You can play Cyberpunk 2077 early on Xbox by swapping time zones

Cyberpunk 2077
(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Cyberpunk 2077 players are getting access to the game ahead of time by changing their console's system clock. Multiple reports from Xbox players say they've managed to start playing before their allotted time by changing their console to run on New Zealand time.

On both PS4 and Xbox One, Cyberpunk 2077 unlocks at midnight local time on December 10. At the time of writing, it's a little after midnight in New Zealand, meaning players there are already able to play, with those in Western Australia due to unlock the game very soon. However, Xbox players are using a well-known trick to let some of them get access almost a full day ahead of schedule.

The Xbox One allows you to change the time zone that your console is linked to by a quick tinker in the system settings. Doing so right now means you can trick your machine into thinking it's running on New Zealand time, and since it's already December 10 in the South Pacific, that means you can already get to Night City. Given that it's still the early hours of the morning in some parts of America, for example, some players are getting access to the game almost a full day early.

See more

While this is likely excellent news for Xbox players, it won't work on other platforms. You can change the PS4's time zone too, but you won't trick Sony's console quite so easily, as they're more closely tied to the region they're shipped in. And if you're playing on PC, you'll have to wait until the equivalent of Midnight GMT in your local time zone.

Of course, that's not as bad as the wait for those holding out for a next-gen experience - the true PS5 and Xbox Series X versions won't be out until next year, although you'll still be able to play on the new consoles from today, with a few hardware benefits built-in.

Desperate for more Night City news ahead of release? Check out our Cyberpunk 2077 review.

Ali Jones
News Editor

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.