How To Stop Villagers Moving In Animal Crossing New Horizons

When Animal Crossing was released in 2001 you didn’t really know much about villagers, until they moved into your town. People had no specific favorites and were happy to see them rotate and welcome new faces. Now with Animal Crossing: New Horizons people are so attached to specific villagers that they’re trading off those they don’t want in their town.


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But what if you’re perfectly content with the population on your island? Sometimes even the happiest villagers will ponder moving – it’s perfectly normal. When you converse with a villager debating this, you have the choice to encourage them to leave or stay. But what happens when you accidentally tell your neighbor to leave when you actually want them to stay?

Updated October 22, 2023, by Sean Murray: If you accidentally told a villager to leave and want to take it back, or if you just want to stop your villagers from leaving in general, you’ve come to the right place. There are a few things you can do to keep your big happy ACNH family, and now you can read about them alongside links to other helpful Animal Crossing: New Horizons topics.


How To Stop A Villager From Moving

Animal Crossing New Horizons Player Visiting Villager's House Sitting On A Chair

According to u/Deenew on Reddit, if you accidentally support a villager’s decision to move then there is a method to reverse your error, but you have to work quickly if you want to do it.

  • As soon as your mistake has been made log out of the game
  • Next create a second player character on your island (assuming you don’t already have one)
    • To do this simply use a different Nintendo account to log into ACNH
  • Go back into ACNH using the second player character
    • If it’s a new character you will need to go through the intro
  • Go and find the villager you want to stay
  • When chatting with them using the alternative player character they should ask the same question about moving
  • This time make sure to ask them to stay
  • Log back in using your usual character
  • You should get a message that the villager has decided to stay

If you wait until the next day, the villager is likely to already have their boxes packed and it’s too late

How Often Do Villagers Ask To Leave?

buck talking to a player character about germs

You have partial control over which villagers move and which don’t, but you can’t stop them asking. Every time a villager asks about moving it resets the clock, but your answer determines the minimum length of time before someone asks again.

  • If you ask a villager not to leave – After 5 days there is a daily chance that someone will ask
  • If you ask a villager to leave – After 15 days there is a daily chance that someone will ask

Which villager will ask is subject to the following conditions:

  • It cannot be the villager that asked last time
  • It cannot be the villager who was last to move in
  • It cannot be a villager who has a birthday within 5 days

If you have low friendship with a villager they have a higher chance of being the one who asks to leave. This means that you can increase the chances of one you don’t want asking to move.

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How To Decrease The Chance Of Your Favourite Villager Asking To Move

It’s important to try and converse with everyone on the island at least once a day if you can. It will make them feel wanted and noticed. As a bonus, regularly socializing with the town folk increases your friendship levels with them and earns you Nook Miles.

If you’re a time traveler, that is something that will affect the feelings of your villagers as well, since it’s the equivalent of not playing and ignoring them for however many days you skip ahead.

You can have a maximum of ten villagers on your island. Be sure to keep this in mind when you’re traveling to other places and inviting newcomers. This is because if you offer someone you meet on a Nook Miles ticket island a residency spot while you’re already at maximum quota, then a random villager will be kicked out to make room for the newcomer.

At the end of the day, it’s really up to you who stays and who leaves the village. But if you tell a neighbor the wrong thing, just follow this quick second-player character method, and you’ll have a quick fix.

Next: Animal Crossing: New Horizons – The Complete Guide

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