Animal Crossing New Horizons Friendship Mechanics
Written by ooraloo#0360, credits to Ninji#1624, Alexis#8717, Stoney#9215, astronomyfortwo#4112, Burandii#7476, and FCFCQQQ#0033
The friendship points that you have with your villagers can range from 0 to 255. When villagers first move in, they’ll start with 25 friendship points after they are out of boxes. There are 6 favor levels that you can have with your villager, depending on how many friendship points that you have:
Favor Level 1: 0-29 points
Favor Level 2: 30-59 points
Favor Level 3: 60-99 points
Favor Level 4: 100-149 points
Favor Level 5: 150-199 points
Favor Level 6: 200+ points
When your favor level is 1-2, you are considered friends.
When your favor level is 3-4, you are considered good friends.
When your favor level is 5-6, you are considered best friends.
Many interactions that you have with your villagers are gated behind favor levels. Giving your villager a daily gift is unlocked at favor level 2. Obtaining a villager’s photo requires favor level 5.
What villagers can do when they use a reaction to approach you for a conversation is also determined by favor level. At favor level 1-2, they can only give you a present, but at favor level 3, they can also sell an item to you or give you a nickname. When you reach favor level 4, you’ll be allowed to change their catchphrase. Favor level 5 is required to change their greeting, and favor level 6 unlocks the possibility of the villagers trying to buy a furniture item or high-value bug/fish from your inventory or trade something for an item in your inventory.
Increasing Friendship Points
Talking (once per day): +1 point
Selling an item to the villager when prompted by normal conversation: +1 point
Catching the villager’s flea: +5 points
Pushing the villager or hitting the villager with a net until they get mad: -3 points
Sending letters: +0 points
Not talking to the villager for an extended period of time: -0 points
Talking to villagers until they refuse to talk any more: -0 points
Here are the simple actions that increase (or do not increase) friendship points. Despite what the guidebooks say, talking does not give a larger friendship bonus if done multiple days in a row, and sending letters does not appear to give any friendship points at all. These are likely to be glitches (because dataminers have found code that suggests that it is intended to). These values have been verified by multiple people through experimentation.
The other actions that increase friendship are more complicated, and include daily gifts, birthday gifts, and completing quests.
For any action not covered in this guide, we don’t know whether it affects friendship.
Daily gifts will give between -2 and 7 points, depending on several factors.
Type of gift given:
-2 points: Garbage
+2 points: Flowers, fish, insects, net, watering can, fishing rod, love crystals, favorite music, umbrellas (for non-frog villagers), clothing of preferred color or style
+3 points: Furniture
+1 points: Umbrellas for frog villagers, non-preferred clothing, anything else not mentioned above
Whether the gift is wrapped: +1 additional point
After giving the villager a gift, the villager may either do nothing, give you Bells, or give you an item:
If your gift sells for less than 250 bells, the villager will do nothing. Otherwise, if your gift sells for less than 2500 bells, the villager will have a 50 percent chance of giving you bells, and a 50 percent chance of giving you an item. If the gift sells for 2500 bells or more, the villager will always give you an item. Note that sell value, as it is used in this document, refers to how much you would receive from selling that item to the Nooklings. An item that sells for 2500 would cost 10000 to buy from the shop.
If the villager gives you an item, you receive additional friendship points based on your favor level:
Friends: +1 additional point
Good friends: +2 additional points
Best friends: +3 additional points
Therefore, the greatest amount of friendship a gift can provide is 7, if you give a wrapped (+1) furniture (+3) item to a best friend, who gives you an item in return (+3). Note that for furniture, having a preferred color does not provide additional points.
