We are now just days away from the release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
For those purchasing digitally from the Nintendo eShop, you can preload Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom ahead of its release on May 12 to play as soon as it’s available. As with previous Nintendo releases, you can play as soon as the day begins in your region, although there is an exception for those living in North America.
For those who prefer a physical copy, our Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom pre-order guide can provide the options available.
Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom release time: When does Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom go live?
Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will be available on Friday, May 12, at the following times from the Switch eShop:
- 9 p.m. PDT on May 11 for the West Coast of North America
- 12:01 a.m. EDT on May 12 for the East Coast of North America
- 12:01 a.m. BST on May 12 for the U.K.
- 12:01 a.m. CEST on May 12 for west mainland Europe
- 12:01 a.m. JST on May 12 for Japan
In short, Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will be available at midnight local time, with the exception of North America, where it’ll go live across the region at the same time as it does on the East Coast due to time zone differences — meaning you can play Thursday evening if you’re on the West Coast.
If you purchase Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom from an eShop region where the game is already available — such as Japan — you can play it early. However, it requires purchasing with an eShop account from that region in local currency, and your progress will also be locked to that account — so unless you intend on playing the entire game that way, you will be better off waiting.
The exception to all of the above, of course, is if you are purchasing physically, where the game can be played as soon as you have your copy. If you haven’t pre-ordered already, it’s worth doing so ahead of Friday to ensure delivery arrives in time.
Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom preload size
If you are purchasing Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom digitally from the eShop, then you can download ahead of release to start playing as soon as it’s available.
According to Nintendo, the Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom preload size is 16.36 GB — so make sure you have enough room on your Switch ahead of time. If you don’t, then consider a microSD card upgrade.
This does not take into account any patches or updates, whether on release day and beyond, meaning the game size could likely increase beyond the initial preload size over time.