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How to level up fast in Splatoon 3

Eating food and playing Anarchy Battles will help you max XP in Nintendo’s multiplayer shooter

An inkling holds a trophy while standing on a stage in Splatoon 3’s ranked mode. Image: Nintendo
Johnny Yu (he/him) is a guides writer at Polygon. He has written about games such as The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Diablo 4, and Fire Emblem Engage.

In Splatoon 3, most of the weapons and other items, such as locker upgrades, are locked behind a level gate. You’ll need to get to level 30 to unlock every weapon and hit level 100 in the catalog to unlock every reward. From our experience, that can take a very long time. Learn how to speed up the leveling process by following our Splatoon 3 guide.

Use your food tickets

Fish lady staff selling food that doubles battle XP in Splatoon 3. Has 5 different options to pick from. Also sells drinks Image: Nintendo via Johnny Yu for Polygon

Using experience food tickets is an easy way to gain XP quickly. There are three experience food tickets:

  • The Pescatariat - Increases battle XP by 50%
  • The Pescatariat Royale - Doubles battle XP
  • Marigold’en Garden Greens - Doubles battle XP for all teammates

Interact with the Staff at the Crab-N-Go, which can be found in the Lobby, and eat one of the foods listed above to boost your experience gain. These boosts last for 20 matches, so try your best to win to gain the most XP possible.

You can get food tickets from Hero Mode, the Shell-Out Machine, Salmon Run, and the catalog.

Knock out your opponents in Anarchy Battles

In Turf War, the amount of experience you gain depends on three things:

  • Time Bonus (3 min.) - +300 XP
  • Ink Bonus (Get at least 500p) - +500 XP
  • Win Bonus - +600 XP

If you win, you’ll get 1400 XP per game, but if you lose, you’ll only get 800 XP. With a food ticket buff, you can double this for more experience, but it’ll still take a long time to reach level 30 by limiting yourself to Turf War.

Boy with weapon and bucket hat showing how much experience you gain using the green paint bubbles on the middle of the screen.
The bonuses at the top middle of the screen show how much experience you gain.
Image: Nintendo via Johnny Yu for Polygon

In Anarchy Battles, the amount of experience you gain depends on four things:

  • Time Bonus - +100 XP per minute
  • Progress - +5 XP per progress (e.g. taking the rainmaker 60% of the way is Progress 60)
  • Win Bonus - +1500 XP
  • Knockout Bonus - +2500 XP

Getting knockouts in Anarchy Battles is much easier said than done, but if you do, you’ll get 2500 bonus XP. If you’re using a food ticket and you get a knockout, you can get up to 5000 XP per game. This’ll let you speed through your catalog and your levels to quickly gain all of your rewards.

The downside to Anarchy Battles is that you can lose very fast and gain little to no experience, which will waste one of your food tickets. Anarchy Battles can be an inconsistent and demoralizing way to get experience, so there is nothing wrong with using your food tickets in Turf War.

Win or clear once a day for 7500 Catalog XP

The catalog has 100 base levels with rewards at each level. It’ll take a long time to reach the max level, but if you win one Turf War or clear one Salmon run a day, you’ll get 7500 bonus XP, which is almost one entire level. The daily reset is at 8 p.m. EDT, so make sure to get a win or clear before then!

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