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Topic: Villager Movement Guide V1.0

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sunmarsh
 
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Nick
ACGC Town
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1/6 12:12pm
This guide will cover all aspects of villager movement in ACNL including move-outs, move-ins, villager cycling, and methods you can use to keep the dreamies you have or get back the ones you've lost. I hope you'll find this info useful!

- - - - -

Villager Movement Section I - The Move-in Process
If your town has 8 villagers or less you will be in what is called a ‘moving-in period’. During this time no villagers will ever move out and your game will move in new residents at a constant pace. This section will detail the specifics of this process and will include instructions on how to obtain a tenth villager which requires some influence on your part and will never happen ‘randomly’.

A brand new town: Your first 5-8 villagers
Every town starts with just five villagers. Their personalities will vary as the game attempts to maintain a balance between the eight types. This is important because the public works projects a villager requests vary according to their personality. I have also read (but not verified) that your first five villagers will never be of the uchi or smug personality type (these two types are new to ACNL).

The day after your town is created a new villager will begin the move-in process. At first you will just see an empty area, roped off with a sign in front. If you read the sign you can see the name of the villager who will be moving in. The next day (day three in your new town), their house will be constructed and they will be unpacking their boxes. Isabelle will make a note on the startup screen that someone has moved in and you can say hello to them if you would like.

On day four you’ll see a new area roped off, ready for another villager to move in. This constant move-in process will continue until you reach nine villagers at which time no more villagers will move in without some help from you.

The tipping point: 9 villagers in town
Once you’ve reached nine villagers your town will naturally want to reduce the count to eight, but it’s in no hurry to do it. It will be at least 3 days if not much longer before an animal moves out. If you’d like, you can add one more villager to your town to bring the total to 10. This can be done in one of four ways…

Mini-guide: Four ways to get your 10th villager
Note that you can use any of these methods to obtain your 9th villager as well, however your 10th can ONLY be obtained via these methods.

…..1. Invite a camper to stay. If you have built the Campsite public works project you will get visitors camping out from time to time. To get them to stay, you will have to beat them at a game of rock, paper, scissors or charades. You can keep trying until you win. Note that it is impossible to invite villagers who are camping in other towns over to yours, nor can you convince a camper to stay if you already have 10 villagers in town.

…..2. Invite a villager who is moving out of another town. If a villager in someone else’s town has packed up their boxes and is on their way out, you can invite that villager to come and stay in yours. Just head over to the friend’s town (WiFi or local connection), talk to the villager and they will initiate the move conversation.

…..3. Pick up a villager from ‘the void’. ‘The void’ is where villagers are said to go if no one comes to adopt them and they leave town with nowhere to go. If you WiFi with someone who has recently voided a villager of theirs, that villager can end up in your town if you have space.

…..4. Pick up a villager from StreetPass. If you pass another ACNL player who has StreetPass enabled, it is possible for you to receive one of their villagers. (It may be a requirement for this villager to have been recently voided by that player, however I’m not sure.)


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Villager Movement Section II - Influencing Move-ins
Many people have a list of dreamies, or villagers they would like to have in their ideal town. Some have even paid millions of bells in order to adopt villagers from other towns, and a few have even been scammed in the process. While it’s impossible to ensure your favorite villager will appear via random move-in, you can do things to influence this process and tip the odds in your favor. This section will list methods you can use to acquire specific villagers without inviting them from another town.

Resetting at the source: If you’re in the mood to start fresh, or if you have a second copy of ACNL on hand, you could try resetting for new villagers. You’ll get a randomized selection of five different animal residents each time you generate a new town. This method will probably take the longest, as there are 333 different villagers total and I’ve read that it’s not possible to obtain uchi or smug villagers via this method.

Resetting by personality type: The game tries to maintain a balance of personality types, so when a new villager is generated it will be of a type that your town currently lacks or has the least of. You can use this to your advantage and reset your game until you get a villager you like of the personality type it is currently generating. (e.g. if you are looking for an uchi villager and your game is currently generating that personality type, you have a 1/21 chance of getting the one you want… that’s way better than 1/333!) Follow these instructions to properly reset your game:

Mini-guide: The villager reset trick
This trick will allow you to cycle through possible move-in scenarios, allowing you to pick the villager or house location that best suits your needs. In order to use this trick, you must have less than four human characters created.

