How to Play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild With Japanese Audio (and Different Subtitles) on Nintendo Switch

With the latest surprise announcement about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s DLC being detailed, one feature was neatly swept under the rug — the ability to play the game with differing audio and subtitles. What does this mean? I now have the ability to live out my pre-release fantasy of playing the game with Japanese audio, while still knowing what is going on.

For those out of the loop, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild did ship with a way to play Japanese audio — the bad news was it required gamers to change the system language and all subtitles to Japanese as well. With the latest software update (available for free yesterday) players can now enjoy any audio language they want, while the subtitles will be matched to their system’s preference.

So while we think many of you will be able to make the audio switch without any problem, here is what you need to do make Hyrule a bit more Japanese:

First and foremost, open up your Nintendo Switch… and make sure it is adequately charged. My 5% battery life is barely covering it.

The next important thing is to make sure the software is up to date. The game will only have the enhanced audio options on the latest software update, so to prompt this click the “+” button while hovering over The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. From there, click on “Software Update” and update however you want.

Once your software has been updated to the latest version, everything should be smooth sailing. Head back to the home menu and load up The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

From the Main Menu, navigate to the “Options” tab. It is important you are in the Main Menu for this — while the game does have an Options feature in the in-game menu, the game will prompt you that the language changes can only be made from the Main Menu.

Within Options, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will have “Voice Language” set as a default to “Matchy System Settings.”

All you have to do from this point is switch the Voice Language to whatever language you want. Obviously for us, we are changing it to Japanese. That said, you have nine different ways you can take it — explore whatever preferences you want.

With that, you have The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s audio set to a new language! And, thankfully, the game will be subtitled in the default language — in my case, English.

But what if I am a Japanese fan and an aspiring Italian learner? Here is how you can swap the subtitles. First, head to system settings.

In System Settings, head down to the “System” tab and, inside that, the “Language” sub-tab. From here, you can change the language of your system and — accordingly — The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s subtitles.

Though, keep in mind, you will need to do a quick restart of the hardware.

And voila! Just like that, you now have new languages for both the game’s audio and subtitles. Now get back to Hyrule and listen to some of that amazing voice-actor variety.

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Lou Contaldi

Lou Contaldi specializes in both reviews and the business behind gaming. He began writing about tech and video games while getting his Juris Doctor at Hofstra University School of Law. He is maybe the only gaming journo based in Nashville, TN.

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