Many Nintendo devices often come with regional locking, which means if you purchase a device in one country, you won't be able to play games from another (generally).

Is the Nintendo Switch also region locked like many of its predecessors such as the Wii U and Wii?

1 Answer 1


The Nintendo Switch is region-free (with the exception of Chinese Nintendo Switches - see below). As the link states:

Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima confirmed the system won’t be region locked, meaning players will be able to play globally released software on the console-handheld hybrid.

The Wikipedia page for the Switch explains further:

Unlike previous Nintendo home consoles, the Switch is region-free. This allows players to use cartridges or downloaded content from any part of the world, with the exception of Chinese game content which can only be played on Switch units manufactured for that country. Nintendo recommends using the appropriate regional eShop for digital purposes for obtaining the best post-purchase support if needed.


Officially, in 2019, the Nintendo Switch was released in China with the aid of Tencent. In China, all Switch games are published by Tencent, and are regionally locked out from other global Nintendo Switches (meaning they will only work on Chinese consoles).

Earlier this week, it was revealed that physical game cards released for the Tencent Nintendo Switch in China won’t be playable on global Nintendo Switches.

However, these Chinese variant consoles can play other non-Tencent produced games, however only in offline mode:

Meanwhile, the Tencent Nintendo Switch will be able to play global game cards, albeit only offline. This is because the Chinese variant will go through its own servers.

Additionally, Tencent will help to run the online services within China, according to Wikipedia:

Tencent will help localize various titles, and help implement the Nintendo Switch Online service within the country, integrating its offerings with the WeChat payment systems

  • just have to ask, are profiles locked onto a console? if so then the "Region Free" for digital products is kinda moot when you can't swap profiles to changes the eShop Region.
    – Memor-X
    Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 21:41
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    @Memor-X to quote from this source: "The Nintendo Switch system is not region locked, but we recommend that players buy games within their region to ensure full service and support. The user will access the Nintendo eShop that corresponds to the country identified in their Nintendo Account. (Up to eight user accounts can be created on a single Nintendo Switch system.)" So it's not that the account is locked to a region, you will just see the store for the region your account is assigned to.
    – Timmy Jim
    Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 22:28
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    @Memor-X you can have up to 8 accounts each in a different region on One Switch.
    – Timmy Jim
    Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 22:29
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    @TimmyJim And all accounts have access to all games purchased in all other accounts. Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 6:25

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