Animal Crossing: New Horizons November Winter Update Release Time & Date (Version 1.6)

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The highly anticipated Winter Update for Animal Crossing: New Horizons with new holiday events like Turkey Day and Toy Day is almost here to enjoy! Learn exactly when the free update will arrive for download on Nintendo Switch.

When Will Animal Crossing: New Horizons November Winter Update Release For Download?

The Winter Update for Animal Crossing: New Horizons including the new Turkey Day event with Franklin, the Toy Day event with Jingle, new Reactions, new hairstyles, new seasonal items, and more is scheduled for release this Thursday, November 19th according to Nintendo!

UPDATE: The Winter Update is now released! Check out our extensive coverage including Absolutely Everything New In Animal Crossing’s Winter Update (14 New Features & Additions) and Check Out Every New Item Added In The Winter Update For Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Datamine).

However, the company didn’t specify an exact release time in the official trailer, which naturally leads fans to always wonder exactly when they’ll be able to enjoy the update’s new features in New Horizons. As usual though, thanks to some additional information on the Japanese Nintendo website, we have concrete details on the exact release time!

According to the official Nintendo website in Japanese, the Version 1.6.0 update for Animal Crossing: New Horizons containing all of the new Winter features and holidays will be released at exactly 10AM Japan Standard Time on Thursday, November 19th.

For everyone living in other time zones, which almost certainly includes you, that release time converts to 5PM Pacific Time or 8PM Eastern Time on Wednesday, November 18th! That’s notable because it means the update will actually be arriving quite a bit earlier in some parts of the world than Nintendo advertised in the English trailer.

Here’s a comprehensive list of various Animal Crossing: New Horizons November Winter Update release times around the world, based on the Japanese release date:

  • Wed, November 18th at 5PM Pacific Time (PST)
  • Wed, November 18th at 6PM Mountain Time (MST)
  • Wed, November 18th at 7PM Central Time (CST)
  • Wed, November 18th at 8PM Eastern Time (EST)
  • Thu, November 19th at 1AM British Summer Time (GMT)
  • Thu, November 19th at 12PM Australian Eastern Time (AEDT)

Technically speaking, Nintendo hasn’t specifically announced these release times for outside of Japan, but every single previous major update for Animal Crossing: New Horizons has followed the exact same pattern with the update delivered worldwide simultaneously.

Therefore based on both the Japanese website and past updates, we’re certain in saying that you’ll be able to download the November Winter Update at 5PM Pacific Time or 8PM Eastern Time on Wednesday, November 18th!

So if you’re excited to get your hands on the Winter Update for Animal Crossing: New Horizons as soon as possible, be ready and waiting at your Nintendo Switch for an early update release at the times listed above. Keep in mind you will likely have to manually trigger the update, which we’ll detail in the section below.

How To Download November Winter Update for Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Your copy of the game should update automatically for you, but if for some reason it doesn’t, you’ll be able to manually trigger any available updates by pressing the + button on the Animal Crossing: New Horizons home screen icon, selecting Software Update, and hitting Via the Internet.

The Nintendo Switch will then check for all available Animal Crossing: New Horizons updates when you do so and download the Winter Update if it’s been released on time.

When Can You Play Thanksgiving & Christmas Events?

It’s worth mentioning that even though the Winter Update will be available to download for everyone on either November 18th or 19th, it doesn’t mean all of the expected features of the update will be immediately available to experience, especially for those who don’t time travel.

In fact, this might be the most barebones update so far at its immediate release for players who prefer to play Animal Crossing in real-time without adjusting the system date and time since the focus is largely placed on two major real-world events.

American Thanksgiving will be celebrated on November 26th in the form of the Turkey Day event with new special character Franklin running the show, while Christmas will be celebrated on December 24th with Toy Day hosted by Jingle. In both cases, real time players will have some waiting to do.

However, if you wish to time travel to experience these events, we believe it’s likely you’ll be able to do so. Initially when Animal Crossing: New Horizons first launched, the developers ran a policy of blocking early access by doing so, but the recent Halloween event did not feature any date locking, so a change in policy appears to have occurred.

As for some of the other new features in the Winter Update, here’s a brief summary of what’s in the update and when we expect it to be playable:

  • 9 New Reactions: Purchasable at the Nook Stop Terminal with Nook Miles, expected immediately after the update.
  • 6 New Hairstyles: Purchasable at the Nook Stop Terminal with Nook Miles, expected immediately after the update.
  • House Storage Expansion: Speak to Tom Nook at Resident Services if your house is fully expanded and your loan is fully paid off, expected immediately after the update.
  • Random Dream Islands: Hop into a bed and visit Luna, expected immediately after the update.
  • New December Seasonal Items: Purchasable at Nook Shopping, beginning on December 1st.
  • New Year’s Seasonal Items: Purchasable at the Nook Stop Terminal, beginning on December 26th.
  • Nook Link Catalog: Inside the Nintendo Switch Online mobile app, sometime in Late November separately from the Winter Update.

Not head about some of these features before? Be sure to give our 5 New Additions In Animal Crossing: New Horizons Winter Update Missing From The Trailer article here a read to learn everything about the update!

What’s Next After The Winter Update?

Of course, we’re always looking ahead into what’s coming next for Animal Crossing: New Horizons too. Details remain light as you’d expect, but Nintendo has officially announced that the next free update for Animal Crossing: New Horizons will releasing in Late January.

The teaser graphic pictured above makes it pretty obvious that we can look forward to Pave’s Festivale holiday event returning soon from past Animal Crossing games. Fans of feathers will love this upcoming event involving flying feathers all around town to collect for Pave!


Stay tuned to Animal Crossing World for everything on Animal Crossing: New Horizons, including our extensive Guides section here. In particular, don’t miss out on our popular MushroomsMaple LeavesNew Fish & Bugs In NovemberSpooky Set ItemsAcorns & Pine ConesRedd Art, and Sea Creatures guides.

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