On a day when you know or think a new villager will put down a house plot, begin your game by creating a new character- do not load an existing character. After getting off the train, look around town with your new character to see if a new villager has set up a plot. Remember that a villager will only move in during a move-in period (when you have less than 9 villagers) or if you have fulfilled one of the conditions listed under the ‘Four ways to get your 10th villager’ heading.

If you do not see a house plot you should quit the game (don’t save) and create another new character. If you’ve done this about three times with no luck, then a villager will most likely not move in that day. To be safe, you should choose a home location for your newly created human character anyway, then save and quit. You can then delete the new character you made (if you don’t want/need them) and go about your day. I would recommend that you always place their home in the same spot, as the area where their home used to be will turn to dirt once the character has been deleted.

If you do see a house plot look and see who it is. If it is the character you want, and/or if it’s in the location you want, choose a home location for your new human character, save and quit. Otherwise, do not save, and keep creating a new character until you find a villager and/or location you like. Take a note of the personality of the villagers your town is generating, this will let you know whether it is in your best interest to continue resetting, or if it’s not worth your time. It’s important to note that if a villager of a given personality type just left your town, the next villager your town generates will never be of the same type. (e.g. If a smug villager just moved out, a new smug villager will never move in after them unless you invite them in/get them from the void or SpotPass)

Note: The reason it is so important to create a new character when using this trick, rather than loading an existing character, is because of the nature in which the game chooses to save town data. When you load an existing character, the game loads the town data and then it saves the game without telling you. That means that any villager plot you see while walking around town with a pre-existing character is permanently placed. Even if you quit without saving it will remain and that villager will move in the next day. There is no way to move a villager plot once this happens.

On the contrary, when you load a new character, the game loads the town, but does not save it until that new character has established a home and has finished registering with Isabelle, this allows you to keep reloading the town data until you get an arrangement you like.

- - - - -

Villager home placement - a few observations
I’ve noticed that new villagers seem to want to move in close to where other villager and human character homes are placed. If there is an area you want your villagers to move into, try placing all your human homes in that area. In addition to this, I’ve also noticed that new villagers really like to set up their homes near the spot where the most recent (and sometimes second most recent) move-out was living. It should also be noted that they can and will move in on top of paths, trees, bushes, flowers, and even dropped items. If you have a police station these items will show up in the lost & found, otherwise they are gone for good.

Villager home placement - proximity restrictions
A villager’s home will never brush up against another permanent, immoveable object (including the river). They require a buffer of one space to their left, right, and back, and a buffer of two spaces in front. Their home may be placed as close as two spaces away from the ledge separating the town from the beach and as close as one space away from the ledges on the Eastern and Western sides of town. Two homes can be as close as two spaces apart on the left and right sides and as close as three spaces apart on the top and bottom sides. They may be as close as one space apart from rocks, ponds, rivers or public works projects, but will never touch them diagonally. A villager’s home will never block access to a ramp or bridge.


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Villager Movement Section III - The Move-out Process
Once your town has reached 9 or more villagers it will be in a ‘moving-out period’. During this time the game will continually try to move villagers out- no villagers will move in unless you invite them from the campsite/another town or acquire them from WiFi-ing or SpotPass. In this section I will explain how the game decides which villager will move, how to determine that villager’s moving date, and how to stop them (or encourage them) to move.

Who’s moving next? - How does the game decide?
The bitter truth is that we don’t really know- but we do have a few observations. We know that the most recent villager to move in will never be the next villager to move out. Additionally, in my experience it seems that the villagers who have been in town the longest are usually more likely to leave, and ignoring villagers isn’t a surefire way to get them out either; talking to villagers you’d like to move may be better. I think that the general rule is that it’s random! And you’re most likely going to have to deny moving requests from villagers you want to keep before the one you want gone will leave.

