Are Switch Games Region Locked? [Fix eShop Restrictions!]

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It’s annoying when you’re excited to play a Switch game only to find it unavailable on your console. This might make you wonder, “Are Switch games region-locked?” Many gaming consoles practice this restriction, so it’s unsurprising if the Nintendo Switch does the same.

Are Switch Games Region Locked?

To answer your question, this article will discuss whether Nintendo added such a restriction on Switch. We’ll also discuss how to access any game you want to play, even if it’s unavailable in your area.

Are Switch Games Region-Locked?

No, Switch games are not region-locked except for gaming cards and consoles sold in China. But, Switch’s downloadable content (DLC) has region restrictions. You must ensure the DLC you’ll purchase is accessible in the region set on your Nintendo account, or else it won’t work on your console.

If you bought your console from a different country, you can also experience Switch region-locked restrictions. You might have difficulty claiming your warranty, or your console may be unable to access games available in your current region.

Here’s more Switch region-related information from the Nintendo Customer Support

Find out how much a used Nintendo Switch is.

Why Is the Nintendo eShop Unavailable in Your Region?

The Nintendo eShop is unavailable in your country because of licensing regulations. Nintendo doesn’t have legal rights to distribute games anywhere in the world. So, if you’re in a country where the eShop isn’t available, you must change your console’s region settings to access it.

Users outside the designated eShop regions get an error message code “2813-0998”. The error message reads, “Nintendo eShop is not currently available in your country. Thank you for your interest in Nintendo eShop”

Similarly, some games may not be available in certain countries. This is because this game’s region pack might not support your country’s language. So, always verify if your desired content is available through the Nintendo store in your country. 

Get more information on the availability of eShop features from their Nintendo Support

How to Fix the “Nintendo eShop Not Available in Your Region” Issue

Here are ways to fix Nintendo eShop region-related issues: 

Method 1. Change Switch Region

You can change your console’s region to achieve a region-free Nintendo Switch and eShop. This trick allows you to access features, games, and other content unavailable in your country.

Here’s how to change the location on your Switch console: 

  • Step 1. Access your Switch’s “System Settings > System > Region”.

    Accessing Nintendo Switch System Settings
  • Step 2. Select your preferred region. 
  • Step 3. Click “Next”.
  • Step 4. Tap “Next” to restart your Nintendo Switch.

    How to Select Nintendo Switch Region - Restart

Note: Remember to return to your previous region to play your initially downloaded games. 

Method 2. Sign Up With a VPN

You can also use VPN services to enjoy another region’s Nintendo Switch card codes and games without traveling. 

However, signing in to a VPN directly on your Nintendo console is impossible. Instead, you must use a computer and your Wi-Fi router to set up the VPN.

Here’s how to connect VPN with your Nintendo Switch system through a Windows device: 

Method 1: Using Your Computer’s Mobile Hotspot

These are the steps to signing your Switch up with a VPN through a computer’s mobile hotspot:

  • Step 1. Install and enable your chosen VPN on your computer.

    We’re using ExpressVPN for this how-to.

  • Step 2. Go to your “Settings > Network & Internet”.
  • Step 3. Enable “Mobile Hotspot”.

    Ensure that you create a This hotspot should have a name and password. for your Hotspot connection.
  • Step 3. Go to “Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network Connections”. 

    You’ll find the mobile hotspot you created and a Microsoft Wi-Fi direct virtual adapter.

    Nintendo Switch and VPN Windows Network Connection
  • Step 4. Right-click on “ExpressVPN Adapter > Properties > Sharing”.
  • Step 5. Click on “Allow Other Network Users to Connect Through This Computer’s Internet Connection”.

    Access VPN Adapter Sharing Options - Nintendo Switch
  • Step 6. Click “OK”. 
  • Step 7. Open your VPN, go to “Protocol”, & select “OpenVPN – UDP”.

    This will establish connection and location settings. 

    How to Change VPN Protocol - Connect Nintendo Switch
  • Step 8. Connect your Switch to the created VPN connection.  

Method 2. Installing a VPN on Your Wi-Fi Router

Ensure you have purchased a VPN package and installed a VPN app on your device.

  • Step 1. Type your router’s “IP Address” on your browser.

    This helps you access the router’s administrative interface settings. The IP address is usually found on the back of the device. 
  • Step 2. Download the VPN firmware designed for your router model.

    Download VPN Firmware - Nintendo Switch
  • Step 3. Locate the “Firmware Upgrade > Manual Firmware Update” option.

    The “Firmware Upgrade” option is on the admin page of your router’s IP address.

    Firmware Nintendo Switch Upgrade
  • Step 4. Log in to the router’s interface to access your VPN settings. 
  • Step 5. Navigate to your “VPN Settings”.
  • Step 6. Enter your VPN “Username” and “Password”.

    This establishes a connection between your router and the VPN provider. 

  • Step 7. Customize the VPN server location to your preferred Switch region.

Important: Avoid interrupting the crucial upgrade process, which can take a few minutes. 

In Which Country Is the Nintendo Switch eShop Available?

The countries with the Nintendo Switch eShop include Japan, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Argentina. Players in the regions should use specific Nintendo Switch card codes and cash cards to access the country’s designated content. 

Changing your Switch’s region settings interferes with Nintendo card codes’ ability to download games. For instance, if a game is unavailable in the region you switched to, the card code will not work once you try to download the game’s digital version. 

Here’s more information on regions with exclusive Nintendo content access from the Switch Official Website

Switch Games Are Not Region Locked

Now that you know Switch games are not region-locked, finding content to enjoy on your console will be easier. If the downloadable content available for your region is insufficient, you can change your Switch’s region to access content from other countries. 

Remember, you cannot access initially downloaded content after changing your Switch region, so return to your console’s original region after playing. You can contact Nintendo support for extra help. They can also help if you’re outside the stated countries and having problems changing your location. 

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