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A dataminer known as Ninji has discovered how Animal Crossing: New Horizons decides when a villager will ask to move out. The game relies on two central formulas to roll the dice: one to decide if anyone will ask to move out, and one to decide who will ask. If both are successful, a villager – perhaps your favorite, god forbid – will request their departure. If you’re curious about the nitty-gritty of the formulas, check out Ninji’s step by step walkthrough of the process, or read on for a condensed summary.

  • You must have at least six villagers on your island before any think about leaving
  • The formula “(V*5) + C” decides the percent chance of whether or not any villager will ask to move on any particular day.
    • “V” is the number of villagers on your island
    • “C” is the number of days since you last told a villager to either stay on the island or get out of your hair. “C” maxes out at 30.
    • The formula activates five days after you tell someone to leave or stay on the island
      • You can skip this if you reset Animal Crossing: New Horizons mid-conversation, before you tell a villager to stay or pack their bags. The formula runs the following day.
  • If the formula determines that a villager will ask to move, the game picks a villager at random.
    • A villager’s chance to get picked stems from their friendship levels, which are determined by the formula “((300 – a) + r)”
      • “a” is the Villager’s average friendship with all island residents
      • “r” is the number of residents with friendship greater than 200
    • Friendship scores in Animal Crossing: New Horizons range from 0 to 255, starting at 25. The possibility of moving begins at 27 and goes down from there.
    • Villagers satisfying any of the following conditions will not be picked to ask to move out:
      • Their house is being moved
      • Their birthday was in the last week, or is in the next week (Ninji is unsure on this one)
      • They asked to move last time the formula was successful, and decided to stay
      • They are the last villager to move in

Aside from being as friendly as possible, it does not look like there is much you can do to keep your favorite villagers from asking to move in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. There’s a lot of randomness involved and not many ways you can practically manipulate the formula.

Andrew Rockett
I'm the Reviews Editor here at Nintendo Enthusiast, and I'm a major fan of all consoles and eras. Follow me on Twitter @habitablestorm3 to talk games old and new.

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