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Is there any way to expedite tomorrow or advance when the town is depleted? If I change my clock in system settings, will that mess up my town? (How?)

4 Answers 4

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I have seen the future and the past. I have time traveled for hundreds of years (by adjusting my Switch system clock) and this is what I learned:

  • There is no major effect. No nagging, no obvious penalties, despite what IGN said. Indeed, on the plus side, progressing into the future earns interest on your Nook Bank balance (in the ATM/ADM), maxing out at 99k bells at a time.
  • No residents left town, in my case. Caveat emptor: I did this before actively recruiting new townspeople. For what it's worth, I ignored townspeople when I time traveled (man on a mission), which might have stopped the game from registering that I had "ignored" the residents. For example, if I progress into the future and talked to a resident, they'll remember that it's been weeks/months/longer since we last spoke, but once I returned into the past and talked with the residents, they wouldn't say anything about the time passed.
  • I also didn't especially notice more weeds or anything falling into disarray, but that might have been because I traveled between winters, when snow covered the ground.
  • Not specific to time travel but to putting down the game in general, if you haven't been "in-game" in a while, there may be changes that are not recapped in Isabelle's morning announcement, such as new residents who came and were ostensibly announced while you were gone.
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In addition to the other answers about time travelling forward having no penalty, I feel like there should be mention of the only penalty I'm aware of for time travelling backward: any turnips you own instantly go bad. Presumably this is to prevent you from jumping around the days of the week to find the best turnip prices.

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There doesn't seem to be any sort of penalty -- at least from advancing the game a day at a time.

I wanted to have the museum built, so I forwarded my system a day:

  • I listened to Tom Nook's daily announcement where he also discussed the museum finally opening
  • I was able to visit the museum and talk to Blathers
  • I changed the system time back to the current time and re-launched Animal Crossing
  • My current Bell amount did not change, nor did the miles change, nor did my daily bonus from the Nook Terminal change, and the museum was still built where I could talk to Blathers.
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There are few downsides to time travel, but there are some not covered in other answers:

  • Time traveling forward a month (or not playing for a month) will give you bedhead and infest your house with cockroaches. The bedhead goes away on its own in a second. The cockroaches hurt your happy home academy rating. To get rid of the cockroaches you have to go around to each room of your house and step on them. After you step on 12 of them, your character says that they are glad they are all gone.
  • Time traveling forward a week or more will cause weeds on your island to have sprouted like crazy. You'll have to go around and clean them up.
  • Time traveling forward past Saturday causes any turnips to spoil. Time traveling backwards AT ALL causes turnips to spoil.
  • When you wish on shooting stars you must pick up the star fragments on the beach the next morning. If you wish on shooting stars and then time travel other than to the next morning, the star fragments will be lost.
  • If you water flowers and then time travel backwards, the flowers stop sparkling without reproducing. You'll need to water them again to get them to breed or clone.
  • Nintendo is now releasing new versions of ACNH for new special events just days before the special event happens. If you are always way ahead of real time, you'll never see new special events because you won't get have the software version that shows them when you play the date on which they happen.
  • Time traveling by two ore more days (either forward or backward) randomly resets the order of visiting vendors to your island (Redd, Flick, CJ, Gulliver, etc.) However if you limit yourself to traveling one day at a time, you can go back and forth between days and get the same vendors.
  • Time traveling backwards (even by months or years) doesn't cause a new day to start. You won't get Isabelle's announcements, trees and flowers won't grow, rocks and trees won't get replenished (except money rocks for some reason), mail is delayed (except Redd's for some reason). You'll have to wait until the next morning (or time travel forward to it) for a new day to truly start.

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