‘Ink here, ink there, there’s ink everywhere! Ahh!’
Ever have those thoughts while playing the Splatoon™ 3 game? Hey, don’t fret—that’s a normal response! Splatoon 3 is a game that anyone can pick up and get some fun rounds in, but it’s also a game that has tremendous depth if you want to put the effort in. Here are some quick tips for new players or folks who haven’t laid down ink since the last game.
Play the story mode first!
If you haven’t played the story mode, you’re in for a treat! To start it, just follow the weird dude down the sewer when you’re in Splatsville.
In this mode, you’ll travel to Alterna, one of the last strongholds of human civilisation. After a couple intro levels, you’ll land in Alterna and explore a series of connected islands filled with in-game collectibles, food and drink tickets that you can use in multiplayer* matches, and short levels that slowly introduce you to concepts that form the backbone of Splatoon gameplay. (Err…maybe not ‘backbone’ since cephalopods don’t…have them.)
Some may think of this as a ‘tutorial’ for the multiplayer modes, but that’s not quite the case—it’s a standalone adventure that tests both your trigger finger and your noggin. If you explore enough of Alterna, you may even discover the startling story of where Inklings and Octolings originally came from!
(Oh, and the ending fight is rather epic…)
It’s all about movement
OK, the most important thing to know is this: Splatoon is a game about movement. All weapons in the game also shoot ink onto the ground and walls, and your movement is directly linked to ink (linked?). Your character can dive into/speed through ink of your team’s colour, while movement on enemy ink will be difficult (and will usually lead to getting splatted). Hyper focusing on trying to splat your enemies without thinking about how you can move around while engaging them will lead to a lot of untimely splats.
Now, even if you’re not super comfortable fighting enemies by yourself, just remember that laying down ink will also help your teammates’ movements! Splatoon 3 is very much a game about teamwork, but that teamwork can take different forms. If you’re laying down as much ink as you can, you will help your teammates’ ability to fight.
Find the weapon for you
Yep, there are a lot of weapons, but don’t get overwhelmed! In the Weapons shop, you’ll see a ‘Test’ option—use this option. The nice thing is that you can test EVERY weapon in the game even if you haven’t unlocked them yet! Keep in mind that weapons you unlock at higher levels aren’t necessarily better than lower-level weapons (in fact, many players dominate with the humble Splattershot which can be accessed early on).
As you try out weapons, you’ll start to get a feeling of what weapon classes speak to you and what sub weapons/specials round out the package. Being skilled with a main weapon is one thing, but you need to be comfortable with everything in a kit to be the most effective. Test, test, test!
Of course, different weapons fill different roles in the game (and even that can change depending on what mode you’re playing). Just don’t be afraid to experiment with weapons on the battlefield even if you’re not great with them at first. Everyone starts somewhere, and learning a weapon takes practice.
Gear isn’t just for looking fresh! Gear with empty slots will eventually give you helpful abilities (you unlock randomised buffs the more you play with that gear on). If you have two slots or less on your gear, you can get more slots by raising its star level—either talk to Murch by the Lobby entrance or be on the lookout for duplicates of that gear in shops.
At first your gear will probably look a little, uh, weird if you’re prioritising function over form. But don’t worry—first focus on what works best with your weapons. The freshness will come the more you play.
Rapid fire tips!
Try squadding up with friends*— they can be invaluable at showing you the ropes.
Mess around with different control sensitivity options.
Use your food and drink tickets! They can grant extra XP or in-game cash (some even do this for your entire team). Exchange them with Marigold in the Lobby to activate the effect.
To the left of Marigold (in the Lobby) are sliding glass doors: Go through them to access your customisable locker.
Use the map often and identify hot spots that need attention.
Ink the base in Turf War*. You don’t have to do it immediately—in fact, it can be more strategic to save spots so you can use them to charge up your Special later—but don’t put it off until the very end of the match.
Access the terminal in the Lobby to see your replays. Sometimes ya gotta study.
Check out SplatNet 3** on the Nintendo Switch Online app for mobile devices. There are all sorts of helpful things here, but you should definitely check out the fancy gear drops it gives you access to.
Good luck out there!
*Additional games, systems and/or Nintendo Switch Online membership may be required for multiplayer mode. Games, systems, and Nintendo Switch Online membership sold separately. Any Nintendo Switch Online membership and Nintendo Account required for online features. Membership auto-renews after initial term at the then-current price unless cancelled. Not available in all countries. Internet access required for online features. Terms apply. nintendo.com.au/switch-online
** Nintendo Switch Online membership (sold separately), persistent Internet and compatible smartphone required to use app. Membership auto-renews after initial term at the then-current price unless cancelled. Data charges may apply. Nintendo Account age 13+ required to access some online features on the app, including voice chat. Smartphone app features available in compatible games. Terms apply. nintendo.com.au/switch-online