The Next Animal Crossing Has a Big Decision To Make About a Controversial New Horizons Trick


  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons players are split on time travel, with some seeing it as controversial while others view it as a way to speed up progress.
  • The next Animal Crossing game may feature new mechanics and online multiplayer elements, which would require Nintendo to address the issue of time travel.
  • Nintendo could implement in-game roadblocks or restrictions to discourage time travel, such as preventing access to seasonal items or island tours.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has its own set of unwritten rules that players tend to follow to ensure they have the best experience possible, including things like not stealing from or griefing other players’ islands and avoiding island comparisons. However, the Animal Crossing: New Horizons community is split over the use of time travel to affect in-game events and player progression with some players vehemently against the practice and others believing players can play the game however they want. While Nintendo seems to have a neutral stance on the issue, the next Animal Crossing game could take measures to prevent this practice.

It’s very likely the next Animal Crossing game will release on the Switch 2, with new hardware opening the door to new mechanics not previously possible in the series. This next entry in Nintendo’s life sim franchise has the potential to revamp its online multiplayer functionality and even feature MMO-like elements to improve players’ interaction with the game’s world and community. If these changes happen, Nintendo is going to need to take a stance one way or the other on time travel in order to ensure all players are able to have the same quality of experience.

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Nintendo May Need to Officially Take a Stance on Time Travel in Animal Crossing

As a game that progresses in real time, Animal Crossing: New Horizons players often have to wait days, weeks, or even months for specific events to occur on their islands. This issue has led many players to time travel by changing the date and time settings on their Nintendo Switch to fool the game into thinking more time has progressed than actually has. Time traveling in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is seen as controversial due to the belief that it breaks the spirit of the game and damages its real-time gameplay.

Conversely, some players believe time travel is no big deal since it allows them to see the end result of their hard island development work sooner without the arbitrary need to wait real time for changes to occur. Players often time travel to speed up a villager’s move out process so that they can get the villager they want to move in sooner, or sometimes they will time travel backwards if they missed out on a certain event on a previous day that they want to participate in. Time traveling in Animal Crossing is mostly harmless, so Nintendo has never needed to address the problem officially, but that could change in the next Animal Crossing game.

If the follow-up to Animal Crossing: New Horizons goes the MMO route and allows players to play cooperatively within the same server, Nintendo may end up removing the ability to time travel since players would likely need to connect to a dedicated server in order to play. Since playing in a single-player world in Animal Crossing: New Horizons utilizes the Switch’s date and time information for in-game time, players can manipulate it to their liking. However, if in-game time is changed to be based on that of a separate server hosted by Nintendo, players would no longer have the ability to change it for time travel purposes.

Should Nintendo deem time traveling to be a problem for the next Animal Crossing, there are plenty of ways they could address it. Even if the next Animal Crossing isn’t an MMO that requires players to connect to a server to play, Nintendo could still implement more in-game roadblocks to discourage time traveling. Players who time travel already run the risk of their turnips going bad in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but other barriers like locking players who time travel out of seasonal items or preventing them from going on island tours for a certain amount of time after the date and time data on their Switch has changed could help discourage time traveling as well.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available now for Nintendo Switch.

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