How To Play Mother 3 And Other Japan-Only Games With Nintendo Switch Online
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How To Play Mother 3 And Other Japan-Only Games With Nintendo Switch Online


One of the best features of the Nintendo Switch comes with the Nintendo Switch Online subscription, which gives you access to classic Nintendo games. The $20/year subscription gives you access to a collection of NES, SNES, and Game Boy games, with the $50 a year Expansion Pack subscription adding N64 and Game Boy Advance games. The collection isn’t identical in every region, with titles like Mother 3 for the Game Boy Advance only available on the Japanese version of the collection. Luckily, the Nintendo Switch isn’t region locked, so you can download and play these games without needing a second subscription.

Make a Japanese Nintendo Switch account

The first step is to create a Japanese Nintendo Switch account, that way you can access that version of the eShop. Go to accounts.nintendo.com and create a new account. You will need a different email address from your normal account and when filling out the information make sure you set the region to Japan when prompted. Once that’s done, go ahead and sign into the account on your console.

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Head to the eShop and search for Nintendo Switch Online

With the account made, head to settings and users on your Nintendo Switch to create a new profile. Once you give it a nickname and picture, you will be prompted to link a Nintendo Account to it. Sign in with your newly made Japanese account. Open the eShop with the new account and you will be taken to the Japanese eShop. While the shop will be in Japanese for the most part, the section you are looking for is labeled in English. On the left side of the screen will be multiple main menu options, with the second to last being “Nintendo Switch Online.” Navigate here and you can find all of the classic console collections listed out. You just need to download the ones you want–Mother 3 is one from the Game Boy Advance–and head back to the main menu of the Nintendo Switch. The process is the same for any of the different collections you want to download.

Open the Japanese Nintendo Switch Online collections with your main account

Once downloaded, you can open up the Japanese versions of the Nintendo Switch Online collection from the main menu of your Switch. When you open them, make sure you select your main account, as an active Nintendo Switch Online subscription is required to even open the app. You now have access to all of the Japan only Nintendo Switch Online games, like Mother 3. While the games and menus will be in Japanese, there aren’t many other options for playing these games on Switch.

Every Japan-exclusive Nintendo Switch Online game

The Japanese version of Nintendo Switch Online includes games that never came to the US, like Shin Megami Tensei If.
The Japanese version of Nintendo Switch Online includes games that never came to the US, like Shin Megami Tensei If.

NES

  • NES Open Tournament Golf SP
  • Adventures of Lolo
  • Tsuppari Oozumou
  • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light
  • Yie Ar Kung-Fu
  • Clu Clu Land: Welcome to New Cluclu Land
  • Famicom Wars
  • Route-16 Turbo
  • Atlantis no Nazo
  • Smash Ping Pong

SNES

  • Shin Megami Tensei
  • Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem
  • Kunio-kun no Dodgeball da yo Zen’in Shūgō
  • Sugoi Hebereke
  • Shin Megami Tensei 2
  • Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War
  • Shin Megami Tensei If…
  • Umihara Kawase

Game Boy

  • Yakuman
  • Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru (announced but not yet released)

Nintendo 64

  • Custom Robo
  • Custom Robo V2

Game Boy Advance

  • Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade
  • Mother 3



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