Nintendo Refund Policy & Exchanges (2023)

Jordan Hanna
To understand more about Nintendo's return policy, you need to explore the rules, time limits, and reasons for returns on products bought from the eShop or My Nintendo Store. Discover details on refunds for defective items, digital content policies, and procedures for hardware or game returns. Learn about warranty coverage and how to navigate returns efficiently within the outlined terms and conditions.

The Nintendo return policy is the set of rules and conditions that apply when a customer wants to return or exchange a product purchased from the Nintendo eShop or the My Nintendo Store for different reasons, such as damages or defectiveness of the game. As a major video game company, Nintendo likely has different return policies depending on the region, product type, where it was purchased, and other factors. Let's dive into this article and see how the Nintendo return policy works.

According to the policy, you have up to 30 days after delivery of your order to return or exchange products purchased directly from the My Nintendo Store. Nintendo will only refund the cost of shipping if the return is a result of Nintendo providing a product that is damaged, defective, or different from the product you ordered.

Table Of Contents

Nintendo will not accept returns or exchanges for the following items;

  1. Any items that are shipped to Nintendo after 30 days from delivery.
  2. Any items that have been opened, unsealed, or had tags removed.
  3. Any item not in its original condition is damaged, shows signs of use, or is missing parts.
  4. Any items that were not purchased directly from the My Nintendo Store.
  5. Any digital item, including digital games, download content (DLC), subscriptions, and download codes (including any physical products that include digital items, such as Nintendo eShop cards).

The Return Process

If you have ever thought of returning a Nintendo, worry less since a return process will guide you on that. The process might be long and tedious but worthwhile for the user, as discussed below;

To return an item for a refund or exchange, you need to send the item in its original packaging, with all parts, to the appropriate address listed on the Nintendo website, along with an explanation of the issue and whether you are requesting a refund or exchange.

You must also include your name, address, phone number, email address, and original order number. You should send the package via a registered or insured shipping method, as Nintendo will not be responsible for lost or misdirected packages. Credits for properly returned items will be applied to the earlier payment method used for the order.

Suppose you purchased a digital game or DLC from the Nintendo eShop and want a refund. In that case, you should know that Nintendo cannot provide refunds or exchanges for mistaken online purchases. Rebates are typically only issued in cases where required by law, in cases of theft, or if a game will, for whatever reason, not work on your system. You need to contact Nintendo directly to see if a refund is possible.

Before purchasing, you should read the game descriptions and check out the screenshots available through the Nintendo eShop. You can also visit or other websites for information and reviews about the games available for Nintendo systems.

If you have preordered a game from the Nintendo eShop and want a refund, you can do so as long as the game is not seven days from launch or sooner. If it is, Nintendo will not allow you to get a refund. Refunds are typically only issued in cases where required by law, in cases of theft, or if a game will, for whatever reason, not work on your system. You need to contact Nintendo directly to see if a refund is possible.

Key things about Nintendo's return policies

  1. Hardware returns (consoles, controllers, etc.) It often comes with a standard 1-year limited warranty allowing returns/exchanges in case of defects. It needs to be within the warranty period.
  2. Game returns: Physical game returns often have a time limit, such as 30 days from the purchase date when bought new and unopened. Digital game sales are generally considered final and non-refundable.
  3. Reasons allowed: Returns due to defects, damage in shipping, or other product issues. Buyer's remorse or just not liking a game is usually not sufficient.
  4. Proof of purchase: The original receipt or order confirmation is usually required for any return or exchange.
  5. Return process: Customers deal directly with store return policies if purchased from a retailer. Products purchased directly from Nintendo require contacting Nintendo customer support to arrange return shipping and handling.


Q. How long do I have to return a defective Nintendo product?

For Nintendo consoles and hardware, you typically have 12 months from the date of purchase in case of a defect covered by the warranty. Game cartridges or discs usually have a 30-day return policy if unopened.

Q. Can I return a Nintendo Switch game I bought on the eShop?

Unfortunately no. The eShop terms state that all digital purchases are considered final and cannot be returned for a refund unless required by local consumer laws. So, there are no returns due to not liking a game.

Q. What happens if my Joy-Cons start drifting within the 12-month warranty?

Contact Nintendo Support about a warranty service repair/replacement of the faulty Joy-Cons. You will need your Switch serial number and proof of the original purchase date.

Q. My Nintendo Switch was damaged - can I exchange it for a new one?

If within 12 months of purchase, you can request a replacement or repair of a console damaged due to a manufacturing defect. Accidental damage or normal wear & tear is generally not covered.

Q. I bought a Nintendo Switch game at Best Buy - can I return it there?

Best Buy and other retailers have their own return and exchange policies for Nintendo products bought from their stores. You usually have 30 days for unopened new games.

Q. Do I need the original receipt to return or exchange Nintendo products?

Yes, you need the original purchase receipt showing the date to verify you are within the return/exchange time window for Nintendo customer support services related to any return or warranty exchange request. The 12-month warranty starts based on that purchase date.


In summary, these policies generally aim to allow returns due to actual product defects while preventing abuse of generous return terms on digital goods or games that have already been played/used. Also, as a user, you should be aware of return time limits, receipt requirements, and reasons allowed for returns, and contact the company based on where the product was purchased from. Specific return questions would best be directed to a Nintendo customer representative for the region and product type in question.

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