Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been a comforting little place for me over the last couple of months. It took the top spot on our list of the most relaxing games, and for good reason — there’s something inherently soothing about low-stakes landscaping and interior design.
As much fun as it is to simply set up your island, it’s nothing without the cast of colorful little characters that eventually populate it. Animal Crossing now boasts nearly 400 different villagers, meaning that you have a huge variety of options as your island starts attracting new residents.
Now, the villagers you end up with are pretty random — unless you have an Amiibo code or a friend to swap with, you don’t have a ton of say over who sets up shop on your new island. That said, you always have the chance to get fresh faces over time. When given a chance to welcome a camper or invite a potential resident to a newly-vacated lot, how do you decide which villagers will have you clicking the Joy Emote and which ones will leave you regretful?
Enter High Ground’s take on the best Animal Crossing: New Horizons villagers.
The Best Animal Crossing: New Horizons Villagers
For this list, we’re going to divide our villagers into categories and rank them accordingly. We’ll have a winner for each of the game’s eight unique personality types, plus two generic categories that speak to the villagers’ overall popularity rather than any specific character trait.
The personalities are organized in no particular order — for example, even though we start our list with the best Cranky villager, we’re not suggesting that the Cranky personality type is any worse than the others.
With that in mind, let’s dive into our list!
The best cranky Animal Crossing villager
Starting our list of best Animal Crossing: New Horizons villagers is Octavian, a grumpy little octopus that’s graced Animal Crossing neighborhoods since the beginning. Like most Cranky villagers, Octavian starts off a little rough around the edges (just look at that scrunched-up little face!), but will become a fierce friend if you give him the chance.
Octavian responds well to positive attention. If you agree with his opinions and help him out with favors, he’ll eventually open up to you. Giving him gifts doesn’t hurt, either — he’s a fan of Cool, Simple styles and will happily accept any gift that fits these criteria.
If he moves to your island, Octavian will settle down in a little red house whose Japanese-inspired decor belies its space-themed interior. Octavian’s space obsession is pretty consistent across the series, with his Pocket Camp profile suggesting that he himself may not be of this Earth.
Overall, he’s the best cranky villager in Animal Crossing.
The best smug Animal Crossing villager
Marshal was introduced to the series in New Leaf and remains the only Smug squirrel in the series. He’s a great addition to any island, as he gets along well with most other villagers — though Smug types tend to talk themselves up a lot, their personalities neatly blend traits of other personalities together in a way that makes them difficult to dislike.
Marshal himself is a veritable sweetie. He’s friendly, polite, and always down for a conversation with you and your other villagers. He’s got expensive tastes, and loves gifts that complement his Cool and Elegant style (especially if they’re blue).
He’s also great to have around if you’re the type who prefers a tidy, functional aesthetic to your island — his house has a simple, neutral-colored exterior and a dark academia, café-inspired interior.
The best snooty Animal Crossing villager
I personally find it a little harder to get along with Snooty villagers, but it’s hard not to love Ankha. This ever-frowny kitty sports an Ancient Egyptian aesthetic — from her taste in clothes to her golden fur, it’s clear that she likes the finer things in life.
Ankha can be won over if you engage with her interests. She likes to gossip and always wants to talk about the fashion sense (or lack thereof) of the other villagers on the island. Despite an outwardly rude demeanor, Ankha is somewhat sweet and can be a real delight once you develop a friendship with her.
If you welcome her to your island, you get pretty much exactly the house you’d expect — the exterior looks as much like a pyramid as the generic house designs can, and the interior is decked tip to toe in Ancient Egyptian decor, complete with gold plates and a pyramid.
The best jock Animal Crossing villager
It’s hard not to love Dom. Jock villagers are just downright adorable, and this happy little sheep is no exception — he’s always game for friendly competition and is chock-full of encouraging pep talks (which can be especially welcome if you’re trying to establish an IRL workout routine).
Dom likes gifts that reflect his Active and Cute style, a preference that’s obvious just from looking at him. Expressing interest in competitions and giving him presents that match his colorful personality are sure-fire ways of making friends with him.
The outside of Dom’s house is nothing special, but the interior has a sort of barbecue-dad aesthetic created by the Backyard Fence wallpaper, Backyard Lawn flooring, and a few DIY furniture items.
