Animal Crossing: New Horizons features multiple methods to moving in villagers. Moving villagers in is important to achieve the completion of Project K, as having at least nine villagers will deliver 15 development points towards the town's island evaluation rating.
When you first start the game, you will begin with a jock and big sister villager. Later, you are required to plot down three plots of land for a lazy, normal, and peppy. You can either obtain these villagers through mystery islands or complete each plot's required furniture to obtain a randomized villager for each specific personality. Later, after you construct the campsite, a smug villager will move in, and you are required to invite them onto the island. After obtaining the first six villagers, it is expected that you place down four plots of land for 10,000 Bells. This is required in order to obtain additional villager using one of the following methods below.
Method #1: Go on Mystery Islands
The first method to obtaining villagers is to explore mystery islands using Nook Mile Tickets, and locate a villager. To know if a villager is present on an island, you will need to have an empty plot around. You will know if you did this process correctly if there's a campsite on the island.
When arriving on a mystery island, the game first determines the villager by randomly selecting a species, then by selecting one member of that selected species. Therefore, the chances to obtain a particular cat villager like Raymond is 0.12%, while using 100 Nook Mile Tickets has a chance of 11.69% of obtaining said cat villager.
Method #2: Use the Campsite
The second method to obtaining villagers is to use the campsite for additional villagers. The usage of time travel is recommended when using this method if one wanted to find a specific villager.
Once a villager visits the campsite, you must talk to them until they mention about living on the island. There is a 10% chance that asking the villager to move to the island will result in said villager being invited to the island, while there is a 50% chance that you will need to play a card game, and 40% that the villager will initially refuse to join your island.
If you have to play a card game to invite the villager, there are two types to be expected. The first involves the color of the card, whether it is red or black, which is a 50% chance to win the match. The second is the card's suit, which is a 25% chance that you can win. You will need to continue this process if the villager rejects the idea of moving in, or you loses the card game with them.
Once you are able to invite the villager in, they will take the empty plot of land. If there is no adequate land available, the villager will ask to move one villager out randomly. If it is a villager that you do not want to move out, immediately close the game without ending the conversation. After this process, the villager will move in promptly.
The game determines the possibility of a villager spawning in the campsite, determined by how many days have passed since the last campsite visitor.
|Days passed since last campsite visitor||%|
If the game determines that a day will host a campsite visitor, there are two possible options that the game can select from. First, there's a 50% chance that the game will select randomly from a list of all 391 villagers, however only villagers who haven't visited the campsite before or haven't lived on the island before can stay at the campsite. Secondly, there's a 50% chance that the game will select randomly from a list of villagers whose personalities you do not presently have on the island. If you've encountered each villagers on both lists, the game will re-roll the selection again.
As such, the chances that the campsite will produce a villager like Raymond is 58.5%.
Method #3: Use amiibo
The third method is to use amiibo via the Nook Stop. This bypasses the need to wait for a campsite visitor, and simply spawns a villager onto the campsite. You will need to have purchased an pack of Animal Crossing amiibo cards beforehand.
Once the villager arrives on the campsite, they will ask you to craft a specific item. If this item is granted, they will be tempted to join the island, but will require you to invite them for two additional days, repeating the same crafting request as before. After crafting the last item and asking to join their island, the villager will promptly move in on one of the empty plots of land. If there are no available plots to move into, you are allowed to select which villager to move out. This can be recommended for villagers that can be obtained via amiibos, however, newer villagers like Raymond or Judy cannot be obtained through this method.
Method #4: Trading/Adoption
The fourth method is to obtain a villager from other player's islands. You are required to have Nintendo Switch Online in order to travel to other islands, however traveling to locally-connected islands will not require Nintendo Switch Online.
Most online dealings with villagers are often trades, primarily using Bells or Nook Miles Tickets, however others can be simply done for free. Sites like Nookazon are primarily resources to use to find specific villagers to obtain. Many trades or adoptions will specifically mark a villager either under "Gifted" or "Ungifted". Gifted villagers will have gifted furniture items replacing some certain aspects of one's house, and/or may also be wearing a gifted clothing item or a custom design. On the other hand, ungifted villagers are completely defaulted, wearing their original outfit and bearing a default interior, but are way valued higher than gifted villagers.
Though this method requires the least amount of work to be done, it also presents the potential for being scammed. Before initializing a trade, be sure to block off portions of your island to prevent items from being stolen, and check the person that you are trading with before proceeding to go through with the trade or adoption.
Method #5: Random villager
Finally, if you do not choose to invite a villager through a mystery island, campsite, amiibo, or any trading or adoption, a villager can simply move onto the island if an empty plot is presented. This process is randomized and cannot be controlled.
Additionally, there's also a move-in queue that you and other players will have. The move-in queue features an array of four villagers, that are found within other player's voids. This occurs whenever you travel to other player's island, which results in their voided villagers moving onto your move-in queue. If a villager happens to be present, they will move in immediately to an empty plot. Once they move in, they will remark that they arrived from someone else's island. Villagers that exists in the move-in queue cannot appear in the campsite or mystery islands, and using their respective amiibo card will not work.