Thanks to the work of dataminers, we now know some new features Nintendo has been working on to improve villager interactions. In past games, we have seen really fun villager interactions like hide and seek, but currently, a lot of these interactions are not available in New Horizons.
According to the most recent datamine done by Stoney in the Animal Crossing: New Horizons discord, there are some unused villager interactions and even flows related to ApproachFortune, which seems to be related to luck. In past games, luck was a feature where an NPC named Katrina could inform you of through fortunes that would kind of determine how your day goes in Animal Crossing. Some examples include tripping more frequently or finding less bells from rocks and bell spots when you have bad luck.
Although this feature is currently not in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, it could come back in the form of villagers telling you your fortunes instead of Katrina. This is actually fairly likely since Nintendo has changed the way you receive previous features from past Animal Crossing games in similar ways, such as villagers now approaching you with different reactions instead of having to talk to Dr. Shrunk.
One specific term from the list of variables Stoney discovered is “FortuneItem”, which might make you think of a specific item from past Animal Crossing games and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp – fortune cookies! Hopefully, Nintendo will not implement them like Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp where these fortunes cost real-world money, but it would be exciting to see a new feature involving luck. In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, players would spend play coins to receive these fortune cookies. Considering these variables seem to be related to villager interactions, it might be that villagers will give you fortune cookies!
Currently, the closest thing we have to luck in New Horizons is the King Tut Mask, which is a DIY recipe item you get from finding a golden nugget from hitting a rock with either your shovel or your axe (shovel is preferable because you tend to be able to hit the rock quicker and get more items). If your character is wearing this item or holding a balloon when you are running you can trip and fall. Since there is already a game mechanic for tripping in New Horizons it’s unclear if this potential feature will affect tripping.
Another potential feature we have talked about in videos before is the ability for villagers to visit your home! This feature was so nearly completely implemented in the code that a modder named LeSaltzBoi was able to demo this feature in their version of the game, even showing off the dialogue already written for villagers (1). This code was hidden and removed in the Festivale update, which might lead you to believe that this feature was completely scrapped, but this is probably not true. For example, we have seen datamined code for the Roost in previous versions that disappeared and came back as well. It is likely that Nintendo knows about these datamines and tries to hide these new features. Also, it seems highly probable that these features will be included in a future update because why would Nintendo work so hard implementing them and putting them in the source code without planning for these features in some way? Nothing that is datamined is guaranteed to be included in the game, but the feature for villagers visiting your home is very likely since it is already so complete.
Unfortunately, it does not look like the hide and seek feature will make a return at all, since it has not been datamined at all and seems to be replaced with the treasure hunt villager interaction. This choice was probably deliberate since players have so much control in terraforming their islands that it would be hard to find your villagers. However, we would love to see this interaction return.
Do you think we will get new villager interactions in future updates? What do you think of the datamines?