To clarify, this is about Animal Crossing: New Horizon.

So I am looking for some specific villagers to inhabit my deserted island. So I thought I could just invite them from someone else who already has those villagers. Now my friends are all afraid that if that villager moved in with me, they would lose him or her. But inviting someone to my campsite should not at the same time lead to them moving away from my friends' island. Otherwise, the connection between our switches would have to be maintained for as long as my friend has not talked to the villagers about their plans to move out yet.

So my questions are:

Will the villagers move out of their homes at my friends island, if I invite them to live with me on my island?

Is it even possible to invite them by visiting a friend on their island?

When I remember correctly in New Leaf it was possible to invite villagers this way, but I couldn't find anything about how it is in New Horizon. I kinda expect them to visit my camping ground the day after talking to them.

  • In my case I have 5 residents already and I can invite the next person visiting my camping grounds. But theoretically I could do the same thing as well if I talk to the villager the same day someone else get kicked out of my town, so that the move out day and the visit to my camping grounds will overlap.
    – Roybin93
    Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 10:48

2 Answers 2


In New Horizons, the only way to swap villagers between islands works as follows.

Let's use Julian as an example, who lives on the island of Alfa. In order for Julian to move to Beta, the following must happen, in order.

Day 1

  1. The Alfa player encounters Julian with thought bubbles above his head. When talked to, he admits that he's thinking about moving out. Alfa's player can encourage him to stay, or to follow his dreams and move out.

Day 2

  1. If convinced to move out, Julian will be in "packing" mode the next day. (All furniture converted to cardboard boxes). This is colloquially known in the community as being "in boxes".
  2. The Beta player visits Alfa via Online or Local play, talks to Julian, and suggests Julian move to Beta. (This requires an empty plot)

Day 3

  1. Julian is no longer present on Alfa, and a Julian is moving in on Beta.


It is possible to get friends' villagers to move to your island, but only if your friend encourages them to leave first! But at the same time, it doesn't seem possible to "duplicate" villagers in this way -- they follow a strict "one-out, one-in" policy.

  • 1
    For (3), assuming that this is the exact same mechanic as for characters on Nook Miles isles (which seems a reasonable assumption), they get added to the queue of new villagers (which gets popped whenever a house is built on your island). So it will take at least one day (because a house only get populated on the day switch), but can take more (if you didn't have houses available yet).
    – Flater
    Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 22:04
  • That's too bad to hear, but good to know. Thanks alot!
    – Roybin93
    Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 6:49

Will the villagers move out of their homes at my friends island, if I invite them to live with me on my island?

No. You can only invite a resident from a friend's island if that resident is already packing to move out AND you have a vacancy. You can have someone in the process of moving out, that counts as a vacancy.

Is it even possible to invite them by visiting a friend on their island?

Yes! Buy only if the friend has already given them leave to...er...leave.

Conditions for inviting a friend's villagers

You: Have a vacancy or a resident packed up and moving out.

If you are full, the resident will try calling Resident Services and tell you that there's no room.

Friend: Must have the resident moving out.

You can only attempt to invite residents that are moving out. There's never a dialog option to ask villagers in a regular state or who are moving in to move to your island. You cannot steal your friend's residents.

The timing can be tricky. Your vacancy needs to line up with a friend's resident moving out.

Tom Nook seems to fill vacancies after a day of a house plot being empty. If this happens, you get no say in who arrives. Which means you can't safely leave a house empty until your choice is ready to move, even if you and a friend are in agreement.

Campsite visitors are the only (current) way* to attempt to get a new resident without having a vacancy. You have no control over when campsite visitors show up (game text implies a higher rating means more visitors, but I haven't noticed much difference between 2 and 5 stars). Pressing a campsite visitor to move will trigger a Resident Services call, but this time a random resident will be selected as "considering" moving out. You can choose to accept the choice or not.

Weirdly, if you decline, it appears to trigger another resident to "think" about moving. Later that same day (or possibly the next) you will be able to see a resident with thought bubbles, asking you if they should move or stay. Which is to say, if you have a campsite visitor, you can convince them to call RS and then tell them no in order to have a good chance to get a vacancy within 2 days.

If you have a friend's cooperation, you can try to line things up. Unfortunately, the timing and randomness involved makes it very unlikely to get your choice in even a small number of attempts.

*Except for having a character's amiibo.

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