Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a fairly open-ended game, but the core premise revolves around establishing residence on an undeveloped island and turning it into a thriving community. Part of that process involves inviting some of the characters you meet outside of your island to live with you and become villagers.
The game’s 400 villagers sport different aesthetics, preferences, and personality types. As such, you could say that there’s a villager out there that is perfect for everyone and that there’s really no such thing as the outright best and worst villagers. Like the game’s many QR codes, villagers are subjective. That’s a fair argument.
However, there are some villagers in the game that have already stood out in the minds of fans as some of the most desirable potential residents. There are also some villagers who, let’s face it, have something about them that makes us want to leave them on the deserted landscape you typically find them on and simply never speak of them again.
It’s a thin line between love and hate, but based on what we’ve seen so far, these are some of the best Animal Crossing: New Horizons villagers in the game and some of the worst.
Best Animal Crossing: New Horizons Villagers
You may have heard stories of Raymond’s popularity in the Animal Crossing community. Only weeks after the game’s release, there is already kind of Animal Crossing black market on the internet for trading villagers and rare items, and Raymond appears to be the most in-demand New Horizons villager in the game.
Why? It’s partially because you can’t “cheat” the newest New Horizons villagers onto your island with Amiibos or other methods, so the value of the most popular new villagers is inflated at the moment. It doesn’t hurt that Raymond is a cat (which, as you know, the internet tends to love) and that his home design choices are pretty solid. He’s also undeniably dapper.
Raymond’s popularity may be a bit absurd, but there’s no bigger flex at the moment than to invite him to your island.
Chevre’s status as one of the game’s most sought-after villagers is based on a few things. Personality-wise, Chevre is great. As a “normal” villager, she tends to get along with most people and doesn’t really start many conflicts. She also sports a great overall visual design, and her classy home decor built around a grand piano is hard to fault from an aesthetic standpoint.
What really sets Chevre apart, though, is her legacy. She’s been in every Animal Crossing game to date and would appear to be the only goat-type character to hold that particular honor. In a game where the “value” of a villager is sometimes based on perception, there is real value to having one of the franchise’s most infamous villagers live on your island.
In Lucky, we have another legacy Animal Crossing character who has appeared in every major Animal Crossing game so far. As we noted in the case of Chevre, that history will always raise his value and appeal.
Yet, Lucky is a desirable enough villager based solely on his own merits. He automatically wins our hearts as a lazy-type dog, and the fact he’s covered in bandages and wears a t-shirt with the number 23 on it (which is sometimes considered to be an unlucky number) as a play on his name is just great character design.
To top it off, Lucky even decorates his house with horror movie-like objects. He’s just a fantastic all-around villager.
There are actually only a few villagers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons who aren’t directly based on actual animals. Of those select villagers, a couple of them are just robot versions of actual animals.
That makes Stitches one of the most aesthetically unique villagers in the game. Her design is based on a teddy bear, which not only grants her a distinctive look compared to other villagers but contributes to the playroom-like decor of her home.
The very idea of best and worst characters may be subjective, but Stitches is so unique and visually fascinating that you almost have to highlight her on any list of notable villagers.
As a Rhino who wants to be a pastry chef and is partially made of desserts, Merengue will the steal the heart of many Animal Crossing: New Horizons players. There are actually a number of food-based villagers in the game, but Merengue’s design is one of the few in that category that doesn’t look a little…well…creepy. You also have to love her bakery-inspired home decorations, and as a normal-type villager, she tends to interact well with just about everyone.
Merengue is just one of those villagers who you’ll never really be upset to see and could easily become one of the most in-demand residents due to her visual and personality attributes.
Worst Animal Crossing: New Horizons Villagers
Even if any conversation about the worst villagers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is an opinion-based discussion, you have to agree that there is something deeply disturbing about Coco. It’s those eyes. Coco’s blank expression and sandy skin not only suggests that she could be some kind of ancient force meant to punish mankind for the sin of fear, but her gaping void of a mouth just feels like it was designed to suck your soul out of your body. Granted, that’s all at least a little awesome, but do you really want to live in fear of rounding a corner in your village and running into Coco?
Oh no. No, no, no, no, no. Do we really have to take a deep dive into this one? Pietro is a clown who wants to set up residence on your island and in your nightmares. While rumors that Pietro has the ability to exist outside of the game and crawl out of your television much like that scene in The Ring are unconfirmed, do you really want to take that risk? To top it all off, Pietro sports a smug personality type, and her home looks like a carnival of death. She’s a hard pass all-around.
In a game as whimsical and joyful as Animal Crossing: New Horizons, we’ve got to question the logic behind inviting Barold to live on your island. Not only does Barold look like the guy in every office who has been there too long to fire despite the fact that they couldn’t initiate a video chat if their life depended on it, but he even designs his home to resemble the world’s most generic workplace.
Barold is basically the Animal Crossing version of an energy vampire from What We Do in the Shadows. You don’t need that mojo in your life.
The hatred for Rodney in certain corners of the Animal Crossing community is sometimes overwhelming. There’s even an entire subreddit dedicated to spreading the word about how much people hate Rodney.
Such negativity may sound a bit extreme, but then you realize a few things about Rodney. He has a smug attitude and an unusually aggressive nature that makes him one of New Horizons‘ most notable “trolls.” Those qualities, combined with his sloppy appearance, have led some to suggest that Rodney may be the Animal Crossing equivalent of an incel.
We don’t know if we’d go that far, but even if you do want more aggressive and troll-like residents on your island, there are better options than Rodney.
There are few Animal Crossing characters that regularly attract the amount of hatred reserved for Eloise. To be honest, it’s almost impossible to argue against even the most adamant of Eloise haters out there.
Eloise’s entire personality is based on criticism. She’ll not only regularly criticize you and the other villagers, but she’ll even go so far as to criticize the island you live on. Mind you, it’s the same island that she was invited to and reportedly heard so much about. That’s like moving to New York City in February and going around telling everyone how crazy they are for living somewhere so cold. “You live here too, Eloise! You live here too!”
Of course, you can avoid the entire Eloise problem by simply never inviting her to live on your island.