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Problems with Download Codes (Software, DLC, and Themes)


  • Error Message: The Code You Entered Could Not Be Recognized
  • Error Message: The Software That Corresponds to the Code is Not Currently Being Distributed
  • A game or theme download code is not working or invalid (including scratched, damaged, or illegible)

Additional Information:

  • If your download code is lost or missing, click here.
  • If you see a message that your download code has already been used, click here.
  • For assistance with download codes issued through My Nintendo, click here.
  • If a download code is missing, Click Here.
  • Digital game purchases made through the Nintendo website are downloaded directly to your system and do not receive a download code. For help with this process, click here.
  • Download codes purchased from retailers or bundled with Nintendo products do not expire. However, download codes given out for a specific promotion (Hyrule Warriors DLC pack, Pokémon distributions, etc) and those obtained through My Nintendo will usually have an expiration date.

What to Do:

  • Verify that you are entering your download code correctly.
    • Themes - The download code must be redeemed within the Theme Shop on a Nintendo 3DS family system.
    • Games - The download code must be redeemed on the Nintendo eShop for Nintendo Switch, Wii U or Nintendo 3DS family systems.
      • Games can only be redeemed on the system for which they are intended; Nintendo Switch games can only be redeemed on a Nintendo Switch system, Nintendo 3DS games can only be redeemed on a Nintendo 3DS family system, and Wii U games can only be redeemed on Wii U.
        • A DLC download code should be used within the game for which it is intended.
    • The download code is a 16-digit code that is printed on the receipt you received when you made the purchase. (Codes included in system bundles are printed on an insert inside the packaging.)
    • If some numbers are hard to read, try entering similar numbers. (For example, a 0 may look like an 8, a 5 may look like a 2, etc).

  • Verify that the country setting on your system is correct on your Nintendo Switch, Wii U or Nintendo 3DS family system.
    • A download code for a European game can only be redeemed on a European system.
    • If you are attempting to use a download code or system from a different region (a European download code with a North American system, for example), the download code will not work.

  • Check your previously downloaded titles in the Nintendo eShop. If you already redeemed the download code, you can re-download the game on your Nintendo Switch, Wii U or Nintendo 3DS family system without re-entering it.
  • If the download code is still not working, it may not have been activated correctly at the store. Please check with the retailer that provided the code.