Animal Crossing: New Horizons: Why Your Villagers Want To Leave, And How To Invite More

Animal Crossing: New Horizons: Why Your Villagers Want To Leave, And How To Invite More

The islands of Animal Crossing: New Horizons are populated by wholesome villagers who just want to be your friend. In total, the game houses over 390 villagers — but with only ten villagers allowed on your island at once, you likely won’t see every villager the game has to offer. To combat this, the game features a rotating system of villagers and a friendship-based system that compels some villagers to leave your island. Here’s how it works.

In a recent Twitter thread, reputable Animal Crossing data miner Ninji detailed how the moving out system works. First, it operates on the prerequisite that you have at least six villagers living on your island. From there, the game uses a volume-based formula to determine the likelihood of a villager asking to move out.

A villager may not ask to move out more than once in a five day period and the same villager may not return within 15 days according to Ninji. After these checks have been passed, the game assesses the friendship level that a player has with a villager and picks a random one to want to move out. They can’t be chosen if their house is being moved, if their birthday has either been in the last seven days or the upcoming seven days, if they were picked on the last selection for moving out or if they’ve moved most recently.

The likelihood of villagers you’re good friends with asking to move out is low, but even if this happens you are able to recommend they stay. Unfortunately, Ninji notes speaking to Isabelle about a troublesome villager will not impact the likelihood of a villager choosing to move out.

How To Get New Villagers On Your Animal Crossing Island

Image: Nintendo

Once the game has randomly chosen a villager to move out, they’ll appear with a thought bubble over their head. Here, you can have a conversation with them and decide if they should leave or stay. The next day, they’ll have packed the items in their house away, and the following day they’ll leave your island.

Once that villager’s plot is empty and they’ve moved out completely, you’ll have a few days to visit Mystery Islands and befriend new villagers. You can visit these islands using Nook Mile Tickets, which cost 2,000 Nook Miles each. Every island you visit will have a different villager on it, and if you have a chat with them you’ll be able to invite them back to your island to live.

Alternatively, you can wait a few days and a random villager will move in on their own. There’s also a bunch of other ways you can get new villagers to move to your island, including the following:

Visit a friend’s island: If you visit a friend’s island while one of their villagers is in boxes, it’s likely this villager will tag a ride on your connection and come to live with you eventually. This can even happen a week or so after you visit if one of your own villagers decides to leave later. These villagers retain memories and data from other towns and will usually introduce themselves as coming from your friend’s island.

Use amiibo cards: If you have amiibo cards (or fan-made amiibo data from Etsy) you can invite your chosen villager to live with you after three consecutive days of creating furniture for them. This will let you kick out villagers you no longer want.

How To Invite Villagers To Your Animal Crossing: New Horizons Island With Amiibo Cards

Villagers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons arrive on your island randomly or when you befriend them on Mystery Islands. But there is another way to get villagers to move in if you have Animal Crossing amiibo cards. Here's how they work.

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Visiting your campsite: On random days, villagers will come to visit your campsite. You’ll know there’s a guest camper on your island when Isabelle announces it during her morning meeting or if there’s a tent erected on the campsite plot. These villagers can choose to move onto your island immediately if you win a game of cards against them. They’ll randomly select a villager on your island they want to replace and you’ll have to decide whether the trade is worth it.

Without the use of amiibo data, there’s no way to effectively remove villagers that you hate — but keeping your friendship low and avoiding them does increase your odds. Until then, you’ll have to just have to put up with them.


  • I feel like the campsite is underused for this. Would’ve been great to have a few villagers staying there at a time, multiple times a week but it seems like I get someone staying at the campsite maybe once a fortnight and usually someone hideous.

    • Yeah, this is a missed opportunity. I’d even be happy with 1 a week. I think I’ve had 2 ever.

      • I agree, I think I’ve had one total and I’ve been playing for 200+ hours. Should be way less random!

        • A lot of the random things seem a little too random this time around. I’ve had one campsite visitor since hitting 10 in my village and have only seen Redd 3 times since he was added (two of those times he only had fakes).
          Also haven’t seen a single mushroom recipe, so many mushrooms in my storage that I can’t do anything with.

          I love Bew Horizons but wish some aspects were more consistent like New Leaf.

          • Redd is exactly the same for me. Been 3 times and 2 times had nothing but fakes, super frustrating.

    • “and usually someone hideous.”
      Not sure why this is funny. Maybe because it’s true.

  • Re: campsite villagers. You can do a force-close/reload trick to pick which villager they replace.

    If you’ve still got that one smug asshole you had forced on you from your first campsite recruitment and they refuse to ask to leave, campsite visits give you an opportunity to boot them!

    Trick is:
    1. Talk to the campsite visitor until you have the option to ask them to stay. (This may involve several bullshit minigames wasting your time.)
    2. They will offer to go check with resident services.
    3. They’ll come back and say that the island’s full, but [X] villager has indicated they could move out.
    4. They ask you to agree, you agree, your choice is locked in.

    If the [X] villager isn’t the one you want booted, as soon as you see what the name is at step 3, head out to the home screen, close the app, reload, and then try again. Repeat until satisfied.

    It only took me two attempts to get rid of my resident asshole (Henry) after a tolerable campsite visitor turned up.

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