The Nintendo 3DS eShop will close after March 2023, but you'll still be able to redownload games you already own "for the foreseeable future".
- When Does The 3DS And Wii U eShop Close? Nintendo eShop Closure Guide
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But if you're not sure how to actually do that, because the 3DS eShop is a UX nightmare, then read on to find out what you'll need to know...
3DS eShop Download Guide - How To Redownload Games From The 3DS eShop
Step Zero: Get your 3DS. This is a very important step. Vital, you might say.
Step One: Go to the 3DS eShop
Open up the eShop on your 3DS. Make sure you're connected to the internet (which you can turn on in the top-left menu!) and connect your 3DS to power — that internet connection can drain your battery like the dickens.
Step Two: Open the menu
In the top-left corner of the 3DS eShop on the bottom screen, there's a big orange button that says "Menu". Press that to open up the menu, and scroll all the way to the bottom.
Step Three: Select "Settings/Other"
How cool of them to hide the ability to redownload games in a menu within a menu!
Step Four: Select "Redownloadable Software"
Scroll to the middle of the Settings/Other menu to find the Redownloadable Software option.
Step Five: Choose your games
You'll be presented with a list of every game you've ever downloaded. It may take a while to select all the ones you want to add back to your 3DS homepage, because they're seemingly randomly ordered, and there's only about 10 on a page. Nintendo's user experience levels are off the charts as always.
Step Six: Make sure you have enough room
Your game will have a number of "blocks" that it takes up on your console or your SD card (and you should really have an SD card for this, the 3DS' internal storage is tiny). As long as you have enough, you're good to go.
Step Seven: Select "Sleep Mode Download" or "Complete Download Now"
And you're done!
"Sleep Mode Download" will allow you to keep redownloading old games, but "Complete Download Now" will stop you from doing anything until the game is finished downloading.
When they're done, the games will appear as little wrapped presents on your homepage, which you then have to "open" to use. Twee? Yes. Cute? Kinda. Nintendo? Very.
Although Nintendo has vaguely promised the ability to redownload games past March 2023, we wouldn't recommend leaving it too late. If you need a bigger SD card, we recommend getting a 32GB SDHC card — the 3DS isn't compatible with anything bigger, unfortunately.
Which games are you making sure to redownload? Are you going to replay any of them? Let us know in the comments.