Nintendo recently shared a presentation focused on Splatoon 3, less than a month ahead of its release on September 9, 2022. With that date fast approaching, this tremendous Splatoon 3 Direct helped to paint a more complete picture of what fans can expect from launch day and beyond. Here’s what you need to know about Splatoon 3 before it launches later this summer.
Welcome to Splatsville
Splatoon and Splatoon 2 both have hub areas that are set within parts of Inkopolis. While fans of the series have become quite fond of this city of evolved sea creatures, Splatoon 3 finds its main area in the quaint town of Splatsville. In this up-and-coming locale, players will their choose their next activity, do lots of shopping, and explore cozy alleyways in search of hidden areas.
Turf War Takes Over
It’s no surprise that Splatoon’s trademark game type is making a return in Splatoon 3. Turf War pits teams of four against one another as they cover the map in ink. After three minutes, map coverage is tallied and a winner is declared. Now that we’re all caught up, let’s go over some of the major additions and adjustments that will be found within Turf War.
New and Returning Stages
To host Turf War matches, Splatoon 3’s going to need a heap of stages both new and old! Here’s a set of new stages that are set in the Splatlands:
- Scorch Gorge
- Eeltail Alley
- Mincemeat Metalworks
- Undertow Spillway
- Hagglefish Market
Alongside these new areas, Splatoon 3 will also feature some returning stages found in previous games — some of which are set in Greater Inkopolis:
- Museum D’Alfonsino
- Hammerhead Bridge
- Mahi-Mahi Resort
- Inkblot Academy
- Sturgeon Shipyard
- Wahoo World
In addition to these 12 stages, more will be added to Splatoon 3 in free updates.
In the Ink of Battle
Splatoon is more than just a game about shooting the floor with ink! Players will need to master a few special techniques if they’re going to best their opponents in Turf War and the other game types. Splatoon 3 introduces a couple of new ways to get around in style.
Squid Surge: A charged, upwards dash that can be performed on an inked wall. Use it for an extra boost while sliding up a wall!
Squid Roll: Instantly perform a 180° turn in midair while swimming in ink. Although this maneuver will be ideal for fast adjustments during map traversal, players will be momentarily revealed when performing it. However, if timed properly, a Squid Roll can be used to deflect in back at opponents.
Tools of the Ink
Every basic weapon from Splatoon and Splatoon 2 will be available in Splatoon 3. Additionally, this game will introduce some new ink-spewing toys for players to wrap their heads around.
The Stringer is a bow-like weapon that fires ink in a wide area-of-attack. Additionally, it can be charged for a focused blast.
There’s also the new Splatana Wiper, which can only be described as an overpowered windshield wiper. Swinging the Splatana Wiper sends ink flying. Regular attacks with it produce horizontal waves, while charged attacks yield a vertical pattern.
Now, let’s dig into some heavier ordinance in Splatoon 3. The following are a handful of the new special weapons that will be available.
The Tacticooler is a portable vending machine that can be deployed by players. With it, players and their teams can gain increased movement speed, and other benefits.
Wave Breaker emits an area-of-effect wave that damages opponents who aren’t paying attention. While it can be avoided by a simple jump, this special weapon will be a solid tool for controlling enemy location.
The Reefslider is an exploding shark that players can ride into groups of enemies. This one’s sure to be an instant favorite for both its ridiculous aesthetic and chaotic potential.
In addition to these new weapons, here’s a list of some that are returning as well:
- Tenta Missiles
- Ink Jet
- Ink Storm
- Ultra Stamp
- Booyah Bomb
Rather than using the general in-game currency to purchase new weapons, players will need a new currency called Sheldon Licenses. These Licenses are earned by either increasing player level, or committing to the use of specific weapons. Not only is this a more focused approach to unlocking new weapons, it’s also a great way to learn each of Splatoon 3‘s weapons. It’s like getting paid to go to school! Except, in this case, the reward is an ink-spewing water gun.
Players will also have access to a Test Range where they can put basic and special weapons through their paces in a controlled environment.
My Splatfest is Back and It’s Better Than Ever
If Turf War is Splatoon’s trademark game type, then Splatfest is the series’ claim to fame. Traditionally, Splatfest is an event where players are tasked with choosing between two things. Previous Splatfests have featured such battles as “Time Travel vs. Teleportation” and “Salsa vs. Guac.” After picking one, players would throw down in honor of their chosen side. However, for the first time ever, Splatfest will now be a contest between 3 different sides. With that, Splatfests are now hosted by Deep Cut: a popular and stylish trifecta that are sure to keep things interesting!
In conjunction with this change, Splatfest will feature its own three-team version of Turf War called Tricolor Turf War. This unique take on Splatoon’s classic game type pits the currently winning team in the middle of the map, with the other two attacking from both sides in an uneasy alliance.
To start things off, the first Splatfest takes place ahead of launch in the Splatfest World Premiere on Saturday, August 27, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. PT. The first Splatfest of Splatoon 3 features “Rock vs. Paper vs. Scissors.”
