Animal Crossing New Horizons start menu

Time travel can be a messy subject for fans familiar with the Animal Crossing series—it’s a game that is meant to be progressed and enjoyed in real time. But what if you could advance forward to speed up the process? Here’s how in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

What is Time Travel in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?

Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch plays in real time, meaning that a day in the game is as long as a day in real life. If you want to speed up your progress, you can change the time settings on your Switch console.

Rather than waiting until the next real-world day, time-traveling lets you advance progress in the game for time-related events, such as new construction, growing fruit trees, and making Bells.

However, for seasonal events such as “Bunny Day,” time travel cannot be used to activate the event. Your Nintendo Switch must be connected to Wi-Fi to sync with the internet to activate the event—so, time-skipping doesn’t work for everything.

Setting Up Time Travel

First and foremost, you’ll want to completely close Animal Crossing: New Horizons on your Nintendo Switch. You can do this by hovering over the game on the Switch’s Home screen, pressing the “X” button on your Joy-Con, and then selecting “Close”.

Animal-Crossing-close-game-1

Next, from the Switch’s Home screen, go to the console’s System Settings. The System Settings icon looks like a gear and is located between the Joy-con icon and the Power icon in the bottom toolbar.

nintendo switch system settings

Once you’re inside the System Settings menu, scroll all the way down and select the “System” menu. Next, select the “Date and Time” option by pressing the “A” button on the right Joy-Con.

Animal-Crossing-time-travel-system-settings

This sub-menu is where you change all of your time settings on the Nintendo Switch.

To customize the current time, select “Synchronize Clock Via Internet” to turn “Off” the automatic clock.

Animal Crossing New Horizons sync off

Change the date or the time to whatever you want and press “OK”.

Animal Crossing New Horizons sync ok

Navigate back to the Nintendo Switch Home screen by pressing the physical Home button on your right Switch Joy-Con and then launch the game.

When you launch Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the date and time will reflect the settings you changed in the Switch’s “Date and Time” menu.

To turn the real-time sync back on, save and close the Animal Crossing: New Horizons game client, and navigate back to the “Date and Time” menu. Select “Synchronize Clock via Internet” to set it back to the “On” position.

Animal Crossing New Horizons sync on

Be careful about skipping too many days all at once in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Skipping forward weeks at a time will yield the same results as not playing for weeks at a time, such as losing your daily Nook Miles bonus at the Nook Stop, your villagers may move out, and weeds will move in.

Joshalynne Finch Joshalynne Finch
Joshalynne is a freelance writer and lifelong learner who always loves studying new things. She enjoys checking out the latest grammar books and writing about video games more than anything else.
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