Animal Crossing: New Horizons hackers are spawning highly sought-after villagers and giving them away for free to combat the shady black market that has developed around the game. Released last March, it’s the latest game in Nintendo’s hit series of relaxing town life simulators, where players build villages populated with adorable, anthropomorphic animals. The therapeutic gameplay has made the game a hit in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and the internet has been flooded with amazing island creations, from Pokémon stadiums to islands shaped like Danny DeVito.
Lately, more and more glitches and hacks have been discovered to help earn massive amounts of bells or acquire new items, such as duplicating Nook Miles Tickets or specific sizes of furniture. Other hackers have created trees that don’t otherwise exist in the game. Now, hackers are tackling an ugly side to the beacon of wholesomeness that is Animal Crossing. The villager “black market” is a mildly creepy and growing problem, as players fork over millions of bells – or even real-life currency – for some of the game’s most sought-after villagers, like Ankha and, particularly, Raymond, the smug cat.
Now, a report from Polygon details a hacker who spent hours spawning requested villagers so players could take home their favorite characters. Raymond was the most requested, with about 30 of the 50 or so players returning home with the world’s favorite smug grey cat. The responsible hacker, PokeNinja, grew disillusioned with the prospect of people spending real money just to get their favorite villager and wanted to make a contribution, however small, to some islands without delving into the greed that has begun to dominate the game.
While players around the world scramble for Raymond, the Animal Crossing community’s growing avarice is also apparent within the stalk market, the in-game buying and selling of turnips at potentially huge profits. Many players with high turnip prices demand fees of bells, Nook Mile Tickets, gold nuggets, and recipes, which many players see as antithetical to the lax spirit of the game. With Nook Miles Ticket values at an all-time low due to the recent duplication glitch, it’s likely that those who ask for fees will demand even more bells for the opportunity to sell turnips.
Animal Crossing is meant to be the perfect escape in a stressful world, and has been exactly that for millions of people for over two months now. Yet, with over 300 villagers to choose from, not everyone will be able to get the villagers they want on the first try. With scalpers peddling villagers or amiibo cards (the latter of which got so bad that Nintendo had to step in), it’s refreshing to see someone use the power of hacks for good and not evil. “It was time well spent,” reflected PokeNinja, a testament to the ability of Animal Crossing: New Horizons to bring people together.
Next: Animal Crossing: New Horizons: Recruiting Villagers From Your Friends Islands
Sources: Polygon, PokeNinja