Animal Crossing: New Horizons holds a mechanics that appears subtle to most players. It involves the ‘friendship system‘ that once had puzzled gamers to how it actually works. The game, being, not too explicit about it.
For a while, this feature has indeed been an obvious yet mysterious aspect of the game. That was indeed the case until recently when the game’s official guidebook spilled the beans of what truly goes on under the hood.
If you’ve played other simulation games before, like Story of Seasons or Harvest Moon, then the idea behind the system should be familiar. You either build up affection level with each NPC you encounter or go completely the opposite.
To Build or To Break
Build it high enough and you will establish a friendship on any particular NPC. But treat that NPC bad enough and you’d eventually come with somebody who is least ‘friendly’—at least, in terms of affection points.
Well, this is Animal Crossing: New Horizons. You cannot expect a violent enemy in this game.
You can choose to lower a villager’s friendship points by literally doing bad over that NPC. Such as gifting garbage or rotten stuff, hitting them with bug nets, failing quests, and lying over medicines you don’t have.
All NPCs you encounter in-game starts off with a base affection points of 25. Call it the “neutral” affection state, which everybody begins with you, the player. Coincidentally, it sets a baseline whether you are treating a specific NPC properly or poorly.
Raising a particular NPC’s affection takes time and effort to do. Often, by doing anything praise-worthy or right with that NPC. This includes such as selling some items when they ask for it, catching fleas when they arise on that NPC, etc.
Changing Reaction Based on the Level of Affection
Over time, you would notice a certain dynamic over that NPC. Likely, depending on the nature of your actions, because you either raise the friendship level with that NPC or otherwise. The most notable change would be an elevation in the friendship rank.
Consequently, an NPC friendship rank can increase for up to six times, where every increase results to behavioral changes.
Here are each friendship level and their corresponding dynamics:
- Level 1 friendship (0 to 29 points) allows villagers to give you gifts.
- Level 2 friendship (30 to 59 points) gives the NPC the option to receive gifts from the player.
- Level 3 friendship (60 to 99 points) let the villagers sell you items and even give you nicknames.
- Level 4 friendship (100 to 149 points) enables you to alter an NPC’s catchphrase.
- Level 5 friendship (150 to 199 points) lets you change the villager’s greetings and be able to take their photo.
- Level 6 friendship (200 and beyond) makes you buy from villagers of their merchandise.
Image used courtesy of YouTube/Mayor Yori
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