Splatoon 3: Everything we know so far
Booyah! Get your paint rollers ready.
Splatoon 3 is the next installment of the bright and bombastic shooter series that Nintendo brought into the world. It follows on from the events and gameplay of Splatoon 2 while bringing in lots of new and exciting elements.
The original Splatoon was on the unsuccessful Wii U console, and the follow-up released on the Switch. On Switch, Splatoon 2 became a huge hit, and players have been waiting patiently for the third game to arrive. Thankfully, we don’t have to wait until the next-generation console to sling some more ink, as Splatoon 3 is coming to Switch. Nintendo has in fact been quite generous with the information for Splatoon 3, unlike some other titles proposed to release in 2022. Here is our convenient collection of everything we know about Splatoon 3 so far.
Splatoon 3 is coming in September
Good news, Inklings - Splatoon 3 finally has an official release date! It was announced on April 22nd that Splatoon 3 will be released on September 9th, 2022.
Pre-orders for Splatoon 3
The usual retailers have already posted their pre-order links for Splatoon 3:
In the UK:
In the US:
As of yet, there is no official box art, or any inkling (get it?) of special editions, bonuses, or exclusively designed hardware. Splatoon had squid-shaped hats, and 2 had keychains among other trinkets. It is likely that something will be announced ahead of the third title’s release.
The same goes for Amiibo figures; once the new Idol duo is revealed, there will hopefully be merch appearing featuring the new faces.
Limited edition Nintendo Switch OLED Splatoon 3 console and accessories
Splatoon has quickly become a major franchise for Nintendo, and to coincide with the release of Splatoon 3, the company is making a colourful, limited edition version of the Switch console.
This is a bright, unique version of the OLED model. This console has a splash of colour on the white dock, and neon coloured Joy-Cons, with both items etched with characters and artwork inspired by Splatoon 3. Ahead of the game's September 9th release date, this special edition of the console will become available on August 26th. It's available from the Nintendo online store for £319.99.
In addition to the console, Nintendo is also offering a Pro controller with neon coloured grips and Splatoon art etched on the front. It's available to pre-order for £64.99. And there's also a white carrying case to match the special edition console available for £19.99, with an included screen protector. Both are expected to release on September 9th.
Splatoon 3 Switch console and accessories pre-orders:
- Splatoon 3 Nintendo Switch OLED console - £319.99
- Splatoon 3 Switch Pro controller - £64.99
- Splatoon 3 Nintendo Switch OLED carrying case - £19.99
Gameplay in Splatoon 3
Splatoon as a series is mainly a multiplayer game. The quirky single-player story campaigns are almost like a bonus on top of the multiplayer elements - much like the Octo Expansion DLC. However, it is still a great place to pick up tips on weapon usage, a place to train up and to learn lore that paints the picture of the Splatoon universe… the Splatooniverse.
To preface these new modes, let us start by detailing the new location in Splat 3. The area is known as the Splatlands, the ‘sun-soaked region’ with the central city of Splatsville at its heart. This city is closely associated with themes of chaos, likely due to the Chaos vs Order Splatfest’s outcome.
Splatoon 3's single-player campaign
So what do we know about the single-player side of Splatoon? This is where the real differences are from the two previous titles - for instance, there are now mammals. A previous trailer introduced players to the ‘Rise of The Mammalains’, the new single-player campaign for Splatoon 3.
The new story is set in Alterna. This is a snowy region located somewhere presumably near Splatsville. It is here that you, the new Agent 3 for the Squidbeak Splatoon, will attempt to do away with the Octarian foes. Only this time, some of them are… furry?
The icy area appears to have some ‘Fuzzy Ooze’ which can affect the player. So far it is unclear what this gelatinous and hairy mass is, but it may be the connection between the mammalian Judd and the oceanic creatures that feature so heavily in the series. It has been noted that it looks like Alterna is inside an Octarian Dome - which could mean it is some sort of big experiment instead of something real. An alternative, if you will.
As mentioned, the story mode will see Agent 3 fight back against the evil Octarian race, and spoilers - the villain is DJ Octavio. Again. He is seen in a giant robot suit, falling off a cliff towards the camera.
Splatoon 3's multiplayer modes
Moving onto the shell-ish world of multiplayer, there’s been some significant changes and upgrades from Splatoon 2.
Most notably is the new features coming to the 4v4 Turf War mode. Right away, the trailers showed off a new way of spawning - from what looks like floating espresso machines - to new gear, moves, and maps.
The main premise of the game seems to remain the same, with players inking as much ‘turf’ as they can to win with their team. We will need to wait for finer details, though, like does chucking paint at walls finally count?
Splatoon introduced Ranked Battles soon after its release, including Splat Zones, Tower Control and Rainmaker - Splatoon 2 took that and added Clam Blitz to the roster. Splatoon 3 is therefore assumed to carry over the previous modes with some updates, and maybe add a new mode we haven’t seen before.
