How to time travel in Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Dexerto
Animal Crossing

How to time travel in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Published: 14/May/2021 12:32 Updated: 26/May/2021 14:36

by Bill Cooney


Ever wanted to change time and season at will in Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Thankfully, there’s an incredibly easy way to time travel in the game.

New Horizons, like the past Animal Crossing games, happens in real-time when synched to your system clock – so if it’s noon on a certain day in real life, it will be noon in the game as well.

But, there is a way to speed things up if you’ve already netted, fished, and collected everything that a month has to offer, or if you just want to check out more of the game’s content earlier in the year.



New Horizons simulate all four seasons but players don’t have to sit around and wait for them to arrive.

How to change date and time in Animal Crossing

The time travel cheat is the same, well-known one that’s been in the Animal Crossing community forever, and if you’ve ever played any of the games you’ve probably heard about it before. Here’s a step-by-step guide.

  • Go to the home screen make sure Animal Crossing is closed.
  • Head over to System Settings and select “date and time” and turn off the “synchronize clock via the internet” option.
  • Set your time and date to whatever you want.
  • Open Animal Crossing back up and check it out.

But, before you go jumping through time, it’s important to note that things in the game will continue, simulating as if you had not been there. For example, weeds will cover your island and some of your favorite villagers might decide to hit the road, which can be a major bummer.

You don’t necessarily have to change things by months and weeks though, you could simply change it from day to night in order to try and catch a certain fish or bug instead of waiting to do it later. Smaller time changes would also make it less likely your villagers will split on you.


Animal Crossing Time Travel
Changing the time and date on your switch allows you to hop back and forth throughout the year and beyond.

Time travel pros

Obviously, for all the collectors out there, being able to travel through time will allow them to race to completion even faster, and you’ll also earn massive amounts of interest on Bells stored in your account during the change. However, this does not account for any bells that are stored within your pockets/inventory.

Another fantastic way to increase your amount of Bells is with money trees. Our guide will tell you all you need to know about utilizing this method to make the big bucks.

If you have three other friends willing to participate, you could even set it up to have each person’s island on a different season at the same time, and visit them at your leisure to experience each!


Time travel is undoubtedly a great method for those who don’t have the option to invest in the game on a daily basis – allowing you to time travel backward to experience prior events (though this does not happen when traveling forward since Nintendo’s).

Making big Bells fast means you’ll have to wave goodbye to some neighbors and be ready to pull some weeds.

Time travel consequences

There are a handful of consequences that you should be aware of when you’re time traveling in Animal Crossing, though. These are:

  • If you travel backward in time, or forward enough that you pass a Sunday, any turnips that you possess (in your pockets, or out in the world) will turn rotten, likely losing you a tonne of Bells.
  • Your mailbox will likely become full, meaning you’ll need to dig through lots of letters from your villagers, Mom, and the Happy Home Academy.
  • Time-traveling ahead more than one day at a time will reset any Nook Stop bonus streaks you’ve got going, resetting it back to day one.
  • Some of your villagers may have grown restless, and may have bubbles above their head, showing that they’re thinking of leaving your island!
  • Cockroaches are highly likely to appear in your home, though this can be easily fixed – step on, and squish them!
  • As we mentioned, Weeds will begin to sprout all over your island! Though you might like the look of them, they can knock your island’s rating as they grow out of control.

One of the biggest downsides, though, would be that this cheat does ruin New Horizon’s continuity. But, in the end, it really all depends on how you want to play the game.


Time travel bedhead

Bedhead time travel Animal Crossing
Nintendo / YouTube: Cordless VII
One fun side-effect of using time-traveling is this cool hairdo.

Utilizing the time travel feature can also land you with this fun little intro upon loading up your game – messy, bedhead hair! Despite this, it will be instantly fixed by your character upon exiting their home.

If this is your first time seeing the hairstyle, though, it will then be unlocked and added to the selection of hairstyles that you can choose from. The easiest way to accomplish this is to time travel forward by a month or more.

So, there you have it! Everything you need to know about time travel in Animal Crossing. Make sure to also check out our 5 funniest catchphrases list, terraforming guide, and the best way to plan your island layout.