How to trade a villager in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Amazingly, it's actually possible to trade a villager in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I must admit, after seeing so many people talking about having villagers up for grabs on their island, I was a little sceptical about how to trade a villager in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and whether it was indeed as sketchy as it sounds. 

Thankfully, it's rather more NSFW than I feared and figuring out how to trade a villager in New Horizons is actually more straightforward than expected. Here's how it works:

1. Wait for someone to say they're moving out

(Image credit: Nintendo)

There comes a time in every villager's life where they might feel the need to move on from your fair isles and explore somewhere new. Hopefully it's that annoying one that you've come to detest even the mere sight of, but sometimes it's just a cute one that wants a change in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

They'll let you know they want to leave. You can either try and persuade them to stay, or let them go. The next day, they'll be in their homes packing up their stuff into cardboard boxes. And it's then that the trading option becomes available. 

2. Packing day is time to pounce

(Image credit: Nintendo)

When a villager is in their home packing up their things, the day after they let you know they're moving on, it's possible to trade that villager with another player. 

How it works is that anyone who wants that particular villager needs to first have an empty plot on their own island. Then, they can come and visit your island, and head over to speak to the departing villager in their home. 

They will then be given the option to poach said villager, and ask them to make the move to their own island. Working out how to trade a villager in New Horizons is actually just as simple as that, it just requires a bit of coordination and good timing.

That said, the methodology when it comes to how to evict a resident in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is less clear cut sadly. 

Sam Loveridge
Global Editor-in-Chief, GamesRadar+

Sam Loveridge is the Global Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar, and joined the team in August 2017. Sam came to GamesRadar after working at TrustedReviews, Digital Spy, and Fandom, following the completion of an MA in Journalism. In her time, she's also had appearances on The Guardian, BBC, and more. Her experience has seen her cover console and PC games, along with gaming hardware, for a decade, and for GamesRadar, she's in charge of the site's overall direction, managing the team, and making sure it's the best it can be. Her gaming passions lie with weird simulation games, big open-world RPGs, and beautifully crafted indies. She plays across all platforms, and specializes in titles like Pokemon, Assassin's Creed, The Sims, and more. Basically, she loves all games that aren't sports or fighting titles! In her spare time, Sam likes to live like Stardew Valley by cooking and baking, growing vegetables, and enjoying life in the countryside.