Animal Crossing: New Horizons is synced to real life time. This changes a lot of mechanics in the game, lets use being in the Northern Hemisphere as an example. If you’re playing the game in December, it will likely be snowing on your Island. Likewise, if you can only play during the night, it will be dark in-game and most NPCs will be sleeping.
For that reason, it might be more feasible (or necessary) for you to manually change the time and date to your choosing. Doing so will also help you progress through the game faster, although this could be considered cheating a little bit. If an NPC is expected to show up the next day, you could just move the time forward on your system, turning that wait into seconds.
This guide was created during the first week of Animal Crossing: New Horizons release on the Nintendo Switch. Depending on when you’re reading this guide, some thing may be different due to future updates. However we’ll always try to come back and update these guides! For more of our Animal Crossing: New Horizons Guides & Best-of lists, make sure to check out our dedicated area here!
Changing the Time in Animal Crossing
Now, you can’t actually do this from within Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Instead, you have to do it from the Nintendo Switch settings. From the main menu, press the ‘System Settings’ button, shown below.
Now you’ll be in the System Settings. On the left hand side, scroll down to ‘System’. Then select ‘Date and Time’ on the right.
First, you’ll need to turn off ‘Synchronise Clock via Internet’ so that the time can be changed manually. Now select ‘Date and Time’ again at the bottom, and move time forward as much as you want.
Go back to the home screen and re-open Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The game will reflect the time and date settings that you just changed. You can go back and do this as many times as you please.