How to Pre-Load (Download before Release) | ACNH - Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)

How to Preload Game Header.png
This guide shows you how to pre-load Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH) for the Nintendo Switch, before its release.

Note: Animal Crossing: New Horizons has already been released and this guide no longer applies to the present.

How to Pre-Load

If Buying Directly from the Nintendo eShop

Step 1
Select the Nintendo eShop on your Nintendo Switch home page.
Step 2
Find Animal Crossing: New Horizons by searching via the search bar, or by going to the "Coming Soon" section.
Step 3
Select Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Step 4
Select Proceed to Purchase. (Download will start after confirming the purchase)

The Coming Soon tab is sorted by the date of release date. Remember – Animal Crossing New Horizons will be released on March 20, 2020 and once you've pre-loaded the game, it can be played from 12:00 AM on the day of release.

If Using a Download Card

Step 1
Select the Nintendo eShop on your Nintendo Switch homepage.
Step 2
Select Enter Code from the choices on the left side of the screen.
Step 3 Enter the code from your Download Card. (The game will start downloading after entering the card details and confirming)

Benefits of Pre-Loading

Play Right After Launch

If you pre-load the game Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you will be able to play the game on the day of release from 12:00 AM on March 20, 2020. If you want to be the first on your block to get into the game, pre-loading is the way to go!

How to Play after Pre-Loading

Step 1 Select Animal Crossing: New Horizons from the homepage.
Step 2 Connect to the internet and confirm that you can play the game.
Step 3 Have fun and enjoy playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

If you have already downloaded the game files, you can start the game on the date of release, March 20, 2020 just by following these simple steps, without any need for long waiting times.

Things to Watch Out for when Pre-Loading

You Will Need At Least 6.2GB of Storage

Nintendo Switch microSD card.jpg
Animal Crossing New Horizons requires a total of 6.2GB of free space on your Nintendo Switch. Your Nintendo Switch has a built in 32GB of space so if your memory is full, you might need to delete other game data, or prepare a microSD card to store more data.

Examples of games that take a lot of space

Game Size
Super Smash Bros Ultimate 16GB or more
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 13.4GB
Pokemon Sword and Shield 10.3GB
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe 6.8GB
Super Mario Odyssey 5.7GB

If you have installed other games onto your Nintendo Switch's memory, and have accumulated a total of 26 GB, with no microSD card to use, you will not be able to install Animal Crossing: New Horizons onto your Nintendo Switch. Just another reason to pre-load – you don't want to run into that problem on the day of release!

Related Guides

Animal Crossing New Horizons (ACNH) News and Updates.png

Head Back to News & Updates
DLC and Event Updates
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ACNH - Version 1.2 .pngApril Ver 1.2 Update ACNH - Version 1.3July Ver 1.3 Update
ACNH - Version 1.4August Ver 1.4 Update ACNH - Version 1.5September Ver 1.5 Update
ACNH - Version 1.6November Ver 1.6 Update ACNH - Version 1.7January Ver 1.7 Update
ACNH - Version 1.8February Ver 1.8.0 Update 1st Anniversary Event Banner.png1st Anniversary Event
ACNH - Version 1.9.pngMarch Ver 1.9.0 Update ACNH - Version 1.10April Ver 1.10.0 Update
ACNH - Version 1.11April Ver 1.11.0 Update ACNH - Animal Crossing New Horizons Direct and November UpdateACNH Direct and November Update
ACNH - Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion PackNintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack ACNH - November 12 UpdateNovember Ver 2.0.1 Update
ACNH - November 18 UpdateNovember Ver 2.0.2 Update ACNH - November 23 Version 2.0.3 Bug Fixes and Patch NotesNovember Version 2.0.3 Update
ACNH - December 15 UpdateDecember Ver 2.0.4 Update
Merchandise and Promotions
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Bugs and Patch Updates
maintenance partial.pngMaintenance | Fix Errors Update Information.pngHow to Update and Update Patch Notes
Game Glitches
4th level partial.pngHow to Climb the 4th Cliff Level ACNH - Cliff Tree GlitchHow to Plant Trees on Clifftop Edges
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Pre-Release Content
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List of Pre-Order Bundles.pngPre-order Bonuses Switch Giveaway Partial.pngGiveaways
How to Pre-Load (Download before Release).pngHow to Pre-load
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