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How to Buy Games on Out Of Country eShops?

There are a number of reasons why someone might want to purchase games on a non-native Nintendo eShop. Whether there is a good sale in a specific country, getting a game before it’s available in your own region, or perhaps playing something not available in your region at all, getting games from different regions is pretty easy, although it can cost just a bit of money if you begin making purchases!


First things first, the Nintendo Switch you are playing doesn’t care what country you are currently living in. Nintendo Switches are region free, as are all the games available on the system, so your region is actually tied to your Nintendo Network Account, not your system itself. I have a variety of email addresses at my disposal, and so I’ve created a few different eShop accounts for a variety of reasons. Here’s why:

North America – this is my main account as a resident of Canada.

European – I often receive review codes from developers and publishers in the EU, so it’s necessary to have an EU account to redeem.

Australia – When I began my YouTube channel, I realized you can get games in the Australian eShop around Noon EST/EDT on Thursday, even if the game isn’t launching in Canada until the next day, Friday. This allows me to record video and have it ready to go when the North American launch happens.

Japan – There are so many games I just cannot play because they are only available in Japan. Yo-Kai Watch on Nintendo Switch is a great example of this.

The issue with purchasing games in a different region is that both your PayPal account or your Credit Card will need to be from that specific region. Therefore, my Canadian VISA card and my Canadian PayPal account cannot be used to purchase products in the European, Australian, or Japanese eShops. While this is an unfortunate wrinkle, there are ways around it:

  1. Have a friend in the country you are attempting to purchase games from? Have them purchase digital currency cards and send you the codes. You can pay them back via PayPal and other eTransfer services!
  2. Purchase currency cards from eBay, PlayAsia, or on other sites. Just load the codes into the eShop and you are good to go! Sometimes you will pay more than fair market value for these cards, so be aware of the costs!

It’s worth noting that purchasing physical games from other regions will never cause you a problem. Feel free to purchase those games and play them on any account you want! That’s what I did with Yo-Kai Watch 4, which you can watch below being played on my North America Nintendo account!



Article By

blank Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

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Twitter: @AdamRoffel