Series veteran Redd arrived in Animal Crossing: New Horizons about a month after the game’s release, and while he’s only been there for a few weeks, fans are already clamoring for more fraudulent wares to buy. For some players, Redd isn’t showing up nearly enough — if at all, leading to myths that the terrible fox is missing. It’s gotten bad enough that some people are even trying to rearrange their islands in a futile attempt to entice his ship to make another voyage over.
Redd is an “art dealer,” and he will bring a series of statues and paintings to a player’s island on his boat. The player can peruse each piece of art in detail, but can only purchase one — and there’s a chance it will be a forgery.
It’s a charming gameplay mechanic, one that raises some delightful questions about the provenance of his wares and why they’re so cheap. Redd also provides a vital function for collectors who want to complete all the wings of their museum ... but where the heck is he?
Speaking to Polygon over Twitter, an Animal Crossing player named Alicia says the fox has shown up exactly once for her and then never again, despite time travel. “Something definitely seems off,” Alicia adds.
Alicia jokes that she has started attempting to bribe Redd into showing his face. “I put some signs and bells on the beach,” she says. “I’m just like, come on, 400k should be enough for you to come and bring mama some sugar. Let’s go.”
Kara, another fan who feels abandoned by Redd, went so far as to make the fox a shrine so that he feels “appreciated,” she tells Polygon. She’s only seen Redd once after his first visit; she’s earned more Redd paintings as gifts from random villagers than from Redd himself.
Multiple players express frustration and disappointment regarding Redd’s frequency, a worry that is also visible on social media, where fans joke that perhaps the fox has gone missing. Animal Crossing player Oscar says that Redd’s absence is particularly felt because without him, fans are stuck with a “nearly-empty art gallery” in their museums, which sticks out compared to the full rooms for fish and insects.
So is something actually wrong with how Animal Crossing spawns NPCs? No.
The truth is, there’s a logic to Redd’s appearances that data miners have ferreted out. Ninji is a known and reliable New Horizons data miner; he revealed the pattern on Twitter.
so, here’s the tea on #ACNH NPC spawns— Ninji (@_Ninji) May 14, 2020
every week, you’re guaranteed to get Saharah, Kicks and Leif on weekdays (if you meet their criteria, e.g. having Able Sisters built)
that leaves two weekday slots that will be randomly filled by Gulliver, Label, CJ, Flick or Redd
Players will see Leif, Kicks, and Saharah every week. There are two days a week where none of them appear; those days will be randomly filled with Flick, CJ, Gulliver, Label, or Redd. So while some players might not see Redd for a while, others might have bought something from his ship recently — and are instead hurting to see a different NPC.
In addition, according to Ninji, there’s a “bad luck” mechanic: If you don’t see one of the five special visitors, they will be given priority in the following week. With that in mind, after Redd’s first guaranteed visit, players should be seeing him fairly regularly in the long term. However, since he’s so new — and much more interesting than Gulliver — it might be frustrating to wait for him at all. But maybe that’s appropriate: Redd, shady fellow that he is, shows up when he likes.
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