- For the Super Smash Bros. character, see Villager (character). For the player character, see player.
Villagers (sometimes referred as island residents in New Horizons) are the main NPCs in the Animal Crossing series, and there are currently around 460 of them (a list of them can be found here). They live simple, quiet lives scattered around the player's town. On the release of Wild World, villagers started to specialize in hobbies, such as fishing, finding fossils, collecting insects - to name but a few. They are all animals, as the title of the series, Animal Crossing, suggests, and they come in a variety of species, from mice to elephants. In Animal Crossing: New Leaf villagers are more interactive. They occasionally plant flowers, shake trees or even buy items from the shop.
Villagers move into the town at random, where there is no way to determine who will move in next until their house is set, unless the player convinced a villager from another town to move in, or the player convinced a villager to move in from the Campsite. Players with The New Leaf Welcome amiibo update can contact Wisp which allows them to move in any villager using their amiibo card. Each villager initially comes with a unique interior house design, which will gradually change over time depending on what furniture they request (as well as insects, fish, fossils, and clothes) or they obtain by either buying it or getting it from the player. When villagers talk to other villagers clothing change is a frequent occurrence.
As of Wild World, the villager's house can usually only be entered if they are inside (in the Gamecube version, villagers just needed to be in the acre outside their house for the player to enter). Villagers have varying "sleep cycles", and the house remains locked while they are sleeping. The player cannot see inside chests, wardrobes, or any other type of storage units inside a villager's home; when the player opens one, a specific message will appear relating to each wardrobe, some references to other Nintendo games. The player also cannot turn lights off inside of a villager's home. Sometimes, at random, the villager will offer a furniture item when the player looks in a storage unit.
As aforementioned, villagers appear as animals within each game in the series. Being of anthropomorphic nature, they stand on two feet with the same posture and poise as the human playable characters do. They also wear clothes and makeup, giving them a human appearance. They are capable of acting out different perceived, human emotions (later called "reactions" as of New Horizons) from crying to rejoicing, which are considered impossible in most animal species. The playable character can learn these emotions from Dr. Shrunk (New Leaf) and Frillard (City Folk), or from the villagers themselves when they approach them (New Horizons).
This section briefly underlines the key notes about each personality trait. For more information, check out the individual personality pages:
There are different personalities and characteristics found in villagers. All villagers share the same interests and hobbies, but some are more apparent in individual personalities than others. There are several personalities: Cranky, Jock, Lazy and Smug, which are male villager personalities, and Snooty, Peppy, Normal and Sisterly, which are female personalities. The different personalities share similar traits, especially the male and female equivalents. There are many common characteristics of villagers. For instance:
- Snooty and Cranky villagers can come off snobbish, arrogant, and hostile towards other characters and the player, over time, they can warm up, but still appear somewhat arrogant.
- Sisterly and Smug villagers will come off as considerate and caring towards the player and other villagers, almost as parental-like figures. In New Leaf, they will almost always give the player medicine when they have been stung by a bee.
- Normal and Lazy villagers appear very calm for the majority, but are also very kind and caring. They will usually get along with the player and other villagers for the most part.
- Peppy and Jock villagers are typically friendly as well, but can also be somewhat childish and competitive.
Personality traits determine a villager's dialogue and voice.
The starting villagers are the first villagers the player has in their town when they start a new game. The amount of Starting Villagers differs in each game. In Animal Crossing there were 6, in Wild World there were 3, in City Folk the amount was reverted to 6, in New Leaf, the amount of starting villagers is 5, and in New Horizons, the amount is 2 (always set to be one Jock and one Sisterly villager).
Role in Animal Crossing
Initially in original Animal Crossing, there are 6 villagers in the town when the player moves in which are set to be one of each personality. The maximum number is 15. Once 15 villagers have moved in, one of the already existing villagers will attempt to move out to allow a new villager to move in. Once a villager moves to another town, there is a chance to see them wandering around town, talking about how they wanted to come for a visit and that they miss the town. Villagers have a unique role in Animal Crossing that is not so apparent in Wild World. During town events, they gather and celebrate in different areas of the town to partake in different events. Most noted is during the New Year's Eve celebrations, where they gather around the town pond (in future releases, they are simply scattered around town, and have special conversations revolving around the festivities).
During Summer and Winter, a random villager may appear in the town and live inside a tent or an igloo for the day, where they will offer to play games with the player and give the chance to obtain unique items. In future game releases, they are not a source of rare, unique furniture, but become a means of gaining furniture through trades. They also do not camp out, and only live in their homes.
