The Best Animal Crossing Villagers Ranked [And the 10 Worst]

stargazing animal crossings character

With 413 total villagers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, it sure would be nice to have total say over who gets to live on your island. No one wants a Rodney as their neighbor, but I know I sure didn’t get a choice. Thanks, Nintendo.

For every Rodney, who is so hated that a subreddit has been created in his honor, there are villagers who move in that you never want to leave. These are the best Animal Crossing Villagers, and the game would be an absolute bust without them!

The pure class of Lionel and the impeccable facial hair of Beardo do wonders for the weary video gamer’s soul. I’ve put together a list of my favorite Animal Crossing: New Horizons villagers and even included some of the worst just to keep you on your toes.

This list is highly subjective but also includes characters that have been celebrated by millions of Animal Crossing fans. And if you don’t agree with me, just know this – it’s okay to be wrong.

30 – Fauna

fauna from animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

If anyone hates Fauna, then they should just unfriend me now. She starts our list of best Animal Crossing villagers for a reason. She’s impossible not to like. Fauna has a positive personality and retro sensibilities that make her the perfect villager for island life.

Oh yeah, Fauna also loves calling everyone “dearie,” which is an admittedly stupid but also an incredible pun. Because she’s a deer. Get it? I will not be taking questions on this topic. Onto the next best Animal Crossing villager!

29 – Chief

chief from animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

There are several Animal Crossing villagers who are cranky, but not many who crank it up to 11 like Chief. Never satisfied with the situation at hand, Chief loves to express his displeasure saying “harrumph,” or “Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.”

My theory about Chief, and maybe why I love him so much, is that he’s just out of touch with time. He dresses as if he peaked in another decade – maybe the ’80s – and instead of growing with the times, just chose to hate everything. Importantly, the one thing that Chief never gave up on was his impeccable fashion sense.

28 – Aurora

aurora from animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

Not the ice queen you might expect from her chilly digs, Aurora is as friendly as they come in Animal Crossing. A joy to have as a villager, this penguin isn’t nosey, unless she has a book to read. She’s always ready to lend a helping hand, which is something that can’t be said for every villager you get stuck with.

Learning is what Aurora loves most, so don’t be afraid to chat with her. For as much as you learn about her, I’m sure she’s also learning about you. And don’t worry about getting her a birthday present. She’s happy as long you show up to the party.

27 – Ione

ione from animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

Ione is one of the more interesting Animal Crossing villagers that was introduced with the 2.0 update to New Horizons. A star-gazing blue squirrel who literally glows in the dark, it’s hard not to like her.

It’s not just me who fell in love with Ione right away. She’s already a fan favorite and demands a very high trade cost. Her personality might be listed as normal, but there is nothing “every day” about this out-of-this-world villager.

26 – Cherry

cherry from animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

A goth dog with a loving personality, Cherry is such a great villager to have on your island. She was introduced to the Animal Crossing kingdom in New Leaf and has gained a devoted following since thanks to her unique look.

Cherry might look dark, but it’s all really just a ruse. Goth on the outside, this pooch is a marshmallow beneath the surface. On her birthday, show Cherry you appreciate her calling your island home with the gift of music. You’ll be friends for life.

There’s nothing quite like listening to The Cure on Friday nights with your best friend after a long work week!

25 – Eugene

eugene in animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

Some might call Eugene a smug koala and instantly want to kick him off their island. To me, he’s just too cool for school. A leather jacket and sunglasses – sign me up! He’s the cool kid that’s just misunderstood, but he knows exactly who he is and doesn’t plan to change.

Eugene’s name refers to eucalyptus, the favorite food of koalas, showing that he is self-aware, too. K.K. Slider has somehow been impressed with him in the past (giving him street cred), featuring Eugene on the cover of K.K. Ska. Unsurprisingly, music is this marsupial’s hobby.

24 – Wolfgang

wolfgang from animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

Do you like cranky villagers? If so, then Wolfgang is the Animal Crossing villager of your dreams. This wolf also loves food, even if he can’t eat other villagers for a snack. In Wild World his picture quote was even, “I could eat you for breakfast, short stack.”

The rumor going around about Wolfgang is that he was named after famous German chef Wolfgang Puck. Nintendo has never confirmed the rumors, and aside from his love of cooking, there aren’t many other hints that suggest this could be true.

