons shakes things up by giving each personality two subtypes that mostly correlate with one or two common hobbies per subtype. This allows for more distinctive dialogue that can be encountered occasionally once the player reaches a high level of friendship with the villager.


15. Resetting Villagers - Complaints to Isabelle

A common misconception among players is the belief that reporting to Isabelle regarding a certain resident will eventually lead that villager to move. This is simply not the case. It's important to note that while you can complain to Isabelle about certain villagers, she does not make them leave the island. The true function behind this feature is to reset villagers back to their default appearance.

Let's say you just received a new villager from a friend's island. You didn't like a custom-designed outfit they were wearing or you thought their catchphrase was inappropriate. You can speak to Isabelle about these problems in Resident Services and she'll set the villager's clothing and catchphrase back to normal.


16. Catchphrases & Nicknames

As stated before, it's common to come across villagers who share similar personality types. However, their catchphrases and nicknames are another trait that sets them apart from each other. All villagers have a distinct catchphrase and nickname that they use in conversation. After a while, they may ask you to come up with something new for them. Over time, a villager's new nickname for you may catch on and other residents will ask to use it as well.


17. Outdoor Activities

There's plenty to see on your island in New Horizons. You'll often find your villagers taking a stroll, shopping, watering flowers gazing at bugs, reading books, and more. You can even catch your residents doing yoga in the plaza outside Resident Services.

This seems to have been expanded upon starting with the version 2.0 update for New Horizons. Now players can initiate group stretching by interacting with a special tape deck in the plaza. Both villagers and special characters will participate in these sessions, and it's another way to earn special rewards once per day.


18. Time Travel

The use of time travel is a well-known gimmick among Animal Crossing fans. This technique is used to make time pass quicker, experience events you would've missed out on, and most infamously cheat the stalk market and make a killing on bells. Many players take advantage of time travel by adjusting the date and time on the Nintendo Switch. While it has its benefits, it isn't without consequences. On the subject of villagers, you run the risk of neglecting your villagers, causing them to potentially leave your island.


19. Villager Adoptions / Trading On Nookazon

Multiplayer comes in handy when you want to visit a friend's island and adopt villagers who are ready to move. But let's say there's a villager that you want, but you don't know anyone who has that villager on their island and you don't want to go through the hassle of relying on mystery islands, the campsite, or amiibo cards. If you find yourself in this situation, you might want to consider signing up for Nookazon, an online trading platform where New Horizons players can buy and sell items to use in the game, including villagers.

While this method leads you outside of the game and is not officially endorsed by Nintendo, it's still popularly recommended by New Horizons players. With that in mind, you must also be cautious of scams when dealing with these types of online transactions. If you aren't deterred by this info, here's a list of what you'll need to get started on Nookazon:

  • An open plot on your island
  • A Nookazon account
  • A Nintendo Switch Online Membership
  • A stable Wi-Fi connection
  • Bells (in the millions) and Nook Miles Tickets (in the hundreds)
  • And most importantly, time and patience


20. Impromptu Visits

You're minding your own business and out of the blue, a neighbor drops by for a visit. These impromptu visits are a fun way to interact with your villagers and let them get a glimpse of your interior design. They'll comment on your furniture and style, and it's even better if you currently have something in your home that was given to you by the visiting resident. These little moments make players feel closer to their villagers and are sure to strengthen friendships.


21. Home Design

Happy Home Paradise is regarded as the spiritual successor to Happy Home Designer. In this DLC for New Horizons, players can design vacation homes for villagers and special characters on an archipelago. When building a home for a character, it's important to consider what island it will be built on since each island has different features, and some have different seasons. You can place furniture items chosen by the character as you freely decorate the interior and exterior.

The more homes you design, the more furniture becomes available to use. You can also remodel homes, suggest existing clients with completed homes to include roommates, and rename the villager's theme of their home. Additionally, you'll want to take note that whatever happens on the main island can affect what occurs on the archipelago.


22. Max Villager Count.

While it's fun to seek your favorite characters, you can't have them all. It's important to keep in mind the number of villagers living on your island. Excluding yourself, the maximum number of residents you can have at a time is ten. Ten is a fair number to have, but is far less compared to previous entries in the series. You'll want to choose your villagers wisely.


23. Ignoring Villagers

Ignoring villagers is not an ideal course of action. There are a few reasons why villagers end up neglected, such as not playing the game for a while, time travel, or even on purpose. You won't like every villager or you might talk to some more than others, which could lead to them wanting to move. Villagers may even feel hurt or confused which could slow down progress in developing friendships with them.


24. Birthdays

Birthday celebrations are essential to the Animal Crossing experience. Every year, a select few will get together to throw you a surprise birthday party and give presents. In return, you can also celebrate your villager’s birthdays. It's best to give presents you feel they would like or align with their personality and interests. This is a great way to spread cheer and deepen friendships with your residents.


25. Friendship Level

Friendship has been mentioned repeatedly throughout this guide. That's because you'll want to maintain a strong friendship level with your villagers more than anything. Just doing the small things like talking, writing letters, giving gifts, and favors will keep your residents happy and raise your friendship level with them. But what does this mean and how do you know their levels are rising? 

You'll typically hear a jingle at the end of your interactions with villagers, signifying that you've made progress. The stronger your friendship is with villagers, the less likely they'll want to move and those with higher levels are more likely to attend your birthday party. At the end of it all is the ultimate reward, a special gift that no one else can give other than the villager in question: a framed photo of themself. Once you've earned a villager's photo, you'll learn extra tidbits about them, including their birthday, zodiac sign, and favorite saying. As proof of your friendship and the time spent with them, a villager's photo is the greatest gift in New Horizons.


Thanks for reading! If you thought this guide was helpful, you may also be interested in:

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