Animal Crossing: New Horizons Fans Split Over Whether Time Travel Is Cheating Or Not

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Fans Split Over Whether Time Travel Is Cheating Or Not
Credit: Nintendo via YouTube

If there’s one thing the gaming community loves, it’s going to war with each other for no reason whatsoever. The latest player-vs-player scenario comes from a game that heavily encourages pacifism, teamwork, happiness, and a wholesome community.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has made some sizeable waves since its release earlier this March. As one of the most hyped releases of 2020 and the first title in the Animal Crossing franchise in quite some time, it was bound to have a big player base.

But with such a big player base, even a game made with peaceful, wholesome intentions is going to end up with some controversy. Players have recently been arguing over whether exploiting a certain feature of the game is cheating or not – or if it even matters if some players cheat.

As a quick disclaimer, the answer is that people can play their game however they want to play. It’s their experience in their game that they bought with their money, so who cares? There’s no judgment here. Players are free to be dirty no-good rotten cheaters and min-max their Animal Crossing playthrough if they want to.

If you haven’t heard yet, there’s a way to essentially time travel in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The game is based on real-world time; shops open and close in accordance to the timezone you have set, some wildlife is only available at certain times of the day, things like that. However, this is linked to the time on your Nintendo Switch.

Because of this, you can easily manipulate the time on your island by changing the time on your Switch. Changing your real clock will make the time in the game match that, so you can jump ahead or backward whenever you please.

This can be useful since the game is so heavily time-gated. There are plenty of things that take a full day to be completed, especially towards construction, and it can be incredibly frustrating to miss a small window for you to catch a hard-to-find bug or fish.

But, as many players argue, this time-gating is part of the game. Changing around the time kind of defeats the purpose, and makes it significantly less meaningful when you have everything. It also drastically quickens the staging of the game, which can make it so that your playtime varies heavily.

So what side are you on? We aren’t here to judge you, whether you’re a traditional player or a rotten cheater.