Animal Crossing

This Is Not A Guide: Filling Up Your Animal Crossing New Horizons Island

Preface: I don’t write guides or anything but I feel like I’ve been able to answer a good handful of questions about people moving villagers in or out so I’m compounding everything I’ve learned here for easy reading.

I have some speculation about recruiting villagers so if you have any data that supports or disproves any of those pieces feel free to @ me on twitter so I can update this post! We ain’t about that misinformation life

LAST UPDATE: 4/3/2020. Please note if you provide me with new info I cannot update this right away as I am not on my computer all the time lol.

We’ll start in chronological order as there seems to be a set pattern for villagers to arrive to your island!

Your OGs: Villagers 1 and 2

Villagers 1 and 2 are your starter villagers will always be a jock type and an uchi type.
→→→ If you’re interested in new villagers, Reneigh and Dom are in these pools.

Your game does not save until after you set your tent down so restarting until you get who you want is possible.

Let’s Round It Out: Villagers 3, 4, and 5

Villagers 3-4-5 are going to be lazy, peppy, and normal.
→→→ If you’re interested in new villagers, Sherb and Megan are in these pools.

After the museum is finished being built (?) Tom Nook will ask you to set up 3 plots on your island – your villagers aren’t decided as soon as you set the plots (rumored when the game came out), but rather once the plots are finished (furnishings all turned in). They’re also NOT required to be filled in order. Whichever plot you finished furnishing first is the plot that will be sold first. Example:

  1. Tom Nook gives you the 3 plots
  2. You recruit Lolly from an island
  3. You decide you want Lolly to live near your house, so you set any of the 3 plots down nearby and furnish it first
  4. Lolly will move into that plot!

[ Worried about placement? Houses can be moved later on for a fee of 50k bells. Thank you @daelynnruth! ]

You do not have to have the above event before going to recruit villagers from the island – if you happen to go on a Nook Miles island trip before Tom Nook gives you the 3-plot request and ask a villager to move in, they go into a “move-in queue.” I asked Stitches to move in before setting any plots down and he was the first one to claim a plot.

SPECULATION – A queue is an assumption. It’s possible the game may have a queue of 1 which means if I had recruited another villager before Stitches claimed his plot, he could have been overwritten. I was worried about this happening so I set a plot down, waited for him to claim it, then continued island hopping!

CONFIRMATION 2: The order in which villagers move in if you recruited them ahead of time is random. 😀 We’ve gotten enough information that they probably aren’t in a specific order and reports that they are are most likely coincidental.

You can use Nook Miles island tickets to have some control over who moves in – you’ll only see villagers from the three personality types above. They CAN show up again, so if you saw one before you decided you want again, don’t give up! (Source: I burned 200 tickets on mystery islands at this stage before I was informed that Raymond is not in this pool. Woe.)

SPECULATION – It’s possible after you recruit a villager from X personality type, that type will stop showing up on the island or cannot be recruited again. This might explain some players noting that they talked to a villager or tried to get them to move in and never saw them – maybe they had a villager of the same personality type in their move-in queue already. This can also possibly explain why certain villagers move in even if the player didn’t ask them to – the game deems they need the personality type. If you don’t want a villager, don’t talk to them!!!

The Dreaded or Blessed Villager 6, Depending on Who Shows Up

Villager 6 is speculated to be of the smug type personality.
→→→ If you’re interested in new villagers, the very-popular Raymond is in this pool. (Marshal and Julian are too, hence why Villager 6 can be a real blessing.)

There have been a few reports of non-smug type villagers occupying the campsite but based on the data I’ve seen, it’s gonna be a smug villager 90% of the time. If you were greeted with a “Buongiorno~!”, you got yourself a smug boy.

Villager number 6 will show up after you place and build the campsite, which happens after Resident Services upgrades their building (and Isabelle joins the team). Please note it may take a few days for a your resident 6 villager to visit the campsite.

Important notes on campsite!

  • Until villager 6’s plot is confirmed for them, no more animals will show up on island tours. Save your tickets!
  • The campsite villager CANNOT be reset. No amount of time traveling will get them to leave, and when they ask if they should move in, your answers are just both different ways of saying yes. If you leave them in the campsite it renders it unusable as they will not leave. I am sorry if they’re ugly and you hate them. That’s why it is cursed. Just kick them out later. That’s what I did. Bye Graham, I never knew thee.

There are additional campsite notes in the next sections regarding amiibo cards and kicking villagers out, if you’re interested in that.

The Moment You’ve Been Waiting For: Villagers 7 – 10

Congratulations! This part can be easy or hard depending on your resources. At this point in the game, your pool of villagers opens up immensely. You can meet animals on island tours again, so if you were saving those tickets, go spam them for a chance at the new villagers that weren’t in earlier personality pools like snooty Judy or cranky Cyd. (Or Raymond, if you were unlucky like me and got a terrible campsite villager.)

