How to play Miitomo early using the Japanese version on iOS and Android

Sliding into the Japanese version of Miitomo is easy enough anyone could do it.

Miitomo's finally making the rounds in the Japanese mobile market, but you don't have to wait until it's released in your country to give Nintendo's social app a try. And you don't even need to know Japanese! The game can be played fully in English despite the regional difference.

Miitomo is in fact not really a game, but more of a social media platform with some bells and whistles (and one minigame) to play and socialize with. It's certainly a first from Nintendo, but it's doubtful it will be the last.

The processes for nabbing the app up on iOS and Android are different beasts, but neither are entirely difficult.

Downloading and installing the Japanese version of Miitomo onto Android devices is as easy as pie, while doing so on an iOS device requires jumping through a few hoops before you can give the "game" a try. You'll see those differences for yourself below.

Two things to note about diving into the Japanese version of Miitomo:

  • You cannot connect a foreign Nintendo ID with the Japanese Miitomo release, and as such you will have to make a brand new Mii
  • Android users will lose their Miitomo data when/if they install an update for the Japanese version
  • Any "progress" you make with this version will not be carried over to your region's release

Essentially all you're doing now with Miitomo is giving it a trial run before its official international release. But hey, a trial run is better than nothing if you're itching to get your hands on Nintendo's first actual app.

How to get Miitomo on Android

First and foremost you need to know there is no official way for international devices owners to get their hands on an official download of the Japanese version's APK. You will have to download from a third-party site, and that can be risky.

Your first step is to look up "Miitomo APK" on your search engine of choice -- you are going to get a ton of results.

At the time of writing, the app is approximately 31mbs and on version 1.0.0. Downloads that are significantly larger or smaller should not be trusted unless they are on a version higher than 1.0.0.

Choose an APK to download and do so on your Android device, then navigate to it using whatever your file browsing option is and begin the installation.

Once you've downloaded the Miitomo APK and run the install, pay attention to whether it asks you for special permissions. Miitomo does not require any special permissions to run. If the APK you downloaded does request special permissions, it is not legitimate.

The above is all simple enough. Download an APK, install it, and play. Easy as pie. But iOS users don't have it so easy.

How to get Miitomo on iOS

As mentioned, this is more complicated than getting the app on Android. You have to download the game from iTunes, which means you need a Japanese iTunes account.

You need to make a Japanese Apple ID before you can download the app. This is actually deceptively easy to do. My good friend Tobbpitt has written a guide on this very topic -- check out his guide on signing up for a Japanese Apple ID for more information on that.

Once you've got your account made, sign into iTunes on your iOS device using the Japanese account you've just made, search for "Miitomo", and start your download.

Unlike Android users trying to get their hands on Miitomo early, iOS users will not have to redownload the app from scratch each time it's updated until the international release.

And there we have it: Getting your hands on the app is easy no matter if you're on Android or iOS. The international release is sure to be in the near future, but there's no reason not to give this little fun app a go before full release if you're excited for it.

Published Mar. 17th 2016
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