Replacing villagers using time travel and your campsite
One of the most frustrating things about Animal Crossing: New Horizons is that it’s hard to control which animals reside on your island. When you reach the maximum of ten villagers, there are only two ways to hunt an animal you dislike from your island paradise: the animal that asks you to move away (a randomly chosen process, difficult to follow. check) or ask a visitor to your campsite if they want to settle on the island.
As the first method is not very reliable, this guide provides all the knowledge you will need to replace old villagers with new ones by taking advantage of the mechanics of the campsite. No need to reset your entire island and start over!
What you need to replace the villagers on your island
The ability to time travel
You must be ready and willing to time travel forward (maybe far enough in the future) to fill the campsite with new animals.
By extension, this also means that your island will be full of weeds, flowers, fresh mail, new messages on your bulletin board, and more – there will be some cleaning to do afterwards.
Tip: If you have other players on the same island with you, it’s a good idea to check with them and get their green light.
Time to lose
This process takes up part of the time of your day. Make sure to do this when you know you have time to sit down with the game for a while.
Solo players can always return to the process later if they need to stop, but if someone else is living on your island, they might not be happy to get their Switch back only to find out it’s actually December, instead of August.
Optional: no villagers of the desired type
There are eight types of villagers in Animal Crossing New Horizons: Peppy, Normal, Uchi (Big Sister), Snooty, Lazy, Cranky, Smug, and Jock.
If your current villagers are made up of all types except one, your campsite will get a villager of that type missing 60% of the time.
With that in mind, it is much easier to target a particular animal, or one of the many animals that you love. If you are looking for a particular type of villager, Smug, for example, and you already have a Smug villager on your island, it may be worth going through this process longer just to move the existing Smug villager off your island.
A step-by-step process for using time travel and your campsite to choose new villagers
First step: Travel back in time until 4:57 a.m.
You may have already guessed that this guide will consist of checking every day if a villager has arrived at your campsite. It’s true but the trick to speeding up the process is to check two days at a time.
The day’s events do not reset at midnight, because so many people stay up late and want to play their game. The game actually resets at 5 a.m. If you’re logged in at 4:59 a.m., you’ll hear the bell chime, and then you’ll be redirected to Isabelle’s morning announcements as the game loads the events for the next day. Everything is refreshed at this point: new fossils appear on the island, a new NPC like Saharah or Flick will appear, flowers will spawn and multiply, etc.
So you can check two days at a time by setting the time on your Switch to 4:57 a.m. Let’s say it’s May 1st and you know there are no RVs on the island today. You must save your game, log out, and then change the time to 4:57 a.m. on May 3. This will allow you to check on May 2 and 3 without having to reset the clock twice.
We suggest 4:57 am because 3 minutes is a reasonable time to log in, listen to Isabelle’s announcements, then take a short break before the reset occurs. If you want to do it closer or further to 5 a.m., don’t hesitate.
Step two: wait to hear Isabelle’s announcements
When you changed your clock and connected, you will hear Isabelle making her announcements. She will say the current date, but is actually announcing yesterday’s events (i.e., she will say it’s May 3 at 4:57 a.m., but her subsequent announcements will be for May 2).
Assuming she doesn’t tell you that a camper is on the island, then you will log into the game and Wait a moment. The Resident Services bells will ring and Isabelle will make another announcement.
There are three possible conclusions:
- Isabelle does not announce that a camper is on the island. You can save and exit the game. Go to step four.
- Isabelle tells you that there is a motorhome on the island when you log in for the first time, not after waiting until five in the morning for the second batch of announcements. In this case, be sure to quit immediately, stop the game, and set your clock back a few hours. This ensures that you will not lose the motorhome when resetting the game. Proceed to step three.
- Isabelle tells you that there is a motorhome on the island during the second round of announcements. It is safe to meet this new animal: go to step three.
Third step: Recruit the camper and replace the villager of your choice
Then you go meet your camper! If it’s someone you do not want on your island, leave and go to step four.
If it’s someone you want on your island, congratulations! You can invite them to live on the island after talking to them enough. Once you’ve invited them, they can automatically accept, automatically decline, or say they want to leave it to chance and challenge you to a game of cards. If you’ve been denied multiple times (or if you lose a few card tricks), don’t worry. You can keep doing this as many times as needed until they accept your offer.
Once they finally accept your offer, they will go to Resident Services to ask if they are moving to the island. On their return, if your island already has ten villagers, they’ll say the only way to settle down here with you is if someone is willing to trade. You will have to approve that they are trading with someone, then they will say the name of one of your villagers and ask you if they can swap places with this villager. If they say the name of a villager you want to leave the island, then you’re good to go!
However, if they say the name of a villager you want to keep, there is no need to sacrifice a villager you love for the motorhome.
- As soon as the camper names a villager you don’t want to lose, exit the Switch home screen and close the game immediately.
If you end the conversation and leave the tent, the game records which villager the camper has named and will never select another. If the game doesn’t have the option to save, it will simply select another resident of your island at random to trade with next time.
You may need to do this a few times before the camper asks to swap places with the villager you want them to replace, but it is more than possible to chase whoever you prefer from the island.
Step Four: Time Travel Again and Repeat
If you don’t have a motorhome at all, you can travel in the two-day time, set the clock again for 4:57 and repeat the process. For example, if the last time you set the clock to May 3 at 4:57 a.m., this time you would set the clock to May 5 at 4:57 a.m. in order to find a camper on the 4th and 5th.
If you had a motorhome on the island, you will not receive another for at least a few days. It is variable, but we recommend that you assume that there will be no campers for four days after having one.
- If you have a motorhome on May 3rd before 5 a.m., it’s actually a motorhome from May 2nd. You would assume that there wouldn’t be a camper on the 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th. Therefore, you would switch to May 8th at 4:57 am (which allows you to check on 7th and 8th) to continue your trip. hunt for villagers.
- If you have a RV on May 3 after 5 a.m., the RV arrived on May 3. You can assume that there won’t be a camper on the 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th. You would set the clock for May 9 at 4:57 a.m. (to check if there was a camper on the 8th). and the ninth) and continue to hunt.
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