The day-night cycle is a 20-minute-long cycle between two main light settings.
In Minecraft, time is exactly 72 times faster than normal time. This can be easily calculated as the proportion 1440⁄20 = 72, since there are 1440 minutes (86400 seconds) in a real day (3600sec × 24hr) and 20 minutes (1200 seconds) in a full Minecraft day, assuming the tick speed is maintained at 20 ticks/second. A collection of time unit conversions is listed below:
Minecraft time to real time
|Minecraft time||Minecraft ticks||Real time|
|1 second||0.27||0.0138 seconds|
|1 minute||16.6||0.83 seconds|
|1 hour||1,000||50 seconds|
|1 day||24,000||20 minutes|
|1 week (7 days)||168,000||2.3 hours|
|1 lunar cycle (8 days)||192,000||2.6 hours|
|1 month (30 days)||720,000||10 hours|
|1 year (365.2422 days)||8,766,000||121.75 hours (5.072916 days)|
Real time to Minecraft time
The approximation of real time to Minecraft time:
|Real time||Minecraft time|
|1 tick||3.6 Minecraft seconds|
|1 second||1 minute and 12 seconds. (72 seconds)|
|10 seconds||12 minutes (720 seconds)|
|50 seconds||1 hour (60 minutes, 3600 seconds)|
|1 minute (60 seconds)||1 hour and 12 minutes (72 minutes, 4320 seconds).|
|1 hour||3 days.|
|1 day||2.4 months, = 72 days.|
|1 week||≈ 1.385 years, ≈ 17 months, = 72 weeks, = 504 days.|
|1 month||6 years, = 72 months, ≈ 308.5 weeks, = 2,160 days.|
|1 year||72 years, ≈ 876.5 months, ≈ 3,757 weeks, ≈ 26,297.5 days.|
24-hour Minecraft day
time of day
|Beginning of the Minecraft day.|
Villagers awaken and rise from their beds.
|07:00:00.0||1000||0:50||Time when using the |
|08:00:00.0||2000||1:40||Villagers begin their workday.|
|11:43:22.8||5723||4:46.15||The clock shows exactly noon.|
|12:00:00.0||6000||5:00||Noon; the sun is at its peak.|
|Time when using |
|15:00:00.0||9000||7:30||Villagers end their workday and begin socializing.|
|18:00:00.0||12000||10:00||Time when using the |
Villagers go to their beds and sleep.
|18:00:36.0||12010||10:00.5||In rainy weather, beds can be used at this point.|
|18:02:24||12040||10:02||The internal sky-light level begins to decrease.|
|18:32:31.2||12542||10:27.1||In clear weather, beds can be used at this point.|
In clear weather, Bees enter the nest/hive for the night.
In clear weather, undead mobs no longer burn.
|18:36:36||12610||10:30.5||The clock shows exactly dusk (day to night).|
|18:47:09.6||12786||10:39.3||The solar zenith angle is 0.|
|18:58:08.4||12969||10:48.45||First tick when monsters spawn outdoors in rainy weather.[note 1]|
|19:00:00.0||13000||10:50||Time when using the |
|19:11:16.8||13188||10:59.4||First tick when monsters spawn outdoors in clear weather.[note 1]|
|23:50:34.8||17843||14:52.7||The clock starts showing exactly midnight.|
|00:00:00.0||18000||15:00||Midnight; the moon is at its peak.|
|Time when using the |
|04:48:43.2||22812||19:00.6||Last tick when monsters spawn outdoors in clear weather.[note 1]|
|05:00:00.0||23000||19:10||Time when using the |
|05:01:51.6||23031||19:11.55||Last tick when monsters spawn outdoors in rainy weather.[note 1]|
|05:02:27.6||23041||19:12.1||The clock starts showing exactly dawn.|
|05:12:57.6||23216||19:20.8||The solar zenith angle is 0.|
|05:27:36.0||23460||19:33||In clear weather, beds can no longer be used.|
In clear weather, Bees leave the nest/hive.
In clear weather, undead mobs begin to burn.
|05:57:39.6||23961||19:58.1||The internal sky-light level reaches 15, the maximum.|
|05:59:31.2||23992||19:59.6||In rainy weather, beds can no longer be used.|
Daytime is the longest section of the cycle, lasting 10 minutes.
- Start: 0 ticks (06:00:00.0)
- Mid: 6000 ticks (12:00:00.0)
- End: 12000 ticks (18:00:00.0)
When a player first spawns in singleplayer, the day-night cycle always starts at the beginning of the daytime (0:00). Most multiplayer servers also start at the beginning of the daytime, but the day-night cycle continues regardless of any new players joining.
All blocks that are in direct vertical view of the sky receive sunlight at the internal sky-light level 15, which is the maximum. Sunlight provides ample light for the growth of saplings, grass blocks and crops. Most undead mobs (including zombies and skeletons) exposed to direct sunlight (and are not in shade, in water, or wearing helmets) are set on fire. Additionally, sunlight renders spiders neutral, unless they are currently chasing the player, and any endermen exposed to sunlight teleport randomly when near the player and randomly become neutral if having been aggressive for at least 30 seconds.
Sunset is the period between daytime and nighttime, and always lasts 5⁄6 minutes.
- Start: 12000 ticks (18:00:00.0)
- End: 13000 ticks (19:00:00.0)
During sunset, the Sun descends on the western horizon, and the Moon rises on the eastern horizon. The sky near the setting Sun glows a vibrant orange-red. The internal sky-light level decreases. Eventually, undead mobs exposed to direct sunlight are set not to burn.
Between dusk and dawn, players may sleep in a bed. In singleplayer mode, doing so advances the day-night cycle to dawn and sets the weather to clear. This also occurs in multiplayer as long as every player online is in a bed simultaneously. Time does not pass for other aspects of the world, however; for example, crops do not grow and furnaces do not cook or smelt as they would when players are awake.