How do I know if someone is going to leave?
A villager will ‘decide’ to leave up to five days before they actually pack up. It is during this time that you can convince them to stay, or tell them it’s ok to leave. There are two ways to determine who is thinking of moving…

…..1. The gossip method. If you talk to a villager enough, they might fill you in on who is thinking of leaving. My rule of thumb is to keep talking to three villagers until they get fed up with you and refuse to talk to you anymore. You’ll know when this happens because they will show a constant ‘thinking’ emotion. If someone is thinking of leaving, one of these three will let you know who. If they don’t mention anyone, then no one has decided on a moving date yet.

…..2. The self-confessing method. The easiest way to figure out who is going to move (in my opinion) is to use this method. Using this method, the villager will tell you his/herself if and when they are moving. You cannot prod this information out of them however, they must divulge it willingly. If a villager is thinking of moving, they will ‘ping’ you (display a surprised emote) and then walk up to you as if they want to tell you something. Press A to engage them in conversation and they may mention moving. If they talk about anything else (e.g. change my catchphrase etc.) then they are not interested in moving at this time.

However, it’s not as simple as this… a villager will only ping you if you are on ‘speaking terms’ with that villager. You’ll know if you’re on speaking terms with a villager when you walk up to them and try and speak to them. If they start off with something like “I haven’t talked to you in a while!” then you were not on speaking terms with them… but by talking to them just now- you are! After getting back onto speaking terms with a villager you can save/quit and reload the game and walk in front of them to see if they will ping you.

Note: If you used the gossip method to figure out who was leaving, you still have to use the second method to convince your villager to stay or go. This is why I skip the gossip and cut to the chase!

The move-out date & letting go
Once a villager pings you and lets you know they are moving, they will ask you whether or not they should stay. If you say no, they will not leave… this time. This does not mean that they will never decide to move again sometime in the future. If you say yes, they may either be excited and thank you for understanding, OR they may change their mind and stay anyway.

If they change their mind and decide to stay, but you really wanted them gone, you can quit your game without saving and the villager will move out on the day they stated they would.

Additionally, if they decide to move and you give them the OK, they can change their mind later on and decide to stay! They will tell you this sometime during conversation or even without telling you! My recommendation, if you’re not against time traveling, is to travel to the date that they said they were moving out on, this ensures that they will move out on time!

Note: A villager’s ‘moving date’ is the date they will be inside their home with their boxes packed. If you want them to stay, you have to convince them to do so prior to this date. If you load your game on their move-out date and Isabelle tells you they are leaving, they cannot be convinced to stay; you’re past the point of no return. This would be the day where you could have someone come over and pick them up though, if they wanted to adopt them.


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Villager Movement Section IV - Villager Cycling and the 16-Villager Cycle
Many people want to know the easiest way to get their unwanted villagers out and their dreamies in. This portion of the guide will explain how to cycle villagers in and out of your town and provides a method you can use to get back your favorite villager if you accidentally let them go.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for anything that happens to your ACNL game as a result of following these instructions. I have done my best to present this information as accurately as possible, but the game mechanics are complex and villager movement is not always so clear-cut. I have not personally lost any villagers as a result of using these methods, but this does not mean it is impossible.

Mini-guide: Villager cycling
Since we can’t pick and choose who to boot, we have to move through move-out requests as quickly as possible to get to the villager we want to leave. To do this, you have to be willing to time travel, otherwise you will be moving at a snail’s pace moving villagers out and it will take you months of work and waiting to get your town the way you’d like. Start the process by following these steps...

Note: Before we start I would suggest setting your town to the beautiful town ordinance to prevent your flowers from wilting & weeds from spawning as we’ll be moving forward in time quite a bit. Also note that your town will be overrun with common flowers and gyroids if you do this enough.

…..1. Make sure you are in a move-out period. If you have less than nine villagers in town, no one is going anywhere. Also be sure that the person you’re trying to kick out wasn’t the most recent one to move in- if so, it ain’t happening; you have to move out someone else first before you can scratch their name off the list.

…..2. Make sure you’re on speaking terms with your villagers. Start off by loading up your game (during a time when all your villagers will be awake) and just go up and talk to all of them. If they are not outside or you can’t find them, save and quit and then reload and the villagers that are wandering about outside will be cycled. Once you’ve talked to all your villagers once, save and quit your game.