Birthday gifts are given present tiers, depending on the type of item and how much it sells for:
Not Allowed: DIY recipes, Bells
Trash: Lost items, Spoiled Turnips, Trash, Weeds
Tier 1: Honeycombs, Mushrooms, Shells, Bugs, Fishs, or Fossils that sell for 500 bells or less, or any other items that sell for 125 bells or less
Tier 2: Honeycombs, Mushrooms, Shells, Bugs, Fishs, or Fossils that sell for 501-1999 bells, or any other items that sell for 126-499 bells
Tier 3: Honeycombs, Mushrooms, Shells, Bugs, Fishs, or Fossils that sell for 2000 bells or more, Cake, Turnips, Fruits, Items owned/worn by the NPC, Clothes currently worn by the player regardless of sell value, or any other items that sell for 500 bells or more
Friendship point increase:
Trash: -5 points
Wrapping bonus: +1 additional points per present tier
Tier 1: +3 points (+1 if wrapped)
Tier 2: +4 points (+2 if wrapped)
Tier 3: +5 points (+3 if wrapped)
This means that the most friendship points that you could gain with a birthday gift would be to give them a coconut (Tier 3, so +5) that is wrapped (Tier 3, so +3) and receive +8 points.
There are a number of quests that villagers can ask you to complete. Your performance on these quests can either be normal or good.
If a villager approaches you with a reaction to start a quest, your performance will always be good.
Catch a bug/fish:
The villager can either ask for a specific bug/fish, or a general category.
If the villager requests a specific bug/fish, your performance is always good.
If the villager requests a general category, your performance is good if and only if the bug/fish sells for 2000 bells or more
The villager will ask you to find a buried treasure within a time limit.
The treasure hunt can be either easy or hard (which changes the time limit).
Your performance is good if and only if the treasure hunt is hard. Finding the item more quickly on an easy hunt will not improve your performance.
If you do not complete the hunt in time, you can still gain 1 friendship point if you dig up the treasure after the time runs out before talking to the villager to end the quest. If you do not dig up the treasure before talking to them, you will lose 1 friendship point.
The villager will ask you to find a lost item on the ground.
Your performance is good if and only if you find the lost item and return it to the correct villager without showing it to the wrong villager first. Check out Stoney’s guide to figure out who it belongs to: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1dCaPo6N-9XDwOQYMmvv9R7HPqvXPGUF5B6frZs0fcms/edit#gid=0
You will receive an additional 2 friendship points if you return it to the correct villager without them asking you to find it first.
The villager will be sick in their home, and will ask you to bring them some medicine.
Your performance is good if you deliver medicine to the villager after a different villager tells you about the sick villager. If you talk to the sick villager and do not give them medicine on the first conversation, you will lose the performance bonus.
You will lose 1 friendship point if you tell the villager that you have medicine and you don’t actually have it in your inventory.
The number of friendship points gained depends on your favor level with the villager and your performance.
Friends: +1 point
Good friends: Randomly chooses +1 point or +2 points uniformly
Best friends: +2 points
Friends: +2 points
Good friends: Randomly chooses +2 points or +3 points uniformly
Best friends: +3 points
Delivery quests do not follow the same mechanics as other quests. In delivery quests, there is a quest giver and a recipient.
If you open the gift before delivering it, the recipient will gain +1 friendship point.
If you do not open the gift, the recipient will gain +3 friendship points.
The quest giver will always gain +3 friendship points upon successfully completing the quest and reporting back to the quest giver.
If you fail to complete a delivery on time you will lose 1 friendship point if you still have the unopened delivery item in your inventory the next time you talk to the quest giver. You will lose 2 friendship points if you have the opened delivery item in your inventory, and you will lose 3 friendship points if the delivery item is not in your inventory at all.
It is currently unclear if failing to complete any other quest will actually decrease friendship.
Determining Favor Level
Different dialogue trees and interactions are unlocked by increasing favor level. You can determine your general favor level by looking at what your villagers say to you.
Daily presents are unlocked at favor level 2.
The FreeA_Always dialogue trees are unlocked when you become good friends.
The FreeA_AlwaysA or FreeA_AlwaysB dialogue trees are unlocked when you become best friends (and are therefore eligible to receive a photo).
These dialogue trees can be found here: https://googleben.github.io/ACNHDialog/ (Credits to GoogleBen#1337)
To navigate the database, go to TalkNNPC, then locate the personality-specific folder as follows:
Then, go to the Free subfolder. The FreeA_Always, FreeA_AlwaysA, and FreeA_AlwaysB strings are found in this folder.
In addition, the amount that is donated to c