Time Traveling Guide | ACNH - Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)

Time Travel Guide Header.png
This is a guide to Time Traveling (Changing the Date and Time) in the game Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH). Learn how to time travel, and the pros and penalties of time traveling.

How to Change the Date and Time

Change the Switch Date and Time Setting


Animal Crossing: New Horizons uses the Nintendo Switch's Date and TIme Setting directly. By changing the Nintendo Switch's Date and Time Setting, you can alter anything from the season to events in the game.

Instructions for Changing the Date and Time

1 Press the Minus [-] Button during gameplay.
2 Select “Save and end.”.
3 Press the X Button on the Switch Main Menu to close the software.
4 On the Switch Main Menu, select System Settings -> System -> Date and Time -> Set “Synchronize Clock via Internet” to OFF.
5 Change the Date and Time to whatever you like.
6 Start Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Be sure to Save the game

The game saves automatically, but if you suddenly close the software, there might be developments in the game which were not saved yet and will be lost. Be sure to always save before quitting the game.

Select System Settings

Select the System Settings button on the bottom right of the Switch Main Menu.

Change the System's Date and Time

After navigating to the System page, select “Date and Time”.

Change the Date and Time Manually

After selecting the Date and Time, you'll be able to change the setting manually.

Penalties for Time Travel

No Significant Penalties

It seems that the game does not attempt to significantly discourage time travel. For example, Penalties like weeds growing around the island don't seem to exist in New Horizons. Also, Penalties like flowers wilting and villagers moving away seem to be gone this time as well.

Penalties for Time Travel

  • Season-exclusive events will not take place
  • Cockroaches appear in your home
  • Serious case of bedhead

Penalties from Previous Games

  • Villagers move away
  • Weeds grow untamed
  • Planted flowers are wilted

Compared to previous games in the series, it seems that seasonal events will not activate when time traveling. It's likely that these events will come with live updates to the game, and will not be available until the real-life date rolls around. It remains to be seen if these events will become available through time traveling after such updates have been released.

Pros of Time Travel

  • Deposited money will acquire interest
  • The items at shops will change
  • Construction of facilities will continue to progress
  • Seasons will change
  • All daily collectable items will be refreshed
  • Flowers will grow
  • Letters will arrive with the passing of days
  • Number of days of play will be updated

Of these, the interest acquired on deposited money is arguably the most beneficial. Simply by setting the date forward once, you can increase your savings up to 9,999 Bells*.

*Bank Interest as of the V1.2 update.

The Pros Strongly Outweigh the Penalties

By changing the time, you can acquire the different flora and fauna of each of the different seasons, change the shop's selection to find the best possible items, and gain a host of other merits. When attempting to progress through the game quickly, without needing to wait for the passage of real-world time, Time Travel is highly advised.

Road Construction Permits? Where we're going we don't need Road Construction Permits...

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26 Anonymous18 days

>>12 >>7 Going backwards is safe too, it doesn’t reset the day like it normally would so like you only have new npcs and stuff but you can’t get more or the daily rocks and no new fossils spawn, no new weeds etc

25 Anonymousabout 1 month

>>24 i am in 2000 right now

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