How Time Travel Works
Animal Crossing: New Horizons happens in real-time, based on your system clock. This means if it’s March 20th, 10pm – according to your Nintendo Switch clock – it will be 10pm in the game world.
Time matters in Animal Crossing: New Horizons because Shops and Sellers have limited hours, different creatures and items appear at different times and seasons, tournaments are limited to certain days, and some construction projects “won’t be completed until tomorrow.” Even the time of day and season, in-game, is tied to your Nintendo Switch clock.
How to Change the Nintendo Switch Date and Time
You can Time Travel by changing your Nintendo Switch Date and Time, just make sure the clock is not synced to the internet first! Here’s how to do it.
- Select System Settings.
- Scroll down to the bottom and select System.
- Select Date and Time.
- Make sure “Synchronize Clock via Internet” is set to “Off.”
- Change the Date and Time to whatever you want!
Time Travel Benefits
While using Time Travel goes against the “one day at a time,” “take it slow,” tone Animal Crossing is known for it also lets you “get to the good stuff” more quickly. You can even get a million bells super fast, while avoiding most of the Time Travel Consequences, if you use this trick early enough in the game! Jump down to: How to Make a Million Bells Fast for details!
Here are the benefits of time travel and why you may want to do it.
- Skip the wait time: for construction, trees to grow, etc.
- Play whenever you want in real life and still experience both day and night. If you only play after dinner, you won’t ever see the sun. But with the magic of time travel you can experience any and every hour of the day.
- Experience day-sensitive events regardless of when you play. You don’t have to play on Sunday to buy some Turnips from Daisy Mae. You can just jump to Sunday!
- Shop till you drop: Can’t wait for the Able Sisters to change their selection? Change your clock and buy new items.
- Grind more efficiently for resources, bells, and Nook Miles. There are always a few key Things to Do Daily, such as digging up the money spot, finding the money rock, getting fossils, and more. Get a week’s worth of resources during just one play session by messing with your clock.
Time Travel Consequences
- You may lose your Nook Stop Streak Bonus. Every time you visit the Nook Stop you’ll get free miles. The first day you do this, you’ll get 50. You’ll get more miles each consecutive day you return. Your biggest streak can be 7+ days which gives you 300 miles. So depending on where you’re time traveling to, your streak may come to an end!
- Your turnips may go bad! This is a big deal because you can buy and sell turnips (ideally for more than you bought them for) as a way to make money. It’s called playing the Stalk Market. If you have turnips and jump to or past the following Sunday, your turnips will go bad: just as Daisy Mae said they would. However, you can safely time travel with your turnips during the week you bought them as long as you’re only jumping a day or 2 ahead. You cannot go back in time with your Turnips! This means if you buy Turnips on Sunday and jump ahead to Tuesday, you cannot go back to Monday without ending up with Rotten Turnips. Gross and not at all profitable.
- You’ll have bedhead but your character will fix it themselves, at zero cost!
- Cockroaches may appear in your home. Fortunately how to get rid of cockroaches is pretty simple! Just step on them. You may have to exit and re-enter your home to get the last one(s) to appear. You’ll know all of them are gone when your character says “Oh good! All the pesky cockroaches are GONE! I feel so much better now.”
- Residents may feel neglected and can even leave your island.
- Weeds may grow more quickly. Besides aesthetics, weeds can cause the furniture that falls out of trees or presents that fall from the sky to disappear if they land on some weeds (sometimes, not always). For these reasons, it’s best to get rid of your weeds so having them reappear can be a pain.
- Your mailbox may be packed. You get letters from time to time but if you jump way ahead you may have a pile of mail waiting for you.
Timmy and Tommy’s turnip buying prices are randomized every day, and are randomized again if you turn back time to buy more turnips and return – making it impossible to make a time traveller’s killing on the stalk market. At least, in your own game.
Here’s how to cheat the stalk market and make a ton of bells on turnips:
- First, a friend, or a friendly person online, will need to monitor their turnip prices. When they get a great price, ask them to open their gates for you. See How to Play Multiplayer if you need to learn how to do this.
- Any turnips you already have will spoil if you travel back in time, so consider visiting your friend’s island and selling them first before continuing with this cheat!
- Now that you’re turnip free, change your Nintendo Switch’s date and time within the system settings. Set it to the previous Sunday, any time between 5am and 12pm.
- Purchase a ton of turnips from Daisy Mae, the traveling boar turnip seller. Just fill your pockets with as many as you can.
- Go straight to your friend’s island with the awesome turnip buying prices. You don’t even have to change the date on your own Switch!
- Sell your turnips. Make major profit.
- You can repeat steps 3 through 5 as many times as you want before Nook’s Cranny closes in your friend’s town (at 10pm)
You can combine the above cheat (exploiting interest) with the Time Travel Money Tree cheat to make a total of 396,000 bells in one trip! Here’s how you do it. It requires you to already have at least 99,000 Bells. Remember to make sure your clock is not synced to the internet.
- Set your clock to the year 2000 (start with 1/1/2000 to make it easy because the date does matter!)
- Put 99,000 Bells in your Pocket
- Find the glowing spot, dig it up but do not close it!
- Bury 99,000 Bells into the hole (select it to turn it into an item then drag and drop the 99K in there).
- Save and exit. Close the software completely.
- Change your clock to the year 2060; same date (so 1/1/2060).
- Head for your tree and get 3 bags with 99K bells each plus some 99K of interest! (unless you have a super small amount in the bank, then interest may be smaller).
The big drawback to this hack, compared to the interest one, is it’s easier to make an error. And because you can’t use the same date it could become a lot to keep track of. Lastly, sometimes it takes a few minutes to find the glowing spot, go to the bank, etc.
