Nintendo eShop Pre-Order and Pre-Load FAQ (Nintendo Switch)

Select games and DLC are available to pre-order on Nintendo eShop prior to their release date. When you pre-order content on Nintendo eShop, payment will not be processed until, at earliest, 7 days before the game is released. When payment is processed, a non-playable version of the game will be pre-loaded to your system. You’ll be able to start playing the game after downloading a small update that is available at the time the game is released.

How do I pre-order a game or DLC?

To pre-order an applicable game, locate your game on your Nintendo Switch system’s Nintendo eShop or on

Select Proceed to pre-order and follow the on-screen steps to set up your pre-order.

Up to 7 days before the game’s release date, your selected payment will be processed, and the game will be pre-loaded on your system.

At the time of the games release, you’ll be able to start playing the game after downloading a small update.

If the payment fails to process, your pre-order will be canceled.

When will I be charged?

You will be charged for the full amount of the purchase no sooner than 7 days prior to the game’s release date. When setting up your pre-order, you can select the payment method you wish to use (credit card, PayPal, Game Voucher or available Nintendo eShop funds).

Can I cancel a pre-order?

Yes, you can change your mind any time before the payment is processed and the game is pre-loaded on your system (up to 7 days before the game’s release date). For steps to cancel your pre-order, see How to Cancel a Pre-Order for a Game on Nintendo eShop.

Can I use My Nintendo Gold Points toward my pre-order?

Yes. When you pre-order your game, you will have the option to Redeem points after selecting your payment method. When you opt to use My Nintendo Gold Points, all available Gold Points you have at the time payment is processed will be used toward the purchase, up to the purchase price. It is not possible to select a specific number of Gold Points to use for your pre-order.

What happens when a game or DLC is pre-loaded?

When a game or DLC is pre-loaded, the full content is downloaded to your system. This means you will not need to wait for the content to download at the time it is released. 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, and a small update is downloaded.

How do I get the software update that unlocks the game on the release date?

If an update is needed and your Nintendo system is connected to the Internet, you will be prompted to download the update data once you launch the game. Additionally, if you have your console in sleep mode and connected online, the update data will download and install automatically.

Why was my pre-order cancelled?

A pre-order can be cancelled for several reasons, including if payment could not be processed due to insufficient funds or an expired credit card. If your pre-order was cancelled, you can still place a new pre-order or purchase the game when it is released. For more information on the reason your pre-order was cancelled, see Nintendo eShop Pre-Order was Cancelled.

Why is my pre-order on hold?

Your pre-order will be placed on hold, or a pending status, if your Nintendo Account has deregistered all Nintendo Switch systems associated with it. Your pre-order can be reinstated if you link your Nintendo Account to a Nintendo Switch system and access the Nintendo eShop. For more information, see Nintendo eShop Pre-Order is on Hold.

Can I pre-order games for Nintendo 3DS or Wii U?

It is not possible to pre-order games for Nintendo 3DS or Wii U as you can for games for Nintendo Switch. However, you may be able to pre-purchase a game before release.