Animal Crossing: New Horizons digital pre-order and pre-load live in all regions, includes Switch Online trial

4 months ago 12 Comments

The digital pre-order for Animal Crossing: New Horizons has officially gone live on the Nintendo eShop in all major regions including North America, Europe, and Japan!

Previously, we heard that the digital pre-order would begin alongside physical ones in Japan today, but we didn’t know for sure if the launch would be worldwide or not. It turns out the answer is clearly yes as you can now find Animal Crossing: New Horizons for digital pre-purchase on the eShop everywhere!

The digital game is priced at $59.99 USD in the United States, $79.99 CAD in Canada, £49.99 in the United Kingdom, €59.99 in Europe, $79.95 AUD in Australia, and ¥5,980 yen in Japan.

As for file size, a digital copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons will require 6.2GB of space on either your Nintendo Switch’s internal storage or an inserted SD Card. The download size should be similar.

And speaking of download size, you can actually begin downloading the game RIGHT NOW! Of course, the game will remain locked and encrypted until the official release date on March 20th, but you’ll get a head start and be ready to go right away.

Until the official release and unlock comes though, you’ll be able to enjoy staring at the game’s official icon on your Switch home screen just as if you could actually play it right now! (image credit: @japaneseswitch!) Isn’t it beautiful?

Specifically, we expect the North America digital version of Animal Crossing: New Horizons to be unlocked and playable at 9PM Pacific Time on March 19th, so you can start playing sooner than a physical copy picked up on release day would allow you to. The Europe version should unlock five hours earlier than that at midnight GMT.

Finally, an extra bonus is available in North America where every digital purchase of Animal Crossing: New Horizons by April 30th, 2020 will come with a digital code to receive a free 7-day trial of Nintendo Switch Online!

The Nintendo Switch Online subscription service is required to play New Horizons with friends online, so this will give you a taste of what the online multiplayer experience is like before you have to start forking dollars over.

So, have you pre-purchased Animal Crossing: New Horizons from the eShop on your Nintendo Switch yet? Or will you be picking up a physical copy? Or even getting a digital code included with your special edition Animal Crossing system in Europe and Japan? Let us know exactly how you’ll be getting the game in our comments below!

Animal Crossing: New Horizons launches worldwide in less than two months from now on March 20th! Check out our release date countdown here, or pre-order the game here. Stay tuned to Animal Crossing World for more news as we approach the release!

Get The Latest Animal Crossing News & Guides

Sign up for our newsletter to never miss out on the latest Animal Crossing news, guides, and deals with email updates!

Leave a Reply

10 Comment threads
2 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
11 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Sara Wiedeman

I pre-ordered my switch from Best Buy (I’m in TX) and the case they made for it from Target (since BB didn’t have that as a pre-order). I saved my amazon gift cards from Xmas so I’m going to purchase the digital download code from there instead of going the physical copy route. I like some of the extras places are offering with preordering, but I don’t need anything I’ll have to find additional space for. I’m SO EXCITED for this switch! I bought the poptart 3DS when New Leaf came out, and I still love it! Hoping for the… Read more »


I preordered through the eshop. Thought about it for a long time now, originally wanted digital anyway and the Best Buy bonus isn’t great enough to make me change my mind and opt for physical. (Don’t even mention the Target journal. Have had issues with Target every time I’ve ever ordered anything online so I’m never doing that again). I wish there was an eshop preorder bonus in NA, but I’m still happy with my choice.


i am getting the special ac switch and the physical copy. its killing me that the download comes out so early but i dont want to play it on my original switch, the new one is specificlly for this game so i would have to wait anyway.


I decided to get a digital copy. I live in the US but decided to order from the German E-shop since that’s where my family lives and I have access to a German credit card. That way I can start playing here when it’s late afternoon and get to see my island in daylight on Thursday 🙂


I preordered it through amazon cause It should arrive March 20th around noon, Then I will get to play it when I come home from work 😀

I thought about the digital preorder but playing at 10PM MST March 19th the entire village would be asleep.