Since the first entry to the series, Splatoon has been known for the excellent implementation of motion controls in which the controller's gyroscope acts as a third joystick of a sort. You can adjust the sensitivity of the motion controls and it's a good idea to do just so to find the settings suitable for you. Motion controls can also be turned off but practically all of the best players use them.
It's only natural that this way of controlling your character might feel a bit weird if you're new to it. However, we do recommend you give motion controls a go. You will eventually get used to them and before you know you'll be left wondering how you ever managed to play shooter games with just joysticks!
Naturally we have a competitive viewpoint on Splatoon and online play is where we spend most of our time playing the game. Still, it's undeniable that Splatoon games have always included excellent story modes. The solo campaign is also a great opportunity for you to familiarize yourself with the basic concepts of the game as well as a variety of weapons in the game. It's also an ample opportunity to get used to the motion controls.
Splatoon 3 introduces two new weapon classes in the form of Stringers and Splatanas. All of the old weapons from Splatoon 2 will also make their return. This means that Splatoon 3 will eventually have a huge selection of weapons to choose from. So which weapon should you choose? The short answer is to try everything out without prejudice. More experienced players will often tell you which weapons are strong in their opinion, but you shouldn't let this affect your judgement too much. The general opinion on the strongest weapons changes all the time especially when the game is patched. The most important thing is to find a weapon that works for you personally.
Here’s another approach you can take. Let's say you start liking the Crab Tank special weapon during playing the Story Mode. In this case you might want to check out all the weapons that have this special. On the other hand, if you find a weapon that you like but it's special does not suit you, worry not. The patches will bring another variation of the main weapon into the selection.
Every new Splatoon player will start with Turf War which will teach you that painting the map is essential. You will find spreading your ink important in other game modes as well. If a part of the map is covered in enemy ink, venturing there carelessly is a very efficient way to get splatted. Enemy ink damages you and makes you move slower. The enemy might also be hiding in their own ink. We'll discuss this in detail later into the article.
You should take the opportunity whenever there's a chance to expand your team's turf. This will make it harder for the opponent to move up and you'll have upper hand on any area you've already painted.
Movement is a very important part of Splatoon gameplay. In this game you don't only run and jump but you can also swim in your ink and climb painted walls to reach new areas. Splatoon 3 also adds two new mechanics to your movement options in the form of Squid Roll and Squid Surge. Having good movement skills was already important but with these new techniques this aspect of the game will only become more pronounced.
You should make yourself hard to hit. If the opponent has easy time predicting your movement, you will be an easy target. Combining good aim and movement is challenging but luckily you can practice this as much as you want on the practice range.
Painting also increases your special meter. After the meter is full you can use your special weapon. These powerful tools have the potential to turn the tide of the battle in an instant. Specials are fairly strong on their own, but you can unlock their full potential by working as a team with your mates. The newly introduced specials Tacticooler and Wave Breaker provide a great example of this.
Once you activate Tacticooler your whole team can grab a drink from the fridge you set up. Among other things, these beverages boost run speed, swim speed and re-spawn time for whoever drinks them. Considering this, you will achieve the best results if every member in the team grabs one of these tasty drinks.
Wave Breaker on the other hand is a special weapon that emits waves that mark and damage the opponent once activated. You can avoid these waves rather easily by jumping over them. But here's the twist: if you set up Wave Breaker on an area where there is a battle going on between the teams, the situation is going to get a bit sticky for your opponent. Dodging becomes way harder if the opposing players have to divide their attention between the waves and you and your teammate's crossfire.
Splatoon 3 features a variety of specials, both old and new. When using any of them you should try to think how to use them to benefit your whole team. A special weapon used far away from everyone else might often fall a bit short of your expectations while using multiple specials together with your mates is more than likely going to bring you closer to victory.
One unique thing about Splatoon is that you can hide anywhere. Just dive in your own ink and stay still to become invisible to your opponent. This is a perfect opportunity to ambush an opposing player. Attacking an unsuspecting squid will give you a clear advantage in the fight.
The more your team paints the more opportunities you have for hiding. Try to choose your hiding spot from an important area on the map where you are likely to encounter an opponent and time it so that no one is there to see where you hide. Also keep in mind that when you venture into an area with a lot of enemy ink, you're risking getting ambushed yourself.
At launch Splatoon 3 has four Anarchy Battle game modes that are: Splat Zone, Tower Control, Rainmaker and Clam Blitz. All of these modes have a different objective so it's a good idea to read through the short explanation that the game offers on each one of them. What all of the modes have in common is that you should plan your strategy around the objective. For example, even though only one person in your team has to ride the tower on Tower Control it's still a good idea for the rest of the team members to stay relatively close to the tower. This way they can protect that one mate who is riding the tower and that person can likewise help the rest of the team in their fights while advancing the objective.
Once you are comfortable with the basics of Splatoon one important thing you should focus on is observing your surroundings. Try to keep track of where your teammates are at any given moment so you can help them if need be. It's always easier to win fights with a mate on your side instead of alone. Also pay attention to where your opponents are so you won't get caught off guard. One handy way to get information on each team's movements is to check the map from time to time by pressing the X button. You might also want to keep an eye on the icons on the top of the screen since they tell you which team has the man advantage and more specials at their disposal at any given time. Based on this information you can more readily decide if you should make an offensive move or if it might be a better idea to defend instead.
Learning any skill efficiently requires constant self-evaluation. Periodically ask yourself: "what should I be doing right now to win this match?" Should I be painting to establish control, or should I be trying to eliminate the opposing players? Would now be a good time to advance the objective? Where are my teammates and the opponents? In other words, try to keep the things discussed in tips 4-9 in mind and form a complete strategy in your mind. Splatoon is a fast-paced game and the tide of the battle can change in seconds so having the ability to adapt fast will surely be of use to you.
Finally, don't worry if you're struggling to focus on all of the things discussed here simultaneously. In addition to Turf War and Anarchy Battles Splatoon 3 offers variety of other things to do like the Salmon Run game mode and the all new Tableturf Battle card game. These among other things can be a good change of pace if you're feeling a bit stuck in terms of improving your gameplay. From time to time, Splatsville will also be engulfed in the exciting festivities of Splatfest which will introduce you to the new Tricolor Turf War battles. In the end, the most important thing is to play on your own pace and have fun! Booyah!
In-between battles there’s plenty of stats to analyse (Splats, being Splatted, and uses of Specials), once players get familiar, they can start honing in on their performances between matches.
In the Lobby, players can get vital advice from Judd (the cat), as well as customise their tags and even a locker to flaunt their accomplishments through items obtained or purchased.