Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH) Guides

Reactions & Emotes: How To Unlock, Complete List By Personality

Reactions, or emotions, are fun expressions you can make with your player character in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH)! Learn how to unlock them and see a complete list of every reaction by villager personality in this guide.

How To Unlock New Reactions

There’s only one way to unlock new reactions in Animal Crossing: New Horizons and that’s by learning them from your villagers! In our experience, you can begin to unlock emotions from around your third or fourth day on the deserted island.

When a villager wants to teach you a brand new reaction, you’ll see them charging towards you with a speech bubble above their head saying something along the lines of ‘Hey there [player name]!’. If you spot one of your villagers doing this, be sure to speak to them right away and find out if they have an emote to teach you.

Keep in mind this running towards you activity doesn’t always result in a new reaction. Your villagers will sometimes do the same when they want to give you an item present or have a question about a new catchphrase to use. Either way, you should speak to them and find out what they have to say!

And as far as we know, you can only unlock up to one new reaction per day. So don’t bother running around all day long hoping for more villagers to dish them out once you’ve learned one for the day, unless you time travel ahead.

Complete List Of All Reactions & Unlock Sources

There are 44 different reactions and emotes to learn in Animal Crossing: New Horizons and our complete list below covers all of them.

Aside from the initial four that you unlock near the beginning of the game, the rest are taught by different personality types of villagers, with an extra unlock based on friendship level.

Default Reactions

The Joy, Greetings, Delight, and Surprise reactions are an initial set of four unlocked on the first time a villager teaches you about emotions.

Joy
Greetings
Delight
Surprise!

Reactions Unlocked by Normal Villagers

The Pleased, Fearful, Sadness, Glee, and Daydreaming reactions are only taught by Normal personality type villagers. You need to be Best Friends with a Normal villager to unlock Daydreaming.

Pleased
Fearful
Sadness
Glee
Daydreaming
(Best Friends Only)

Reactions Unlocked by Peppy Villagers

The Happiness, Aggravation, Sleepy, Curiosity, and Mischief reactions are only taught by Peppy personality type villagers. You need to be Best Friends with a Peppy villager to unlock Mischief.

Happiness
Aggravation
Sleepy
Curiosity
Mischief
(Best Friends Only)

Reactions Unlocked by Snooty Villagers

The Intense, Thought, Sighing, Amazed, and Love reactions are only taught by Snooty personality type villagers. You need to be Best Friends with a Snooty villager to unlock Love.

Intense
Thought
Sighing
Amazed
Love
(Best Friends Only)

Reactions Unlocked by Uchi / Big Sister Villagers

The Laughter, Cold Chill, Apologetic, Disagreement, and Confident reactions are only taught by Uchi personality type villagers. You need to be Best Friends with an Uchi villager to unlock Confident.

Laughter
Cold Chill
Apologetic
Disagreement
Confident
(Best Friends Only)

Reactions Unlocked by Lazy Villagers

The Bashfulness, Sorrow, Mistaken, Shyness, and Pride reactions are only taught by Lazy personality type villagers. You need to be Best Friends with a Lazy villager to unlock Pride.

Bashfulness
Sorrow
Mistaken
Shyness
Pride
(Best Friends Only)

Reactions Unlocked by Jock Villagers

The Encouraging, Sneezing, Distress, Shocked, and Flourish reactions are only taught by Jock personality type villagers. You need to be Best Friends with a Jock villager to unlock Flourish.

Encouraging
Sneezing
Distress
Shocked!
Flourish
(Best Friends Only)

Reactions Unlocked by Cranky Villagers

The Agreement, Worry, Sheepishness, Bewilderment, and Inspiration reactions are only taught by Cranky personality type villagers. You need to be Best Friends with a Cranky villager to unlock Inspiration.

Agreement
Worry
Sheepishness
Bewilderment
Inspiration
(Best Friends Only)

Reactions Unlocked by Smug Villagers

The Smirking, Resignation, Heartbreak, Dozing, and Showmanship reactions are only taught by Smug personality type villagers. You need to be Best Friends with a Smug villager to unlock Showmanship.

