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Digital Game Purchases Through the Nintendo Website FAQ

Buying a Game

How can I purchase a game on the Nintendo website?

A Nintendo Account is required to purchase games through the Nintendo website. For Wii U and Nintendo 3DS game purchases, you will need to link your Nintendo Network ID (NNID) to your Nintendo Account before you can complete your purchase.

To purchase a game, complete the following steps:

  1. If you haven't already done so, visit http://accounts.nintendo.com and create or sign in to your Nintendo Account.
  2. For Wii U and Nintendo 3DS purchases, create a Nintendo Network ID (NNID) on your Wii U or Nintendo 3DS family system and link your NNID to your Nintendo Account.
  3. Locate your game on the Nintendo website and follow the on-screen steps to make your purchase.
  4. Your game will be automatically downloaded to the system associated with your Nintendo Account (Nintendo Switch) or Nintendo Network ID (Wii U and Nintendo 3DS).
    • Make sure that your system is connected to the internet and meets these download requirements.
    • For pre-orders, the game will be pre-loaded to your system at the time of your order. You'll be able to start playing it after downloading a small update, beginning at 12:00 a.m. on the game's release date.

For additional information about this process, please click here.

How can I pay for my game?

For digital Nintendo Switch game and DLC purchases, you can redeem My Nintendo Gold Points towards the purchase price.

The full amount of the purchase will be deducted from your Nintendo eShop balance. If you do not have enough funds, you can add additional funds using the following methods:

  • A valid VISA, Maestro, VISA-Delta or MasterCard (e.g. credit card, debit card, or gift card)
  • A PayPal account
  • A Nintendo eShop Card

Please note that we cannot accept My Nintendo points as payment for Wii U or Nintendo 3DS purchases on this site. However, if you have received a game discount as a My Nintendo reward or "Just for You" offer, you can choose to apply the discount when you purchase the game.

Is a Nintendo Network ID required to purchase games?

A Nintendo Account is required to purchase games through the Nintendo website. For Wii U and Nintendo 3DS game purchases, you will need to link your Nintendo Network ID (NNID) to your Nintendo Account before you can complete your purchase.

The games you buy will be automatically downloaded to the system that is associated with your Nintendo Account (Nintendo Switch) or NNID (Wii U and Nintendo 3DS).

When will I be charged for my order?

The full amount of the purchase will be deducted from your Nintendo eShop balance when you place your order. If you don't have enough funds, you can use a Nintendo eShop Card or a valid VISA, Maestro, VISA-Delta or MasterCard to add more.

  • For released games, the game will begin downloading to your Nintendo Switch, Wii U or Nintendo 3DS family system as soon as you place your order. Once the download is complete, start the game from your system's HOME Menu to begin playing.
  • For pre-orded games, the game will be pre-loaded to your system at the time of your order. You'll be able to start playing after downloading a small update, beginning at 12:00 a.m. on the game's release date.

For more information about this process, click here.

What is the order cancellation policy for digital purchases?

All sales are final. Please be sure that you meet all of these download requirements for your game before you place your order.

Why was my credit card declined?

Unfortunately, we aren't able to provide the specific reason for the credit card decline. If you aren't sure why your credit card was declined, please check with the bank or company that issued your credit card for information.

Downloading a Game

What do I need to download a game?

You'll need a Nintendo Switch, Wii U or Nintendo 3DS family system, a Nintendo Account, a Nintendo Network ID,* an internet connection, and Nintendo eShop access to download the game once you've purchased it.

For help downloading a game, click here.

(*A Nintendo Network ID is required for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS software purchases only. You'll need a Nintendo Network ID to download the game, but you won’t need one to play the game once it has been downloaded.)

When can I download my game?

Your game is downloaded to your Nintendo Switch, Wii U or Nintendo 3DS family system as soon as you complete your purchase. (Please be sure that as long as your system meets all of these download requirements.)

  • For released games, once the download is complete, start the game from your system's HOME menu to begin playing.
  • For pre-ordered games, the game is pre-loaded to your system at the time of your order. You'll be able to start playing after downloading a small update, beginning at 12:00 a.m. on the game's release date.

For more information about this process, click here.

I don't see the game on my Nintendo Switch console!

Once you've completed your purchase, your game will automatically download to the console associated with your Nintendo Account. To download the game, your Nintendo Switch must have enough memory space available and it must be turned on or in sleep mode (with an active internet connection). The game will appear on your console once the download is complete.

For pre-ordered games, the game will be pre-loaded to your system at the time of your order. You'll see an icon for the game on your HOME menu, but you will not be able to launch the game until it is officially released. You'll be able to start playing after downloading a small update, beginning at 12:00 a.m. on the game's release date.

If your game isn't appearing, try the following:

  • Check the Nintendo Switch HOME Menu to see if there is a game icon that shows that the download is currently in progress. If the download is still in progress, wait until the download is complete.
  • Make sure that your system is connected to the internet and meets these requirements. For help setting up or troubleshooting your internet connection, click here.
  • Check "Data Management" in the Nintendo Switch System Settings to verify that there is enough space on your console to complete the download. If there is not enough space, delete some content.
  • Check "Account Information" in Nintendo eShop (user icon in upper-right corner). Any games that have been purchased or redeemed on the console will appear here, and can be re-downloaded at no additional cost.

I don't see the game on my Wii U console!

Once you've completed your purchase, your game will automatically download to the console associated with your Nintendo Network ID. To download the game, your Wii U must have enough memory space available and it must be turned on or in sleep mode (with an active internet connection). The game will appear on your console once the download is complete.