23 – Petri

petri from animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

Nintendo took the idea of a lab rat and flipped it on its head with Petri. Instead of being the animal unfairly tested on, Petri is the one doing the testing. Nothing like a little revenge to get your island juices flowing!

Petri can be a little rude to villagers – a result of her higher education. This is a rat that has high self-esteem, and if you can’t handle that then she’s not the villager for you. I love the design and idea of Petri, though, and have found her to have plenty of redeeming qualities.

22 – Audi

audi from animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

A brand new Animal Crossing villager who debuted in New Horizons, Audi is a peppy wolf with a backstory that will make you cry. Rumor has it that the character was named after an elderly woman who loved the game Animal Crossing: New Leaf so much she logged more than 3,000 hours of island time!

As a character, Audi loves all things tropical and loves to stay in shape. When you see her working out around your island you know she’s just making sure to earn whatever fruity and sugary treat she plans to end her day with.

21 – Merengue

merengue from animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

A baker who dresses the part, Merengue is a perfect match of personality and look, making her one the best Animal Crossing villagers. With so much attention given to ensuring her name matches her look and hobbies, she’s even achieved icon status in several gaming circles.

Merengue lives in a cafe-themed home, and can’t help but cook when you visit. If you’re like me and love food, then having a local chef on your island is a necessity. Now, please excuse me while I log in and see what Merengue has cooked up for me today!

20 – Chadder

chadder in animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

A mouse designed to look like cheese? How exactly does that make Chadder one of the best Animal Crossing villagers? Because it’s funny, I guess. Chadder is polite, even if he can be a bit arrogant at times. His personality matches his dapper coat, and he provides some hilarious one-liners.

Basically, Chadder is the joke, and how much you enjoy him as an island resident depends on how funny you think the joke is. Nine out of ten for me, I laugh every time.

19 – Punchy

punchy in animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

Punchy has appeared in every Animal Crossing except for New Leaf, which is a real shame. He’s one of my favorite villagers with his flannel shirt and lazy attitude. If I had a cat as a pet, I would hope they would be as lazy as Punchy is. And yes, I would buy them flannel shirts.

I also enjoy that Punchy’s name is more than meets the eye. He’s not looking to punch anyone, he might just be dizzy from being slapped around too many times. In Japan, his name is Binta, which translates to “slap in the face,” further proving my point.

18 – Weber

weber in animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

When you first meet Weber, he’s really not much more than a duck. His signature phrase is “quack,” and he seems content with being lazy. Since first joining the world of Animal Crossing several games ago, Nintendo has upgraded him to be one of the franchise’s best villagers, laziness and all.

When New Leaf came out, Weber was included in the Welcome amiibo update. By scanning his amiibo at your campground, you could invite him to your town. Things are easier in New Horizons, even if this lazy duck still prefers you do all the work.

17 – Roald

roald in animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

One of the best Animal Crossing villagers since the first game in the franchise came out, Roald is a penguin who loves to go fishing and work out. He seems shy at first with his signature greeting “b-b-buddy,” but he’s actually quite social once he settles into island life.

Friendly and happy, Roald makes this list because there’s nothing bad I can say about him. If he moves onto your island, you won’t ever want to kick him out. On the other end, if he never moves your way, you probably won’t be too upset.

16 – Marina

marina in animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

Marina is special. An octopus is a rare villager in Animal Crossing, and unlike a robot octopus you’ll see in the bonus section of this list, she’s a “real” animal. She is also the only female octopus in the entire game, making her extra special as far as potential new residents are concerned.

Most importantly, Marina is a friendly villager with a positive attitude. Her Dreamy Sweater just adds to her overall cuteness. Nintendo dug deep in the ocean to come up with Marina, and they hooked a winner.

15 – Anabelle

anabelle from animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

Annabelle first showed up as an Animal Crossing villager in Wild World and has been a staple in the games ever since. A peppy anteater with a love for muumuus, it’s not hard to tell why players worldwide have fallen in love with her. If Nintendo ever does get rid of her, we riot.

As for why Annabelle is one of my personal favorite villagers – it’s the muumuu. One of my favorite episodes of The Simpsons is when Homer gains weight so he can start working from home. Then he starts wearing muumuus. Annabelle, please don’t take this as an insult, but you are my Homer Simpson in Animal Crossing.

