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 Nintendo eShop from MenuEnlarge
Select the Nintendo eShop on your Nintendo Switch home page.
Step 2 Nintendo Shop Coming SoonEnlarge
Find Animal Crossing: New Horizons by searching via the search bar, or by going to the "Coming Soon" section.
Step 3 Animal Crossing Coming SoonEnlarge
Select Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Step 4 Animal Crossing Purchase ScreenEnlarge
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 Nintendo eShop from MenuEnlarge
Select the Nintendo eShop on your Nintendo Switch homepage.
Step 2 Nintendo Shop Enter CodeEnlarge
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
List of New Features.pngList of New Features DLC events partial.pngList of New Horizons DLC
April Ver. 1.2 Update.pngApril Ver 1.2 Update Animal Crossing New Horizons (ACNH) Summer Update Wave 1.pngJuly Ver 1.3 Update
Animal Crossing New Horizons (ACNH) Summer Update Wave 2.pngAugust Ver 1.4 Update Animal Crossing New Horizons (ACNH) Fall and Halloween Update.png September Ver 1.5 Update
ACNH - Winter Update Bottom Partial-min.pngNovember Ver 1.6 Update ACNH - January UpdateJanuary Ver 1.7 Update
ACNH - February 25 Update Partial BannerFebruary Ver 1.8.0 Update ACNH - March 18 Update.pngMarch Ver 1.9.0 Update
1st Anniversary Event Banner1st Anniversary Event Build-A-Bear Animal Crossing CollectionBuild-A-Bear Collection
ACNH - How to Use the Island Tour Creator BannerHow to Use the Island Tour Creator
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 cliff edge tree partial.pngHow to Plant Trees on Clifftop Edges
1x1 Item Duplication Glitch partial.png1x1 Item Duplication Glitch [Fixed] Item Duplication Glitch partial.png2x1 Item Duplication Glitch [Fixed]
Best Item Duplication Glitch Partial.pngBest Item Duplication Glitch [Fixed] How to Plant Trees on Paths Banner.pngHow to Plant Trees on Paths [Fixed]
Pre-Release Content
Animal Crossing Direct.pngAnimal Crossing Direct Demo Version Information.pngIs there a Demo?
List of Pre-Order Bundles.pngPre-order Bonuses Switch Giveaway Partial.pngGiveaways
How to Pre-Load (Download before Release).pngHow to Pre-load


6 Anonymousabout 1 year

Im playing it now thank you for the tutorial!!

5 Anonymousabout 1 year

I missed this :((( Only starting to download now

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