A time honored tradition is "time traveling" by scooting the game clock ahead in Animal Crossing to catch bugs/fish at certain times, make more bells, get rare items and all sorts of other things. However it's also sort of cheating, so I'm wondering if there are negative effects or other icky things to take note of before casting Haste.

I have noticed that after moving the clock forward a few hours my character has started tripping like it's Smash Bros Brawl or something. I'm not wearing the King Tut's mask and I didn't get a fortune from the fortune teller (I've played for like 2 hours) so I'm wondering if that's connected.

Are there negative effects to playing around with the game clock in New Leaf? If so, is there any way to sidestep/fix them? Also if it matters I altered the clock at the start menu of Animal Crossing, not the internal clock of my 3DS.

  • I altered mine when I started the game so I could actually start my town during the day, but I always, always mess with the clock on the system settings, never in the start menu. I didn't have any side effects after changing the clock 9 hours ahead (I originally set it 9 hours back) but it was in the system settings, so the tripping may very well be related, but I'm not sure enough to post as an answer.
    – FAE
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 11:36
  • One thing that has always been a side effect of moving into the future too much is weeds. Jumping too far forward will likely cause your town to be overrun with weeds.
    – Batophobia
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 14:19
  • In other animal crossing games (I'm not sure how New leaf works as I have not had the chance to play it yet)... Time traveling does a a large amount of 'bad things'. these include: Residents leaving, player stumbling, insane amount of weeds, flowers dead, a lot more pitfalls in the ground, nothing in lost and found, residents treating you poorly, and an overstuffed mailbox... Not using this as answer because, again, I don't know how New Leaf works exactly yet. I assume its very similar though.
    – Rapitor
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 17:46
  • @JLaBella how much of that is "punishment" simply because you've actually played with the clock and how much is just normal passage of time? The weeds, dead flowers and mailbox stuff will all happen if you simply leave the game alone for a long period of "time" whether or not you cheat to make that time pass.
    – Ben Brocka
    Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 12:05
  • Player stumbling is probably the only thing that only happens when you cheat then (besides tuts mask). More pitfalls as well, as I don't notice them happening when the game is just off for months instead of jumping around in time.
    – Rapitor
    Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 13:04

5 Answers 5


You are punished for changing the game time (no matter how much, it seems), but not the system time. Here's what happens:

If you change the time on your 3DS system, Animal Crossing seems to simply think that's the time it is now. Trees grow, events change, the only "bad" things that happen would have happened with the flow of time. Even going back in time via this method seems to work okay, even when going to a day previously played.

If you change the game time, using the option at the main menu of Animal Crossing, you will randomly trip for a while after changing the clock. The duration of tripping seems to last longer than the current play session, possibly the full day? But it eventually goes away. If, however, you were to change the game time this way before every play session you would trip randomly every single session, which is highly frustrating.

Also note that going backwards in time will spoil any turnips you had, since the game knows you went backwards, while it doesn't know you went forwards if you go by the system clock.

tl;dr: Change your 3DS's system time to time travel, do not mess with the in-game clock regularly or will will randomly trip.

  • Also, tons of weeds will pop out. Commented Oct 18, 2013 at 20:13
  • So, use the system clock and not the game clock to time travel?
    – The Man
    Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 17:19
  • There are also ordiances to help, "Keep Town Beautiful" will make it so no weeds pop out when time traveling.
    – luisluix
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 22:31

The tripping is a result of bad luck, and has nothing to do with time travel. If you are annoyed by constantly tripping, I found that not sprinting helps it to not happen as often. The only thing that the game does to " punish " you for time travel is making turnips go bad, so the player cant time travel to find the best day to sell turnips. I time travel I lot, and I barely trip.


The game isn't punishing you, you just have bad luck. but keep an eye out for Katrina's tent and she will tell you an item to wear for good luck for that day then you will stop tripping.

  • 1
    This does contradict the accepted answer. Can you provide proof?
    – 5pike
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 6:40

You will not "randomly trip" when you Time Travel. Tripping is a result of bad luck, not the game "punishing" you for doing something it's giving you the option to do. I time travel constantly with my 3 players (needed for design slots) and only ONCE have I experienced tripping and it was a result of bad luck, which cleared the next day. I would also like to point out that this tripping occurred right after I had created a new player, BEFORE I even got to time travel with him. The other two have never experienced tripping to this day.

These "negative effects" are just what happens when you leave your town alone for a month. If you time travel, you're going to have weeds and dead flowers because for however long you were away there was no one to clean up or water the plants. Just like if you left your town alone for month, the same thing would happen. These are natural things that happen with the passing of time.

The ONLY reason turnips rot is so that people can't cheat the system and time travel around to try and find the best days to sell them to Re-Tail. That is literally the only reason why.

There is no AC:NL conspiracy to try and stop you from time travelling.


I have not experienced any problems with the setting of the clocks ahead/backwards, however I've heard that time travelling can cause issues with towns with the 'Best Town Ever' status.

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