Note: If you can’t seem to get a villager out of their home it is because they are a) sick or b) it is their birthday. In the case of option B there will be at least one other villager in their home celebrating with them who is also MIA.

…..3. Walk in front of all your villagers. Reload your game and walk in front of all the villagers wandering about outside. Save & quit and reload to cycle villagers outside until you’ve walked in front of everyone once. If none of them ping you and ask to leave, then no one’s thinking about doing so just yet. TT one day ahead using the 3DS system settings and repeat this step (#3) until someone pings you requesting to leave.

…..4. Approve or deny the request to leave. If it’s a villager you want to keep, deny their request to move, save and quit, then TT forward one month (yes one month). Load your game, then save and quit. TT back to the present date and then and go back to step 3. If it’s a villager you want to lose, tell them to leave and go to step 5.

…..5. Time travel to their move-out date. Once an unwanted villager gives you their move-out date, TT to that date immediately before they change their mind! Remember that if you tell someone they can move but they change their mind you can quit without saving and TT to their move-out date anyways. Load the game on their move-out date, save and quit. Then TT one day forward so that their house will disappear, load the game, save & quit.

…..6. Repeat the process as needed. Now that one villager has been moved out, you can keep moving out villagers, but remember that you need to be in a move-out period to do so, so you may have to move someone in at this point. If you don’t care who moves in, TT forward 10 days and someone will likely move in. Remember that you can use the villager reset trick to choose their home’s location.

…..7. Getting back to the present. Once you’re done with all of your villager cycling, you’ll find that you’re somewhere far in the future… to get back, repeat step 3 until someone asks you to leave and deny their request. Then, save & quit and TT back to the present!

- - - - -

Getting back a long lost villager
Worst case scenario… you’ve just loaded up your game and Isabelle tells you that one of your dream villagers is leaving town today- what do you do? You can’t convince him or her to stay, the only thing you can do is have a friend come over and adopt them and hold onto them for you until you can get them back. But it’s not as simple as inviting them back over- you can’t get them back until you’ve gone through…

The 16-villager cycle
After a villager leaves your town (whether they are adopted or sent to the void), their data is still stored in your game’s memory. You will be unable to reacquire that villager until this data has been overridden. The reason your game holds onto the data of your past villagers is because it will have them visit your town to shop on Main Street.

So once you’ve sent off your dream villager to a friend for safe keeping, start keeping track of how many villagers you’ve cycled out of town. You can use the villager cycling method outlined above to move people out as quickly as possible. After 16 more villagers have left town, you’ll be able to go and pick your villager up again.


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Villager Movement Section V - Keeping Your Dreamies
Once you’ve acquired all the villagers you want, it’s still a challenge to keep them from moving. You can always make sure to deny their request to move, but what if you miss your chance, or what if you take a hiatus from the game? This section provides tips and tricks on keeping your villagers in town… f-o-r-e-v-e-r.

The never-ending day
The easiest way to make sure everyone stays put is to never allow the date to change. Prior to loading your ACNL game, set your system’s internal clock back to the last date you played. No villagers will ever leave. On the downside, you won’t get to experience the seasonal variation of ACNL, but if you’ve come this far, maybe you’ve seen all there is to see?

If you’re going to use this method you have to remember that the game recognizes the start of a new day at 6AM, not midnight, so you need to make sure your game is not on and loaded up when 6AM rolls around.

Mini-guide: Going on hiatus
We all need a break from ACNL once in a while… but we dread coming back. What will have happened while we were away? Will our villagers be gone? To make sure that everything is A-Okay upon your return, follow these steps…

Before going on hiatus
If you know you’re not going to play for a while, set your town to the beautiful town ordinance. The process we’ll be using to return involves a bit of TTing and enacting this now will save your flowers. Second, make a note of the the date you last saved/quit your game. You will need this later! (If you don’t have paper/pen handy, go to your 3DS’ home screen and then click the pencil icon at the top to write it in the game notes.)

Coming back from hiatus - You must do the following before loading your game!

…..1. Change “Today’s Date” in your 3DS’ system settings so that it matches the last date that you played. If you cannot remember the last day you played you can look in your activity log and check your software library. When you click on New Leaf it will note when you last played.