Role in Wild World
Initially in Wild World, there are 3 villagers in the town when the player moves in, out of a possible 8. Once 8 villagers have moved in, one of the already existing villagers may move out, to allow another new villager to move in, lowering the number to 7 until the new villager moves in. Although villagers do have a similar role as they do in Animal Crossing, they do have a few new features.
When the playable character befriends them, they are likely to give the player a picture of themselves, as proof of their friendship. Each picture has a unique quote for each villager, which can be read when the picture is placed in the player's house and clicked.
There are no tents or igloos in Wild World.
They are also competitive in Wild World, a feature unique to the game. During some conversations, they may ask the player if they want to see who can catch the biggest fish or find the rarest insect. These are games which are similar to the Fishing Tourney and Bug-Off. During these events, when two villagers meet they will not talk.
Another new feature were the rumors that some villagers were dating. This could be discovered by talking to some of the villagers in the town, who would either be gossiping about the two villagers, or one of the two villagers in the relationship. Usually, it is snooty villagers who gossip. There was no proof, however, of the two villagers dating, other than through conversation.
Unlike the first game, the villagers walk at a much slower pace than the player, which is continued through City Folk.
Role in City Folk
Initially in City Folk, there are 6 villagers in the town when the player moves in. The maximum number is 10. Once 10 villagers have moved in, one of the already existing villagers will attempt to move out to allow a new villager to move in.
Villagers have a slightly different role than in Wild World. They no longer compete against the player, as this feature was the prominent feature within the Bug-Off and Fishing Tourney events. They do, however, have a new feature which is playing Hide-and-Seek, where a group of up to 3 villagers hide around the town; behind trees, signs and buildings (but never in them). They no longer give out pictures of themselves when they become friends with the player.
Villagers now talk about the glamour and style found within the city, a new area found in the game. It is the only place in any of the games to find villagers who are not residents in the player's town.
Role in New Leaf
In New Leaf, the maximum number of villagers in total is ten, though the tenth can only be accessed by either having one move in from a friend's town, using the amiibo cards, or the campsite. Villagers can now both water and plant flowers, shake trees, read the bulletin board and sit on benches and stumps, and in addition pictures and dating gossip are brought back. Other events are also gossiped about, such as when other villagers are planning to move or are ill.
Past villagers that have moved out may periodically appear on Main Street. Though these villagers can't be recruited back to the player town from these interactions, they will speak about their time there among other topics. Villagers who have left may return to the town, but only after sixteen other villagers have moved in and then moved out of the town.
Role in New Horizons
In New Horizons, the maximum number of villagers in total is ten. They retain most of their behaviors from the previous game aside from shaking trees, inspecting the bulletin board and planting flowers, along with now being able to perform appropriate interactions with any furniture they come across outside. They may also comment on nearby objects that either they or the player is inspecting. Villagers also seem more aware of what the player does, as they will comment on or reiterate gossip they hear from other villagers about what the player may have been doing, such as taking pictures or landscaping. If the player is moving furniture or landscaping, villagers may gather around and watch the player as they work.
Villagers may also be found engaging in various activities either together or alone, such as singing, exercising, performing yoga, or running around freely. These are initiated by a single villager, and nearby villagers may choose to participate with them on sight. Villagers are also seen carrying various items, such as purses, picnic baskets, wood logs, as well as various food items. They can also be seen sweeping various areas of the island, mainly the area around their house or the plaza. They may occasionally be found inside the Museum, reacting appropriately to anything on display when spoken to as they view them and acknowledging it if the player who speaks to them is the donor. They can also be seen wandering around the shops browsing items and will comment on them, though it’s unknown if they ever buy anything. They will, however, act shocked if the player buys an item they're currently looking at.
When starting a new game, the first two villagers are guaranteed to be jock and sisterly, respectively. The first three villagers you invite through mystery tours could be normal, peppy, or lazy. The first villager the player invite via campsite would always be smug. Any subsequent villagers could be any of the 8 personalities available.
The first three invited villagers are always given generic, personality-based house interiors that as of yet, cannot be altered. The starting two villagers will also have generic houses when they have upgraded their tents. Villagers that move in after these five will have houses that center around their specific traits.
While dialogue is still shared between the villagers of a certain type, every villager is now programmed with one of the six hobbies that will make them more likely to perform certain actions more than others. The list of the hobbies and descriptions of them can be found on this page.