Time must pass in Skyrim to give the Dragonborn a sense of urgency for their missions and a deadline for completing certain parts of the story. Bethesda introduced “das” and “nighttime” cycles to achieve this in Skyrim.
But how long is a day in real life time in Skyrim? And how long is a night? How much daylight time is there per day? And what are the exact times of sunrise and sunset? Are there any fast ways to accelerate or decelerate time so you can explore different areas at different times of the day?
In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at the time mechanics in Skyrim and reveal the answers to these questions and many more.
Are the days and nights in Skyrim 24 in-game hours long?
Yes, a day length in-game is 24 hours long.
You can see that the day is 24 hours by waiting in-game. When the wait menu pops up, you can see the current in-game time, which uses the 12-hour clock: 12 hours AM and 12 hours PM. You use this clock to set the time when you stop waiting. Remember that AM hours are in the morning, and PM hours are in the afternoon and evening.
For example, 3am is in the early morning in Skyrim, whereas 3pm is mid-afternoon in Skyrim.
However, as you’ll see below, the in-game time in Skyrim is different from real-time in real-life.
How long is a full day in real-time in Skyrim?
As noted above, a full day in Skyrim is 24 in-game hours long. However, time passes much faster in-game than in real life.
In fact, time passes 20X faster in Skyrim than in real-time.
For example, for every 1 minute of real-time, 20 minutes of in-game time pass in Skyrim.
This makes 1 in-game hour 3 real-time minutes long.
So a 24-hour in-game day can be worked out with the following formula:
24 x 3 = 72 minutes.
So a full day in Skyrim is 72 real-life minutes long. Or 1 hour 12 minutes.
When does sunset happen?
Sunset in Skyrim occurs the same time every night at 7pm (1900 hours), regardless of your location on the map.
Also, the sunsets, regardless of the weather or other conditions affecting visibility, such as local Geography.
It’s worth noting that, in-game, the sun often appears to set at 8pm, an hour later. However, 7pm is the “official” sunset time because vampires can travel outdoors without getting damaged by sunlight.
However, most shoppes and stalls in Skyrim stay open for 1 hour after sunset until 8pm. This is to allow gamers playing as vampires to visit shops while they are still open.
When does sunrise happen?
Sunrise in Skyrim happens the same time every night at 5am (0500 hours), regardless of your location on the map.
Also, it’s worth noting that the sun rises at 5am regardless of the weather or other conditions currently affecting visibility, such as geographical location.
In-game, the sun actually rises at about 6am. However, 5am is the “official” sunset time because vampires must stop travelling outdoors. Otherwise, they’ll be damaged by sunlight.
However, most shops and stalls in Skyrim open at 8am making the in-game working day 12 hours long. Also, most shop owners get out of bed close to the beginning of the working day. So if you play the role of a thief, you can keep stealing goods well past sunrise.
How long is daylight in real-time and Skyrim time?
Daylight time in Skyrim is exactly 14 in-game hours long, from 5am in the morning until 7pm at night. This gives you plenty of time to explore the opulent world of Skyrim under a flood of daylight. This means you get to explore and see the world in all its colourful glory.
The 14-hour in-game time means that daylight in Skyrim, in real-time, is 42 minutes long. Remember above, we noted that one in-game hour is three minutes of real-time long.
One negative about having such an extended length of daylight is that vampires will be stuck indoors for 14 hours of the day. However, vampires do have another option. They can choose to wait those 14 hours every day until night falls.
How long are the nights in real-time and Skyrim time?
The nighttime in Skyrim lasts 10 hours, from 7 pm until 5 am the following day.
This gives gamers who love to role-play as thieves and assassins plenty of nighttime to steal those expensive gems or take out a target.
In real life, the 10-hour in-game length of nighttime equals 30 minutes of real-time. Remember above, I concluded that one in-game Skyrim hour is three minutes of real-time long.
How to make time pass in Skyrim: The “TTT” console command
Changing the day length in Skyrim is possible using the game’s built-in console command interface. However, the console is only available on Skyrim’s PC and Mac versions. If you are playing on any console version, you cannot access the console interface and cannot change the length of a day.
However, you can rest and wait. More on that in a second.
If you are playing on PC or Mac, read on to find out how to change the day length in Skyrim.
Console commands are special codes you can activate via Skyrim’s in-built “console” interface. This interface is usually hidden from the player but can be easily enabled by anyone.
To enter the console interface when in-game, press the ~ (tilde) button (button left of the “1” key).
With the console open, enter “TTT” (without quotation marks), and time will pass by 5 times faster. For example, if sunrise is happening in 50 minutes in real-time, you’ll only have to wait 10 minutes with the “TTT” command enabled.
With the “TTT” command, you can explore the different times of day in Skyrim quickly and easily. And you can use it to speed through the night to explore Skyrim during the day.
Keep in mind that there are ways to speed up the passage of time in-game that do not use the built-in console interface and that work on any console as well as PC and Mac.
First, you can use the wait function to pass the time quickly. That way, roughly every couple of seconds, an hour passes in-game.
Another way to make time pass quickly is to fast travel. Time will fast forward many hours depending on how far you have travelled.
You can also sleep, which speeds up time in a very similar way to waiting.
Finally, you can use the horse and carriage, which parks outside every major in-game settlement, to fast-travel to locations you have yet to travel to. This also speeds up the passage of time.
This article has taken an in-depth look at the time mechanics in Skyrim. We’ve learned that the day in Skyrim is 24 in-game hours long, which equals 72 real-life minutes.
Daylight is 14 in-game hours or 42 minutes of real time. And the nighttime is 10 in-game hours or 30 minutes of real-time long.
Additionally, sunrise is at 5am, and sunset is at 5pm.
Finally, you can use the console interface on PC and Mac to speed up the day. However, if you are using a console, you can use the wait function, sleep, or fast travel to speed up time.
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