Salmon Run is Back and Bigger Than Before
Splatoon 2 introduced the four-player cooperative mode called Salmon Run. Players team up to fight of Salmonids as they swarm the stage. In Splatoon 3, there are even more challenges awaiting players in Salmon Run. On top of some scary-looking new bosses, players will also be faced with King Salmonids that sometimes appear just before the end of an otherwise-successful Salmon Run. Using the new Egg Cannon, players need to deal with King Salmonids before time runs out.
Moving beyond the confines of Salmon Run, there’s also a new recurring event called Big Run. Every few months, Splatsville itself will face waves of Salmonids and Boss Salmonids. Players need to protect their home turf from this fishy invasion!
Gotta Look Fresh!
Incredibly cool fashion has always been a cornerstone of Splatoon’s entire identity. In Splatoon 3, it’s more important than ever to have a growing wardrobe. Clothing items each provide benefits that can give players the edge they need in battle. For a price, players can even add perks to their gear by bartering with a character named Murch. Either way, players will look great the entire time!
Gear will also be added as time goes on. Every three months, the in-game Catalogue will change. With that in mind, players need to remember that if they see something they like, they better buy it before the Catalogue changes. The Catalogue will be continuously updated for two years following Splatoon 3‘s launch. New weapons will also sneak their way into the game around the same time that the Catalogue is updated.
As players gain gear, weapons, and accessories, they can decorate a personalized locker that’s found within Splatsville. In the Locker Room, players can peruse the lockers of folks they’ve recently crossed paths with in battle. So, it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep their locker well-decorated! The General Store also sells items specific for the locker, as well.
To make this aesthetic-forward approach complete, Splatoon 3 will also feature a Photo Mode! Players can throw on their newest gear to take a selfie before dropping into another heated round of Turf War.
Additional Game Types
Although Turf War is what put Splatoon on the map, players can also duke it out in other game types as well. Players seeking a challenge can join up in a queue called Anarchy Battle. Load into the solo-only Series mode to try and win five rounds overall. However, by losing three, players will have to wait for another chance the next time around. Playing in Anarchy Battle will also effect their Anarchy Battle Rank. Folks seeking some less-intense play can always queue up Anarchy Battle’s Open mode. Each of the following modes will be on rotation in Anarchy Battle:
Splat Zones is a game type in which players battle over specific areas of a stage. When one area is inked up enough by one team, they claim that zone as their own. Whoever has the most zones when time’s up is the winner.
Tower Control involves navigating the map with an ink-powered moving tower. Moving the tower into the goal before your opponent means victory! That is, as long as you can keep them from slowing you down.
Rainmaker involves one player carrying the Rainmaker to a checkpoint before the opposing team’s Rainmaker-carrier does the same. This mode will involve a lot of player defense and strategic maneuvering around obstacles and enemies.
Clam Blitz is a mode which challenges each team to collect and score with clams that are scattered throughout the stage.
In future updates, two additional modes will become available: X Battle and League Battle. These modes will take into account a player’s Anarchy Battle Rank as they queue up against players of similar skill.
Groups of friends seeking a more private battle can always create a Private Battle. Here, players can group up using a password-protected game featuring all of the available game types.
An Inkredible Card Game?
Splatoon 3 introduces an entirely new concept to the series: tabletop card games…? In Table Turf Battle, players will square off in a 1v1 card-based version of Turf Battle. Every player is granted an in-game starter deck to give them what they need to get started.
A New Story Awaits
Another key feature from Splatoon 2 was its Story Mode. While Splatoon will always be known for it’s multiplayer modes, Splatoon 3 digs even deeper into the idea of the game as a single player adventure. Players can play Story Mode as a way to get comfortable with Splatoon 3‘s controls, as well as solve some unique puzzles and a fun narrative that one could only find in this game’s world. It’s worth noting that this Story Mode seems associated with Splatoon 2‘s; featuring some familiar faces and references to the events of the previous adventure.
Incoming Splatoon 3 Tournament!
Splatoon players who find themselves at PAX West 2022 might consider signing themselves up for the Enter The Splatlands Invitational 2022 Tournament. It takes place on September 5, 2022 at approximately 2:00 p.m. PT. This event will also be livestreamed for folks who are eager to watch some high-level inking! Some of the top players from this tournament will be sent to Seattle to compete in North America’s first-ever Splatoon 3 Invitational Tournament.
Future Support for Splatoon 3
On top of all the free post-launch updates previously mentioned, a large-scale paid DLC is planned for Splatoon 3. Given the slew of content that folks will have access to as the game moves forward, there’s just more waiting for them down the road. Whether this DLC adds more Game Types, a new Story Mode—or both—is yet to be announced.
That was a heap of information! We haven’t even talked about the Battle Replays, new Splatoon 3 amiibo, and SplatNet 3! What are you most excited for? Is it the new changes to Salmon Run? Or, perhaps you’re excited to throw down in Anarchy Battle! Let’s throw some ink around in the Boss Rush Discord and Facebook Group!
When he’s not defending The Traveler in Destiny 2 or vanquishing beasts in Dark Souls; Dan can be found sharing his opinions on video games across multiple mediums. Find his work on his YouTube channel, the Dinosaur Machines Game Club Podcast, or right here on The Boss Rush Network!