14 – Marlo

marlo in animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

Did Nintendo bring a crime kingpin to Animal Crossing with the introduction of Marlo? On the outside, he looks fashionable and maybe a little snobby. Dig underneath the surface, however, and you’ll find a series of rumors about who this mysterious villager really might be.

Things that point to Marlo leaving a life of crime to live the island life starts with his name. It seems pretty similar to Marlon Brando, aka Don Corleone in The Godfather. His catchphrase “gabeesh” is also eerily close to “capiche.” WHAT ARE YOU HIDING MARLO???

13 – Apollo

apollo in animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

Apollo is a bald eagle with a love of rock music, flight jackets, and our country ’tis of thee, landing him at number 13 on my lift of best Animal Crossing villagers. He’s a caricature of American pride, to be sure, but sometimes you need to be able to laugh at the joke to have a good time.

Not always the friendliest villager, it can be a task to get on Apollo’s good side. One of the best ways I’ve found is to get him something awesome for his birthday. Outside of Animal Crossing, this eagle has also become a bit of a movie star, making an appearance in the anime Dobutsu no Mori.

12 – Ketchup

ketchup in animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

I love ducks, and I love ketchup the condiment. Add it up and it means I love Ketchup the Animal Crossing villager. A duck who loves the color red, Ketchup is a peppy personality who can almost always be found in the plaza with groups.

When she’s alone in her home, Ketchup loves to chop vegetables. There’s not much else I can say. Maybe she’d be in my top ten if there was some kind of scary movie joke about her because of all the red. Something about blood tomatoes perhaps. Just spit-balling here.

11 – Coco

coco in animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

Coco is based on the Yayoi period in Japan when small clay figures known as haniwa were made. So even though Coco looks like a rabbit, she actually appears to be the living clay statue of a funerary object that would have been used as a representation of the dead during a burial ritual.

I didn’t know how morbid Animal Crossing could get until I learned this, but as a lover of history and horror, it makes me grin from ear to ear. Coco might not be for everyone from that description, but if you give her a chance, you’ll find she also has one of the most likable personalities from the game’s roster of 413 villagers.

10 – Lionel

lionel in animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

The classiest of the characters is also one of the best Animal Crossing villagers. Lionel upgraded his digs from New Leaf to Horizons, moving from a Victorian home to a penthouse skyscraper. He’s a gentleman for sure, but he may not be a scholar.

You’d think a character created to show off his money would be a grind for players, but there’s something different about Lionel. He flaunts his money for sure, but he also looks like Colonel Sanders, so maybe he’s also more than a little self-aware.

9 – Shino

shino in animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

Shino was introduced into Animal Crossing with the 2.0 update to New Horizons. She may be new, but she is already one of my favorite villagers of all time. Her look is unique with her red horns, orange eyes, and white fangs. I’m convinced there’s a dark side to Shino, the game just hasn’t revealed it yet.

If Shino decides to move to your island, expect a happy and upbeat new villager. She won’t bring down the mood of life on vacation and will give out varying gifts based on her level of friendship. Get close enough, and she might even give your a photo of herself.

8 – Walker

walker in animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

Walker is just weird. And weird is a good thing. He is adamant that all of the furniture in his house has his name on it. Of course, there is no way to prove this, it just makes him sound lovingly aloof and maybe a little paranoid. Don’t even think about stealing his things!

Don’t worry about Walker being so weird he doesn’t fit in. This pooch might be a little wacky, but he still loves being outside and playing with other villagers. Because, despite what you might want to think, he’s a good boy. And we all love goofy good boys.

7 – Marshal

marshal in animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

On the surface, Marshal is just too cool to care. This “whatever” attitude has turned the lively squirrel into one of Animal Crossing’s most desired villagers. As much Marshal says he doesn’t care, we all just really REALLY want him to care. Please just care, Marshal.

If you’ve never been lucky enough to get Marshal to move to your island, that’s a shame. He brings a whole different personality to the game and helps keep you humble to boot. Why is it that we’re always attracted to the bad squirrels of the world?