Credit to Samuel Harris (@GooseSamuel on Instagram) for contacting us about the 99K planting cheat!
If you’re interested in getting rich quick but don’t want to Time Travel, be sure to check out our Money Making Guide for tips outside of this exploit!
Completing the Art Wing of the Museum can be a trying task but if you’re tired of wondering when Redd appears and are looking to pick from fake vs. real art fast, you can use this Time Travel Cheat to speed things up. Here’s how to do it. Cheat credit to Doug Chin for contacting us about this exploit.
- First, you’ll need Redd on your island. If Redd is nowhere to be found, Time Travel (change your system clock) one day at a time until you see him.
- Shop at Redd‘s once he appears. Use our Art Guide to pick the real art, instead of the fakes (and keep track of them with our interactive checklist). Don’t worry if Redd is selling nothing but fakes; you don’t need to buy anything for this cheat to work. Save, exit your game, then close the software completely.
- Head to System settings on your Switch. Select system, then select Date and Time. Make sure Synchronize Clock via Internet is turned Off. Change the Date and Time to go only one day ahead.
- Start up Animal Crossing. It’s a new day and Redd is gone. Feel free to use this time to get your art from the mail and even donate it to the museum if you’d like.
- When you’re ready, save, exit, and close the software. Return to the system settings and change your clock back to the previous day to resummon Redd. He’ll have new inventory in his shop!
- Rinse and repeat until your museum collecting is complete.
Warning: Don’t Time Travel Too Far
Keep in mind that if you go forward or back more than one day Redd will no longer appear. If you see Redd on May 13th you can’t just consistently return to May 13th weeks later. We’ve found it can take up to 2 weeks for him to appear again so be careful when using this cheat or you’ll have a lot of time travel work ahead of you.
- Find Celeste – This is the hardest part of the cheat. Go one night at a time (7pm or later) and look for celeste. Check for a somewhat clear night. She’s often on the beaches. Below is an example of a slightly cloudy night where Celeste still appeared.
- Get a DIY Recipe from Celeste.
- Once you have it, save and exit the game. Close the software completely. Change your clock one day ahead and start the game again.
- Save and exit. Close the software. Change the clock back one day (to the day Celeste appeared!).
- Get a DIY Recipe from Celeste!
- Repeat until you have them all. Keep in mind you’ll need to do this cheat several separate times because the zodiac DIYs are based on the month.
This Time Travel Revisiting Gulliver Cheat lets you quickly get Gulliver‘s entire collection of souvenirs and can help you farm rusted parts. Cheat credit to Doug Chin for contacting us about this exploit. Here’s how to do it.
- Gulliver appears randomly so Time Travel one day at a time until you find him. Check your beaches for his location.
- Once you find him, give him his communicator parts so you can get your reward (or ignore this task and collect the rusted parts the next day from the bin).
- Save and exit the game. Move the clock forward one day. Start the game, get the present Gulliver sent, then save and exit.
- Change the clock back to the day Gulliver appeared and you’ll be set!
- Rinse and repeat.
- Remember: You can use this trick to farm rusted parts (you get 5 if you don’t return the communicator parts to Gulliver) or to quickly get his entire collection (30 unique gifts including the golden shovel recipe).
- Advanced Gulliver trick: He will give you a gift you haven’t received before, so if you want multiple of that item, just don’t take the gift from his letter the next day. You can use this method to get as many Pagodas as you want.
And you can learn more tricks like this by checking out our Cheats and Secrets page.
The money you deposit into your ABD Savings account will gain interest over time. Like real-life, the longer you leave that money – in the bank, untouched; and the more money you have in the bank period – the more money you will gain! Fortunately, unlike real-life, this interest rate is actually pretty good!
Here’s how to get a million bells easily:
Use this exploit after getting access to the ABD Bank, available at the Nook Stop, and before you start trying to get more residents to your Island by building them furniture.
- Forget about paying off the loan on your house for now.
- Put all your money into the bank. It can be a lot or just a few thousand bells. (Personally, we started this process with 45,000 Bells).
- Save and exit your game by pressing the (-) symbol and closing the software.
- Change your system clock to the year 2000. Month and date doesn’t matter but we liked keeping it the same to avoid extra variables.
- Start the game so that Tom Nook thinks it’s the year 2000. Read all your mail. (You may already have a letter from the bank saying there’s interest from doing this time jump BUT interest is never deposited into your bank for going back in time so don’t celebrate yet).
- Save and exit your game by pressing the (-) symbol and closing the software.
- Change your system clock to the year 2060.
- Start the game so that Tom Nook thinks you’re in 2060. Read all your mail. Note: Sometimes you will get 2 letters, each for 99,999 bells but you’ll notice only 99,9999 bells will actually be deposited into your account.
- The max amount of interest you can earn is 99,999
- Check your bank! We recommend checking your bank account each time you do this to make sure you’re doing it correctly!
- Depending on how much money you have in the bank, it may take a while to get the max interest and a while to find the minimum amount of years you need to jump in order to get the max interest. So experiment a bit with how much you’re changing your clock because jumping ahead repeatedly is easier than jumping back, then ahead, then back ahead.
- Once we had 900,000 Bells in our savings we only had to jump 2 years ahead to get that 99,999 bells interest.
- REMEMBER you only gain interest when you’re moving forward in time.
- Repeat this time jumping process until you get 1,000,00 Bells! Go for more if you’d like.
- You can likely do this later in the game too but you’ll risk more weeds growing and Residents leaving. They may not leave immediately but could start leaving suddenly once you get back into your daily routine.