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