The Day and Night Cycle in Dragon's Dogma is a subtle feature that has profound effects on gameplay. The game operates on an unseen clock that governs the time of day. Resting at Inns is the most reliable way to pinpoint the start of the day as it starts the day fresh at the beginning of the new cycle. As the day progresses, NPCs go about their routines according to their schedules and the world experiences certain changes depending on the time of day.
Dragon's Dogma Day Night Cycle
The world of Dragon's Dogma operates on a standard Day/Night cycle. As is with real life, the Sun rises in the East and sets in the far West of the land. Once the Sun sets, when the surroundings become particularly darker and the environment becomes more dangerous, the time is considered night. The moon is not visible in-game but other heavenly bodies like stars, lanterns, campfires, and other minor light sources will illuminate the surroundings.
Enemies become more common at night, and several unique monsters also appear. The list includes wolves, goblins, bandits, and some others. New players are encouraged to stay at Inns during nighttime but if you must travel, make sure to bring a light source with you and prepare for battles
Resting at Inns will give players the choice if they want to stay until the night or the next day. This is also a good way to pass the time and avoid dangerous events.
Time in Dragon's Dogma
Much like in the older days, there are no visible clocks in-game to tell the time accurately. However, there are some ways for players to tell time:
- The Day/Night cycle in Gransys lasts 48 minutes in real-time. The daytime is roughly 32 minutes, and the nighttime is 16 minutes.
- The Cathedral Bell in Gran Soren rings at noon.
- Get a clear view of the Sun, face the North then observe your shadow. If you see the shadow to your left it indicates 9 AM, to your front is 12 noon, to the right is 3 PM, and right behind you is 6 PM.
- Pawn chatter also informs you if the night is going to fall soon.
- Pawns will light their lanterns when it gets completely dark.
The Lantern is a small light source that is commonly used by the Arisen and Pawns as the standard light source. The Arisen's lantern casts a brighter glow compared to the pawns. Lanterns are an essential when you hunt out at night to help illuminate your surroundings and to see better.
When you are out exploring, you will also find some light sources such as a lit kindling, brazier, torch, campfires, and other minor sources. For a certain vocation, players may also cast Magickal Gleam for a bright and holy illumination as a light source. The area will stay illuminated for 80 seconds.
The night is a particularly dangerous time of the day, and it is marked by several dramatic elements and occurrences:
- Moonglow will only bloom at night.
- Powerful Enemies such as Wights appear at night.
- Undead enemies like Ghosts and Skeletons appear in the overworld at night and drop Items that can only be obtained at night. This does not apply in the following Locations, meaning Undead are not restricted by time of day in their appearance (this restriction is also lifted during Endgame): Bitterblack Isle & The Everfall.
The Island Beyond Gransys: Bitterblack Isle
Wherever you are in the game, the time across Gransys passes at the same rate, whether you are in The Everfall or any other town.
However, in the Bitterblack Isle, where it appears to be night almost all the time, time still passes at the same rate. The regular day/night cycle continues and the same events as in any other part of Gransys continue. One way to tell if the night has come is through your Pawns. They will first use the Pawn chatter and warn you about the night and then you can see them lighting their lanterns. Pay closer attention to them when you are out fighting.
Once the night has fallen, you can either choose to go back to the closest inn or nearby camps to rest fully or locate a resting bench. A resting bench is similar to Inns except they only provide a portion of health and stamina recovery, and only pass the time for a shorter duration.