The day cycle is a period of 20 hours in game from 6am to 2am. Past midnight (12:00 am), the player's character becomes tired and in need of sleep. However, the player can stay awake until 2am, after which their character will pass out.
If the character passes out they will wake up in bed, having been dragged there by either a JojaMart medical team, Linus, or Dr. Harvey if they are not married to him. In each case 10% of the player's money up to and including 1,000g will be lost (the details of this transaction will appear as a letter in the player's mailbox). An exception is if the player was lucky enough to pass out inside the house.
Sleep will restore the player's Energy and Health to full if they go to bed no later than midnight and are not exhausted, and to half if they pass out or are exhausted. The longer past midnight the player stays awake, the less energy they wake up with, with about 50% if they sleep right before 2am.
The heart level of cows and goats is increased through successful milking, which can be done any time, including while they are sleeping.
You normally cannot interact with animals while they are asleep, making it impossible to raise their heart level. You can, however, occasionally interact with them when they are sleeping if you walk into them (especially repeatedly), causing them to move. As of v1.3 it is much more difficult to "nudge" animals by walking into them.
- Tip: The advantage of milking after 8pm is that animals never walk away from you. Animals walking away mid-action frequently causes milking and shearing to fail.
You can also exit the barn and re-enter; the animals will change position randomly, but this makes it hard to keep track of who has been milked.
If the game is not paused and passes without a cut-scene, one maximum-length game-day (20 hours) passes in 860 seconds, real-time (14 minutes 20 seconds). At this rate:
- One displayed time step of 10 minutes in-game equals about 7.17 seconds.
- One in-game hour equals 43 seconds.
- One in-game season equals 401 minutes 20 seconds (~6.689 hours).
- One in-game year equals 1605 minutes 20 seconds (~26.756 hours).
- Two in-game years equal 3210 minutes 40 seconds (~53.511 hours).
This calculation does not contain any between-day cut-scenes, announcements, or the selling summary after each day.
Playing 18-hour game-days:
- One in-game day equals 774 seconds (12.9 minutes).
- One in-game season equals 361 minutes 12 seconds (6.02 hours).
- Two in-game years equal 2889 minutes 36 seconds (48.16 hours).
There is no guarantee that all possible items can be acquired in any given time frame. And it is definitely possible to be worth a 4-candle evaluation from Grandpa well before year 3. But clearly, two game years of active playing take a minimum of about 50 hours to do. May they be fun ones.