To be clear: All villager types will be available on Nook Miles islands at this point. (Thank you Olivine for telling me when I could finally find Raymond, LOL) I lovingly call this stage the free-for-all hunt.

CAUTION: If you’re recruiting villagers from the island there may be a gate where after you recruit one, animals stop showing up on the island, even if you have extra plots up for sale. Wait a day for the new recruit to move into their plot, then continue island hopping. It’s very likely you can only go get a villager once a day. If you set multiple plots down at once, there’s evidence that the remainder plots will not get filled by randoms overnight if you’re waiting on someone to move in, so don’t worry. Other users have reported that even if they recruited a villager from the island their remaining plots have been filled overnight by a random villager anyway. At the moment I can’t figure out what the criteria is that causes the game to fill some empty extra plots overnight and others not, so for now, only set down one plot at a time!

Speculation: Villagers 6 (mandatory campsite) and 7 (island) can possibly be recruited on the same day. After this, it is 1 per day from the island. (Thank you, @fauxblondee!) Currently there is no data regarding if the game will let you do two a day again if one is another campsite villager.

If you have amiibo cards: rejoice! After villager 6 moves in, you’re able to call them to the campsite like in New Leaf. But be warned:

Amiibo villagers take 3 days to move in, so don’t set that home plot down for them until the 3rd day, or it’ll inevitably get filled by a rando you probably don’t want.

(I made this mistake and now I have to go through the trouble of moving someone else out. Tsk!)

You must call the amiibo campers back for 3 days before they’ll move in. Additionally: you have to craft them a souvenir on each of those days as well, so pray you have the proper materials. Snooty and Smug villagers are prone to asking for gold items so if you’re getting ready to ask Marshal or Diana to move in, prepare your ore.

Reminder: Campers must be called back for 3 days consecutively in order for them to move in. Despite the ambitiousness of their dialogue, they need to visit 3 days in a row, not 3 spattered days. (Thank you, @pinkuheart19!)

Also note traveling backwards for the 3 days an amiibo needs to move in also works, if you set a plot down too early and don’t want it getting filled.

Calling amiibo characters to come camp is also a great way to get new recipes every day, as if you don’t know the recipe for the souvenir they’re asking for, they’ll just give it to you! :3 Thanks Diana for teaching me how to make gold plates so I too, can live the bourgeoisie life I deserve.

Using Amiibo Campers to Force Other Villagers Out

Yes, like in New Leaf, it can be done.

If your town is full and you ask an amiibo-generated camper to move in, they’ll tell you Resident Services told them the town is full, and gave them a list of villagers who might be open to moving sooner rather than later. (Spoiler alert: the list is literally everyone.)

You can pick who you want them to go talk to (the villager you want out).

The villager you want out will go into boxes IMMEDIATELY after this exchange, which means in the future after the glitch (mentioned at the beginning of this post!) is fixed, you can effectively use this method to trade your villagers to someone else without waiting for them to pack up their things organically (which can take forever). They will be gone by the following morning and their house plot will be taken by your new villager – I know it’s very tempting to yeet villagers you don’t like to the far corners of the earth, but if they are replaced by someone you DO like it’s a bit annoying to trek over there every time LOL. (Again, I am speaking from experience.)

CAUTION: You do not get to choose who leaves if it’s a camper that arrived normally (non-amiibo). If you ask a normal camper to move in, they will choose a villager randomly, so ask with care!

SPECULATION: I do not know if this method can fail. I don’t know if the ACNH team programmed it so that animals who do love the town a lot (villagers you’re close to or have been there a while) can refuse to leave. It’d be neat and kind of warm and fuzzy, buuuuut let’s be real – we’re not kicking out villagers we’re close to.

How Else Do I Make Villagers Leave?

Besides the method above, the method we use to get villagers to leave is essentially the same in previous games: IGNORE THEM.

There are lots of videos on Youtube on the ignoring method but I cannot remember the particular one I watched in my youth but I’m sure you can find one that helps you!

Basically, if you ignore a villager enough, the game deems them “unneeded” and flags them for moving out. I haven’t done this in New Horizons yet because it takes patience and observation. There isn’t really a set time frame to ignore them for either, but I’ve seen suggestions of a week – but it can take much longer. If they have the thought bubble above their head (“…”) and when you talk to them, they may bring up their plans to move out, which you will encourage. (In New Leaf, this was the exclamation point emote + them running over to you.)

I also suggest making sure you consistently talk to your other villagers to keep showing the game that you don’t need a particular one. This was a tip back in New Leaf so it may have carried over to the ignoring method in NH.

