Animal Crossing: New Horizons: How to make a lot of money (Bells) fast, plus time travel

So you’ve started up Animal Crossing: New Horizons and you’ve begun making your dream island, but you keep running into these roadblocks. Construction takes forever and costs hundreds of thousands of bells! You aren’t made of money, despite what Tom Nook thinks.

Luckily there are two major ways to cheat… er… exploit… uh… unconventionally strategize your way through New Horizons to take a lot of the financial and time burden off yourself. So if you are someone who honestly doesn’t care about the sacred nature of Animal Crossing run-throughs, and you just want to see all the content as quick as possible, then this guide is for you. 

The item duping glitch

This glitch requires a placeable item, a placeable surface, and a local friend (or a dummy account and a second controller). Note that a placeable item is specifically something you can place as a piece of furniture, not just an item you can drop.

First, put down your placeable surface. These are things like a cardboard box or table. Then, put an expensive placeable item on top of the surface. Put your local friend on one side of the surface while you stand on the other side.

Here’s what you must do. Have your friend rotate the surface with the placeable item on it. Then, in the middle of the rotation animation press the Y button to take the item off the surface. If you do this right, you will pocket a copy of the item while the item itself stays on the surface. There you go! Infinite items.

There’s really no risk to using this glitch. If you press the Y button too soon or too late then you will simply pocket the item as normal. Just place it back on the surface and try again.

You can of course do this with Tommy and Timmy Nook’s “hot items” to make a lot of money, but the most effective way to make money is given to you right at the beginning of the game. You start with a cardboard box and a Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo Switch is one of the highest value items the game has to offer. Dupe it a bunch of times and sell them off and soon you will be a millionaire.

Time travel

This is the oldest exploit in Animal Crossing history and it can still be done in New Horizons.

Many tasks are time locked, but when you have access to the system menu, time is at your command.

Simply close the game, then go into the system menu and turn “Synch date and time with the internet” to off. Then you can put the date and time to whatever you want, and your island will act as if it is that day and that time.

If Tom Nook tells you that you must wait a day, screw him, time travel.

Want to respawn all your fruit? Time travel.

Want to spawn more fossils? Time travel.

Want to refill all the resources of your rocks and trees? Time travel.

Time traveling will fix almost all your problems. In fact, the most blatant use of time travel is to deposit all your bells into the bank. Then turn the system clock as far forward as it will go to get a TON of interest and instantly become a millionaire.

There are risks to time traveling, though. New Horizons is built with a system that monitors how much your island residents like the island they are living on. By interacting with them and keeping the island beautiful, your residents will stick around and give you presents. If you neglect your island, however, your residents will eventually get upset and move out.

If you time travel this much, your residents will essentially have been neglected for the better part of a century and will absolutely move out of your island. Of course, now that you are rich you can simply tug out all the weeds, buy the best furniture, and head to some new islands to invite new residents over…. So long as you didn’t make any attachments.

It’s also worth noting that you can’t experience holidays this way. Holiday updates are going to be pushed out via DLC, so you’ll have to wait for the actual holiday in real life to experience it.

There’s one last thing about time travel. You can roll time backward to resynch the clock. Just make sure that your game is closed when you do. There are no consequences to traveling back in time. The game will simply treat it like it was always this day. You can then time travel forward again and reap the benefits.

Those are the major ways to cheat in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Go ahead. Do it. I won’t judge you.