While Animal Crossing could have hit the mainstream in 2020, the franchise and its group have a for much longer historical past, through the years growing customs, etiquette, and full ideas which is probably not identified to the typical participant. For occasion: “the void,” a spot the place undesirable villagers go and an concept which each and every Animal Crossing: New Horizons participant ought to pay attention to lest they inadvertently mess up their mates’ villages.
It’s laborious to pin down when, precisely, the “void” time period popped up inside the fandom, or who coined it. It appears possible that the concept developed on the Bell Tree Forums, one of many oldest and most hardcore Animal Crossing communities. Technically, the mechanic has existed throughout all Animal Crossing video games, although we will see dialogue of the void on boards as early as 2013.
The scary-sounding time period refers to one thing peculiar that occurs when a villager strikes out of your city. If that villager isn’t picked up by another person on move-out day, it could or could not transfer into “the void,” a Schrödinger-esque on-line area the place the character nonetheless exists even whether it is technically not dwelling anyplace at that second in time. It’s laborious to say the place, precisely, this data lives, whether or not that’s the broader Animal Crossing servers, or if it’s retained by your sport and the circle of mates who’ve interacted with you.
Once within the void, there’s an opportunity that villager may present up in a buddy’s village, assuming that they’ve an empty lot and didn’t handle to fill it earlier than the sport took care of it. It’s a central mechanic, actually, and one which provides complexity to the villagers. They’ll nonetheless bear in mind the place they got here from.
Here’s the issue, although: New Horizons makes it simpler than ever to eliminate “ugly” or “undesirable” villagers by means of mechanics like amiibo and Mystery Islands. At any given second, the typical participant’s void is probably going stuffed with villagers that their mates received’t truly need. Hell, it’s already occurred at Polygon.
One of my beginning villagers, Samson the jock mouse, acquired booted off my island early on. Weeks later, my colleague Nicole Carpenter knowledgeable me, with some horror, that the pipsqueak had appeared on her island. I hadn’t even thought of Samson in ages, however there he was once more, making somebody extraordinarily sad.
“I was shocked when I saw him, but even more shocked that he was an outcast from your island,” Nicole says. “I used to be (and nonetheless am) in the midst of an island renovation, however I can’t make the identical mistake once more. When Samson will get booted, I’m going to instantly discover a new villager.”
The entire “void” idea has given rise to a particular etiquette inside the veteran group: If you may have a villager that’s transferring out, attempt your greatest to verify she or he will get adopted by somebody who needs him. You can do that by means of a wide range of communities and marketplaces, whether or not that’s social media, Discord, or Nookazon. Even notorious villagers have their followers, imagine it or not, and it’s higher that packed-up characters go to somebody who will recognize them than to have them go someplace the place they are going to be hated. So for those who can, inform individuals that you’ve got a villager that’s up-for-grabs, and failing that, warn your mates that they could be saddled with a personality they don’t need in the event that they’re not cautious.
Here is the place I’d like to notice that whereas Nicole has given me loads of grief over Samson, in an unique interview with Polygon, she informed me that she didn’t discover a guardian for her moved-out villagers, so actually, no person is innocent right here. BUT ANYWAY.
Specifics concerning the nitty gritty of how this mechanic works are considerably unclear. Fuchsiarascal, a long-standing member of the Animal Crossing group, who at one level even ran a “voided villager pick-up service,” tells Polygon that “this topic is one that tends to get rumors established as fact without doing significant testing on it.” Myths embrace the concept you can one way or the other “clear” your void, however there’s no precise proof that that is attainable. And to make certain, not everybody hates getting a voided villager, as a result of it implies that you get an opportunity to choose up a personality past the small move-out window.
But regardless, you need to be certain that your villagers get adopted even for those who hate them — your mates will thanks in the long term.
Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These don’t affect editorial content material, although Vox Media could earn commissions for merchandise bought through affiliate hyperlinks. For extra data, see our ethics coverage.