Note: If you TT often your activity log may not accurately reflect your play history. If you’re unsure of what to do, set the 3DS back to a date that you know is BEFORE the last date you played. It is better to choose an older date than it is to choose a date that is sometime after your last time playing.

…..2. Make sure the time is set to a time that all your villagers will be awake. If not, change it. Now load your ACNL game.

If you loaded your game on the SAME DAY that you last played, you shouldn’t experience any villager loss. If you load your game anytime BEFORE that day, it is possible for a villager to move if they had already planned on moving.

Getting back to the present
So hopefully, you’ve made it back to the last time you played without losing any villagers- but how do you get to the present day without having to TT day by day? Follow these steps…

…..1. Talk to each of your villagers once to make sure you are on speaking terms with them. You can tell if you’re on speaking terms with them if when you talk to them they greet you and then the game offers you the standard dialog box (which is something like “What’s new?” and “Nevermind.”)

…..2. Once you’ve done that, save and quit your game. Then, reload the game (same day, don’t change the time at all yet).

…..3. Walk in front of the villagers that are strolling outside in your town. There are usually 5 of these guys out and about. You’re looking for one of them to ‘ping’ you. That is, make a surprised emote and then run up to you.

…..4. If someone does run up to you, talk to them and see what they say. If they want to move, deny their request.

…..5. If none of the five villagers that are outside run up to you, save and quit, then reload the game to cycle the villagers that are in their homes.

…..6. If you’ve walked in front of all the villagers in your town at least once, and none of them ping you- save and quit, then TT ONE DAY FORWARD and repeat the process of walking in front of all your villagers until they ping and one of them asks to move. Once this happens, deny the request.

Once you’ve denied a request to move you’re free to TT forward as far as you want. So, after you’ve saved/quit your game, go back to system settings and correct the date/time. Then, load your ACNL game and ta-da! You’re back to the present!


That’s all folks! Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, comments, corrections or suggestions please leave them below!
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elly87
 
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Sakura
ACNL Town
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2/12/2017 5:14am
Sorry for my English, I am not a native speaker.
Thanks a lot for this guide, it is very complete and useful.
I have a question: few days ago a villager move in and placed his house right in front of my garden, ruining the view. I want him out from my town as soon as possible, so I talked to him once and then I am ignoring him. Is it the right technique to make him move out? I read on your guide that the last villager who moved in will not ask to move out for first, right? I hope you could understand my English >.<
Thanks^-^
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sunmarsh
 
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You're correct, you have to move another villager in before you can move the unwanted villager out. You can ingnore them or not, I don't think ignoring them affects anything. Remember that when that villager decides to move, they will ping you (run up and try and talk to you), but they will only do this if you are on speaking terms with them! If you don't talk to them then they won't do this.

This doesn't mean that they will never move out, but if they do decide to move out, they won't tell you about it.
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FleurDeLune
 
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12/17/2015 1:49pm
I really want to commend you on a wonderfully written guide.  It is so refreshing to read a text in proper English, with good punctuation and visually appealing formatting. The whole thing is clear and concise.  Great job!
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sunmarsh
 
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I appreciate your compliments- they mean a lot. Thank you so much, glad you found the guide helpful!
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spyro879103
 
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Sticky this! It's an amazing guide - thank you so much Sunmarsh
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Drinking_Water
 
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ACGC Town
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5/6 2:50pm
Great Guide!
One question: 2 villagers have moved out of my town. (Only 2) Chow (Nooooo!) And Tabby (FINALLY!). But either of them have shown up on my Street Main™ once. (They are the only 2 villagers who have moved out.)
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laineybop
 
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Lainey
ACNL Town
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5/20 1:50pm
Thanks so much for this info! It's so helpful & well done. I still have your WW guide saved on my computer & use it to this day...hope you compile something like that for NL.
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sunmarsh
 
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spyro879103 - You're very welcome! Glad you like it. (Working on that sticky.)

Drinking_Water - Villagers show up in main street a certain time after moving out. I saw the time period somewhere but I can't remember where. If I had to guess I would say 1-2 weeks.

laineybop - You're welcome! Glad you enjoyed the ACWW guide as well! I don't think I'll be making an ACNL one though. It's sooo much work. That ACWW guide took me years to finish! Years!
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BostonDori
 
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4/9/2014 8:59pm
I agree 100% with what FleurDeLune said.  Very well written guide.

