Nintendo Switch eShop page
Image: Nintendo Life

One of the best things about the Nintendo Switch is its region-free eShop. That means that you can buy or download games from any region, and play them with no issue on your console. It also means that you can access games that are region-specific, or prices and sales in one region but not another, as long as you know how.

But perhaps you've seen pricing in multiple currencies — dollars, Euro, and pounds, for example — and noticed that the prices don't seem to add up at all. It depends on the game and publisher, of course, and some of them are more or less the same across territories. Others, however, can be very different.

The Switch eShops in various regions do have varying prices, then, as well as different sales, different tax levels, and even different ways of buying the game that can lower or raise the price. Here, we have the rundown on how much each region charges for games, plus some of the other differences between them.

Nintendo Switch eShop Regional Price Comparison

Before we jump in, though, here are some general tips and warnings...

Things to note

  • Use to compare prices!
    • It's an absolute lifesaver. We used it to make this article!
  • Sales take place at different times
    • There are plenty of occasions where, for example, the US will have a festive sale for a holiday that doesn't exist in other countries. You can shop around to find out when these will be, and which regions they are taking place in, but it's hard work to keep up with all the sales!
  • Tax varies
    • In countries like the US and Canada, tax is added on at the point of purchase — often adding another few dollars to the price that was advertised. Different states and provinces have different tax levels — we'll go into more detail about this later on.
  • Your card won't be accepted everywhere
    • Your card will have been issued in a particular country, and other countries may not let you have it on file if it wasn't issued in that region. You can use eShop credit, though — we've got a guide further down.
  • You sometimes need an address in that region
    • Especially if you're trying to use a credit card!
  • Your Gold Points will be tied to that account
    • Gold Points are earned each time you buy a digital game, and can be used to get discounts on your next purchase. If you split your purchases across two or more eShops, those Gold Points will be split up as well.
  • You will lose access to the games from that eShop if you delete or remove your account
    • In order to redownload purchased games, you'll need access to the regional account and eShop where you made that purchase, otherwise they will be inaccessible
  • Buying from other regions may affect which languages the game is available in — so you may not be able to get the game in English. Make sure to check at the bottom of the game page!

Okay, with all the caveats out of the way, let's look at the regions themselves...

Regional Switch eShop Price Comparisons

Nintendo Switch eShop page
Image: Nintendo Life

We've picked a popular Nintendo game (Breath of the Wild) and a popular, cheaper indie game (Stardew Valley) as references to compare the price disparities between regions, and it's quite illuminating — Japan is surprisingly cheap for first-party games, it seems, but South Africa and Mexico are ahead for indie games by quite a long way.

Of course, this table also shows that the prices are pretty unpredictable. You're really better off checking on a case-by-case basis, seeing which games are cheaper, and where they're on sale.

Note 1: The Germany price applies to most of Europe (excluding Switzerland, Poland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and the Czech Republic).

Note 2: You can click on the "USD Equivalent" headings to order the rows from low to high.

Region Price for Breath of the Wild USD Equivalent Price for Stardew Valley USD Equivalent
UK £59.99 $69.10 £10.99 $12.66
Germany €69.99 $69.25 €13.99 $13.84
Japan ¥7,678 $53.79 ¥1,480 $10.37
USA $59.99 $59.99 $14.99 $14.99
Canada $83.99 $63.94 $17.84 $13.59
Australia $89.95 $60.72 $16.99 $11.46
South Africa R1,329.00 $76.86 R159.00 $9.20
Mexico $1,399.00 $69.57 $149.99 $7.45

Game Vouchers

Game Vouchers are a great way to save money on larger games, usually first-party Nintendo games or from series like Xenoblade, Bayonetta, Kirby, and Metroid. You'll need a Nintendo Switch Online membership to buy them, though.

However, not every region has them — here's a list of where you can get them, and what they cost (and again, Germany represents most of Europe, except Switzerland, Poland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and the Czech Republic):

Region Game Voucher x 2 USD Equivalent
UK £84.00 $97.00
Germany €99.00 $98.25
Japan ¥9,980 $69.95
South Africa

Quite a range of prices here, from Japan to South Africa in particular. UK and Europe are pricey, but will still save you a fair bit if you're looking to buy two £60/€70 games.

Here's the full list of countries that have Game Vouchers:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Germany
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Spain
  • Finland
  • France
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Latvia
  • Malta
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • South Africa
  • UK

Sales Tax

Nintendo Switch eShop page
Image: Nintendo Life

In the US and Canada, you'll pay different amounts in tax at the point of sale, based on which region your zipcode or postcode is in. Here are some examples:

State/Province Country Sales Tax (on digital games)
New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island Canada 15%
Ontario Canada 13%
Alberta, British Colombia, Manitoba, Quebec, Saskatchewan Canada 5%
Arkansas, Colorado USA 0% (digital game sales are tax exempt)
Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon USA 0%
All other states USA 4-10%

How to pay for eShop games in other regions

Your credit or debit card will most likely not work in another region, either because the registered address is in another country or because the card itself was issued in another country, but you can still buy games with eShop credit. Just be sure to buy it in the right currency!

You can read our full guide on buying eShop credit here — we often have discounts running for 10% off, so make sure to check regularly and stock up!