Yes, You Can Time Travel And Change The Clock In Animal Crossing: New Horizons

3 weeks ago 31 Comments

There’s been a lot of speculation and concern for months now around whether Animal Crossing: New Horizons still allows you to change the game’s real-time clock, mostly thanks to a French interview last year about cloud saves.

Now that the review embargo has passed and media have been able to share plenty of information on their experiences with the game, we can confirm that time traveling has returned in Animal Crossing: New Horizons and it’s certainly still possible to change the in-game clock.

A number of different reviewers have noted time traveling, but the IGN review for Animal Crossing: New Horizons is probably the best source as the author details how they personally time traveled ahead and exactly how she did so.

Notably, it seems that there isn’t actually any in-game clock change settings inside Animal Crossing: New Horizons or at least none of the reviews have mentioned one. What you’ll instead need to do is change the system clock of your entire Nintendo Switch system to the date and time of your choosing.

According to IGN, you can accomplish a system clock time change that works in New Horizons by following these simple steps below:

  1. Complete your daily goals and talk to Tom Nook.
  2. Save your game.
  3. Enter the Switch System Settings menu and scroll down to System.
  4. Choose Date and Time and turn Synchronize via Internet to OFF.
  5. Click on Date and Time and set your clock to the following day.
  6. Select Animal Crossing: New Horizons from the menu screen and hit X to close it.
  7. Restart the game and you should be playing on your new day.

So while the process might be a little different than you are probably used to from the in-game clock option in past games like Animal Crossing: New Leaf, the ability to time travel is still very much alive and kicking in Animal Crossing: New Horizons! Nintendo definitely hasn’t taken the option away.

Of course, we expect that some of the usual consequences for time traveling will likely exist in the new game, although we can’t yet confirm. In past games, your Stalk Market turnips would spoil and a large amount of weeds could grow. Although weeds can be sold for Bells in New Horizons so…

Most importantly, it’s worth remembering that most of the usual holiday events that Animal Crossing is known for do not exist in New Horizons quite yet. Nintendo will be implementing these holidays with a series of future updates, but you can’t experience the Halloween event by time traveling yet for example.

So do you plan on making use of time travel in Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Or will you try and play the game day by day in real-time for as long as possible? Personally, I’ve always been a fan of playing by the real-time clock as I believe that’s a fundamental aspect of Animal Crossing since the beginning, so I try to avoid time traveling if I can.

Let me know what your thoughts on time traveling are in the comments though as I always love to hear about people’s opinions on the topic, regardless of which side you take! Thanks to NWR for the banner screenshot.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons launches worldwide on March 20th! Pre-order the game herethe official guide here, and check our release date countdown here. Stay tuned to Animal Crossing World for more news as we approach the release!

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I’m so relieved that this is still an option. I’m a full time working Mom of two little humans that are intrigued by technology, but aren’t quite old enough for it. Therefore, the only time I am able to play is at night when they are sleeping. I only get a few hours before it’s time for me to hit the sac and it’s kind of a bummer only getting to play at night in the game. I usually roll my clock hours back to daytime so I can play during the day hours. So excited for FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


the only reason i time traveled was to fix grass wear so i wont be


I never really time traveled but I had the in-game clock set to something that was more suitable for me. Like around four hours early. That way I could play in the evening when I was free and wouldn’t miss out on events. Having to set the time and date for the whole system is okay but not exactly what I’ve hope for when I heard time travel was still an option.


Only ever time travelled if i missed the holiday event because of enjoying the holiday event in real life or if I wanted the seasons to portray what I was really experiencing (Southern Hemisphere user) So excited for this new addition to have my seasons on my time!!! 2 more days OMG!!!


Deal breaker for me. Canceled preorder. It’s not fun if everyone cheats and has amazing houses.


Bro what? Grow up and enjoy the game your way and let others enjoy it their way. It’s primarily a single player game anyway. Other people’s houses hurt nothing but your fragile ego


Yeah, i didn’t know me playing every day a bit faster than you was just oh so terrible for you. Must suck to be you. *eye roll*


Sooo… literally exactly as with the other games?… neat.


What if I only have time in the evening to play the game? Will all the shops be closed and I will only be able to play in the night time within the game? I’m not sure about how the real-time thing would work for people like me that work shifts.


Hi! All you would need to do is change the clock on your switch to be sometime during the day and you’ll be able to play during that time. For example, if you can’t play until 10pm your time, all your shops will (likely) be closed and any events will (likely) be over. BUT if you change your Switch clock to be something like 12:00 pm, when you turn on the game, it’ll be as though it’s noon in the game. I have to do this with my schedule with all my AC games. 🙂


I’m starting with the in-game clock on February 10th. It gives me a month of time travel to get on my feet and I can test holidays by seeing if I get anything for Valentines


They already said that events and holidays dont exist in the game yet. “Most importantly, it’s worth remembering that most of the usual holiday events that Animal Crossing is known for do not exist in New Horizons quite yet. Nintendo will be implementing these holidays with a series of future updates, but you can’t experience the Halloween event by time traveling yet for example.” So you wont be able to time travel back and experience the valentines day event, idk why you would either.


But, doesn’t Time Travel only work when your internet is Off ? that’s what’s written above, so I’m wondering if you can visit Time Traveled towns


I think the TT will work if your Internet is on. When I re-read the steps above, it seems you’re only shutting off the synchronize time piece and not the internet entirely. If you have the time synchronization on, it basically looks to the internet to access the time (kind of like a computer does). BUT, if you shut this off, the clock basically just goes by whatever time is entered on the clock manually (like when you lose power and need to reset your alarm clock). The internet is still connected but the system isn’t using it for the… Read more »

Kristin Howard

I am totally a time traveler. But not the kind everybody gets mad at. I play every single day just as a non time traveler. I just dont have time to play at normal hours. Besides, if that were the case, how would i enjoy the game friday, a day i took off to play? Its not like i skip to the holidays and stuff. Holidays are fun and all, but im okay waiting for them. I just want to play the game.


What happens if you go back to the real time?


That’s what I’m wondering


Also wondering this as well


I just tried this and everything was normal, my shop had been built and there weren’t any negative consequences.


If you time travel a day then can you change it back to current time or will it mess it up??


I’m doing exactly that, I advance the date by one day and then go back to the normal time, so my buildings finish building and everything goes back to normal (sorry for bad English)


I’m just wondering if if I want to Chang the date of my switch without time travel I don’t want to time travel will it still effect my game If I don’t log in


im at start of april and i had a the blossoms cherry trees


I thought the little nook tent would disappear when I got the supplies for the new upgraded nook shop, so when I place it, I placed it right above the nook tent.. now it’s so hard to get into my new nook shop. I wish I could go back in time and re place my shop, now that I know the nook tent stays.

Kristin Liotta

If you reach a point where the nook tent turns into a building and you go inside and talk to him he gives you an option to move buildings you have placed. You do have to pay a fee to do so though, and you have to have the exact amount in your pocket when you do it. I believe it is 50,000 bells if I remember correctly.

Skyler Brown

Can I set my time back or will that erase my save


will you lose items if you go backwards in time? like if i go 2 days ahead and then i return to normal date and time will i lose items i have collected? I dont care about weeds or turnips, I just do not want to lose presents ive gotten from people or balloons. would I lose this stuff?


I went forward a week & went back to normal time & everything is still okay !!(:

Allison R

I timed travel to get things built quicker. I went ahead about a week and then traveled back and everything is still the same


thank goodness!

Doreen Visnesky

I wasn’t into time travel till that stupid bunny came.