Thank you sunmarsh for all your hard work.
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Drinking_Water
 
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They moved out about 3 months ago and never shown up on Street Main.
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accfluvr165
 
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^ Yeah, I think it takes several months for villagers to show up in Main Street. I believe mine showed up within 3-4 months after they move. But I think it also isn't a 100% chance it will happen. It's just a chance for them to show up on Main St. everyday.
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elly87
 
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Thanks =)
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Eero
 
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ACNL Town
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12/11/2017 9:50am
Oh jesus I'm really messing up with this list, but this is a log of some sort where I keep track in which order they leave my town when they appear at Main Street. I'm pretty sure the old villagers show up there sooner than after 9 villagers are gone, I have a feeling there's some odd miscalculation here... has anyone else kept a log and can give some input?

01. Lopez
02. Felicity
03. Lobo
04. Kevin
05. Pecan
06. Lucky
07. Tangy
08. Bianca
09. Marina (Lopez came to Main Street)
10. Beau (Felicity came to Main Street)
11. Bam  (Lobo came to Main Street)
12. Mira (Kevin came to Main Street)
13. Kabuki (Pecan came to Main Street)
14. Whitney (Lucky came to Main Street)
15. Erik (Tangy came to Main Street)
16. Bob (Bianca came to Main Street)
17. Poppy (Marina came to Main Street, Lopez stopped appearing)
18. Poncho (Beau came to Main Street), Felicity stopped appearing)
19. Fuchsia (Bam came to Main Street, Lobo stopped appearing)
20. Zucker (Mira came to Main Street, Kevin stopped appearing)
21. Drago (Kabuki came to Main Street, Pecan stopped appearing)
22. Blaire (Whitney came to Main Street, Lucky stopped appearing)

I am certain though that once the next one moves out, Erik will come to Main Street and Tangy is the next one cycled out.

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Bigkid
 
Name
Nicki
ACNL Town
Last Active
11/27/2017 8:42pm
Hi, I have a query I have villagers on my Main Street who have never lived in my village, one of them is Flurry who I desperately want to move in. I was offered her from a cycling thread but she won't come, does anyone know why this is, I only have 9 villagers all of whom I like to keep. Puzzled.
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Traa-dy-Liooar (time enough)
ACC+5
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Eero
 
Name
Eero
ACNL Town
Last Active
12/11/2017 9:50am
^ I'm fairly certain you did have Flurry as resident at some point because the villagers at Main Street are either your current or previous ones... Which explains why she won't move to your town from another town either. You can only adopt her from someone once 16 villagers have moved out after her.
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Bigkid
 
Name
Nicki
ACNL Town
Last Active
11/27/2017 8:42pm
She's been a favourite of mine since the start, and I know she never lived in my town, as I would never of agreed to her leaving
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Traa-dy-Liooar (time enough)
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Eero
 
Name
Eero
ACNL Town
Last Active
12/11/2017 9:50am
^ I'm really not sure what to say to your situation, but the only time you should ever see villagers that never lived in your town is when they're visiting the Café. Not once have I seen a villager at Main Street that wasn't one of my current or previous ones.
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Bigkid
 
Name
Nicki
ACNL Town
Last Active
11/27/2017 8:42pm
It's a strange one
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FlorenceCrossin
 
Last Active
1/25/2014 1:45pm
I love you for this! I was originally using the 5 day time travel method, then I used this and got Hans to move out, and the next day...my dreamie Marshal was camping in my town and I got him to move in!
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usbaums
 
Name
Momy
ACNL Town
Last Active
4/2/2017 5:29pm
Thank you for taking the time and trouble to make such a comprehensive and well-written guide! You have taken a confusing process and made it clear and easy to follow.  We have a town with 10 unpopular villagers but I like them and the mix of personalities (and my son could care less), so we have never tried to get new villagers.  However, I love having all the ins and outs laid out in one place should we ever decide to try.  I agree that this should be a sticky.
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tanstaafl
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AC:NL General Board » Topic: Villager Movement Guide V1.0

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