The most painfully underrated Animal Crossing: New Horizons villagers, ranked

If you’re thinking of rebooting your Animal Crossing island, the prospect of dreamy-hunting can be a little exhausting, especially if you’ve not had the chance to stack up tens of thousands of Nook Miles yet.

To be honest – the New Horizons villagers don’t offer all that much in terms of character; you can very quickly learn to distinguish between the different personalities based on their dialogues, and after that you’ll find that they all start to repeat themselves fairly quickly.

For that reason most players, including myself, choose their villagers solely on looks (though keep in mind that each personality gives you exclusive DIY recipes, so it pays to have one of each!) Unfortunately, though, with 413 villagers that the game can choose to place on a mystery island, finding your dreamy is a matter of patience and luck. If you’re not a time traveller and you don’t have the whole day to generate Nook Mile Tickets, your odds are even worse.

Reworking your island plans to accommodate a villager who doesn’t quite match your intended aesthetic may seem like a pain at first, but I’ve found that it can actually lead to more unique and dynamic islands. So if you see any of these eligible islanders on your travels, consider taking them home with you! They’re not exactly cottagecore, but they can’t possibly be worse than Barold.

10. Cousteau (Jock)

It can be hard to find a Jock villager who doesn’t completely jank up your island’s vibes – of course there’s Dom, Bam, and a handful of other palatable options, but I invite you to consider Cousteau. Villagers with facial hair aren’t always a hit, but this little yellow frog wears his twirly little handlebars well.

While being a Jock, Cousteau has the look of a hoity-toity head waiter, and could very easily be stationed at the helm of your fancy island restaurant – if you have the Happy Home Paradise DLC, he’ll even ask you to design him an exotic eating establishment. A must-have for foodies!

9. Sydney (Normal)

Everyone loves Melba and Alice, but there’s not often much love given to Sydney, who in my opinion has the best colour scheme of all the koalas. Her large nose may be a bit off-putting to players, but that’s just because it matches her heart.

I love her particular shade of purple and its contrast with her rosy cheeks – and no-one rocks the Overall Dress like she does.

8. Cephalobot (Smug)

Cephalobot is one of those villagers that, at first glance, you might think will completely tank your island’s theme, but he’s without a doubt the cutest of all the robot-themed animals. Plus his catchphrase is “donk donk”, which was enough to convince me that he’s a keeper.

While his house interior is unavoidably sci-fi-ish, the exterior is thankfully quite normal, so it shouldn’t ruin any of your landscapes. Slap a flying saucer nearby his plot and you’ve got yourself a fugitive from outer space!

7. Pate (Peppy)

I have mixed feelings about ducks in Animal Crossing – some of them have adorable designs, but others can be kinda hard to look at… (That means you, Deena.)

Pate stands out to me primarily because the sweetness of her colour scheme, big cheeks and little fringe is tempered by her silly wiggly eyebrows – and as Animal Crossing villagers go, you can definitely find worse eyebrows. Her “perpetual frowny face” is perfect for islands that need a moody touch.

6. Doc (Lazy)

Despite being a lazy villager, Doc has quite a scholarly air about him – especially fitting considering his hobby is Education, meaning that he’ll often be found with a book or magnifying glass in hand.

Doc’s design is so silly and simple that he can be customised (with some choice clothing gifts) to fit any island aesthetic. His big nose, fluffy bangs and little round glasses are just to die for!

5. Ursala (Sisterly)

Ursala was one of my first two villagers in my most recent save, and I’ve really warmed to her. At first glance she seems a little basic, but to me the combination of her winged eyeliner, cute freckles and slightly worried expression are surprisingly charming!

Her hobby is music, which means that she can often be found singing in front of Resident Services – I find it so sweet how nervous she looks! She’s perfect for fans of dandere.

4. Ruby (Peppy)

I’d understand why some would dislike this character design, particularly the red eyes and one-line mouth, but to me that’s part of Ruby’s charm. She looks like a little kid lost in a supermarket, and I can’t help but love her.

Ruby is particularly an Animal Crossing gem (pun intended) due to her being a Peppy villager without a smile plastered on her face – she’s the perfect antidote to an island that’s becoming a tad too saccharine for your liking.

3. Azalea (Snooty)

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think that Azalea ever got the hype she deserved. The flower motif around her horn is a striking design, and seems like a no-brainer to snag her for a springcore or flowercore island.

Even better, she has the Nature hobby, which means that you’ll often find her among your flowers! Think of her as a good luck token for your hybrids. Pair her with Merengue for the perfect rhino island duo!

2. Marlo (Cranky)

Marlo’s character design just delights me, with bonus points for the weird factor – there certainly aren’t any other Animal Crossing villagers that are mafia-coded. He is (ostensibly) named after Marlon Brando, and his Japanese name is “Donchan”, as in a cute little hamster version of Don Corleone. His catchphrase is even “gabeesh”!

Perfect for fans of The Sopranos and/or mobster movies. Best paired with Raymond for the optimal zesty boy experience, or any horse villager for obvious reasons.

1. Peaches (Normal)

There are a lot of really cool Normal villager designs to choose from, but Peaches is one of my all-time favourites. A pink horse with crosses for eyes is quite the statement for any island!

I love how much she looks like a stuffed animal – I confess, my favourite villagers are those with “gimmicks” of sorts, as I feel it helps give the characters much more personality. She’d make a perfect neighbour for Stitches!

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