Also: Bullying them with nets and pushing them around counts as interaction and therefore will hinder getting that “unneeded” flag I mention above. There are rumors these methods also work but they never did for me in previous games so I don’t use them.

Debunked ?: The method wherein you complain to Isabelle x times in a row to get them to leave is false.
Choosing “Problem with the way they talk” → resets their catchphrase.
Choosing “Problem with the way the dress” → resets their clothing.

That’s all!

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Keep in mind villagers CAN want to move out even if you’re BFFs with them. I know, why the hell. They see it as they’ve “accomplished and experienced” all they can do on your island and so want to venture to new horizons (haha). It’s a random flag for this one, so just keep track of your villagers on the daily. They’ll exhibit the same thinking emote (with a bubble above their head) if they’re thinking about moving. If anything I feel like it’s way more common in New Horizons than in NL because I’ve had like 3 of my fav villagers all ask to move out within the past 3 days. You gotta watch them!

If Nothing Else, Remember:

After the initial 6 villagers, in order for someone new to move in, a vacant plot NEEDS to be placed.

Don’t go to the mystery island without one placed, meet your dreamie, then have to go home without them because they don’t think you have room for them on your island. The plot will not be filled by a random until the following morning, so if you’re going to spam island trips, make sure you do them all in one day.

Also remember that after villager 7, only one villager can move in overnight. This means that after you recruit someone off a mystery island, no more animals will show up on those islands even if you have extra empty plots set down. This also means you won’t get stuck with a random villager in your remaining plots, so if you’re kicking yourself for setting down 3 at once, worry not! It seems the game gives you a decent chance to fill them yourself before loading randoms on you.

There have been additional reports of people recruiting a villager from the island then setting down another plot and it getting filled overnight anyway – at the moment, I don’t know what the criteria is for the game to leave some plots available until the next day or fill them overnight. Just place plots down singularly to avoid getting stuck with a rando!

Tip: If you time travel backwards I don’t think the game fills the plot randomly for you! But if you come back forwards again it will. Basically any instance of time moving forward you trek closer to your vacant lot getting filled randomly. Don’t want it filled? Go backwards instead.

What About Moving Villagers Before or After 10?

Before: I’ve gotten a few questions about players wanting to move villagers out before their islands are full. I have very little data regarding this as 1) in general the animals moving out organically takes a long time, and 2) people are filling up their islands very fast in comparison to that period of time. I’ve heard reports of people having villagers move out in the free-for-all stage of villager recruiting, i.e. someone moving out when a town has 7 or more but less than 10.

Currently I’ve not seen anyone have someone move out before villager 7, possibly because of the personality requirements the game has in place for the first 3-6 villagers. If you have any data related to this, please let me know!

After: I’ve also been asked if villagers will keep appearing on the islands after you have a full town. Using the earlier requirements in the game as examples, I’m assuming that the criteria for the game to show you villagers on an island (after villager 6) is a vacant plot being placed. Meaning: No, villagers will not appear on the island if your town does not have a vacant plot available for sale. (This is my speculation, please do @ me if you have related data. Thanks!)

I Don’t Have Nook Miles Tickets – Can I Use the Campsite Instead?

So there has been enough information to safely say you CAN hunt for specific villagers using your campsite, but the method requires a lot of time travel, so if you’re not about that, you’ll have to use Nook Miles tickets instead.


  • Way less dialogue to click through. Isabelle’s announcements are basically all you have to click through versus Orville+Wilbur’s airport cutscenes and dialogue. Some guides say you can quit out as soon as she mentions there’s no announcements but there have been reports of this corrupting safe files :O
  • Additionally, the campsite method does log your villagers so you WILL NOT get duplicate villagers until you’ve seen all of the villagers of their personality type.
  • The game biases towards villager types you DO NOT have, so if you move all your smug villagers out, your camper is like 70-80% chance to be a smug villager. Going through a pool of like 35 villagers that won’t give you repeats is way easier odds than a pool of over 300+ that can give you doubles.

For information on how to use this method, see here:

I used the campsite method myself to get both Raymond and Judy in the span of 48 real-life hours (including when I stopped to sleep and eat, but yeah I didn’t do much else). I think it took me about a year and a half in-game. You can see my campsite log (here). I started out by moving out all my snooty and smug villagers. Since there are 60+ snooty villagers versus ~35 smug villagers, it makes sense that my game was biased towards snooty villagers first.

In Conclusion…

Curate your village with your favs if you want,
and don’t shit on those who do, if you don’t!

Thanks for reading~

Comments are disabled bc I rarely check my dashboard here, but if you have questions or information to contribute you can @ me on this post on twitter!

LAST UPDATE: 4/3/2020. Please note if you provide me with new info I cannot update this right away as I am not on my computer all the time lol.