When you begin your new life in Animal Crossing: New Horizons you'll start with just two villagers joining you on your not-so-deserted island. However, in order to make progress and turn your paradise into a bustling hub of activity, you will need to attract new villagers to your Animal Crossing island. In fact, it's a vital part of expanding your island — new residents are a requirement to access the ladder and the entire raised back half of your island, so it is best to heed K.K. Slider's advice and make new friends.
In this guide we'll cover the best ways to attract characters to your Animal Crossing island, including visiting random islands, building a campsite and using amiibo cards.
How to get more residents on your Animal Crossing island
At the start of the game you'll need to invite 3 new villagers to kickstart development of your island and access every part. The exact criteria for attracting these new characters is a little hazy at the moment.
For example, we only met one new character while on expedition (and we didn't even invite her to live on our island) yet on Day 3 Tom Nook announced that three parties were interested in coming to live on our island. We had been busy building the Museum, upgrading our tent to a house (and therefore the homes of our residents were similarly upgraded) and generally making our island attractive, though.
Still, we want more characters! Let's look at ways to attract new villagers to your island.
Use Nook Miles to visit random deserted islands
Available to purchase from the Nook Stop terminal in Resident Services, once you have a Nook Miles Ticket in your possession head to the airport and speak to Orville the dodo. Note. You must already have the Nook Miles Ticket from Resident Services or the option won't be available. Get the Nook Miles Ticket from the raccoon first.
Orville will set you up on a flight to a mystery randomly generated island which you can plunder for fruit, trees and resources without feeling guilty. A random character will also be visiting this island. Get chatting with them and you'll be able to invite them back to live on your island.
Sell plots of land to unknown characters
Once you've progressed for around a week and upgraded Resident Services from a tent to a proper building, Tom Nook will give you the option to sell plots of land to unseen prospective buyers. These plots cost 10,000 Bells each and you must choose a location for them like any other building or construction, but after a while a new character will move in.
Build a campsite and use amiibo cards to invite characters
Another option that will become available once you unlock the brick-and-mortar Resident Services building is constructing a campsite. Once you've got the campsite, characters will visit randomly and by talking to them you should be able to get them to stay on a more permanent basis. Alternatively, you can leave them alone and wait for a better class of candidate.
Once you have the campsite you'll also be able to invite characters to your campsite using amiibo cards. You'll have to visit Resident Services and use the Nook Stop Terminal to invite characters to your campsite. Tap your amiibo card to your right Joy-Con (or Pro Controller) when instructed and--just like magic--your chosen character will appear at the campsite immediately.
There are restrictions to this, though:
- Firstly, you can only invite villagers to live on your island after 3 days of inviting them to your campsite and crafting their requested items.
- Secondly, big-name characters with amiibo figures like K.K. Slider, Isabelle and others won't come to your campsite, and as you'd imagine non-Animal Crossing amiibo figures won't work at all.
Still, if you've got a favourite villager you want to see on your island, it's time to put those amiibo cards to use. Just remember, persistence is key if you want them to live with you.
This article is part of our Animal Crossing: New Horizons walkthrough, which includes a Complete Fish List, Complete Bug List and Complete Sea Creatures List. If you're looking for specific fish or bugs, we can tell you how to catch the elusive Coelacanth, Mahi-Mahi, Giant Trevally, Stringfish, Golden Trout and all the Sharks and Beetles, along with a full list of critters leaving at the end of the month (unless you visit Kapp'n's Boat Tour islands, of course!).
We can also help with How to Spot Redd's Fake Paintings and Statues, How to Make Bells Fast, How to Breed Flowers, How to Get more DIY Recipes, How to Upgrade Nook's Cranny, where and when to find special characters like Gulliver, Sable, Label, Wisp, Celeste, Pirate Gulliver and Jack, plus tips on using the Star Wand, Tool Ring, Rock Trick, Cutting Down and Moving Trees, using amiibo on Harv's Island, How to Back Up Your Island Data, How to Time Travel, How to Get a 5-Star Island Rating and a whole lot more.
If it's new content you're looking for help with, we can help you find gyroids, unlock Brewster's café, use the new Pro Camera App for selfies, enact new ordinances, get the beloved Froggy Chair, and even learn How to Cook.
And finally, Where to Buy Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Nintendo Switch, if for some reason you haven't yet picked up the game, and How To Buy The Happy Home Paradise DLC, too!