Time in Darkwood elapses faster than in real life. During the day, one Darkwood hour equals 48 seconds of real-life time, for a total of 576 seconds from morning to night. At night(from 20:00 to 8:00) one hour lasts about 22.5 seconds; the whole night lasts 270 seconds.
The exact time of day in Darkwood can be established with the help of a Watch, which can be found in various places.
The break of dawn - marked by a crescendo string music and a red light scheme - begins at 07:00, dusk at 18:00, nightfall at 19:30, and night at 20:00.
At dusk the player receives a request to return to the Hideout, as it is getting dark. If the player is not taking shelter in a hideout with a lit Oven at night, several Floors Gores will spawn and hunt the player down.
Upon dying at night (only if permadeath is turned off), the Protagonist awakes again by the oven at 08:00 without having gained any reputation with the current trader, being either the Trader or The Three.
Time Freeze is an event in Darkwood that takes place after surviving a night. It is reached by the player at 07:00, however takes place at exactly 8:00 am.
During the time freeze, the passage of time is completely stopped until the player leaves the boundaries of the fence around their hideout. This provides an excellent opportunity to repair any damaged structures, craft items, or cook without worry. While the time freeze is active, a running generator does not consume fuel. Time freeze does not halt the decay of items like Odd-Looking Mushroom or Odd Meat. Even the Odd-Looking, Glowing Mushroom sold by Trader and The Three will decay into Rotten Mushrooms while still in their inventory if the player spends enough time during the time freeze.
After the first night in the game, either the Wolfman or the Trader will spawn in the hideout during the time freeze to make a deal with the player. Every sequential morning, either the Trader or The Three will appear in the hideout, depending on the player's progression through the game.
- In Alpha 6.0, the first time freeze was also accompanied by a box of mushrooms with a note in the player's Hideout. This box was removed in Alpha 7.0.
- Players should remain wary even while daybreak is coming and lighting the area - if the event is ongoing, Shadows can still spawn in and kill the Protagonist from daybreak light.
- Daybreak can also allow the protagonist to quickly check things such as the location of a Sacrifice and other Night Events in case what remains of the night event, such as corpses with loot, despawns at day.