Will Animal Crossing: New Horizons have time travel?

Animal Crossing New Horizons Seasons
Animal Crossing New Horizons Seasons (Image credit: Nintendo)

Will Animal Crossing: New Horizons have time travel?

Best answer: Yes, but it won't have the same effect as it did with previous Animal Crossing games. While you could change the date on your system to enter different seasons, the special item releases may be limited to the events Nintendo will release as DLC according to the time of year.Find your getaway: Animal Crossing: New Horizons ($60 at Amazon)

What does time travel in Animal Crossing mean?

One of the fun and thoughtful features of the Animal Crossing games makes it fun to continue to play all year round. The games are designed to change to match the seasons and syncs in time with the real world. From what we've seen about Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the newest entry takes this idea and improves upon it further with the introduction of different hemispheres. Still, how could that possibly give players the ability to "time travel?"

In previous Animal Crossing games, you can change the date and time on your system to access a different time of year and day within your game — referred to as time travel. Some players chose to do this to access different special items only available during specific times, or even just to enjoy a different season for a little while. However, New Horizons players should expect something a little different this time around.

Change the season, but events hold the items

While it is still possible to change the date and time on your Nintendo Switch or Nintendo Switch Lite to whatever you'd like, it seems as though events are going to be how players will access special items. These special events may keep players from time traveling as they did previously. The first event was announced in February's Animal Crossing Nintendo Direct:

"We will offer free updates after the game launches and will continue to provide free seasonal events throughout the year. The first free update will be on launch day, March 20th. By installing this update, you can celebrate Bunny Day with a special event in April."

Although your town's season may change to whenever you set your date for, these events are released as DLC updates and will come out from Nintendo in alignment with seasons in the real world. One alternative Nintendo may have included in the game to changing the time on your console is the ability to use your Nook Miles earned in-game to travel to a different island stocked with various resources. We're not sure yet if these islands will have items from a season different from your island's or not. We'll update as soon as we have more information.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons releases on March 20th, 2020.

Alex Huebner

Alex has been working with iMore as a Freelance Gaming Writer for three years. You can also find a few articles of hers on Android Central and Windows Central. She regularly covers Nintendo Switch games and accessories as well as iOS game apps. In addition to the Nintendo Switch, you may also find her playing on the PlayStation and PC. When she doesn’t have a controller in hand she likes to spend her time with her husband, son, and dogs, exploring new places, or hiding away with a book (or comic book). A few of her favorite games include the Zelda franchise, Little Nightmares, and Animal Crossing.