If you haven’t heard of Animal Crossing: New Horizons for the Nintendo Switch by now, where have you been?
At Blue Planet Aquarium, we’re big fans of Animal Crossing, and not just for its conservation and educational themes. Whether taking lessons from the game’s museum and aquarium curator, Blathers or diving the depths of the sea to make exciting discoveries of underwater creatures; the game is a must for animal and nature lovers young and old, and it’s fair to say we’re rather addicted.
To celebrate the huge success of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, we’re taking a look at some of the stats and data behind the game, to reveal its best-loved characters and colourful highlights.
Collecting keyword data, we’ve analysed Google searches for every villager, furnishing, houseware and clothing item in Animal Crossing: New Horizons to find out the most (and least) popular villagers among players, most-sought after items, and to understand how players are spending most of their time in-game.
Take a look at what we discovered below.
With a collection of 391 unique villagers throughout the New Horizons world, including 35 animal species and 8 personality traits, there are a massive range of options when it comes to who you allow to live on your island in Animal Crossing. But which of these characters are sought-after? And which have won ours heart the most? Let’s take a look.
Squirrel villager Marshall was far and away the most popular character, trumping the next most popular villager by 81,000 avg. monthly searches. And, while a handful of the most popular villagers are male, 60% of the most sought-after characters are female – including Coco and Marina, who each rack up some 150,000+ Google searches every month.
In terms of the most popular animal species within the game, cats (25%) were the most popular, followed by deer (15%). Octopus, dogs and ducks were next – each accounting for 10% of the top list.
Interestingly, of the different character traits within the game, normal and lazy personalities ranked highest, suggesting that players prefer a laid back vibe when it comes to their island neighbours. Other personalities that made the top 20 include smug, snooty and peppy.
Meet Marshal, the no.1 villager overall. Garnering over 246,00 average monthly searches in Google, this sassy squirrel’s Amiibo card is regularly sold on eBay for anywhere between £40-85 – despite packs originally retailing for just £3.49.
Marshal regularly tops fan tier lists, and is exchanged for millions of Bells between players. With one in a few hundred chance of happening on him when visiting a mystery island, he is difficult to encounter naturally and hard to acquire without huge sums of in-game wealth.
This, mixed with hype generated around him online, have made him a hugely popular villager among Animal Crossing’s player community. But why is Marshal so sought-after? Well, there are a number of reasons:
Not every villager in Animal Crossing is as beloved as the likes of Marshal, Bob and Coco. Whether through their cranky personality or the sheer prevalence of their species, some islanders are less popular than others in the world of New Horizons. Here, we take a look at those villagers at the bottom of the pile.
Poor Clyde. He’s far and away the least popular Animal Crossing villager, with an average of just 530 Google searches a month. A lazy horse with a penchant for food, Clyde is known to enrage both his snooty and jockey neighbours, who disagree with his idle lifestyle.
Elsewhere in the least popular villagers list, frogs were, unfortunately, ranked the least popular species – accounting for 25% of the game’s least desirable animals. Birds, pigs, bears and horses didn’t fare well either, highlighting a clear player preference towards more traditionally ‘cute’ characters, like cats, squirrels and rabbits.
As you might expect, abrasive personality traits were common in the least popular villagers list. Cranky, jock and snooty all ranked as undesirable qualities within the Animal Crossing community, showing players prefer a more idyllic, neighbourly island vibe.
One of the main draws of Animal Crossing is the huge wealth of creative activities available within the game – ranging from bug catching and shopping to fishing, swimming, exploring and landscaping. But just how do Animal Crossing players spend time within the game? We analysed and grouped together related keyword searches for in-game information to find out.
We were delighted to see that one of the most popular in-game activities was adding new discoveries and exhibits to the museum and aquarium. Co-operating with Blathers, the museum’s wise old owl curator, players spend 20% of their time donating fish, creatures, fossils and art to the museum and aquarium – making it the standout activity within the New Horizons universe.
Meanwhile, proof of the dedication of Animal Crossing players is evident by the popularity of landscaping – an activity that’s only possible once the in-game Island Designer App is unlocked. Gardening, DIY and decorating also proved popular – showing that players value the game’s creative freedom.
Clothing and customisation is a big part of Animal Crossing’s appeal for many players. As we’ve already established, shopping for new items is one of the game’s most popular activities, while players can also discover clothing items in hidden locations as they explore the world. But which items of clothing and accessories are the most popular?
It seems Animal Crossing players have a taste for bling, with the Crown and Royal Crown (purchasable for the kingly prices of 1,000,000 and 1,200,000 bells respectively) being the most sought-after items in New Horizons. Elsewhere, the Gold Armour suit also proved popular, though this can only be crafted using 8 of the game’s Gold Nuggets.
Judging by these showy dress-up options, it’s fair to say that, perhaps, many players aren’t happy with their role as humble Resident Representatives, but wish to become the ruling monarchs of their own private islands. Well, if you can’t give it a go in a video game, then when can you?
Upgrading, personalising and reinventing your island home is by far one of the most popular activities within Animal Crossing – particularly among older players. But of the hundreds of furniture and houseware items within New Horizons, which are the most sought-after?
Large statement items like the Rocket, Lighthouse, Robot Hero, Moon, and Pool, are a clear trend within the list – suggesting players are getting into some heavy theming on their islands. The joy of Animal Crossing is being able to incorporate crazy items into the overall design of your home – bring a touch of enchantment to your personalisation efforts.
That said, value, size and rarity doesn’t always equal popularity. Players also seek out more simple, everyday furniture and items with which to decorate their interiors (and exteriors), from dressers and panels to cushions, lighting and dressers.
So, there you have it – a complete breakdown of some of the most popular characters, activities and customisable options within the wonderful world of Animal Crossing. With its animals, species, flora, and commitment to promoting the value of conservation, this is a must play game for animal and nature lovers alike – and one we’re proud to endorse here at Blue Planet Aquarium.
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