Repairing Animal Crossing New Horizon?
April 24, 2021 1:59 AM   Subscribe

My son recently started playing Animal Crossing New Horizon. From the Start, the date / time was wrong it showed 1 January 2020, and a time about 12 hours so that day and night did not match real conditions. At first he did not mind and played and reached a lot of Miles and Stars. He knows that changing the date will ruin the game.

Yesterday he watched videos by other players suggesting the time can succesfully bei changed with changing the date. He did what the Gamer showed to reset the time of day only, but despite the claims it would not affect the date, the date changed automatically with the time, from 7 Jan 2020 to 23 April 2021.
He is devasted, as the game ist now basically kaputt. Nothing grows, no animals to catch etc.

So you know of a reliable tutorial or source describing how to fix it? Or do you know how to?

He is 12, and so fragile right now, for so many reasons and i would love to help but have zero knowledge
posted by 15L06 to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Time travel is a thing in animal crossing. It shouldn’t ruin the game - typically it might spoil your turnips and lead to villagers moving out. Take a look at this article which will explain how to change the date around and what the consequence might be.
posted by dpx.mfx at 3:38 AM on April 24, 2021 [2 favorites]

Nothing grows, no animals to catch etc.

His game has changed seasons (winter > summer or the other way around if you're in the Southern Hemisphere) and some things may have rotted as dpx.mfx has said, but changing the date and time shouldn't impact it like this. Fruits, flowers and other things appear year round. Some bugs and fish may not appear because they're seasonal, but there should be others to replace them.

Changing the date and time to get different seasons is a common thing in Animal Crossing and many players to it to speed up their progress or to go back/forward to different times of year. It shouldn't break the game beyond a few small changes, so if it has, it's a different bug than just changing the date. I imagine he might just be exaggerating because he's sad about what's happened.

Your son can, if he wants to, turn off the automatic time/date feature on the Switch (which links to the internet to make the time and date correct, which is why the date changed as well as the time) and go back to January, with no issues. You can keep the date and time like this for as long as you want, I believe, though it would mean that he wouldn't get the new events "live".
posted by fight or flight at 5:54 AM on April 24, 2021 [4 favorites]

Experienced Animal Crossing time traveler here. The worst thing that will happen is that his island will have a bunch of weeds to clean up. Time traveling does NOT prevent things from growing and it doesn't prevent you from inviting new villagers or catching bugs/fish. If he had turnips when he time traveled, those will have rotted but it's spilt milk and he can buy them again next week. His villagers will tell him that they missed him, but they immediately "get over it" and go back to being their normal friendly selves and never bring it up again. Villagers no longer "move out" just because a lot of time passed in the game; the New Horizons version of the game won't let them move out unless you give them the OK. (Old versions of Animal Crossing were different in that villagers would indeed move out if you hadn't played in a while or you time skipped significantly). So no need to worry about losing villagers, either!!!

You can still invite new villagers to your island. And everything will still grow. If he's telling you otherwise, I think there may be a miscommunication occurring here, or something happened and he - understandably - interpreted it as a permanent thing rather than something that can be changed over time. I will admit this might be easier to troubleshoot if I could talk to him directly, but I will do my best.

It sounds like he already set the clock to the current date but I am going to give you my tutorial anyway, just so you have it.

How to fix the issue:

First, save and exit the game. Then go into the Switch's "settings" tab (on the Main Menu, that's the symbol that looks like a cog wheel).

Once there, scroll the options listed in the menu (this is on the left side of the screen) until you get to the bottom where it says "System"

Once you've highlighted "System", on the right side of the screen you will see several options, including one that says "Date/Time"

Click on "Date/Time" but DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING ELSE YET.

You should see an option that says "Synchronize Clock via Internet". Don't change anything yet- just look at what it says. Is it set to "On" of "Off"?

If it's set to"Off", congrats, you've found the problem! ACNH is set to correspond its seasons with whatever the clock is set to, so if you don't have it set to synchronize the time with the internet it will just show whatever custom time has been set there.

Once you've confirmed that your son is ready to "time travel forward" to the present time, set the "Synchronize" option to "Yes", verify that it's the right date/time for your region.

If it isn't the correct date or time, go back into the "System" screen and click on "Region." Make sure it's set to the correct region (Americas, Japan, Europe, etc)

So - if this is what he already did, his game is fine. If he's REALLY stressed out and would feel better starting over, he can always delete the save data and start a new island from scratch (just make sure the date/time is correct BEFORE launching a new island).

If you have more questions, happy to talk over MeMail.
posted by nightrecordings at 9:06 AM on April 24, 2021 [11 favorites]

I agree with the “time travel is normal in ACNH” comments above, but the thing that caught my eye is “nothing grows”. Growth (of weeds, pumpkins, trees, etc.) takes *days* in ACNH. If he just did this yesterday as you say, there won’t be a lot of growth - possibly none at all! - from yesterday to today.
posted by okayokayigive at 10:14 AM on April 24, 2021 [2 favorites]

« Older Be notified of new music/films/books from specific...   |   Please help me fix this cabinet door! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.