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How to Play Dragon Quest X in America on Nintendo Switch For Free

I recently started playing Dragon Quest X on the Nintendo Switch…in the United States…for free.

Yes, it's still in Japanese and there are some language barriers to overcome, but it's surprisingly simple and easy to do. I've gotten a lot of people asking me how to do this, so it seemed like a good thing to write up. After all, maybe it'll help others (and you, reading this right now) to play an excellent Dragon Quest game for free!

Step 1: How to Create a Japanese Nintendo Account

The first step is to create a Japanese Nintendo Account. You'll need an email for this that's separate from one you use for other Nintendo accounts. It's pretty painless. You simply go into System Settings on the Switch, scroll down to “User,” and then select “Add User.” From there, simply click “Create New User” and create one with that separate email you have. You can fill the whole thing out in English, and then just set your “Region” to Japan. The whole process takes maybe two minutes. Not bad, eh?

Congratulations, you now have a Japanese Nintendo Account!

Step 2: Find Dragon Quest X on the Japanese eShop

Surprisingly, this is one of the trickier steps. Unless you know Japanese and can search for it, it's hard to track the game down in the eShop. Searching for “Dragon Quest” in English, for instance, showed me the Builders games and some DLC for XI S, but that was all.

The easiest way to find the game? Go to search bar (the magnifying glass icon), and simply type in “X.” Dragon Quest X will be the first result, and you can start downloading it instantly.

The japanese switch eshop

Step 3: Download and Play DQX For Free

Once the game is downloaded to your Switch, you're almost there! There are just a couple more things to do before you can play Dragon Quest X in all its glory. There are other ways to get the game started, but this is purely for the free trial version, which encompasses ALL of the 1.0 content and about half of Version 2.0. In other words, you're getting a ton of game for free.

First, you'll have two options to choose from on the first screen. I used the Google Translate app on my phone to see which one was the seemingly “free” option. Click on the second one, like this:

Japanese dqx login

After that, you'll have to click on the bar directly underneath that. It's the words flanked by green diamond things on either side.

Japanese dqx launcher

This will take you to the next screen, where you can click this nice brown button to start playing Dragon Quest X for free:

Play button for dragon quest x

After that, you'll see the opening movie and can get started creating your own character. Enjoy!

Step 4: Enjoy Astoltia!

This isn't really a step, I guess, but it's where the fun can really begin. I've been having a blast playing through Dragon Quest X the last few days, and I hope you will too!

Starting next week, I'm going to be blogging about my time with this game, in a little series I'm calling Adventures in Astoltia. So, if you'd like, check back in from time to time and see what's going on in the world of Dragon Quest X!

UPDATE #1: I also wrote a follow-up detailing how to get off the free trial “Easy Play” without losing your character data. You can read that right here.

UPDATE #2: If you want to learn how to subscribe to the game once you purchase it, or after your free trial ends, you can learn the best ways to subscribe right here.

And if you'd like to hear us talk about Dragon Quest X (and Dragon Quest in general), be sure to check out our weekly DQ podcast, Dragon Quest FM or subscribe to us on Patreon!

Listen, Stream, or Subscribe! to DQFM

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Overcast | Pocket Casts

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  1. Thank you my Dragon Quest fellow Adventurer! I will be doing this tomorrow. My name will be Prince Faris if I am able to write it. I’m assuming there’s not gonna be many people doing this but I watched a video or year ago from some guy from Canada named “somethingberry” ( I forgot the real name but it has berry in it), And he was looking for friends on the side of the planet . I love everything and all things Dragon Quest and will try to make it through the world of Astoltia with Google translate! Thanks again

      1. Hey there! I started playing the Easy Play mode on DQX last week, and I am loving it so far!

        Quick question, though… Is there a time limit to Easy Play? Or can I play it as much as I want?

  2. One thing that I think would make it hard for me to enjoy is that I can’t read Japanese. I don’t have the patience to figure out how to translate it either. Not being able to understand what’s going on within my favorite franchise would take away all the fun for me.

    1. I totally get that. It’s the biggest hurdle for myself as well. Using the Google translate app (what I use) is fine, but it isn’t ideal. Sometimes, I have to play something else because the translating gets too tedious. Thankfully, there are some large gaps where once you get used to the menu, you can just play without worrying about translations for a while. So I’ll do that for a bit to break up the story and actually having to translate stuff.

      1. After I click on the green gem thing the next page doesn’t show the brown button 🙁

        1. Hmmm. That’s odd. If you’re within the U.S. and click the second option, and then the green, it should show the brown button. Sometimes it’s closed due to maintenance, so you might want to check back in an hour or so and see if it works for you then.

          1. You don’t have to worry about registering for a Japanese SE account unless you want to play the paid version (which also means you need a way to pay with Japanese credit cards or web money). Sorry I can’t be of more help. I’m not sure why it’s not letting you in. I just did the steps in this post and I’ve been playing without any problems for a week or so now.

  3. I get an “outside service area” error when I try and boot the game. I’m in Canada not the US, I’m not sure if that makes a difference or not.

    1. It makes a difference. I found out from a couple Canadian friends earlier this week. Right now, the ban is gone only in the U.S. for some reason. Hoping you guys get the IP ban lifted soon!

  4. I know this post has more than 2 months but just want to let you know guys that I’m also playing the free trial on my Nintendo Switch and it’s an incredible MMO and for me way better than FFXIV…
    I like it so much that I’m tempted to buy the All in one package 1-5 version wich will launch on May 14.
    Also I joined an incredible NA team called Dragon’s Den which usually play on server 33, so if you wanna join an english speak team on Dragon Quest X, please don’t hesitate to apply on this link:

    Hope to see you all over there!

  5. IMPORTANT: for those of you who have downloaded the game and aren’t able to connect to the servers an Example is not seeing the brown button after hitting next after selecting the easy play option the issue is your time. SOLUTION: go into options and set your time digitally to Tokyo that’ll fix everything enjoy the game guys have fun

  6. Just wanted to say thanks for the post! Been dying to play DQX and this was a big help. Now to learn Japanese…

  7. Hi! I play DQX on PC because I’m from Spain (I’m with the Easy Game, haven’t purchased the game yet) and I need to use a VPN in order to be able to connect with the japanese servers. I’m currently trying to share the VPN connection from my laptop to my Nintendo Switch since I’d love to play it in that console.
    I have a question. If I create a Japanese Square-Enix account and register the game code, can I get online with PC and NSW, or would I have to purchase the game version for NSW and PC separately? I don’t know if I’m explaining myself. What
    Thank you!

    1. As far as I know, the different versions of the game have to be purchases separately. So if you were to buy the Switch version, you would still need to purchase and activate a PC version in addition to that.

  8. I’ve been over the steps multiple times.. kind of going insane. When I load up the game I get an error message reading: “Error code: DQ-100-106-X you can only connect from the service area (in Japan)” etc. Not sure if you’ve ever encountered this but I’d love to play the game if you could help. Thanks for posting this btw!

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