6 – Antonio

antonio in animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

An anteater who loves to work out and shout “Honk!” Antonio is easily one of the best Animal Crossing villagers. I might be a little biased, however, since we both share a birthday. I’m not a workout fiend by any means, but I do love wearing comfy athletic wear. Me and Antonio really do have a lot in common.

I’m not alone in my love for this jocked-out anteater. Antonio has made an appearance in every main Animal Crossing game in the franchise.

5 – Ankha

ankha in animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

Since Ankha first appeared in Animal Crossing+ on Gamecube, she has been in every game except for Wild World. The Cleopatra of the Animal Crossing world, Ankha’s beauty is only topped by her snooty personality. And while normally I would hate that in a villager, I find it works here because of the ancient Egyptian aesthetic.

Ankha isn’t just a shallow villager who cares about what other people look like, though. She also loves being outside and exploring nature. There’s more to Ankha than just what you see on the surface. Maybe not much more, but I promise there is more if you give this classic villager a chance on your island.

4 – Lobo

lobo in animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

The cranky purple wolf that I just can’t get enough of, Lobo is undeniably gruff but charming. I saw one publication describe him as a mix between Ernest Hemingway and old Clint Eastwood, and it’s hard to deny the accuracy of that comparison.

Lobo has been an Animal Crossing villager for several iterations of the franchise, and I always cross my fingers he ends up on my island. I’ll do whatever it takes to keep Lobo happy, which might not be possible, but that’s all just part of the fun.

3 – Bob

bob in animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

According to Animal Crossing villager legend, Bob was the first resident to ever be designed for the game. Whether that’s true or not, the stories alone have made him an icon. It helps that Bob was nearly perfect from the start, a good omen for the game designers behind the scenes.

More than anything, Bob transcends the game. He has become a meme king outside of Animal Crossing fandom, and even if you’ve never played the game before, you’ve probably seen Bob on the internet. I embrace Bob for not being bound by the game. Maybe Nintendo should consider giving one of the best Animal Crossing villagers of all time his own game.

2 – Beardo

beardo in animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

Beardo has the best facial in the game, and for that reason alone he is my second favorite Animal Crossing villager. His amazing facial stylings are his personality. I know it’s a kid’s game, but Beardo is the type of guy I want to sip an expensive scotch with by the fireplace and hear his wisdom.

If there is anything off about Beardo, it’s his lack of pants and the tuft of body hair sneaking out from under his shirt and blazer combo. Nintendo could have thought that part through a little better. And for that reason, Beardo can only be the second fiddle on my list of best Animal Crossing villagers.

1 – Lucky

Lucky from animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

I love horror movies, so it comes as no surprise to me that Lucky is my favorite Animal Crossing villager. Not only is his house scary movie-centric, but he is also wrapped in bandages from head to toe like a mummy. What’s not to love?

Fans have been left to speculate just why Lucky is covered in so many bandages. The simple truth is he’s probably not that lucky at all, but instead accident-prone. After so many injuries, he decided to embrace his darker side. Lucky, I don’t care what anyone says, you’re a good boy, now go grab the knife.

And now, here are my 10 most hated Animal Crossing Villagers:

10 – Raymond

raymond from animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

If you need advice about how to invest your money on Wall Street, Raymond is one of the best Animal Crossing villagers. For everyone else, this cat is kind of just a hairball. Despite his misgivings, Raymond is actually one of the more popular villagers in New Horizons.

Just because a character is popular doesn’t mean they’re good, though. I prefer to run against the current of fans when it comes to Raymond. A mix between a savvy business cat and a fashionista, if Raymond were a real person, I would loathe him just as much as I do in the game.

9 – Tipper

tipper in animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

Tipper first appeared as an Animal Crossing villager in Wild World and has never really added much value to the game. When she was first introduced, she was incredibly rude. So rude there is no way you would want her to live on your island. Since then, Nintendo has mellowed her out, but the stink of her origins has stayed in my nostrils.

Not to keep piling on, but Tipper is also a fashion snob. If you try to be friendly and get her clothes for her birthday, don’t expect a thank you.

8 – Eloise

elouise from animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

Elouise might only be eighth on my list of Animal Crossing villagers I hate the most, but she’s much higher on others. I don’t know what personality type she is, but it’s not a nice one. This elephant makes it a goal to criticize, and then criticize some more. I guess being a critic is her hobby?

