Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has almost, finally, arrived with its release on Friday 12th May on the Nintendo Switch across the world.
While physical editions of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom are playable from the moment you get your hands on them, there is a restriction on when the digital version - purchased via the Nintendo Switch eShop - unlocks. The good news, however, is that most players can start exploring Hyrule as soon as the clock hits midnight on Friday in their region.
If you have digitally pre-ordered the game through the eShop and are wondering when you can start playing, then look below to learn the Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom release time.
On this page:
Zelda Tears of the Kingdom release time in BST, CEST, EDT and PDT explained
The release time for Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is pretty straightforward for most players as it should keep to the general Nintendo Switch eShop rule of being available from midnight (local time) on Friday 12th May.
The main expectation is within the United States due to its multiple timezones. The good news is that, since the release time is nation wide, players living on the west coast can start venturing through Hyrule at the same time as those on the east coast.
To summarise, here’s the Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom release times in your region:
- UK - 12am, Friday 12th May (BST)
- Europe - 12am, Friday 12th May (CEST)
- East Coast US - 12am, Friday 12th May (EDT)
- West Coast US - 9pm, Thursday 11th May (PDT)
It’s worth noting that the above only applies to the digital pre-orders of the game through the Nintendo Switch eShop. If you’ve ordered a physical copy, then you have to wait for it to arrive the old fashion way. (Unless it arrived a day early and, if that’s the case, I am quite jealous.)
Nintendo does this for every game it releases, which is something to keep in mind if you’re planning on pre-ordering another game, like Pikmin 4, via the eShop.
How big is the Zelda Tears of the Kingdom download size?
No matter whether you’re pre-loading Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom in preparation for its release on Friday 12th May or planning to start downloading when it's released, the file size is 16.2 GB.
At the time of writing, we don’t know whether there will be a day one patch.
If you’d like to learn more about the game, check out our preview of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.