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What time does Animal Crossing New Horizons unlock?

Here's when the game goes live in your region.

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About Ed Thorn

Ed will not rest until a new Wario Land is announced.

Animal Crossing New Horizons releases on 20th March 2020, but what time does it unlock on Switch? This guide explains what time the game will become available to play.

Nook’s back baby, and we cannot wait to get the net out, catch some bugs, then get the fishing rod out, catch some fish, get the shovel out - yes, we’re excited for Animal Crossing’s return.

When can we all play it, though? Well if you can’t wait to jump in, read on below to find out when Animal Crossing: New Horizons unlocks on the Nintendo Switch.

What time does Animal Crossing New Horizons unlock?

If you have the game pre-loaded, those in the US will be able to play from March 19th at 9pm PT, or March 20th at 12am ET.

For those of us in the UK, the game will unlock on 20th March at exactly midnight.

These times are from Nintendo’s US and UK Animal Crossing New Horizons FAQ pages, so you know we’re not just making these times up - that would be very mean.

Can I preload the game?

If you’ve pre-ordered the game digitally (or you redeemed a code in the eShop), you can pre-load the game on your Switch right now. You won’t be able to play the game until it unlocks, but at least you’ll be ready as soon as the clock chimes Animal Crossing time.

The pre-load will also include a day one patch (Ver 1.1.0) which is set to introduce Bunny Day to our islands. Everything else it contains is a mystery, but we imagine it’s a bunch of tweaks, bug fixes, and quality of life improvements which should make the game that little bit more polished before it launches for good.

If you’re after some thoughts and impressions on Animal Crossing New Horizons from Eurogamer’s Martin Robinson, then give the video above a watch!

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