Animal Crossing: Is “Time Traveling” Cheating?

I am new to the Animal Crossing franchise. I have never played any of its predecessors. I am not much of a console or handheld gamer, so I never really gave the Animal Crossing franchise a chance.

I remember watching the Direct when they announced Animal Crossing New Horizons and it piqued my interest. I mentioned my interest to Rugjen, but as the release date neared, my desire to play it wasn’t enough to want to purchase it. As you all know, the release date fell during the beginning of COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders. Rugjen had asked me if I wanted it and I just shrugged it off. He ended up purchasing it anyhow and I’ve been playing it every day since.

I am still pretty ignorant about Animal Crossing. In fact, the other day, I just figured out how to run. All this time, I had no idea that I could run, and I felt pretty dumb when I accidentally hit the B button and burst into a sprint. I still hit the wrong buttons all the time and accidentally erase my custom paths. With over 100 hours logged, I have no idea how I am still, very much, a controller noob.

There are a lot of great things I’ve discovered over the last month. I’ve found that Animal Crossing has a great community willing to share their designs so you can decorate your home, or wear your favorite anime character’s outfit. The creativity is amazing.

Speaking of creativity, if you haven’t watched XWater’s Deal or No Deal show featuring GrandPooBear from the Mario community, you are missing out on some quality content:

One of the greatest things to happen to Animal Crossing is The Turnip Exchange. The Turnip Exchange is the brainchild of Warp World.

Warp World is known for creating the widely-used queue system for Mario Maker levels for streamers on Twitch. Warp World applied their queue knowledge to Animal Crossing to create a queue system for island hosting and streamlining turnip purchases and sales. Animal Crossing users also use the Turnip Exchange to host catalog events and DIY trades. It connects users from all over the world. If you play Animal Crossing, definitely give the Turnip Exchange a try! I also suggest joining Warp World’s Discord. It’s the best way to catch the most recent live islands.

One of the hotly debated topics regarding Animal Crossing is “time traveling”. For those of you who don’t play the game, Animal Crossing is in real time, meaning, the time on your island matches the real-world time. If it is 9:00 a.m. where you are at and you log into the game, it will be the same date and same time on your island.

However, players discovered that you can “time travel” by changing the the date and time settings of the Switch console.

So, what is my official stance on “time traveling”?

Ultimately, Nintendo has either silently accepted the practice or they don’t want to invest the resources into correcting it.

That being said, I don’t respect “time traveling”. And, that’s okay. We all paid money to enjoy a game, and if you don’t have the patience to play it without “time traveling”, that is your right. Some time travelers do it because they’re impatient and want to fill in the downtime. I get that. What I don’t particularly respect are the players that do it to exploit the community or to fill some empty gap in their ego. I think that is the aspect that I don’t respect. I guess you can say that I support people’s choice to play the game the way they want, but I don’t agree with it.

So, is it cheating?

I am going to say no. It is a mechanic built into the game that Nintendo has chosen not to fix. While I don’t respect it, I am not going to gatekeep, either. You play the way you want to play and those of us who don’t agree with it can focus on what we’re doing and not worry about how others play the game.

Author: The Filthy Casual

I live my life one casual hobby at a time.

2 thoughts

  1. i love animal crossing! I think time travelling is fine (i used to do it on my ds version because im super impatient hehe) but i dont think time travelling is fair when people are showing off and competing with their islands because it puts them at an unfair advantage xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. On one hand, I don’t mind it. I truly believe people should play the way they want. On the other hand, I have met some people that use time traveling to profit off of others. I think that is the aspect I don’t have respect for. Thanks for the comment!


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