Wii U

How to Buy Wii U & 3DS eShop Games Without a Credit Card

The Nintendo Switch is easily the most successful Nintendo home console in several generations, but due to its technology, it’s a handheld system as well. This has led to a completely new precedent for Nintendo, although it’s sadly also shutting old doors firmly closed. Though the Switch still has ample mileage ahead of itself, it’s the end of the road for the 3DS and the Wii U.

As of May 23, gamers can no longer use credit cards to add funds to the eShop for these older Nintendo systems. There are alternate ways to keep the games going on this now discontinued hardware, but that won’t last for much longer either. As Nintendo closes a chapter of its history, here’s how to take part in it by using the Wii U and 3DS eShops one last time.

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eShop Cards Can Still Be Used for the 3DS and the Wii U

One way to continue to add funds to the 3DS and the Wii U is through eShop gift cards. These can be purchased physically through many mainstream retailers such as Walmart, Target, GameStop, Best Buy, and others. These eShop gift cards aren’t locked to any specific system, so they can be used to purchase software for the Switch, Wii U and 3DS family of hardware.

Unfortunately, even this isn’t a foolproof method. Gamers only have until August 29 to take advantage of this. After that, the eShop services on the 3DS and Wii U will no longer accept these gift cards. Beyond that, there’s another way to buy and play all of your old favorites, and it involves a very strange type of “backwards compatibility.”

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Another way to get around the phasing out of 3DS/Wii U support is by linking a Nintendo Network ID wallet to a Nintendo Account wallet. This way, players can purchase funds for games and software through the Nintendo Switch and have said funds available for all three systems. This is perhaps the easiest way to still make purchases for the 3DS and Wii U, since it’s universal for the current console, as well.

Still, gamers should hurry and make all of their planned purchases, as even these options won’t be around too much longer. After March 2023, Nintendo is planning on discontinuing the eShop for the 3DS and the Wii U entirely. The online gaming features of already purchased eShop games will still function for the time being, so be sure to buy these games as soon as possible to enjoy them in the future.

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