I want to play Pokémon Sun and Moon, which has been just released, but when I tried to download it, I found that my 3DS didn't have enough disk space, so I'm going to purchase a physical disk.

Unfortunately however, I'm now traveling. So I must purchase a copy of Pokémon Sun and Moon that is purchased in another country...

Can I still play it on a 3DS that was purchased in a different country? If the countries are relevant, my 3DS was purchased in Japan and I'm going to buy a copy of Pokémon in China or Taiwan.

  • You can ask for US version of games at stores. Some stores will import games from different regions.
    – Nelson
    Nov 24, 2016 at 3:40

2 Answers 2


From the Nintendo Support Forums, this same question was asked and this answer was chosen by the moderator as the best answer:

No. Nintendo 3DS games and systems are both region-locked, so a German copy of Pokémon Sun would only work on a Nintendo 3DS system from that same region. Similarly, a NTSC Nintendo 3DS system would only be able to play a Pokémon Sun game from the NTSC region.

Therefore, Pokemon Sun and Moon are region-locked and you will not be able to play a Chinese or Taiwanese copy on your Japanese 3DS.

For a map of the regions that Nintendo locks according to, see here.

  • Ohhh it is so bad. Thanks. What is NTSC by the way?
    – Blaszard
    Nov 17, 2016 at 17:08
  • @Blaszard I had to google, but here is the wikipedia page for it.
    – Vemonus
    Nov 17, 2016 at 17:09
  • Hmmmm now I'm not sure what the answer means, then. Because Japan and Taiwan (and US) are in the same NTSC region, can I play Pokemon purchased at Taiwan? It seems that the OP on the linked page cannot play Pokemon because he/she tries to use a Germany copy of it, which is in different region called PAL, right?
    – Blaszard
    Nov 17, 2016 at 17:14
  • 1
    @Blaszard While this answer is absolutely true, the fact that the countries involved are China/Taiwan gives you more options. Imported games are common in these countries and I would expect you to be able to find Japanese-region copies of the game fairly easily, at a slight price premium of course.
    – Setsu
    Nov 17, 2016 at 18:30
  • 1
    @Setsu Good catch. But it would take a few weeks, at least. Since I was insufferably desperate for playing the Pokemon, I already decided to delete my Pokemon X data and am now downloading it... Thanks guys!
    – Blaszard
    Nov 17, 2016 at 18:44

According to the region locking wikipedia page the 3DS is region locked for 3DS specific software. So I think you may be out of luck until you get a Japanese copy of the game.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regional_lockout#Nintendo

The Game Boy and Nintendo DS product lines do not use regional lockouts for physically distributed games; however, software specific to the Nintendo DSi are region-locked, and cartridges released by iQue in China can only be played on DS models produced by iQue (although they remain compatible with other DS cartridges). The Nintendo 3DS line however, does enforce region locking for 3DS-specific software,[2] with the exception of Nintendo 3DS Guide: Louvre, which is region-free.

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