The worst part of Elouise isn’t that she criticizes villagers. It’s that she makes sure to criticize your island, too. Nothing you can build is good enough for someone who is always looking to find what’s wrong. Even if it’s the smallest thing in the world.

7 – Zucker

zucker from animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

I just don’t like the look of Zucker. From his green freckles to his nighttime jammies, I just don’t see the appeal. The overall look of the octopus villagers is just off for my taste (Marina bing the exception), so maybe Zucker landing on my hate list has more to do with that than his personality.

Although, for the life of me, I can’t come up with one memorable thing about Zucker’s personality. As for as Animal Crossing villagers go, this one is entirely forgettable. Yet somehow I remembered to put him in my least favorite. Go figure.

6 – Celia

celia in animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

First introduced in New Leaf, Celia is one Animal Crossing villager I could do without. It’s probably because as much as I like nature, I’m not a big fan of how much the game pushes gardening on you. And if you know Celia, you know how much she loves tending to her flowers.

Aside from her love of flowers, this eagle is notable for her love of pink toenails and alpine dresses. If she moves onto your island, you might find she’s shy at first, but give her enough time and she’ll warm up. Consider yourself warned.

5 – Wart Jr.

wart jr in animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

Just remove Wart Jr. from the game already! He’s an ugly villager on the outside and the inside.

This cranky frog brings nothing exciting or interesting to the game. He just exists, and if he moves onto your island, you better find a way to get him to leave. Just walking past him brings down my vibe every time.

I play Animal Crossing to relax, not avoid villagers. Once I realized I had no interest in interacting with Wart Jr., I knew it was time to make a plan to get him to move off my island. I suggest you do, too, if you’ve been stuck with this living wart.

4 – Jitters

jitters in animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

There’s something disturbing about Jitters in Animal Crossing that just can’t be denied. I don’t want to speculate, but it looks like this bird needs a chill pill. Or maybe just take a break from caffeine for the rest of his little life.

It also strikes me as off that Nintendo felt like a coffee-addicted soccer lover was the best representation for Brazil. The bird is clearly inspired by the soccer-obsessed, coffee-producing country, but does that mean his presentation has to be so on the nose?

3 – Tabby

tabby in animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

Peppy is a tabby cat who has been in every Animal Crossing game in the franchise. Obviously, fans like her, I just don’t. I generally have a dislike for over-peppy personalities, and Tabby’s tendency to overreact to everything is just too much for me.

There’s a difference between being excited to see someone you have seen in a long time compared to someone you see every day. Unless your Tabby, then you just love, love, LOVE it. And I hate, hate, HATE it.

2 – Ribbot

ribbot in animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

In theory, I shouldn’t be critical about a game whose island inhabitants are anthropomorphic animals stretching the rules. In reality, I just can’t get over Ribbot, the robot frog, who has been with the series since it debuted in the United States on the Nintendo Gamecube.

The creepy robot (which you might think I would love considering who my favorite villager is), just doesn’t fit in. The quirk that when it’s raining and he doesn’t use an umbrella is cute, but also a bit sinister. And his signature line, “Never rest, never rust,” just makes it sound like the robot uprising is coming to Animal Crossing, and I don’t play this game to be stressed.

1 – Beau

beau in animal crossing
Photo Credit: Nintendo

While those who defend Beau will tell you he’s just an outdoorsy villager who loves a simple lifestyle, I can tell you he’s not. As far as Animal Crossing villagers go, Beau is my least favorite. He’s a lazy villager and possibly depressed. Can I fly a therapist to my village to help?

Look, I may be a fan of the darker side of Animal Crossing, but that doesn’t mean I want the game to bring me down with a character’s lazy personality. Show me some light in the dark! And I don’t mean just with colorful sweaters.

This list is obviously very subjective with a mix of popular fan favorites and some of my own personal preferences. Let me know in the comments section which characters you believe make up the best Animal Crossing villagers, and the worst.


  • Jason Ripley

    Jason Ripley is an avid Nintendo Gamer, although he does branch out to other platforms. He is a veteran writer and longtime editor.

Jason Ripley

Written by Jason Ripley

Jason Ripley is an avid Nintendo Gamer, although he does branch out to other platforms. He is a veteran writer and longtime editor.

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