How to Buy Games from the Nintendo 3DS eShop

Picture of a Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo

If you have a Nintendo 3DS, your gaming experience isn't limited to the game cards you buy in the store and plug into the back of your system. The Nintendo eShop lets you use your 3DS to buy games and apps online from the downloadable DSiWare library.

You can also access the Virtual Console and buy retro Game Boy, Game Boy Color, TurboGrafx, and Game Gear games!

How to Make Nintendo eShop Purchases

Keep in mind that the Nintendo 3DS eShop doesn't utilize Nintendo Points: All prices are listed in real cash denominations (USD).

Wi-Fi is necessary. Before continuing, make sure you've set up Wi-Fi on your Nintendo 3DS.

  1. Update your 3DS for good measure. You might even need to do an upgrade before you can utilize the Nintendo eShop.

  2. Click Nintendo eShop on the 3DS's bottom screen — it looks like a shopping bag.

    Picture of the eShop on a 3DS
     Nintendo
  3. Find a game to download in the Nintendo eShop. You can do so with a manual keyword search or by browsing via category or genre.

  4. Select the game you want to purchase.

    A small profile for the game will pop up. Take note of the price (in USD), the ESRB rating, and the user ratings from previous buyers. Tap on the game's icon to read a paragraph explaining the game and its story.

    Picture of a game from the 3DS eShop
    Nintendo
  5. Choose Tap Here to Purchase.

    If necessary, add funds to your Nintendo 3DS account. You can use a credit card or a prepaid Nintendo 3DS card.

    To postpone getting the game right now, you can opt to add it to your wish list.

    The Nintendo eShop doesn't use Nintendo Points, unlike the virtual shopping channels on the Wii and the Nintendo DSi. Instead, all eShop transactions are done in real monetary denominations. You can add $5, $10, $20, and $50.

  6. A checkout summary screen will display the cost of the game, plus any taxes. It will also display your SD card space, which is represented as blocks. You can see how many blocks a download will take up and how many more remain on your SD card by scrolling the purchase summary with your stylus or by pressing Down on the d-pad.

  7. Tap Purchase when you're ready to complete the transaction. Your download will commence (as long as you had sufficient blocks available).

    Picture of a 3DS game in eShop with the Purchase button
    Nintendo

    Don't turn off the Nintendo 3DS or remove the SD card.

  8. View the receipt when the download finishes, or tap Continue to keep shopping in the eShop. Alternatively, press Home to return to the Nintendo 3DS main menu.

  9. Your new game will be on a new shelf on the bottom screen of your 3DS. Tap the present icon to open up your new game, and enjoy!

How to Make 3DS Virtual Console Restore Points

If you need to save a Virtual Console game quickly, you can create a restore point by tapping the Virtual Console menu at the bottom of the screen. Restore points let you resume a game exactly where you left off.