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I have a 3DS XL and I also have a Nintendo Network ID linked to it. I'm planning on trading it in to get a new 3DS XL. Would I have to do a system transfer to get my Nintendo Network ID if I deleted it off the system? If I got the new system and deleted my Nintendo Network ID off my previous 3DS, could I just put my Nintendo ID on my new system and link it that way?

Also, if you could link it to your system, will it save my purchases I've already made on my ID and would I be able to download it?

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You should buy the N3DS-XL first, and do a system transfer. That is the only way to get your NNID (Nintendo Network ID) on the new system. If you do the system transfer, all the games, funds, whatsoever, are transferred and you can download your already bought games via the eShop.

Do NOT delete the NNID on your old 3DS-xl, because it will really really delete the NNID, including games, funds and other licenses bound to the NNID. Source: notes on this page. If you have done a system transfer, the old system will be without a linked NNID, so no need to delete or remove it from there.

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