Guide: How to buy Nintendo Switch eShop games from another region?
Here is a complete guide to learn how to buy from another eShop region
As you might now, one of the best features of the Nintendo Switch compared to its predecessors is that it’s region free. No need to find an obscure way to play games you would want to buy and import games from another part of the world, there’s simply no lock. Of course, that’s easily done when you buy a physical copy of a game, but what about the digital eShop? Well, it’s region free too! But it doesn’t mean you’ll have access to, let’s say, Japanese games on the North American eShop. For that, you’ll need to access the Switch eShop from another Nintendo Account, corresponding to the region you seek. So, how exactly are you going to do that? Simple, follow this guide!
Before we start…
Ok so, before you start creating that account and accessing new games from other regions, there’s a few things you need to know:
- Nintendo prevents 99% of credit/debit cards from working on a foreign eShop. However, you can buy eShop Gift Cards from other regions. So either you already have a credit/debit card issued in the region you want to buy from, either you’ll have to buy eShop Gift Cards to buy games in those regions.
- When you have multiple users from different regions on your Switch, you’ll get ALL the news from the different regions. Even the ones you don’t understand (i.e. if they’re in Japanese for example). And you can’t turn off the news from a specific region without turning off the other regions.
- You can change the region of your actual Nintendo Account, but we strongly recommend you not to do so. The eShop balance you currently have won’t be transferred to the other region currency, your current credit/debit card won’t work anymore in this new region, eShop Gift Cards from your country won’t work on the other region’s eShop. And most of all, your current DLC are region locked, so if you buy a physical game from a retail in your country, you won’t be able to download any DLC for it unless you switch back to your region.
Now, you’re ok with all this? Good, let’s go.
1 – Create a Nintendo Account
First thing you’ll need to do is create a new Nintendo Account in the region corresponding to the eShop you want to buy games from. Go on your computer, and open a web browser to the address accounts.nintendo.com. If you’re already logged to your current account, you might want to change the browser user or use another browser, so you won’t have to disconnect/connect every time you want to switch between Nintendo Accounts.
Once you’re logged out, go to the bottom of the screen and click on “Create a Nintendo Account”
Then, the website will ask if you want to create your own Nintendo Account or one for your kids. Choose “Create your Nintendo Account”.
Next step, don’t choose to create the account by linking a Facebook, Twitter, Google or another third-party account. Instead, scroll down and fill in the regular form. Don’t forget that you’ll need an email address that isn’t already tied to a Nintendo Account. In the “Country/Region” dropdown, choose the one that corresponds to the eShop region you want to access. We picked Japan.
Ok so now you arrive to a page saying that you need to confirm the account with a 4-digit code. Do Not Close That Page! Go check your emails in another tab or else, go get the code in the email you just received from the Nintendo teams, enter it on the page and clic “Confirm”.
Your Nintendo Account is now created, next step is on your Nintendo Switch.
2 – Add a User to your Nintendo Switch and link it to the Nintendo Account
So, on the Nintendo Switch, go to your System Settings, down to the User section. Clic on “Add New User” underneath the other profiles.
Set your account and nickname, you can choose to create your own icon if you want. We’ve gone for the good old Mario Mushroom with a red background.
Then, enter the nickname you’ll want to display for that new user. It doesn’t matter if it’s not the same one as the Nintendo ID you might have chosen when you’ve setup your Nintendo Account.
Once that’s done, the Switch system will ask you if you want to link this new User to a Nintendo Account, by signing in or creating an account. Clic on “Sign In”. If you’ve activated the Parental Controls app, the system will ask you to enter your PIN before accessing the next step. Then, you’ll be redirected to the Sign In procedure with your Nintendo Account. Choose “Sing In using an email address or Sign-In ID” and enter the details of the account you’ve created in the first part of this guide. Once that’s done, clic on “Sign In”.
Once your Nintendo Account is tied to the User, your system might say that the language its displaying in doesn’t correspond to the region (if you created a Japanese Nintendo Account for example). Don’t freak out, that’s normal, just confirm and go forth. You’ll then see a promotional landing page. Go all the way down and click on “OK”.
And that’s done! Now all you have to do is go back to your Home Screen and discover that new Switch eShop.
3 – Access the Nintendo Switch eShop from that new User
From your Home Screen, go choose the “Nintendo eShop” and access it with the new User you’ve juste created and linked to your Nintendo Account. You’ll then be prompted with a confirmation step, probably in foreign language corresponding to the region you chose. It’s the general conditions of use of the service, just tick the box in the bottom right corner and Confirm.
There you go! Welcome to the Nintendo Switch eShop of another region! Now have fun, and don’t forget the “Before we start…” infos we gave you if you decide to buy a game on this eShop. Oh and just as a detail, you can still access the eShop in the original region of your system, just choose the corresponding User when you open the eShop.