Skip to main content

PSA: if you bought The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom digitally, get preloading now

PSA: if you bought The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom digitally, get preloading now


Get your affairs in order if you intend to start playing at midnight because one of those affairs is a one-hour-plus-long download.

Share this story

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

A screenshot featuring Link from The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
It’s almost time to drop in, folks.
Image: Nintendo

Did you preorder The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom on the Nintendo eShop? Cool. Wait, did you also preorder it using Nintendo’s Game Voucher so you got it for cheaper? Even better — extra points for you! But regardless of how much you paid, if you opted for the digital version of TOTK, you should fire up your Switch and get downloading if you’d like to start playing when the game goes live in the US tonight a 12:00AM ET on May 12th.

While Tears is already playable in time zones that live in the future, and players are already getting up to, well, umm... stuff — we here in the States get to begin at midnight ET / 9:00PM PT (curse you, left-coasters and your respectable bedtimes tonight). TOTK is a 16GB download from the eShop, so you don’t want to be stuck losing precious game time waiting over an hour extra to get into Hyrule. Plus, if you haven’t used your Switch a whole lot recently, you may have a lingering software update for your console that also needs to get done.

It took me about an hour and 20 minutes to run an update and install the game, and I’d be pretty upset with myself if I forgot to do it well ahead of time. Also, don’t forget that if you have a non-OLED Switch, you’re working with just 32GB of built-in storage — of which TOTK will consume more than half. So make sure you’ve got the space or a microSD card handy.

So get preloading. It’s also the only way to play and win the “stare at your homescreen waiting for the game to unlock at midnight” prologue mini-game.