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How long is a Minecraft day? A fun guide to Minecraft time



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Minecraft during the day and Minecraft at night are two very different experiences. However, both have their unique uses. Understanding the length of these cycles can help add to a player’s preparation for the gameplay change. So, just how long is a Minecraft day? 

The Minecraft day-night cycle

A Minecraft day typically lasts 11 minutes in the real world, while the night cycle lasts nine. So, a full day and night cycle in Minecraft lasts around 20 minutes. Of course, this is hugely different to our real-life day and night cycle. The only common feature is the rise and fall of the sun. 

Java Edition vs Bedrock Edition

You may wonder whether the day and night cycle length changes across the Java edition and Bedrock edition of Minecraft. We can confirm that there is a slight difference between the two. 

Both editions have a day and night cycle that lasts between 17-20 minutes.

For the Bedrock Edition, you may find that sunset happens later, meaning that night mobs spawn a little later too. However, there is a merely a very small difference between the two, making it barely noticeable across the editions. 

Time conversions

Time Conversions

Sunrise

If we were to look at Minecraft as real time, we would find that sunrise/dawn occurs between 12am-6am. This period of time lasts for 1.5 minutes in the game (around 7.5% of the full cycle.)

During this transition, the moon will set on the western horizon, and you can see the sun begin to rise on the eastern horizon. For Minecraft Pocket Edition, the moon will set to the south and the sun will rise to the north. 

Each specific time of day has its own benefits and drawbacks. During sunrise/dawn any mobs still remaining from the night before will remain until the sun has completely risen.

The size and brightness of the sun will increase by 1 pixel every 10 seconds. 

Events in real-time

12:00am The moon begins to set to the west
03:00am The sun begins to rise from the east
04:00am The sun has completely risen past the horizon and light level increases
05:00am Mobs stop spawning 
05:30am The bed can no longer be used
06:00am Zombies begin to burn 

Daytime

In real-time, Minecraft daytime would occur between the hours of 6am-6pm. For Minecraft players, daytime is a saving grace. It can be a blissful time due to the fact there are little mobs and monsters to be found.

The mobs that do spawn, such as spiders and skeletons, are a lot less violent during the day than they are at night. 

Daytime is the cycle that lasts the longest, averaging at around 10 minutes (around 50% of the full cycle.) This is where you will find you can be most productive.

It is a great time to gather resources and begin work on building or growing plans. With the blocks at maximum light level, vegetation will start to grow (vegetables, saplings, grass blocks, etc.)

This time of day will also force endermen to stop attacking you, and they will teleport elsewhere. 

Events In Real-Time

06:00am Beginning of the Minecraft day. Villagers and players will get out of bed
06:30am Moon disappears below the horizon
08:00am Villagers will begin to work around their respective villages
12:00pm Noon, sun is at its peak
03:00pm Villagers will stop working and return to their huts
05:30pm The moon rises in the east
06:00pm Villagers go to sleep, sunset starts

Night

Night

Nighttime occurs between the hours of 6pm-12am. Once sunset/dusk starts you will be able to use your bed. However, this is also the time of day when mobs will begin to spawn.

You will find that mobs will spawn pretty quickly into sunset/dusk, so be prepared before this time if you can. 

Night-time lasts around seven minutes in real-time (around 35% of the full cycle.) It is best to avoid exploring during the night as much as possible to avoid the monsters and other dangers that occur at this time.

Using your bed will ensure that you wake up at the start of the daytime cycle. You can sleep in your bed as long as there are no monsters around. 

Events In Real-Time

06:00pm Sunset begins, light level decreases
06:30pm Bed is available to be used
06:45pm Undead mobs that were burning will no longer burn 
07:00pm Hostile mobs spawn
07:30pm Light level is at its lowest and the sun has fully set
12:00am Sunrise cycle begins around midnight

What are ticks in Minecraft?

In Minecraft, a full day cycle is approximately 20 minutes long. The number of minutes in a real day is 1,440 minutes. This means that a Minecraft day is exactly 72 times quicker than a real day. 

Where we measure real-world time in seconds, we can calculate Minecraft time using ticks. A tick is the amount of time it takes for a game loop to complete. The game usually runs at a fixed rate of 20 ticks per second. Therefore, one tick happens every 0.05 seconds. 

Using Minecraft ticks we now have a point of conversion to see how a real day translates to a day in Minecraft. We have listed these conversions for you below.

Real Time Minecraft Ticks Minecraft Time 
1 hour 1,000 50 seconds
1 day 24,000 20 minutes
1 week  168,000 2 hrs 18 mins
1 month 720,000 10 hours
1 year 8,766,000 ~ 5 days

In comparison to this, we can see how Minecraft time compares to real time using this conversion chart. 

Real Time Minecraft Time 
1 hour 3 days
1 day 72 days
1 week  ~ 1.5 years
1 month ~ 6 years 
1 year ~ 72 years

Change the time of day with commands

There are several cheats you can use to change the time of day in Minecraft. This can be done across most gaming platforms excluding Xbox 360, PS3 and the Wii U.

Simply open the chat window and type in the following commands.

Change The Time Of Day
Time Commands Time of Day
/time set 0 12:00am
/time set day 07:00am
/time set 12000 06:00pm
/time set sunrise 06:00am
/time set noon 12:00pm

All in all, one Minecraft day is equivalent to 20 minutes in real time. There are different aspects to each time of day in Minecraft. Understanding what the stages to a Minecraft day are and how long they last is a great way to ensure that you are prepared for anything that comes your way. Use this knowledge to your advantage and become a survival pro in Minecraft!

More Minecraft guides

And head over to our Minecraft hub for even more news, guides and how-tos!


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