In the Animal Crossing series, in addition to player houses, villagers each also possess their own house. They usually move onto signposts around town, except in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, where they can move in anywhere where there is sufficient space, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, where they move into plots placed manually by the player. Each house differs in appearance slightly and is furnished differently. When a villager moves out, their house will vanish from town, leaving behind a signpost and/or a patch of bare ground.
Houses owned by villagers are always 6x6 in size, and usually cannot be entered by the player unless the villager is inside, with a few exceptions, such as Toy Day in Animal Crossing: City Folk (where Jingle could be inside an empty villager's home).
In New Horizons, the two villagers that move to the Deserted Island with the player at the start of the game will each initially live in a tent. The player can either recommend the villager to place the tent where they are thinking of putting it, or they can freely choose where these tents are placed via a kit that the villager gives them. The villagers will reward the player for helping them, regardless of which option they choose. Once certain conditions are met, these two villagers will upgrade their tents into houses, having presumably paid their initial getaway package fee much like the player.
Players can interact with some objects in villager houses, such as musical instruments. If the player opens a storage unit, a message will be displayed, usually about how cluttered the villager's drawers are.
Birthday parties and Flea Markets take place in villager houses, and in the former instance another villager will be present. In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, another animal can sometimes be present even not on the villager's birthday.
In Animal Crossing: City Folk, an animal may lose the key to their house. The player can find it by fishing in the river, and return it to the villager for a reward. The villager will never be permanently locked out, though, even if the player does not help.
Villagers sometimes invite the player over to their house, and the appointment time (chosen by the player) must be at least 30 minutes into the future. The player can sometimes buy an item from the animal.
In most towns, different exterior house designs can appear, which is chosen specifically for every villager and is not random. In Animal Crossing: City Folk, for example, there are three house styles that appear in all versions of the game and two exclusive ones for each region. A player's town will never contain more that two of these styles (out of a possible five). Shapes of housing, fencing, and roofing colors appear to be determined by the specific villager.
In Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, the player may customize the exterior of each villager's home and its surrounding area.
Villager houses are always 6x6 in size and, with the exception of the two starting villagers' tents upgrading to houses in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, never expand, unlike the player's home. Each villager starts with different furniture, but this changes over time, such as when the player mails them new items or when the villager (or a player) buys items at the Flea Market. Wallpaper and carpeting may change if the player sends a letter to a villager with one of these attached as a gift.
In New Horizons, the first five villagers' houses will have default interiors with basic furniture, flooring, and wallpaper, apparently tailored to their base personalities (as there will always be one each of jock, sisterly, normal, peppy, and lazy) – whereas all subsequent villagers will have furnishing customized to their individual characters as in past games. Nonetheless, there is still some variation in the exact items each villager will start with, based in part on character and the island's native fruit and flowers. The house exteriors will be consistent with what those same characters would have gotten if they moved in later. These villagers will not be able to "upgrade" to their standard furniture sets while on the same island, though if they are adopted by another island they will reset to their standard sets, and retain them if they then move back.
Initial houses in New Horizons:
- The jock starter villager's house will have craftable items primarily from the Wooden set, but not all items from that set, with some varying randomly (e.g., he may or may not have a bed or wardrobe). The villager may also initially retain the Lantern, Portable Radio, and Sleeping Bag from his tent. Item colors may also vary depending on the character.
- Furnishings for sisterly starter villagers are the same, except for most items being from the Wooden-Block set.
- Normal, peppy, and lazy starter villagers will have a combination of non-craftable furniture (consistent for each personality), plus items crafted by players during the island development storyline, primarily from the Wooden (normal), Wooden-Block (peppy), and Log and applicable native fruit sets (lazy).
- Hernandez, Patricia, It actually matters when your Animal Crossing villager moves in, Polygon , Published: April 6, 2020