Buying a game in another Switch region

The Nintendo Switch isn’t region locked. Which is nice, as you can play any Switch game, no matter in which country you bought it. Not being region locked gives us gamers the opportunity to look over the boundaries that separate the regions when it comes to video games.

It brings back the days of the 3DS, which was in fact region locked. There was always a time lag between a Japanese release and a Western release. Sometimes even between an American and European release. Japanese games didn’t always make it beyond the borders of the land of the Rising Sun at all. It annoyed me greatly, as I wrote about back then.

If you wanted to play an American, European or Japanese game, you needed the device to go with it. Which is exactly what I did: I bought three 3DS devices, never to miss a game. Which is the reason that today I still have three MyNintendo Accounts too. And three users on my Switch.

So when I wrote to you last week that there was a demo of Happy Birthdays in the Japanese eShop, it was no trouble for me to download it.  (if you want to know how to download it too, check it out here). It was a very welcome surprise that it was in English!

All of this brings me to the next challenge: what if you want to actually buy a game in a foreign eShop? You see, you can’t use a foreign credit card: it can only be used in your own region. Really weird, don’t you agree? If I was Nintendo I’d take all the revenues I could get. Also, you can only link your PayPal to the region where you live.

You can only resort to buying eShop cards online. Companies like PlayAsia, Amazon in America, Europe or Japan and others can help. I always use the CardCloset, but I’m sure there are many good ones out there, who will send you the code for the eShop card through mail. You do have to pay a fee of course, but in a matter of hours you would be good to go.582760AB-5913-4558-B161-B870F6BEC9CD

Today I found another way to put money in my Japanese sShop account, but this one only works if you have a Japanese 3DS. For some obscure reason, adding funds with your credit card still works fine in the 3DS eShop. Just make sure you have selected “Merge Funds from Nintendo 3DS/WiiU” which is asked when you set up a new user with a MyNintendo Account on your Switch. In no time, you will have your 3DS eShop funds right there on your Switch.

I was wondering: Am I the only one who bothers with games from one of the other regions? Or have you given it a try too? Is it still worth it, when release dates are so close together? I think it might be good fun if more games in the Japanese eShop are in English too. Is the fact that the games are cheaper in another region eShop? Let me know your thoughts!



  1. Really? That’s great I was at a loss since the prices of the eshop cards weren’t accurate to the exchange rate for me. Now I can get some Japan exclusive switch e-shop games.

  2. I just got a switch for my birthday! The games are horribly expensive though, but the graphics are such an improvement over the 3DS. I am DYING to play Little Dragon’s Cafe, but in the meantime I have bought Dragonquest Builders which is so much fun!

    1. Congratulations on getting the fabulous device!!
      You’re right of course, games are frightfully expensive. But I have found that I’m playing one game for much longer. I’ve had it for a year now, and I’ve only bought 6 games. Which is far less then I usually do. Plus, Stardew Valley was only €15!

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