How to Time Travel in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

By Leah Williams on at

While time travel carries a great deal of reward, it’ll also cause major issues in the game. Here’s what you need to know about Animal Crossing’s time travel function.

How do you time travel in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?

Time travelling in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is fairly simple. Because the game operates on a real world clock, all you’ll need to do is change the time on your Nintendo Switch console.

Here’s how to do it:

  • On the home screen, navigate to settings
  • Select ‘System’ from the dropdown menu
  • Select ‘Date and Time’ and choose the date you want to travel to

When you open Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you’ll wake up on your selected date.

What are the risks and rewards of time travel in Animal Crossing?

Time travelling in Animal Crossing lets you skip through the painful wait times of construction works and gain new features like terraforming faster. You’ll be able to breeze through the first few days of Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ lengthy grind and get to work building your dream town.

You can even take advantage of the game’s banking system to gain millions of bells in interest — to do this, simply travel back in time (40+ years), deposit an amount in the bank and travel forward a few decades to claim your built up interest.

But for all its benefits, time travelling in New Horizons carries great risk particularly, when it comes to calendar events like Bunny Day, which runs from April 1-12.

To participate in the Easter-themed Bunny Day, your Nintendo Switch console will connect to the internet and verify your console’s date. If the dates don’t match up, you won’t be able to participate — but changing them back should be no issue if you’ve time travelled and still want to take part.

While you can easily travel back to the correct date with no consequences, note that your town will likely develop weed problems, any food left out will rot, cockroaches will invade your home and villagers will feel abandoned if you travel forward too far.

For the time poor, Animal Crossing’s time travel function can be a godsend, but it also takes a lot of the fun and relaxation out of the game.

Should you choose to time travel, use your newfound power wisely.