Game Guides

Animal Crossing: New Horizons – How Does Time Work?

Keep an eye on the clock.

by Dean James


Animal Crossing: New Horizons takes players on a vacation to an island destination, which is certainly a nice change of pace considering the state of the world right now. While there are many new features found in the game, the overall setup of the game is as it has always been. This also includes the way time flows in Animal Crossing: New Horizons and this guide will help to explain how time does work in the latest game for the franchise.

How Does Time Work?

Animal Crossing is designed to be the type of game where players come back daily to perform additional tasks and continue to do this all throughout the year and beyond. Even people like former Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime was known was being obsessed with the game with hours upon hours of playtime.

One of the most attractive features of the series is how time flows through the game, as it actually runs in real time. There are no sped up clocks where an hour of real time is equal to a day in the game. One day of real time equals 24 hours in the game. This means that anything related to time is impacted based on the time of day, meaning you will have to come back to do certain tasks when they are available.

That is not to say that you can’t actually access some of these events at any time if you really want. For those that are impatient and just can’t wait for time to go by naturally, you can manipulate the in-game time by changing your time in the system settings for the Nintendo Switch. If you need help figuring out how to do that, you can check out this guide on how to time travel in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

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