What to Know

  • On your Nintendo Switch, open System Settings and select System. Then select Date and Time and enter your desired time.
  • Make sure Synchronize Clock via Internet is off in the Date and Time tab.
  • Be careful when time traveling. Huge jumps can cause problems sometimes.

Progressing in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is intentionally slow, the game running in real-time. If you’re fed up with waiting around, you can time travel in-game by changing your Switch’s date and time settings. This way if you find yourself waiting for real days to pass so you can play the game, you can instead skip the wait.

There isn’t danger of being banned or punished for time traveling, but in the Animal Crossing community, it is a controversial topic with many arguing time traveling unravels the game’s carefully balanced economy. Be sure to to think it over before jumping in yourself!

How to Time Travel in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

If you’ve played Animal Crossing before, time traveling in New Horizons will feel familiar. Animal Crossing’s internal clock is set by your Switch’s system clock, so if you change the date and time on your Switch, your Animal Crossing world’s date and time will change too.

Changing date and time settings on Switch is easy and can be done with just a few button presses.

Open System Settings on your Nintendo Switch.

At the bottom of the settings list, select System.

Select Date and Time.

Make sure Synchronize Clock via Internet is toggled to off, and change your date and time to whatever you’d like.

Open up Animal Crossing and enjoy the fruits of your time traveling.

The Pros and Cons of Time Traveling

While the Animal Crossing community might be split on time traveling, there are things you need to keep in mind if you do time travel.

What Time Traveling Will Get You

Time traveling in Animal Crossing will enable you to skip waits for anything and everything; play whenever you want in real life while still being able to enjoy day and night in-game; experience specific events whenever you want or over and over; and get access to more things to buy as well as more efficient ways to earn money.

What You Should Watch Out for

However, there are also some possible downsides to time traveling, depending on what’s going on in your game. At the Nook Stop, you get a streak bonus of extra Nook miles for checking in every day, but time traveling may well undo your streak. If you have turnips and you time travel more than a few days, your turnips will go bad.

Depending on how far into the past or future you time travel, cockroaches may appear in your house, which can be removed by stepping on them. Lastly, depending on your relationships with the residents of your island, time traveling can make residents unhappy or even leave your island altogether.

The Takeaway

Ultimately, the possible inconveniences of time traveling scale with how far and how much you time travel, so if you’re feeling nervous, try testing it out by just jumping forward or backwards a few days. But if you’ve sunk hundreds of hours into Animal Crossing and you’re tired of waiting to unlock more stuff, time traveling is the answer!