Here's How to Trade Villagers on 'Animal Crossing' for Your Ideal Neighbors

Wondering how to get your ideal ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ neighbors? Well, you’re not the only one! Here's how to trade villagers on ‘ACNH.’

Amber Garrett - Author

May 20 2020, Updated 6:10 p.m. ET

how to trade villagers acnh

We've all had annoying neighbors we wish we could swap, but real life doesn't work that way. Thankfully, Animal Crossing New Horizons is better than real life, and if you don't vibe with one of the people living in your town, you can get rid of them. The next question is, how do you trade villagers for someone you want to have next door to you? There are a couple ways, so let's break it down for you.

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How to trade villagers on 'ACNH.'

The first step to trading villagers on your island is to get a vacancy. If you already have the maximum 10 villagers, that means you'll need to encourage one of them to move. Often, neighbors will approach you to say they've been considering moving, and if you don't encourage them to stay, they'll announce they're leaving.

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However, you can expedite things a little by time traveling (setting the date on your console a day forward at a time) until the villager you want to leave has a thought bubble over their head and, when you speak to them, they express that they've been considering leaving. Once this happens, simply agree it might be time to move on and they'll be packed and ready to go within a day or two.

Unfortunately, though it has been rumored you can force a villager out by ignoring them for several days, that doesn't seem to be reliable, and reporting them to Isabelle at Residential Services only seems to reset their outfit and catchphrases. 

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Once your undesirable villager is gone, you can recruit a new neighbor. If you visit the island of another player who has a villager "in boxes," i.e., preparing to move out, you can talk to them until you've convinced them to come to your island. Sometimes on Twitter and reddit, people will advertise desirable villagers who are in boxes on their island and will supply a Dodo Code for you to come recruit them, usually in return for payment in the form of bells, NookMiles vouchers, or rare items.

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Otherwise, you can let fate play a hand by taking a mystery island tour and seeing what villagers are roaming your random destination. If they seem cool, as you're talking, they'll allude to considering island life, and you can encourage them to check your village out. If you want to be choosy, you can respond with a cool 'well, good luck with that!" style reply and then take as many mystery tours as you like until you encounter someone you like.

Amiibo cards are the most efficient way to trade villagers, though.

Amiibo is a platform originally made for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, but it has some compatibility with Nintendo Switch. If you have an amiibo card for a villager you want to live on your island, you can go to Isabelle and request to invite an amiibo character to your campsite and scan the card.

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When they arrive, they'll ask you to craft them something and give you a DIY recipe to do that. Craft and gift them the item. You'll usually need to invite them to camp on your island several times before they decide your island is where they need to be. If there is no vacancy, don't worry!

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Your camper will tell you they sadly can't move due to a lack of vacancies, but that they heard a rumor someone was considering packing up. Then you'll get a menu that allows you to pick any villager on your island to "negotiate" with. This sounds more ominous than it is. Once you choose the villager you're ready to say goodbye to, the camper will mention that person was planning on taking a hike anyway, and it's super non-confrontational.

amiibo camper negotiation
Source: youtube

Why would you get rid of Raymond?!

The next time you talk to that villager, they'll be packing up and cleaning house, and your new neighbor will move in imminently. 

Honestly, this sort of villager jockeying makes me feel bad, but if uncomfortable interactions with fake characters don't concern you, go for it!

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