After its introduction in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, New Horizons is the first mainline game to introduce time-gated progress in the game. While most who play at the game's natural island pace might not mind the wait, fervent players want to access as much of the game as soon as possible. Actually, considering I'm locked out of accessing my Nook Stop for 2 days as well, I'm tempted as well...
Time Traveling is a technique in all the Animal Crossing games where the player changes the date and time to reach certain events faster and expedite progress. Since Animal Crossing progresses based on real time, players who want to fast forward to the next day's shop refresh, partake in time-locked events like Turnip selling, or catch seasonal critters might be tempted to time travel.
Time Traveling is pretty simple for New Horizons. Simply go into the Nintendo Switch Settings, click on "System", and select, "Date and Time" on the next menu. From here you can change the time and date to the desired day.
For the purpose of daily reset-based events such as shop refreshing, time traveling forward will make the game believe you haven't played for however long you time traveled and update the island based on that. Conversely, time traveling backwards will only count as one day "forward", but will trigger any time-specific events in the past.
New Horizons has a few different consequences compared to previous Animal Crossing titles, though many things remain the same.
Time Travel Ethics is the longstanding debate of Animal Crossing fans, drawing discourse as passionate as "Should pineapple go on pizza?"
Determining whether Time Traveling counts as cheating depends on the accuser's definition of cheating. Let's look at what Nintendo has done since the launch of Animal Crossing:New Horizons.
On one hand, Nintendo has taken steps to fix "Severe Balance Issues" in Animal Crossing, namely the removal of the duplication glitch that could quickly result in an obscene amount of bells. Additionally, they require an online check to participate in special events, providing incentive for players to be on the "right time."
However, in comparison, making money from time traveling is nowhere near the same magnitude of expediency compared to duplication, with the most common strategy being the cumbersome turnip market. Nintendo seems to have balanced around having time by creating systems that don't gain noticeable returns from inactivity: Interest caps at a paltry 100,000 Bells, the majority of income is still derived from catching critters/selling DIY furniture, and turnips are at best a gamble outside of forming an online cartel community, which presents its own problems.
In short, the main benefit of Time Traveling is being able to check out what's down the road in terms of game features and items without needing to wait a corresponding amount of time in real life.
At the end of the day, people are free to do what they want with their games so long as it doesn't break any laws. Animal Crossing is a game about enjoying yourself; the real trouble comes from forcing personal views on others. The Animal Crossing reddit took a similar stance with their recent modpost: