Villagers are the main non-playable characters in the Animal Crossing series. They live simple, quiet lives scattered around the player's town as the other residents. They do the same things as the playable character, such as fishing, finding fossils, and collecting insects. They are all animals, as the title of the series, Animal Crossing series, suggests, and they come in variety of species.
Villagers move into the town at random, and whoever moves in is completely at random - there is no set list of villagers who will move in. Each villager initially comes with a unique interior house design, which will gradually change over time depending on what furniture they request, or insects, fish, fossils, and clothes they obtain. Flooring and wallpaper eventually change, usually depending on how long the villager has been a resident of the town. They may also develop a friendship with the player.
Villagers appear as animals within each game in the series. They stand on two feet with the same posture and poise as the human playable characters do. They also wear clothes, make-up, and shoes, giving them a humanoid appearance. They are capable of acting out different perceived, human emotions from crying to rejoicing, which are considered impossible in most animal species.
Villagers can be interacted with in various ways. Players can talk to villagers by approaching them, and can result in either a short discussion, playing a game, or receiving a favor to complete, such as giving the villager a certain item or delivering presents to other villagers.
Villagers can be "annoyed" in a number of ways, though the effects of annoying villagers is only temporary:
- "Pushing" villagers by continuously walking into them. If done for long enough, the villager will get upset at the player.
- Repeatedly talking to villagers to the point where the villager get annoyed. If done for long enough, the villagers will begin to run away from the player.
- Repeatedly hitting them with certain tools, such as the net.
This section briefly underlines the key notes about each personality trait. For more information, check out the individual personality pages:
There are different personalities and characteristics found in villagers. All villagers share the same interests and hobbies, but some are more apparent in individual personalities than others. There are six different personalities; cranky, jock, and lazy, which are male villager personalities and snooty, peppy, and normal, which are female personalities. The different personalities share similar traits, especially the male and female equivalents, such as:
Lazy and snooty villagers are kinder towards the playable character. Jock and peppy villagers are also kind, but like to compete against the player in competitions, such as Hide-and-Seek (City Folk), fishing, and bug catching (Wild World). Normal and cranky villagers are the refined villagers in a town, who see themselves as socially and mentally superior to other villagers, but will make an exception to the playable character, who they may learn to confide in but still appear arrogant.
Initially in original Animal Crossing, there are six villagers in the town when the player moves in. The maximum number is 15; once 15 villagers have moved in, one of the already existing villagers will attempt to move out to allow a new villager to move in. Villagers have a unique role in Animal Crossing. During town events, they gather and celebrate in different areas of the town to partake in different events. Most noted is during the New Year's Eve celebrations, where they gather around the town pond (in future releases, they are simply scattered around town, and have special conversations revolving around the festivities).
During Summer and Winter, villagers may live outside in a tent or an igloo for the day, where they become the source of collecting Camping Gear. In future game releases, they are not a source of rare, unique furniture, but become a means of gaining furniture through trades. They also do not camp out, and only live in their homes.
Initially in Animal Crossing: Wild World, there are three villagers in the town when the player moves in, out of a possible eight. Once eight villagers have moved in, one of the already existing villagers may move out, to allow another new villager to move in, lowering the number to seven until the new villager moves in. Although villagers do have a similar role as they do in Animal Crossing, they do have a few new features.
When the playable character befriends them, they are likely to give the player a picture of themselves, as proof of their friendship. Each picture has a unique quote for each villager, which can be read when the picture is placed in the player's house and clicked.
They are also competitive in Wild World, a feature unique to the game. During some conversations, they may ask the player if they want to see who can catch the biggest fish or find the rarest insect. These are games which are similar to the Fishing Tourney and Bug-Off. During these events, when two villagers meet they will not talk.
Another new feature were the rumors that some villagers were dating. This could be discovered by talking to some of the villagers in the town, who would either be gossiping about the two villagers, or one of the two villagers in the relationship. There was no proof, however, of the two villagers dating, other than through conversation. This feature appears to have been scrapped in City Folk.
Unlike the first game, the villagers walk at a much slower pace than the player, which is continued through Animal Crossing: City Folk.
Initially in Animal Crossing: City Folk, there are six villagers in the town when the player moves in. The maximum number is ten. Once ten villagers have moved in, one of the already existing villagers will attempt to move out to allow a new villager to move in.
Villagers have a slightly different role than in Animal Crossing: Wild World. They no longer compete against the player, as this feature was the prominent feature within the Bug-Off and Fishing Tourney events. They do, however, have a new feature which is playing Hide-and-Seek, where a group of up to three villagers hide around the town; behind trees, signs and buildings (but never in them). They no longer give out pictures of themselves when they become friends with the player.
Villagers now talk about the glamour and style found within the city, a new area found in the game. It is the only place in any of the games to find villagers who are not residents in the player's town.