Salmon Run: Next Wave
Aside from the standard Turf War, Salmon Run was the most popular mode in Splatoon 2, and for good reason. Stressful though it is, it provided a different way to play, in a new environment than the urban maps.
The egg-collecting side-job is back for overtime and has had a facelift. There are new bosses like the Fish Stick, and new maps like Sockeye Station, which has many different levels of elevation and plenty of space to slap Salmonids. There’s some new - but just as jarring - music to add to the mood too. The best addition, though, is that players can now throw eggs to either each other or to the basket.
Grizzco has also had an upgrade by the look of things, this time our unwitting inklings are flown to the Salmonid spawn grounds in a helicopter. We wonder if Mr. Grizz will have raised the wages… probably not.
Gear in Splatoon 3
Splatoon 3 seems to take most pre-existing equipment and shake them up a bit, as well as bringing in older items and newfangled pieces. Nearer the time Nintendo may release a full roster of the new weaponry, but it seems that the star of the show is the bow-and-arrow-shaped ink flinger.
The older items in question are the Inkzooka and the Killer Wail from the original Splatoon. This time the Zook is tripled - firing three shots and being called the Trizooka, whereas the ‘Killer Wail 5.1’ now fires multiple rays instead of just one.
In terms of new weaponry, there are some interesting items - the eagerly awaited Crab Tank, a shield item named the Big Bubbler, and a new concept: the Zipcaster. This seems to let players turn into a viscous state and fly to walls out of their reach. So far it is unconfirmed if there are any attack abilities with it.
Splatoon 3 Maps
As of yet, there are only a few confirmed stages in Splatoon 3 - Eeltail Alley, Scorch Gorge, and Museum D’Alfonsio. The latter was a favorite that featured in the original Splatoon game, whereas Eeltail Alley is completely new - and is set right in the heart of the new hub area: Splatsville. Scorch Gorge seems a little Mad Max-y, set in a desert and featuring industrial buildings.
Music in Splatoon 3
The music of Splatoon has captivated fans completely. There have even been concerts featuring the idols in real life! As such, players are eagerly awaiting new songs coming to Splatoon 3.
So far, we do know that the main new ‘band’ featuring on the soundtrack is C-Side, and there’s a song available by them called Clickbait. This was used in the September 2021 Direct trailer. What sounds like new versions of Splattack! And Now Or Never! have been picked out of videos and trailers, too. Let’s not forget the unnerving new Salmon Run music that was in the Next Wave trailer.
Other details we know about Splatoon 3
Now that the main items are out of the way, let's look at some other areas of the Splatoon franchise’s style and features.
The creation and customization areas for Splatoon 3 have undergone a change along with the rest of the game. This time, there is no gender option - just hair and body styles. There are now nine skin color shades, 21 eye colors, and the ability to choose Inkling or Octoling from the get-go. There’s also our new follower friend - a little Smallfry buddy - that can receive a fresh fin style too.
In terms of clothing, a lot of items are returning, but there’s bound to be an entire new wardrobe of brands and pieces available. Existing brands have been spotted; Annaki, Rockenberg, Zekko, and FishFry to name a few. So far there are no shops other than Ammo Knights that have been confirmed or shown.
New and returning characters
Splatoon is renowned for its iconic musical duos that act as mascots for the game - the first title had Callie and Marie (The Squid Sisters), and 2 had Pearl and Marina (Off the Hook). These duos would introduce the game modes each time the game was loaded, perform concerts during Splatfests, and the Squid Sisters went on to assist the player in the single-player side of the game.
Callie and Marie are seen to be working with players for the single-player campaign again. But where is Off the Hook? Pearl and Marina took opposing sides during the Chaos vs. Order Splatfest, so some think Marina may be one of the villains in the game. It is likely that there will be a fresh new duo of some kind bringing daily news to the player and providing musical entertainment. This is all speculation, of course.
There are more returning characters than just the first games’ duo; Captain Cuttlefish, Agent 3, and Judd the cat has been spotted in the trailers, and it is assumed that the vendors in the shops will return as well.
Will there be a SplatNet 3?
As of yet, there hasn’t been any information pertaining to a new or upgraded SplatNet section for the Nintendo Online mobile app. This will likely be revealed just before release. Presumably, the new (or upgraded) app will serve the same purpose - having a shopping tab, a place to check rank and scores, as well as information about current stages, modes, and Salmon Run shifts.
Will there be Splatfests in Splatoon 3?
Similar to the SplatNet app, there is no confirmation as to Splatfests return into the third game. Given that the Chaos vs Order Splatfest shaped how Splatoon 3 would turn out, it seems very likely that the events will be brought back.
While we wait for Splatoon 3, why not check out the best Nintendo Switch deals page - or pick up a shiny new Switch OLED in time for the new release? Don't forget our Jelly Deals Twitter page that posts sweet deals as they arise.