Animal Crossing: New Horizons—How to Trade with Other Players

One of the most discussed-about games during this phase of the pandemic is Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Besides the fact that the title is a life-simulation video game, it’s multiplayer too— and you’re free to customize your character. (which is a big catch for the players.)

The continuous rise of the Animal Crossing trade community is a particularly exciting part of the game. This network of New Horizons players from around the globe are buying, selling, and exchanging in-game items and resources. In combination with this, a massive online gaming industry has taken shape.

But First, Why Do People Trade In Animal Crossing: New Horizons?

Well, the answer is pretty obvious: Most people like to collect things. There are hundreds of villagers, furniture, clothes, and more, and they’re all looking for something special. Some of the crazier guys want to have it all!

Even if you’ve only played on your own, it is tough to find everything on one island. For example, each island has its variants of the Nook Stop items, such as the Lighthouse and the Phone Box; so the only way to get the variants is to trade with other people.

What You Can Trade

You can trade almost any item in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, except those that cannot be discarded, such as fish and bugs. You can trade, furniture and crafts among others. Collecting all these stuff is the primary goal of the game for many, and with online gaming, there’s always the urge to help each other out by trading things.

There’s also a way to trade your villagers. With nearly 400 villagers in New Horizons, you’re going to like some more than others. Luckily for you, from their island, if you know someone who’s about to lose them— you are going to be able to pick and choose your favorites.

To do so, the particular villager you own must be “in boxes,” meaning that his house is packed with boxes, and he’s about to leave the island. To get a villager in a box, he must first express his desire to move. The next day, your villager will pack up all their stuff. Another thing that you can trade on your island is services or resources. You can charge people to buy rare items from your Able Sisters or Sahara, to wish for star fragments on a meteor shower, or to sell their turnips to Nook’s Cranny. You may also pay others to water your flowers or weeds on your island.

How to Trade Items and Tools Between Players

What you need to do is decide what you want to swap between players and make sure it’s in your inventory. Once together, open your inventory and choose the item, then select Drop Item. The item will be placed on the ground, where your friend can get it. There are limits on who can drop and pick things when playing co-op, but as long as you’re the best friends, you ‘re all right. However, there are certain items that you cannot trade to others.

How to Trade Fish and Bug

This is where you may get disappointed as there is currently no way to trade fish or bugs between Animal Crossing players: New Horizons. Every player has to catch all of them if they want to complete the museum’s collection. You can put fish or bugs on the ground to show them, but other players can’t pick them up on their own. You can’t send fish or bugs through mail as well. Nevertheless, New Horizon is still new and the systems could change with updates, so check back to see if Nintendo changes the rules.

How to Trade Villagers

As we discussed earlier, it is possible to trade villagers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

1. Wait For Someone To Say They’re Moving Out

Every villager ‘s life on your land comes to an end when they may feel the need to move away from your fair islands and explore new places. Let’s hope it’s that irritating when you’ve come to despise just a mere sight, but sometimes it’s just a cute one that needs a change in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

They are going to let you know they want to leave. Either try and convince them to stay, or you can let them go. The next day, they are going to be in their homes, packing their stuff into cardboard boxes. And that’s when the trading option becomes available.

2. Grab the Opportunity

When the villager packs up their stuff in their house the day after they let you know they are moving on, it is possible to trade that villager with another player. Anyone who wants the leaving villager can come and visit your island and go and talk to the villagers in their home to make sure they have an empty slot on their island. They would then be allowed to poach the said villager and ask them to move to their island. Trying to work out how to trade a villager in New Horizons is just as simple as that. It only requires a little coordination and right timing.

Of course, some people have already used this method to get villagers to specific islands. Some people are charging millions of bells or ridiculous amounts of Nook Miles Tickets for particular villagers, so if you have an on-demand villager out there, we won’t tell you how to live your life.

The Most Valuable Items In Animal Crossing: New Horizons

  • Villagers (10 NMT–200 NMT/1 million–20 million Bells, depending on popularity)
  • Seasonal DIYs (Cherry Blossom Items, certain Bamboo Items, etc.)
  • Astrological Star Fragments (Taurus Star Fragment, Ares Star Fragment, etc.)
    • The value of these will likely increase as time goes on; a fragment of the star that falls only in January is likely to be worth more than six months later in July.
  • Ironwood Set DIYs
  • Star Fragments / Large Star Fragments
  • DIYs
  • Gold Nuggets
  • Rare furniture
  • Wood (Not Hardwood or Softwood)
  • Hybrid Flowers



The market is continually changing, and prices are dependent on supply and demand. For example, you can probably buy most DIYs for 1–2 NMTs, but Ironwood Set DIYs will cost you 2–3 NMTs or more. So, do pay attention to the price of it. And if you see someone selling a super-cheap deal (e.g. swapping a good item for a cheaper, regular item), grab the opportunity!

Where to Find Trading Partners

There are a number of online sites where you can find items, villagers, or resources:


Social Media


Twitter and Facebook searches will lead you to hundreds of Animal Crossing communities where you can find the items you need.




Along with the official Discord-partnered Animal Crossing: a new Horizons server with half a million members, hundreds of smaller servers have emerged with active trading communities.




This online trading platform was designed specifically for Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It features pages for each item in the game, and sellers and buyers are all fellow players. Since it is the most widely used trading site for Animal Crossing, there are dozens of new items listings every minute.


A number of Animal Crossing Subreddits, such as  r/ACTrade and r/ACVillagers, are dedicated to facilitating trade between players.


Of course, the best part of the game is you can also trade with friends, family members, and anyone else you know who’s playing Animal Crossing.

Trade Safety Tips

In-game trades are largely dependent on the honor system. Unfortunately, there is no particular trading interface for Animal Crossing: New Horizons. That means you’re going to have to do things the old-fashioned (and risky) way: drop items on the ground. It is essential to understand that trust is a huge factor. The trading community is based on reputation, and thieves are quickly outed and banned.

So here are some friendly tips to keep you from being scammed out of your hard-earned items:

  • Verify The Reputation Of The Other Person
    If you’re trading with random people, you should always be extra cautious. Traders can rate each other on Nookazon. Check them out before you successfully complete the transaction.
  • Communicate
    Make sure you send a message to any trading partners you may have, whether by Discord, Nookazon, or the Messaging app. This will allow you to manage the terms of trade properly.
  • Assess
    You can inspect art objects if they are legitimate with Blathers in the museum.
  • Double-Check Everything
    Before anyone (including you) leaves someone else’s island, double-check and make sure that everything is there.

If you’re scammed, you should take a video of the last 30 seconds of gameplay by holding the [O] button on the left side of the Joy-Con and post it to the community, forum, or social media site where you’re actively involved in the trade to warn others.

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