Animal Crossing: New Horizons — Time travel guide
Wibbley Wobbley Timey Wimey. Time Travel can make Animal Crossing complicated!
Animal Crossing: New Horizons, like previous installments in the series, runs on real time. If an hour passes in the real world, it also passes in your game, whether you’re playing or not. If Tom Nook says your house will be ready tomorrow, you have to wait until tomorrow for your house to be finished. There is an exception though — time travel, and it’s exactly what it sounds like. Here’s how to use it in your game.
Time traveling in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
While early reports suggested that Animal Crossing: New Horizons would not allow for time traveling, it didn’t take players long to figure out how to accomplish this feat to some pretty impressive ends. By adjusting the time and date on your Switch, you can move your game forward or backward in time. Before you go jumping into the future, though, it’s important to know that you can cause some significant and undesirable changes by skipping time.
Why would I want to time travel anyways?
Because Animal Crossing: New Horizons runs on real-time, there can be a lot of waiting around. Let’s say a new villager just moved to your island. Well, you have to wait until they’re finished unpacking to interact with them. Usually, this would mean checking back in after a day, but with time travel, you can skip straight to tomorrow and have a new villager to interact with.
While that might seem small, let’s say it’s something a little more important. Maybe you missed out on one of the weekly visitors. Did you miss your turnips this past Sunday? Well, you can skip ahead and buy next Sunday’s turnips right now.
What are the risks?
When traveling forward in time, the game will behave as though you simply hadn’t played for the time skipped. If you’re only skipping a day at a time, this isn’t a big deal, but if you skip two months, you will find your island is overrun with weeds and your villagers have moved away. Fruit left on the ground when time traveling will rot and trash will collect; you may even find cockroaches in your home! Basically, your island will be a dump if you go too far all at once. If you’re trying to sell turnips, skipping to the next week will also make all your turnips rot and going back in time won’t fix them, either.
Time traveling also won’t let you take part in certain events. For example, Bunny Day is an annual event that occurs from April 1-12. If you were to skip ahead to April 1, right now, you would not be able to take part in this event. Your Switch console’s clock needs to be synchronized via Internet to take part in these types of events.
How does it work?
If you’ve read through all that and still want to time travel, the process is pretty easy. Just follow these easy steps:
- Press the – button to save and exit Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
- Press the Home button to return to the home screen.
Press the X button to close Animal Crossing.
- Press the sun-shaped icon at the bottom of the screen to open the System Settings.
- Select System
Select Date & Time
- Select “Synchronize Clock via Internet to turn off time syncing.
- Change the date and/or time.
- Press the B button until you’ve returned to the home screen.
- Reopen Animal Crossing.
Just make sure you use your new power responsibly!
Questions about time traveling?
Do you have any questions about using time travel in Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Want to show off your accomplishments? Drop us a comment below and be sure to check out our other Animal Crossing: New Horizons guides!