Animal Crossing: New Horizons Datamine Reveals Why Villagers Leave

Be a bad friend to your villagers.

If you’ve been scratching your head at why your villagers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons just randomly decide they want to go, and you become concerned that somehow it was your fault, the formula for it all has been uncovered through datamining. Ninji posted a Twitter thread from the 1.2.0 version of the game, but the behavior should still be the same for the latest 1.2.1 version.

According to Ninji, you have the have at least 6 villagers living on your island before any of them decide to consider moving out. When you hit this target, the percentage chance is calculated by “(v * 5) + c“. The “v” stands for the villager count with “c” standing for “MoveOutTalkCount” which is the number of days since you last told a villager to either leave or stay on your island. This apparently maxes out at 30 days.

There’s a 5-day cooldown, meaning that none of your villagers will consider moving out so long as it has been less than 5 days since the last discussion. There’s also a 15-day cooldown which starts on the day a villager has left. This is noted in the code as “MoveOutSkipCount”.

A villager will ask to move out depending on friendship. Ninji explains this as the formula reading, “floor((300 – a) / 10) – r“. With this, “a” stands for the average friendship the villager has with all residents on the island. And “r” stands for the number of residents that have less than 200 friendship rating.

Ninji also states that “there is no magic method to make villagers move” which kind makes me a touch sad. The other week I had Kiki visit my island and with 10 villagers, I rushed around to go and assault the villagers I wasn’t a fan off with my net, trying to get them to leave. Now I just feel bad. At least I’d have dropped the friendship rating with them significantly I suppose? Explains why I get the stinkeye from a certain pink bear.

If you’re wondering if the villagers considering moving out get missed and end up leaving the island entirely on their own, Ninji confirms that they won’t leave unless you say it’s okay to do so. Essentially meaning you’re holding your villagers hostage on an island.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available exclusively for Nintendo Switch and has become the best-selling game in the series, which has recently seen a comment from Toshihiro Nagoshi.

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Ben Bayliss

Based in the UK and adores venturing through FPS horrors and taking photos in pretty much anything with a functioning photo mode. Also likes car games.

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