Sooner or later, you get tired of them. It makes sense! They can be annoying. Your island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is defined by your villagers, the weird little misfits who, for whatever reason, have washed up on your shores. Some are fun, some are absolute treasures, some are irritating, some are jerks but you like them anyways. But they are not, crucially, static. If you’ve been on your island for a little while, you might be wondering how to get some new ones by getting the old ones to leave. Here’s what you need to know.
The Basics: In the beginning, you get villagers a few different ways, either by building some special items for their homes or by plunking down a new plot of land from Tom Nook. But there’s a limit: you can only have 10 villagers, and once you’ve reached that point Nook won’t give you any new plots.
At that point, you need to get one to leave before getting a new one.
Getting a Villager to Leave:
While I’ve seen some theories about whacking them with nets, there isn’t much conclusive evidence on the subject. There is one surefire method, but it takes a little while to get it to work.
So if you see a villager wandering around, don’t talk to them. Don’t go in their house. If they shout your name and run across a field to talk to you, run away. Treat them like an absolute jerk, and they’ll get the message. If you’re really serious about things, you can do a little enforced social distancing: build a moat or a fence around their door, and they won’t be able to talk to you even if they wanted to.
Do this for long enough, and eventually, you’ll see them with a dilemma. They’ll be walking around pensively, with a thought bubble above their heads. At this point, you want to talk to them. If everything went according to plan, they’ll ask you if you think it’s a good idea to leave. Nudge them in the right direction.
Sometimes villagers will do this even if they haven’t been ignored, so feel free to take that opportunity to shake things up, too. There is also a way to get them to move with amiibo cards, covered at the end of this article.
Getting a new villager:
Once your villager decides to leave, they’ll first pack up their bags. At this point, there’s nothing to do but say goodbye. The next day, their house will be an empty lot: this is when you move.
When the empty lot is on your island, you can get a nook miles ticket and travel to a mystery island. You should see a new potential villager hanging out on that island. Take stock of them, maybe google them, and decide whether or not you want them to come to your island. If you don’t like them, just head back to the airport and go to a new island for a new villager.
Amiibo Cards: The exception to this rule concerns Amiibo Cards, which give you a little more control over which villager you want: I got Stiches this way. First, you need the Amiibo Card, which you either already have or you’ve bought off of eBay for a massive upsell. Then, you go to the terminal in the Resident Services building, where one of the options tells you about Amiibo. Select this and scan your card.
Once you do that, your chosen villager will be at your campsite immediately—no waiting for the next day. Go to visit them, and they’ll ask you to make something for them, typically giving you a DIY recipe in the process.
You’ll need to invite them back a couple of times, and likely make two or three things for them. Do this enough, and they’ll ask to move to your island. If you say yes, you’ll be able to ask a specific villager to leave. This will begin the box process, and in a few days your new villager will show up.
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