For pre-ordered games, the game will be pre-loaded to your system at the time of your order. You'll see an icon for the game on your HOME menu, but you will not be able to launch the game until it is officially released. You'll be able to start playing after downloading a small update, beginning at 12:00 a.m. on the game's release date.

If your game isn't appearing, try the following:

  • Check the Download Management in the Wii U Home Menu to see if the download is currently in progress. If the download is still in progress, wait until the download is complete.
  • Make sure that your console is connected to the internet and meets these requirements. For help setting up or troubleshooting your internet connection, click here.
  • Check "Data Management" in the Wii U System Settings to verify that there is enough space on your console to complete the download. If there is not enough space, delete some content.
  • Check "Your Downloads" in Nintendo eShop (under "Menu"). Any games that have been purchased or redeemed on the console will appear here, and can be re-downloaded at no additional cost.

I don't see the game on my Nintendo 3DS system!

Once you've completed your purchase, your game will automatically download to the system associated with your Nintendo Network ID. To download the game, your system must have enough memory space available and it must be turned on or in sleep mode (with an active internet connection). The game will appear on your system once the download is complete.

For pre-ordered games, the game will be pre-loaded to your system at the time of your order. You'll see an icon for the game on your HOME menu, but you will not be able to launch the game until it is officially released. You'll be able to start playing after downloading a small update, beginning at 12:00 a.m. on the game's release date.

If your game is not appearing, try the following:

  • Make sure that your system is connected to the internet and meets these requirements. For help setting up or troubleshooting your internet connection, click here.
  • The Nintendo 3DS family system must be updated to system version 9.6.0-24U or higher, and must have connected to Nintendo eShop at least once since your last system update. For help updating your system, click here.
  • Check "Data Management" in the Nintendo 3DS System Settings to verify that there is enough space on your system to complete the download. If there is not enough available space, you will need to delete some content or use an SD Card to add more space.
  • Check "Redownloadable Software" in Nintendo eShop (under "Menu," then "Settings / Other"). Any games that have been purchased or redeemed on the system will appear here, and can be re-downloaded at no additional cost.

General Questions

How do you use my personal information?

Nintendo knows that privacy is important to you. Our Privacy Policy (https://accounts.nintendo.com/term_chooser/privacy_policy) describes our collection, use, disclosure, storage, and protection of your information.

Does my purchase qualify for My Nintendo points?

Yes. As long as you have signed up for My Nintendo before you purchase the game, your game will qualify for My Nintendo points. My Nintendo points are automatically awarded to the Nintendo Account that was used to purchase the game. (Please note that DLC items, passes, and themes do not qualify for My Nintendo points.)

To see your My Nintendo points balance:

  1. Visit http://my.nintendo.com
  2. Select "Sign in".
  3. Sign in to your Nintendo Account.

Once you're signed in, you can review your My Nintendo points balance and history, check out the latest My Nintendo rewards, and view active missions you can complete to earn My Nintendo points.

For additional help with My Nintendo, please visit our support site.

Nintendo website purchases made prior to 01/04/16

Can I request a download code for a game that I purchased?

Please note that download codes are not provided for software purchases made on or after 04/01/16. Games purchased after that date can be redeemed using the same Nintendo Network ID that was used to make the purchase. For help downloading a game, click here.

What if my Wii U download code isn't working?

Download codes are only available for digital game purchases made on the Nintendo website prior to 01/04/16.

If your download code isn't working, double-check the code to make sure you are entering it correctly.

Please note that your download code can only be redeemed once. If you have already used the download code on your Wii U, you can re-download the game through your purchase history on Nintendo eShop. (You do not have to buy the game again to re- download.)

If you are having trouble redeeming the download code on your system, try the following:

  • Select "Enter Download Code" in Nintendo eShop and try re-entering the download code.
  • Make sure that you are entering the correct download code. The download code is the 16-digit code that you received in your confirmation email. If you don't know your download code, please contact us to request another copy of your code.
  • Make sure that the country is correct in your Wii U System Settings (under "Console Information"). If your console is from a different region, the download code will not work.
  • Check your download history in Nintendo eShop (under "My Menu"). If you have already redeemed the code on your system, you can download the game again without re-entering it.

What if my Nintendo 3DS download code isn't working?

Download codes are only available for digital game purchases made on the Nintendo website prior to 01/04/16.

If your download code isn't working, double-check the code to make sure you are entering it correctly.

Your download code can only be redeemed once. If you have already used the download code on your Nintendo 3DS system, you can re-download the game through your purchase history on the Nintendo eShop. (You do not have to buy the game again to re-download it.)

Please note that the Xenoblade Chronicles 3D can only be played on a New Nintendo 3DS or New Nintendo 3DS XL system. It is not playable on the Nintendo 3DS XL, Nintendo 3DS, or Nintendo 2DS systems.

If you are having trouble redeeming the download code on your system, try the following:

  • Select "Redeem Download Code" in Nintendo eShop (under "Settings / Other") and try re-entering the download code.
  • Make sure that you are entering the correct download code. The download code is the 16-digit code that you received in your confirmation email. If you don't know your download code, please contact us to request another copy of your code.
  • Make sure that the country is correct in your Nintendo 3DS System Settings (under "Other Settings", then "Profile"). If your system is from a different region, the download code will not work.
  • Check your download history in Nintendo eShop (under "Settings / Other"). If you have already redeemed the code on your system, you can download the game again without re-entering it.