By Nintendo ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been receiving rave reviews from fans and critics alike. It was released on March 3, 2017, simultaneously on the Wii U and Nintendo Switch platforms. Fortunately, for those of us who don’t want to shell out $300 for a Switch or go searching for a store that has a physical copy of the game in stock, the process for downloading and installing the game on the Wii U is relatively straightforward.

The first thing you need to do is make sure that your Wii U has enough storage space available. The internal data storage space of Wii U consoles ranges from 8 GB to 32 GB; this space tends to fill up rather quickly as games are downloaded and installed onto the system. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild takes up roughly 13 GB of storage space, so you’ll want to ensure that you’ll be able to download the game.

To check how much space is available, turn on the Wii U console, and select the “System Settings” option. Use the left stick to scroll to the “Data Management” option and press the A button. Select “Copy/Move/Delete Data” to see the amount of available space. If more than 13 GB of space is available, then you’re ready to go to the eShop and download the game. If not, you’ll need to find a way to free up space or add additional space.

In the Copy/Move/Delete Data screen, you can delete games, applications, or save data you no longer need to free up space. If you’re unwilling or unable to do so, you’ll have to connect an external USB storage device to download the game onto. You can use either an external hard drive or a thumb drive. Although Nintendo recommends you avoid using thumb drives, as they claim that thumb drives are limited to only a certain number of rewrites, this should not pose a significant problem as the number of rewrites is quite large. Although the Wii U has an SD card slot, SD cards, unfortunately, cannot be used to download games or save data onto, so you’ll have to go with a USB-based solution.

Make sure the system is turned on. Once you plug your USB device into the Wii U console, you will be prompted to format the storage device. This step is necessary in order to download games onto the device; however, doing so will delete all data on the device, so make sure you don’t have anything important saved onto it beforehand. After formatting the device, the Wii U will recognize it as an external storage device and will give you the option to download and install games onto it.

To purchase the game, you must first navigate to the system’s main menu and select the “Nintendo eShop” option. (Additionally, you can buy the game digitally directly from Nintendo’s website, and it will automatically download onto your console.) After doing so, you should see The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild advertised on the home page; if not, you can use the search feature to find it. After selecting the game, select the purchase button. You may be prompted to add funds to your Nintendo account to pay for the game; if so, follow the on-screen instructions to add funds using your credit or debit card.

After you pay for the game, the download process will start automatically. As the game’s file size is quite large, don’t be surprised if it takes some time to finish downloading. If you have Stand-By mode enabled on your Wii U console, you can power the console off and the game will continue to download in the background. Once the download is complete, you can begin playing the game by selecting the icon that has appeared on the Wii U menu.

Featured image via Wikimedia