The best normal Animal Crossing villager
Fauna is a simple deer with simple tastes, which is pretty standard for Normal villagers. She’s friendly and easygoing, and fits in well with the rest of your village — not only does she get along well with other personality types, her aesthetic is simple and doesn’t have any wild gimmicks.
Fauna’s a fan of neutral tones — beige and white clothing will get you in her good graces. Her house fits this style, sporting a simple brick look on both the outside and inside, with wood-block furniture and polka dot carpet for a pop of color.
The best lazy Animal Crossing villager
Bob is basically Animal Crossing royalty at this point. He’s commonly assumed to be the first villager ever created (due to his simple name, simple design, basic personality, and generic birthday), and has appeared in every Animal Crossing installment so far.
Like other Lazy villagers, Bob is a laid-back guy who likes food and chillin’ out. He likes to talk about his theories regarding the town and its residents, which are often based on his dreams/daydreams. He responds well to simple, colorful gifts that reflect his child-like imagination.
His house exterior is decorated with primary colors, and the interior is decked out in Kiddie decor from the wallpaper to the flooring to the furniture.
The best sisterly Animal Crossing villager
Cherry is a little goth dog with pierced ears, and I feel like that’s the only justification I need for putting her on this list. As a sisterly villager, Cherry is super endearing, combining the friendly qualities of the Peppy and Normal types with the blunt attitude of Cranky and Snooty villagers — making her the perfect tomboyish elder sister type.
Although she’s very easy to get along with by default, you can’t go wrong with gifts. Her goth design translates to her sense of style, as she likes black and purple presents with Cool and Elegant designs. Her style is also visible in her home, which has a black and red exterior with a dark, semi-floral interior.
The best peppy Animal Crossing villager
Peppy is my favorite personality type — although there are so many Peppy villagers I’d like to mention, the top spot has to go to little Rosie. She’s a sweet little cat whose attention flits from topic to topic, and she’s always excited to talk to you about whatever is on her mind.
If Cherry feels like a big sister, Rosie feels like a best friend. Her conversations are peppered with giggling and slang, and she often catches your attention just to ask how your day is going. If you ever want to repay her exuberance, she’s a fan of Cute gifts in shades of pink and red.
The exterior of her house is pretty neutral aside from the pink door, which hints at the decor you’ll find inside. Her entire house is an explosion of pink — the walls, floor, and furniture all look like they’ve been painted over with a bucket of pastel pink.
The best new Animal Crossing villager
Now that we’ve selected a winner for each of the unique personality types in Animal Crossing, we have a couple of additional categories to look at. The first is the best new villager, which encompasses all of the newcomers to New Horizons. Our winner for this category is Audie, a Peppy villager that’s a tribute to an 88-year-old grandmother with thousands of hours clocked into New Leaf.
Audie was extremely well-received by fans — like I mentioned above, it’s hard not to get along with Peppy types. Audie is no exception, and her adorable fox design and cheerful personality made her an instant hit.
She loves the Cute and Active styles, and you can’t go wrong with anything green and white. Her house exterior reflects this, with the interior translating the theme into a sort of tropical diner.
The most popular Animal Crossing villager
This brings us to the final category in our list of best Animal Crossing: New Horizons villagers, the most popular Animal Crossing villager overall. Raymond is another new villager, and it’s easy to see why he skyrocketed in popularity — he’s stupid cute. His little suit, glasses, and Smug personality make him look like a tiny little businessman.
And his house is an office. He’s got a fax machine, a water cooler, and a little certificate on the wall, which no doubt displays his latest Villager of the Month award.
Raymond likes neutral tones and Elegant and Cool styles, making him pretty easy to shop for if you’re in the market for a gift.
That’s it for our list of the best Animal Crossing: New Horizons villagers! As much as I would have loved to talk about all of the potential new friends in the game, we simply don’t have the time to cover them all — feel free to tell us all about your favorites in the comments!
If you’re new to the game or are thinking about picking it up for the holidays, consider checking out our review of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Spoiler alert — we liked it a lot, and the game has only gotten better with the addition of multiple updates since release. Let us know what you think!