One of the most endearing aspects of Animal Crossing is that time progresses in the game at the same rate as it does in real life.
With the game and Nintendo Switch’s default settings, this means that the game won’t reach the winter or any other season until you do in the real world.
Not only does this mean that you have to wait to catch certain species of fish, but it also means that you have to wait in real-time for things like building completion, resident arrivals, and resource regeneration.
This is perfectly fine for some players: others turn to time travel in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
In this guide, you’ll find out how to progress the game to the exact date and time that you’re after as well as the potential consequences that you face for time travelling in the game.
How to time travel in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
While this method of progressing time in New Horizons can help you to get buildings finished quicker and unlock the fauna that you want to catch, skipping months ahead can negatively impact your island and game in a few ways.
Here’s how to time travel in the new Animal Crossing game:
- Save your Animal Crossing: New Horizons game by pressing – and selecting Save and Quit.
- Press the ‘Home’ button to return to the Nintendo Switch home screen.
- Press X on the Animal Crossing: New Horizons tile and close the game.
- Go to the bottom bar and over to System Settings, and then press A to enter.
- In System Settings, scroll all the way down the left-hand side to the System option, and then press A.
- Within the System menu, select Date and Time by hovering over the option and pressing A.
- Here, you’ll see that the option to Synchronise Clock via Internet is switched to On. Press A here to unlock the option to change the Date and Time setting. If you’re offline, you can go down to Date and Time straight away.
- Go down to the Date and Time option and change the settings to the time and month of your choice, enabling you to time travel in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
- Once you’ve changed the date, back out of the settings menus and get back to your island!
Consequences of time travel in New Horizons
There are several in-game consequences that can come from time travelling too much in New Horizons, but if you don’t go too far ahead with each jump, you should be able to manage the adverse effects.
The negative consequences of time travel in the new Animal Crossing include:
- Your house can become infested with cockroaches.
- Weeds can take over your island again.
- You’ll break your Nook Stop visiting streak and, subsequently, lose all prizes that come from upholding a long streak.
- Island residents may leave as you haven’t interacted with them in such a long time.
- Some items can spoil and become worthless.
- You might miss out on some of the seasonal events coming to Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
The last point there, missing out on seasonal events, can be mitigated by the fact that what you collect while in the future comes back with you when you go back in time. This was only directly tested for items in the Animal Crossing character’s inventory.
However, after planting a tree in internet-synchronised time, time-travelling forward five months to see the tree fully-grown, and then coming back to present, the tree was still fully-grown.
To participate in any of the upcoming seasonal events in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you’ll just need to remember to reset your Nintendo Switch’s time and date to the internet-synchronised setting.
So, if you want to progress time faster in New Horizons, just remember to change your Switch’s settings when the events come around.
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