Daylight cycle

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A time-lapse of the day/night cycle

The daylight cycle is a 20-minute-long cycle between two main light settings.

Conversions[edit]

A chart showing the approximations of Minecraft time to real time.

In Minecraft, time is exactly 72 times faster than normal time. This can be easily calculated as the proportion 144020 = 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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

Minecraft
time of day
Minecraft
ticks
Real time
(minutes)
Event
06:00:00.0 0
(24000)
0:00
(20:00)
Beginning of the Minecraft day.
Villagers awaken and rise from their beds.
07:00:00.0 1000 0:50 Time when using the /time set day command.
08:00:00.0 2000 1:40 Villagers begin their workday.
11:43:22.8 5723 4:46.15 The clock starts showing exactly noon.
12:00:00.0 6000 5:00 Noon; the sun is at its peak.
Time when using /time set noon.
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 /time set sunset[Bedrock Edition only] command.
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 /time set night command.
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 /time set midnight command.
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 /time set sunrise[Bedrock Edition only] command.
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[edit]

This is the start of a new day.

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 daylight cycle always starts at the beginning of the daytime (0:00). Most multiplayer servers also start at the beginning of the daytime, but the daylight cycle continues regardless of any new players joining.

During the daytime, the Sun rises up to its peak in a light blue sky. The exact color of the sky depends on the current biome; for example, desert skies are a lighter shade of blue than plains skies.

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/dusk[edit]

Example sunset seen from a high spot on the map.

Sunset is the period between daytime and nighttime, and always lasts 56 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 daylight 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[edit]

A Tundra (Historic Alpha Version) biome during the night; various mobs can be seen.

Nighttime lasts 8 13 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/dawn[edit]

Example of the Sun rising in the horizon.

Sunrise is the period between nighttime and daytime, and always lasts 56 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.

WatchCycle.gif

Clocks[edit]

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.

Clocks spin uselessly in the Nether and the End, because there is no daylight cycle in those dimensions.

Commands[edit]

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 daylight cycle, use the following command: /gamerule doDaylightCycle true|false

Set time[edit]

Specific times can be set with the /time set command.

Syntax: /time set <number|day|noon|sunset|night|midnight|sunrise>

Examples:

/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.

Moon phases[edit]

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

Achievements[edit]

Icon Achievement In-game description Actual requirements (if different) Gamerscore earned Trophy type (PS)
Passing the TimePlay for 100 days.Play for 100 Minecraft days, which is equivalent to 33 hours in real time.20GBronze

Video[edit]

History[edit]

Java Edition Indev
February 12, 2010, 1Added the daylight cycle.
Java Edition Beta
1.8Pre-releaseIn the leaked 1.8 pre-release version, the player can manipulate the time by pressing F6 to reverse time and F7 to advance time.
daylight cycles no longer need chunk updates, now is a smooth transition.
Java Edition
1.0.0Beta 1.9 Prerelease 4Notch mentioned on his Twitter that the Sun actually rose in the north in Minecraft.[1] This was a bug and was fixed in Beta 1.9 Prerelease 4, so the Sun and Moon now both rise in the east;[2] this also changed the South-West rule to the South-East rule.
Added lunar phases.[3][4]
1.3.112w21aThe stars that appear at night were updated to be more realistic (slightly smaller and brighter).
1.513w01aDaylight sensors determine what time of day it is by outputting a redstone signal.
1.6.113w24a/gamerule doDaylightCycle added, which turns the daylight cycle on or off.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.2.0Added the daylight cycle.
0.4.0The day is now longer.
0.5.0The Nether reactor core sets the time to night.
0.7.3Added sunrises, sunsets, the Sun, the Moon, and stars.
0.10.0build 1Added the daylight cycle to creative mode.
The time of day is now more accurately synced in multiplayer.
0.11.0build 1Added option to disable daylight cycle, in creative mode only.
Pocket Edition
1.1.0alpha 1.1.0.0The sun and moon now rise in the east and set in the west. (Previously they rose in the north and set in the south.)

Trivia[edit]

  • 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.
    • Due to this fact, solar eclipses in Minecraft are currently impossible.
    • Also due to this fact, technically lunar eclipses (also known as blood moons) would happen every night.
  • 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 daylight 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 daylight cycle.
  • The highest value of time that can be set with the /time set command is 2,147,483,647 (231−1; the 32-bit integer limit).
    • This is equivalent to 89478 days and 11647 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 1242 days (3 years and 147 days, ignoring leap years) and 18 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 value overflows to be −263, and as it adds up, the day/night cycle progresses "backwards". 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.

Notes[edit]

  1. a b c d e Time of day measured by the first time commands are executed after the spawn cycle.

References[edit]