How To Get Rid of Villagers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Published: Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 11:00 | By: Robert N. Adams
Developer
Nintendo
Publisher
Nintendo
Release Date
March 20, 2020
Multiplayer modes
Local, Online
Platforms
Nintendo Switch
Monetization
One Time Purchase
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Get Outta Here

Are you wondering how to get rid of villagers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons? With over 400 different villagers to choose from, chances are that you might be stuck with someone you don't want around. If you want to make a villager leave in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you're going to find yourself in for a challenge.

You're able to have a maximum of 10 villagers living on your island at any one time. Unfortunately, Nintendo made the decision to prevent terraforming from unlocking until you have eight or so villagers and can get K.K. Slider to visit you, so some people—myself included—will rush to get as many villagers as possible.

 
 

That ultimately presents a problem: How the heck do you get rid of all of these villagers you don't want?

How To Get Rid of Villagers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons Isabelle slice

Dispelling Rumors About Removing Villagers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

I have three villagers that I want to keep and seven that I would like to rid of. In my search for information on how to get rid of villagers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, I've found an awful lot of theorizing and conjecture—but very little evidence.

As best I can tell, there was no evidence that any of the following will help speed up removing villagers in Animal Crossing:

  • Ignoring villagers
  • Hitting villagers with nets
  • Talking to Isabelle about a villager's language or clothing

These three items were common suggestions that I've seen. I had seen zero evidence that any of these work until a dataminer revealed more details about how the mechanics work.

Now, we know for certain that lowering your friendship level is a factor if you want to get rid of villagers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. So yes, if there's someone in your town that you don't want hanging around, don't get all chummy with them!

How To Get Rid of Villagers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons K.K. Slider slice

How to Get Rid of Villagers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

While there is a lot of rumor and speculation floating around, there are several guaranteed ways to make a villager move out of your town. If you are wondering how to get rid of villagers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, these appear to be the only options that reliably work.

 

Unfortunately, the easiest options are going to require a measure of waiting or spending some real-world money. Read on and you can figure out which is the best for you!

Wait A Few Days

After enough days have passed according to a certain calculation, you'll notice a thought bubble over the villager's head. Talk to them, and they'll ask to leave.

I've also noticed that it can be less than 15 days. After asking one of my villagers to stay, another one signaled her intention to leave after 3–4 days passed. From what I can tell, you can expect to get at least one event where a villager wants to leave roughly every two weeks at the minimum, but it can somehow happen more often. The datamined calculation backs this up to a degree, too.

There are two downsides and one upside to this method. The first downside is that you're going to be waiting around for two weeks. If you want to get rid of a lot of villagers as I do, you could be looking at several months of waiting to complete your task.

 

The other downside is that the villager is chosen entirely at random. There's a chance that it can select a villager that you want to keep and then you could be out of luck. Thankfully, there's a way to change the villager that is selected.

How do you change a villager that wants to leave?

  1. Immediately stop playing the game.
  2. Press the home button to go back to the home screen.
  3. Close Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
  4. Restart the game.
  5. If you did it in time, another villager will be selected.
  6. Repeat this process as soon as you see a villager with a thought bubble until the thought bubble is on a villager that you want to leave.

Use a Random Campsite Villager

Every now and again, a villager will stay at your Campsite for one day (and one day only). This campsite villager can replace anyone else in your village.

As always, there are some caveats. You have no control over the random Campsite villagers. If it's not a villager you want, it may not be worth the trouble to get them to swap out.

There's also the issue of which villager is selected. Much like the event where villagers want to leave on their own, there's a process you'll have to follow.

Here's what to do if the campsite villager suggests the wrong person for moving out:

  1. Do not close the conversation.
  2. Press the home button to go back to the home screen.
  3. Close Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
  4. Restart the game.
  5. If you did it correctly, you should be able to initiate the "moving out" conversation again and a different villager will be randomly selected to be replaced.
  6. Repeat the process until the correct villager is selected.

Use an Amiibo or Amiibo Card

There is a 100% guaranteed, absolutely safe to get the villager you want: use Amiibo or Amiibo cards.

Naturally, this presents a problem. You have to actually have an Amiibo or Amiibo card associated with the villager that you want to bring into the game.

At the time this article was written, Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been out for less than two months, and the Amiibo cards have been more or less sold out for that entire time. If you're going to go for this method, you should expect to pay a premium on eBay, Amazon, or elsewhere.

Hack Your Save

One other possibility is to use the various tools out there to tamper with your save game. Dataminers and hackers alike have figured out ways to dig through the code of the game, and it's possible that this could be used to change your villager roster.

That said, if you're exploring how to get rid of villagers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, I would strongly discourage this message. Nintendo doesn't take kindly to people tampering with their games, you run the risk of damaging your save file, and its legality is questionable, too. It's best to avoid trying it.

How To Get Rid of Villagers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons friendo slice

A Warning About Replacing Villagers

Whatever method you may use, you should be aware of one final massive problem with replacing villagers in the game: you have a limited amount of time to find a replacement.

I booted out one of the villagers I didn't like and took my time trying to find a replacement. I was shocked and dismayed to discover a very silly design choice on Nintendo's part. If you remove a villager from the game, a new random villager will move in to the vacant spot at some indeterminate point after the first villager leaves. (It happened within a week for me the first time.) It was, in fact, one of the many quality-of-life changes that I think New Horizons desperately needs.

Now that you know how to get rid of villagers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, don't forget that you'll also have to replace them quickly lest you get stuck with someone you don't want. It's best to save up a hefty amount of Nook Miles tickets to use right away, whether you're doing some Mystery Island Tours or buying a villager outright on an Internet trading community.


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A photograph of Robert N Adams
Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!