3DS Digital Games: Locked to Your Account Forever?

If you’re a Nintendo fan, chances are you’ve invested in a few digital games for your 3DS. But what happens when you upgrade to a new device or lose access to your account? Are those games locked away forever? In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of 3DS digital game ownership, including how they are tied to accounts and what options users have if they want to transfer their games.

3DS Digital Games: Locked to Your Account Forever?

Understanding Digital Game Ownership on the 3DS

When you purchase a digital game on the Nintendo eShop, it is tied to your Nintendo Network ID (NNID). This means that you can download the game onto any compatible device as long as you are signed in with your NNID. However, once downloaded onto a device, that copy of the game can only be played on that specific device unless transferred.

Transferring Your Games

So what happens if you get a new system or need to send your current one in for repairs? The good news is that it is possible to transfer your games from one 3DS system to another. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure both devices are connected online and updated.
  2. Go into System Settings on both systems and locate “System Transfer.”
  3. Follow the prompts on each system – this will take some time depending on how much data needs transferring.
  4. Once complete, all of your digital content should now be available for use on the newer system.

It’s important to note that there are limits imposed by Nintendo regarding transfers:
* You can only initiate one transfer every seven days
* It’s not possible for more than five unique devices per year (use with caution!)

If neither option suits giving gift cards so other people could use them might be best alternative solutions an example would be adding amazon gift card instead of transferring since Amazon carries almost all of nintendo games.

Alternatives to Transferring Your Games

If transferring your 3DS digital games isn’t possible or practical, there are still some alternatives you can explore:

  1. Cloud saves: Some games support cloud saves that allow users to save their game data online and download it onto a different device.
  2. Physical copies: Consider buying physical copies of your favorite 3DS games – this way, you won’t have to worry about them being tied to your NNID or specific device.
  3. Keep old devices as backups: If possible, consider holding onto old devices as a backup just in case you need access again down the road.


While owning digital versions of 3DS games offers convenience and accessibility, it’s important for gamers to understand how these purchases are tied to accounts and systems. With proper attention paid towards account management and transfers when necessary; gamers can continue playing their favorite titles without losing track forever.

So now that you know the ins-and-outs behind 3DS digital game ownership with some tips on how best handle your content-give that new Mario title shot!


Sure, here are three popular FAQs with answers for “3DS Digital Games: Locked to Your Account Forever?”

Q: Are 3DS digital games locked to my account forever?
A: Yes, once you purchase a 3DS digital game from the Nintendo eShop, it is linked to your Nintendo Network ID or NNID and cannot be transferred to another account. This means that you can only play the game on the 3DS console linked to your NNID.

Q: Can I transfer my purchased digital games between two different 3DS consoles?
A: Yes, you can perform a system transfer between two different 3DS consoles linked to the same NNID in order to transfer all of your purchases from one console to another. However, keep in mind that doing so will overwrite all data on the target system and cannot be undone.

Q: What happens if I lose my NNID due to erasing or unlinking it? Will I still have access to my purchased digital games?
A: No, if you lose access to your NNID due to erasing or unlinking it from your Nintendo account, then any associated 3DS digital games will also become inaccessible as they are tied directly and permanentlyto that particular NNID/account.

I hope this helps!