Nighttime lasts 8 1⁄3 minutes.
- Start: 13000 ticks (19:00:00.0)
- Mid: 18000 ticks (00:00:00.0)
- End: 23000 ticks (05:00:00.0)
During the night, the Moon rises to its peak in a dark blue sky dotted with small white stars. The stars appear to move with the Moon and can be first seen toward the end of the sunset.
During the nighttime, the world is covered in darkness; the internal sky-light level falls to a minimum of 4, which allows hostile mobs to spawn on the surface. The exact duration for which hostile mobs are able to spawn in exposed areas is 13188 ticks.[note 1] Regardless of the low light level, crops continue to grow during the night as long as one player is not sleeping.
Sunrise is the period between nighttime and daytime, and always lasts 5⁄6 minutes.
- Start: 23000 ticks (05:00:00.0)
- End: 24000 (0) ticks (06:00:00.0)
During sunrise, the Moon sets on the western horizon and the Sun rises on the eastern horizon. The sky near the rising Sun glows orange.
The internal sky-light level increases. Eventually, the effects of sunlight return, dissipating the threat of most hostile mobs.
A clock allows players to determine Minecraft time. A clock is useful while underground where the current day/night cycle is not visible. A clock helps the player avoid mistakenly surfacing at night and falling prey to night-spawned mobs on the surface.
If commands are enabled, then it is possible to change the current time with the
/time commands, as detailed below. To enable or disable the day-night cycle, use the following command:
/gamerule doDaylightCycle true|false
Specific times can be set with the
/time set command.
/time set <number|day|noon|sunset|night|midnight|sunrise>
/time set 0– Sets the time to dawn/sunrise.
/time set day– Sets the time to 1000.
/time set 12000– Sets the time to dusk/sunset.
/time set sunrise[Bedrock Edition only] - Sets the time to 23000.
Each day that progresses adds 24000 ticks to the time counter. While each day looks the same, the Moon appears in one of eight different phases each night. Although there is no explicit command to change the Moon's phase, using
/time add 24000 advances the Moon to its next phase. Furthermore, any of the phases can be accessed with the use of one of the following commands:
/time set 14000– Full moon
/time set 38000– Waning gibbous
/time set 62000– Third quarter
/time set 86000– Waning crescent
/time set 110000– New moon
/time set 134000– Waxing crescent
/time set 158000– First quarter
/time set 182000– Waxing gibbous
|Icon||Achievement||In-game description||Actual requirements (if different)||Gamerscore earned||Trophy type (PS)|
|Passing the Time||Play for 100 days.||Play for 100 Minecraft days, which is equivalent to 33 hours in real time.||20G||Bronze|
|Java Edition Indev|
|February 12, 2010, 1||Added the day-night cycle.|
|Java Edition Beta|
|1.8||Pre-release||In the leaked 1.8 pre-release version, the player can manipulate the time by pressing F6 to reverse time and F7 to advance time.|
|Day-night cycles no longer need chunk updates, now is a smooth transition.|
|1.0.0||Beta 1.9 Prerelease 4||Notch mentioned on his Twitter that the Sun actually rose in the north in Minecraft. This was a bug and was fixed in Beta 1.9 Prerelease 4, so the Sun and Moon now both rise in the east; this also changed the South-West rule to the South-East rule.|
|Added lunar phases.|
|1.3.1||12w21a||The stars that appear at night were updated to be more realistic (slightly smaller and brighter).|
|1.5||13w01a||Daylight sensors determine what time of day it is by outputting a redstone signal.|
|Pocket Edition Alpha|
|0.2.0||Added the day-night cycle.|
|0.4.0||The day is now longer.|
|0.5.0||The Nether reactor core sets the time to night.|
|0.7.3||Added sunrises, sunsets, the Sun, the Moon, and stars.|
|0.10.0||build 1||Added the day-night cycle to creative mode.|
|The time of day is now more accurately synced in multiplayer.|
|0.11.0||build 1||Added option to disable day-night cycle, in creative mode only.|
|1.1.0||alpha 18.104.22.168||The sun and moon now rise in the east and set in the west. (Previously they rose in the north and set in the south.)|
- The sun and moon rotate around the player, not the center of the map. They always remain in the same position relative to the stars, and to each other.
- In Java Edition, day and night do not proceed when a singleplayer game is paused. This does not apply when a GUI window (such as the inventory) is opened. In multiplayer, this is not the case; time proceeds normally as long as the server is on.
- The sun and moon are both visible when standing or flying at a height above the terrain at approximately 1.4× the set render distance.
- The day-night cycle continues while the player is in the Nether or The End, although the world itself does not change until the Overworld is loaded again. This can be observed if the player creates a village in another dimension and observes the schedule progressing as normal.
- Background game music is triggered at specific times of the day-night cycle.
- The highest value of time that can be set with the
/time setcommand is 2,147,483,647 (231−1; the 32-bit integer limit).
- This is equivalent to 89478 days, or 11483 ticks. Real-time equivalent (counting from January 1, 1 CE, year 0 not existed): December 25, 1581 CE at 11:28:58.8. Without leap years it would be January 1, 1582 CE at 17:28:58.8. Elapsed real-life time: approximately 345 days and 5 hours.
- Using NBT editors, the largest time value that can be set is 9,223,372,036,854,775,807 (263−1; the 64-bit integer limit). After this point, the day/night cycle cannot progress. At this time, 384,307,168,202,282 days, 7 hours, 48 minutes and 25.2 real-life seconds would have elapsed, or approximately 1,052,197,288,656.939773689169981 years.
- Time of day measured by the first time commands are executed after the spawn cycle.