A how-to guide on identifying what region is that 3DS game (a pictorial guide)

Written by Kyo on

The 3DS community gets this question all the time. So, what better way to show you if not by pictures?



The Official Malaysian / SIngaporean / Middle East region aka the Asian region

The sticker should be clear enough to indicate that this by all means is an Asian version. The language of the game on these cartridges is usually in English. I haven't heard of any that is in other languages though. The back will say that it plays in consoles of that region only. However, I can tell you that any US 3DS, 3DS XL, 2DS console will work as well.

Rule of thumb: If this sticker is on that box, it's Asian.


The US region

Easily identified by the letters in the bottom left of the cartridge. Also, behind of the cartridge it will tell you that it only plays on US systems. I can tell you that it will work with the Asian 3DS XLs as well.


The European region aka the PAL region

This region focuses on the use of numbers on the bottom left of the cartridge. If you see these numbers, it's definitely a PAL cartridge.


The Australian region (which is also considered the PAL region)

This rating may be different than that of the European one, but it is considered to be working for all European consoles anyways (similar to how US and the Asian regions are treated as).



The Japan region

The ratings used by these cartridges are called the CERO rating. The letters that will be used is A, B, C, D and Z. It's quite easy to distinguish as well since the CERO words would be in the same ratings area.


But Kyo, what about the exlusive regions? Like Korea and Hong Kong? Well, believe it or not, there are localised versions for the Hong Kong and the Korean regions. Apparently, these 2 regions are said to be working on Japanese 3DS XLs. Heck, even in China itself, there's a region of it's own. I'll upload the pictures if I can find them later.

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  • Thank you for this blog. Great!

    Clintzzz on
  • Hey Hendry,

    Not an easy feat in getting games. The guide will already have explained about region locking. But as for getting japanese games, your best bet is to buy from the Japanese E Shop that is within the 3DS. I can order the physical ones, but be prepared to shell out around RM 250 for a new japanese game though.

    Kyo on
  • Dear kyo,
    I stay in malaysia and i would like to buy a new 3ds xl Japanese version, i am learning Japanese. Can you shared with me what is the pros and cons have a Japanese console? Can i easily get the games or need to purchase online? Thank you in advance.

    hendry on
  • We need to find pictures kenji! :P

    Kyo on
  • HK/Taiwan is one region… they have their own release of japanese games(usually cartridge) and also english game(usually digital download) and also chinese game(so far only 1st party and Resident evil revelation)

    Korea region is consider 4th best region. They got the most translated game to their own language and also their own game “Maplestory 3ds”. As far as i know there is game that release faster then other region such as senran kagura after japanese got.

    both of the region do not able to play Japanese cartridge

    and there is one more region China Ique 3ds…Which totally do not have any release of cartridge game..IQue 3ds only comes with 3dsxl and super mario 3d land and mario kart 7. Ique 3ds can play 1st party nintendo release from hongkong/taiwan.

    kenjixx on

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