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Splatoon 3 beginner’s guide, tips, and tricks

How to ink your way to victory

A yellow-haired Octoling wearing a yellow flannel and red shoes stands on the steps in front of the Turf War lobby entrance Image: Nintendo via Polygon
Julia Lee (she/her) is a guides producer, writing guides for games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Genshin Impact. She helped launch the Rift Herald in 2016.

Splatoon 3 is the second installment of the series for the Nintendo Switch, and along with it come new quality-of-life features, weapons, and customization options.

The game has a platformer story mode with fun bosses and great music, but the meat of the game is in the multiplayer Turf War mode. Players engage in a four-on-four battle to see who can cover more of the stage in colored ink. With all the different types of weapons and customization options, it’s chaos every single time.

If you’ve never played a Splatoon game before, or maybe if you’re rusty from the last release five years ago, we’ve provided some tips to help you win your Turf War games.

Feeling stuck or stale? Switch it up

Whether you’re stuck on a story mode level or on a losing streak in Turf Wars, switching your weapon up can help get you out of your slump.

While lots of story mode levels will require you to use the basic hero gun, some let you pick between specific weapons — and the “recommended” weapon isn’t always the easiest one to beat the level with.

Three different Splatoon weapons to choose from: the Jet Squelcher, the Slosher, and the Nautilus 47 Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Shops reset at 8 p.m. EDT

Based on our experiences, all the shops would get new loot at 8 p.m. EDT. In addition to new stock in the shops, you’re able to do one discounted gachapon draw per day at the “Shell-out Machine” in the lobby, which also reset at this time. We’re unsure if this is a local time or global time reset, though, and we’ll update this post when we figure it out.

It’s about painting the horizontal, not the vertical

Painting walls is important for climbing, but doing so doesn’t contribute to your score. Focus on painting the floors, as that’s what counts in Turf Wars.

Use your ultimate abilities to refill your ink tank, too

You should be taking advantage of using your ultimate ability soon after the gauge fills up, but you can also use it to completely refill your ink tank, which can help get you out of some sticky situations.

Remember to ink your base

You don’t have to ink it all right away at the start of the map, but each time you respawn and pass through the base, you should ink it a little bit more until it’s fairly covered. There are times where you’ll beat out the other team just because their base isn’t properly painted, and you don’t want to be on the losing end of that.

A purple-headed Octoling begins spraying paint forward immediately as the match starts Image: Nintendo via Polygon

Learning the maps is an important part of the game

Knowing the Turf War maps you’re playing on will give you a huge advantage. It’ll help a ton to know where to infiltrate the enemy base and where common choke points are. You’ll also want to know several routes to go when choke points are being contested and where you can go to flank your enemies.

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