When Does Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Release? Timings and Early Access Guide

If you are eager to get your hands on The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (and why wouldn’t you be?), then there are a few questions that have probably come to your mind: when does the game come out? At what time will the download unlock? And is it possible to get the game early? We’ve got you covered.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is one of the most highly anticipated games of the year. As fans eagerly await its release, they are curious about the exact timing and how they can get their hands on the game early.

In this article, we will provide all the details you need to know to ensure you can start playing Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (TOTK) as soon as possible.

Release Date of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

The official release date for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is Friday, 12th May 2023. Fans worldwide are counting down the days until they can embark on another thrilling adventure in the land of Hyrule.

Unlock Times in North America

Nintendo is known for keeping the precise unlock times of its games under wraps. However, for a title as significant as Tears of the Kingdom, they have made an exception. A Nintendo spokesperson confirmed the release times for North America to GameSpot:

  • East Coast US: Friday, 12th May 2023, 0:00am EDT
  • West Coast US: Thursday, 11th May 2023, 9:00pm PDT

Estimated Global Release Times

While Nintendo has not officially revealed the unlock times for all regions, we can estimate the global release times based on the unlock times of previous first-party titles. Please note that these estimates may vary:


  • UK: Friday, 12th May 2023, 0:00am BST
  • EU: Friday, 12th May 2023, 0:00am CEST


  • Friday, 12th May 2023, 0:00am JST

How to Get Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom – Early Access

If you can’t wait for the official release time in your region and want to get your hands on Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom a few hours early, there is a way to do it. By setting up an Australian or Japanese eShop account, you can access the game before it becomes available in your region. Here’s how:

Setting up an Australian/Japanese eShop Account

To set up an Australian or Japanese eShop account, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Nintendo website and create a new account.
  2. During the registration process, select Australia or Japan as your region.
  3. Provide the necessary information and verify your account.
  4. Once your account is set up, access the eShop and search for Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
  5. Purchase and download the game using your newly created account.

Using Region-Specific Currency

To make purchases on a different region’s eShop, you will need to use the region-specific currency. You can either use an overseas bank card or purchase eShop credit for the specific region’s store. This will enable you to complete the transaction and download the game onto your Nintendo Switch.

It’s important to note that the game will be linked to the account from which you bought it. However, once the game is downloaded, you can play it using your standard Switch account.

Transferring Data to a New Switch

If you plan to transfer your data to a new Nintendo Switch console, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, you will need to re-download the software from the eShop of the region in which you initially purchased the game. Although the game will still be accessible, it’s essential to remember this step to avoid any confusion or accidental loss of titles.

Transferring data to a new Switch can be done by following these steps:

  1. Set up your new Nintendo Switch console.
  2. On your old console, go to the System Settings and select “Data Management.”
  3. Choose “Transfer Your Save Data” and follow the prompts to initiate the transfer process.
  4. Once the transfer is complete, access the eShop on your new console and re-download the software.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your game data, including Tears of the Kingdom, is seamlessly transferred to your new Nintendo Switch.

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom File Size

Before you begin the download process, it’s essential to consider the file size of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. The file size may vary slightly depending on the eShop listing you refer to.

On the North American eShop, the game has a file size of approximately 16.3 GB, while the European version is around 16,684.00 MB. Regardless of the specific size, you can expect Tears of the Kingdom to be a substantial download in terms of Switch games.

Make sure you have sufficient storage space on your Nintendo Switch or an additional microSD card to accommodate the game’s file size. This will ensure a smooth and uninterrupted downloading process.


The release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is highly anticipated by fans worldwide. By knowing the release date, unlock times, and how to get the game early through region-specific eShop accounts, you can maximize your enjoyment and dive into the world of Hyrule as soon as possible. Remember to prepare for the game’s file size and consider any data transfers if you’re planning to switch consoles.

With Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Nintendo promises another captivating adventure filled with exploration, puzzles, and unforgettable moments. Get ready to embark on a thrilling journey in the land of Hyrule and unravel the secrets that await.

Leave a Comment