There are four time of day states that occur when triggered by the player:
Each time of day has its own selection of sounds. These range from owls hooting and crickets to birdsong and distant wolf packs howling. Time has small impacts on the behaviors of some NPCs. During single player, the player chooses when time advances by pressing the Z key and selecting one of four different times of the day. Time can only be 'controlled' by sleeping. In multiplayer, only the host may sleep to change the time of day.
- The cattle ranch exists in a permanent state of night.
- The subject of dynamic time of day features was raised early in 2.7 development. While it may be possible for the computer version of the game, it may not be feasible for the tablet versions due to varying device specifications and, respectively, possible limitations.
- Elk bugling and planes tracking wolves equipped with a radio collar may occur in any map at any time of the day.
- Each time of day has a different selection of ambient sounds.
- At night, the sound of owls hooting and crickets chirping can be heard. Sometimes, coyotes' yowls and distant wolf packs' howling can also be heard.
- During the day/afternoon, birdsong is most prominent.
- In Slough Creek, frogs may be heard by some bodies of water.
- At night, ravens do not eat carcasses.