Smirking
Resignation
Heartbreak
Dozing
Showmanship
(Best Friends Only)

All Reactions Checklist Table

If you prefer a simpler table list format, check out the complete table below listing every reaction, plus handy checkboxes for keeping track of which reactions you’ve obtained so far and which ones have eluded you still.

ReactionUnlock

Delight
Initial

Greetings
Initial

Joy
Initial

Surprise
Initial

Apologetic
Uchi / Big Sister

Cold Chill
Uchi / Big Sister

Confident
Uchi / Big Sister
(Best Friends Only)

Disagreement
Uchi / Big Sister

Laughter
Uchi / Big Sister

Agreement
Cranky

Bewilderment
Cranky

Inspiration
Cranky
(Best Friends Only)

Sheepishness
Cranky

Worry
Cranky

Distress
Jock

Encouraging
Jock

Flourish
Jock
(Best Friends Only)

Shocked
Jock

Sneezing
Jock

Bashfulness
Lazy

Mistaken
Lazy

Pride
Lazy
(Best Friends Only)

Shyness
Lazy

Sorrow
Lazy

Daydreaming
Normal
(Best Friends Only)

Fearful
Normal

Glee
Normal

Pleased
Normal

Sadness
Normal

Aggravation
Peppy

Curiosity
Peppy

Happiness
Peppy

Mischief
Peppy
(Best Friends Only)

Sleepy
Peppy

Dozing
Smug

Heartbreak
Smug

Resignation
Smug

Showmanship
Smug
(Best Friends Only)

Smirking
Smug

Amazed
Snooty

Intense
Snooty

Love
Snooty
(Best Friends Only)

Sighing
Snooty

Thought
Snooty

How To Use Reactions & Swap Favorites

It’s super easy to use Reactions in Animal Crossing: New Horizons! Just open up the reactions menu dial by pressing the ZR Button on the back right of your controller and select one of up to eight favorites. To use a reaction beyond one of your eight presets, press the Y Button to access the entire collection of unlocked reactions.

Want to change which reactions are on your favorites menu? Press the X Button on a reaction to remove it from the dial, and press X again on the now empty spot to select a new favorite reaction to replace it with.

Reaction Spam Trick

Have you seen other players online or in videos repeatedly use a reaction over and over at record speed? There’s a handy little trick that allows you to spam reactions as fast as your fingers can manage!

https://twitter.com/ACWorldBlog/status/1246984242493632515

To spam a reaction rapidly, open up the regular dial with ZR and then open up the complete All Reactions menu with Y. When you have the full menu open, press the Y button again on your chosen reaction to ‘test’ it out, rather than selecting it with A like normal.

Although the purpose of this function is to test out what each reaction looks like, you can abuse this button to rapidly spam a reaction over and over for laughs since it doesn’t require you to completely re-open the menu every time. We love the using the Surprise and Shocked reactions in particular with this trick!

Get Nook Miles From Unlocking Reactions

Even if you don’t personally enjoying using Reactions for their expressiveness, you should still try and unlock all of them when villagers present the opportunity. That’s because the ‘Reaction Ruler’ Nook Miles achievement requires you to unlock up to 42 different reactions to complete its final milestone!

Reaction Ruler Nook Miles

“You learned a Reaction! Let’s celebrate this momentous occasion with…Nook Miles, hm? Reactions help you express yourself, so it’s a good idea to learn them.”

  • Milestone 1: Learn 1 Reaction – 300 Nook Miles
  • Milestone 2: Learn 10 Reactions – 500 Nook Miles
  • Milestone 3: Learn 20 Reactions – 1000 Nook Miles
  • Milestone 4: Learn 30 Reactions – 2000 Nook Miles
  • Milestone 5: Learn 42 Reactions – 3000 Nook Miles

Notably, learning 42 reactions requires unlocking all but 2 of every reaction in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. So that means you’ll need to unlock the Best Friends Only reactions for at least 6 of the different villager personality types. That’s no easy task!


Some of the information used in this guide comes from the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Official Companion Guide by Future Press.

Get The Latest Animal Crossing News & Guides

Sign up for our newsletter to never miss out on the latest Animal Crossing news, guides, and deals with email updates!

Subscribe
Notify of
1 Comment
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments