- Internally, the game actually thinks of things in terms of 12 seasons, not just 4. In addition to Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter, there are also Early Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Late Fall, Early Winter, and Late Winter. However the game may not always explicitly distinguish these latter 8 seasons in text visible to players.
- Every calendar month is associated with two seasons. For example:
- August is considered to be both a Summer month and a Late Summer month.
- September is considered to be both a Late Summer month and an Early Fall month. (Note that it's not considered to be a Summer month or a Fall month.) This applies to the entire calendar month; there is no special changeover on September 21st or 22nd like there is in real life.
- The inverse of the above point is that each season is associated with two months. E.g., Late Summer is the entirety of the months of August and September.
Merit badges and achievements
There are some merit badges for playing in different seasons. We're trying to approximate the traditional 4-season thinking for these badges, so:
- You get at most one credit for playing in Early Spring or Spring. I.e., March, April, or May.
- You get at most one credit for playing in Early Summer or Summer. I.e., June, July, or August
- You get at most one credit for playing in Early Fall or Fall. I.e., September, October, or November.
- You get at most one credit for playing in Early Winter or Winter. I.e., December, January, or February.
- Completing the same subbullet above in multiple years (e.g., doing the first subbullet in 2021, and again in 2022) only counts once, not multiple times. I.e., if you want the Elite merit badge for playing in all four seasons, you have to complete each of those subbullets at least once, but it doesn't matter in which year you do so.
- This is how it will work beginning in version 1.7.0. Prior to this, unfortunately no credit was given for playing in March, June, September, and December because the "Early" seasons were not recognized as belonging to any particular badge.
- Achievements behave likewise.
Many plants in the game are seasonal. Let's look at fruit bushes as an example of how things work.
- In the Winter and Late Winter you can find Snowberry Bushes for sale. You won't find them for sale in Spring or Late Spring; instead you'll find Goldenberry Bushes.
- If you already own a Snowberry Bush, it won't turn into a different kind of bush when the season is no longer right for Snowberry Bushes. Once a Snowberry Bush, always a Snowberry Bush!
- Snowberry Bushes continue to produce fruit (specifically Snowberries) even if it's not the right season for Snowberry Bushes.
- At least in the case of fruit bushes, other properties are consistent regardless of the type of bush it is. E.g., max happiness Snowberry Bushes will occasionally drop a Cocoa Bean along with their normal fruit, and you can expect the same from Goldenberry Bushes.
Each type of fish exists in certain seasons but not other seasons.
- Seasons are not the only thing that affect which fish exist. E.g., certain types of fish only appear after a certain campaign day has been reached, even if it is the correct season for that type of fish.