shares the same core gameplay as the rest of the series, but its transition to the Nintendo Switch brings with it a swath of different online components. One of these may effectively eliminate the ability to time travel to holidays, which was one of the more popular ways to cheat in past Animal Crossing games.Nintendo announced seasonal events will now be part of free updates during the big Animal Crossing Nintendo Direct. By keeping events locked to free downloadable updates, you likely won’t be able to change your Switch system’s time to experience Christmas, and all the cool gifts, while in the middle of (real world) spring. So, in theory, while you might be able to tweak your Switch system clock to time travel to December 25, 2020, the Christmas event won’t be happening until Nintendo releases the update. Nintendo said the first of these updates is available at launch and will add an April event, Bunny Day, to New Horizons.
6 New Animal Crossing: New Horizons Screenshots
Time travel wasn’t necessarily just used for getting cool holiday items early, though. It was also used to help fill out all the museum fish, sea creatures, and bugs, some of which were rare and could only be found under very specific conditions. For instance, in Animal Crossing: New Leaf the Horned Hercules can only be found from July – August from 5 PM to 8 AM. If you don’t play regularly in those hours, finding it could have been a huge pain. It’s possible that things like bugs and fish, which are linked to the calendar, not holidays, could still be available to time-traveling cheaters — but we’re speculating Tom Nook’s travel service could also be a solution to catching rare fish and bugs, year-round.
If you save enough Nook Miles in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you can buy a ticket to tour a seemingly-randomized deserted island that’s filled with resources. The islands shown in the direct featured a variety of seasons, and we’re hoping this means you can visit islands that exist in different seasons from your own. It wouldn’t be a perfect replacement for time-traveling to catch specific bugs, but it’d be helpful for those of us who don’t want to test any potential new issues that could come with changing the clock. Time-traveling previously meant risking cockroach infestations, overgrown weeds, and animals departing the town, but we don’t know how or if any of that will change with New Horizons.
The Animal Crossing Nintendo Direct revealed plenty of other great information too. You can read about all the new details in our wrap up and see what’s in store for the first 30 minutes of New Horizons with our hands-on preview. Visit the Animal Crossing: New Horizons wiki for even more on new features, confirmed characters, and other details about the upcoming game.
Miranda Sanchez is an executive editor at IGN. She hopes Roscoe and Goldie settle on her island sooner than later. You can chat with her about video games and anime on Twitter.