Animal Crossing
Image: Nintendo Life

There's so much to discover in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but there are some things in the game you'll probably never work out or be able to make sense of unless you have a little extra information. This is where datamining comes into play.

Just days after the reliable Animal Crossing dataminer Ninji revealed how certain villagers will only send you fake paintings in the mail, they've now explained the process behind villagers moving out - and don't worry, it's not really your fault when they do leave, it's much more random than that.

Although this information was collected in version 1.2.0, Ninji believes the behaviours are still the same in version 1.2.1. Here's the full rundown:

  • you must have at least 6 villagers living on your island before any will consider moving out
  • on a given day, the % chance of somebody asking to move is given by (v * 5) + c, where v is the amount of villagers you have, and c is the 'MoveOutTalkCount', the amount of days since you last told a villager to leave or stay (maxing at 30)

there's a couple of conditions on that

  • there is a 5-day cooldown after telling a villager to leave or stay - so nobody will ask to move if MoveOutTalkCount <= 5
  • there is a 15-day cooldown starting on the day the villager has left the island and freed up the plot (this is called the 'MoveOutSkipCount')
  • if these checks pass, a random villager will be picked who will ask to move out
    each villager's chance is based on friendship and calculated by floor((300 - a) / 10) - r

a = average friendship they have with all island residents

r = amount of residents with >200 friendship

  • friendship is 0-255 (starting at 25), so this starts at 27 for new villagers, going down with higher friendship levels

villagers will be excluded if:
- house is being moved
- birthday was in the last 7 days
- they were picked last time and told to stay
- moved in most recently

Ninji sums up by explaining how there is no "magic method" to make villagers move out and says it's all still heavily chance-based. In saying this, you can kick out villagers if you really want (by asking an existing villager to move out) - but it's not exactly a straight forward process, as explained in our guide.

Has a villager left your town recently? Tell us below.

[source, via]