Splatoon 3 Direct Recap – Everything We Know From Nintendo’s Latest Presentation

Splatoon 3 had a dedicated Direct earlier today, and it gives us quite a bit of information about Nintendo’s premiere multiplayer shooter. Let’s take a look at what the Inklings have in store!

Game Modes

Competitive Modes

Let’s start off with the big fish. Multiplayer is still the focus of Splatoon 3, and Turf Wars is still gonna be the main game mode. This is the 4v4 mode where the two teams compete to cover as much of the field as possible in their color of choice until time runs out.

Aside from Turf Wars, there’ll be other modes, which are on rotation. These include:

  • Splat Zones – Hold a designated zone for a certain amount of time.
  • Tower Control – Ride a tower to a goal while avoiding enemy fire.
  • Rainamker – Carry the titular Rainmaker to its destination.
  • Clam Blitz – Collect clams and score them in designated goal (think basketball).

As for where the modes will be played, the game will launch with a total of 12 stages, with more to be added later.


Returning from the previous games, Splatfest is a special event where players choose between various themes and compete in Turf Wars to give their themes more points. However, Splatoon 3’s Splatfest will have 3 teams instead of only two. We expect lots of starter Pokemon as the themes.

Three teams means a change in structure is needed. During the Splatfest, Turf Wars will be between 2 of the 3 teams. Then, when the fest draws to a close, the game will switch into a 2v4v2 fight, where the leading team will have 4 players representing it, while the others will have 2 each.

We also got new hosts for the Splatfest: Frye, Shiver, and Big Man, a trio consisting of what appear to be two sharkgirls (no lavaboy?) and a straight-up manta ray that can only say “Ay”. Each of them will side with one of the teams during the fest.

We also have the date and theme for the first Splatoon 3 Splatfest. It’ll happen on August 27th, and will settle a rivalry as old as time: Rock vs. Paper vs. Scissors.

Salmon Run

These are all the main competitive modes we know of, but there’s also a co-op mode called Salmon Run. You and up to 3 friends must survive a wave of so-called Salmonoids while collecting a designated number of eggs. Think of it as the Zombie mode from other games.

Aside from run of the mill enemies, you’ll also have to fight Boss Salmonoids, which are powerful enemies with unique abilities. The Direct showed one piloting a UFO that protects its allies and stomps its enemies and another that goes in and out of the water to fire from a cannon.

There are also King Salmonoids, which appear just when you think the game is done and are even tougher than the bosses. Lastly, there are Big Runs, which happen every few months. This is when the Salmonoids attack the city where Inklings and Octolings live, but we don’t have much information aside from that.

Single Player Campaign & Table Turf Battle

Splatoon 3 offers a single player campaign, but it doesn’t look to be more than an in-depth tutorial. You’re Agent 3, the newest recruit of the Squid Beak Splatoon, and must face off against the Octarian army along with your pal, Small Fry. The mode seems to be mission-based, but that’s about all we know so far.

The weirdest inclusion is probably Table Turf Battle, a… card game? The game is played on a grid, and each card has a Tetris-like shape that you can use to paint the grid with. The objective seems to be to have more of your color on the grid than your opponent before the turn timer runs out. There are 150 cards to collect, and each player will be given a starter deck to… well, get started.

Weapons and Customization

New and Special Weapons

All the weapons from the previous game will make a return. In addition, the Direct showcased the Stringer, a bow that fires in 3 directions and has a charged attack. They also showcased Splatanas, which seems to be a new type of melee weapon, with the Splatana Wiper taking center stage, being able to shoot ink at a distance and hit enemies upclose.

The game also has Special Weapons, which can be activated by filling out a gauge. Each Special Weapon is tied to the regular ones, so you can think of it as a temporary upgrade. We see close glimpses of some kind of crab tank and a six-way laser, and the Direct goes into detail for 3 of them:

  • Tacticooler – A portable fridge that dispenses beverages with various positive effects for you and your players.
  • Wave Breaker – Sends shockwaves around the arena that marks opponents and damages them. You can avoid it by jumping over the waves.
  • Reefslider – Charge at opponents for a short duration, and explode when stopping, covering the area in ink.

Weapons can be purchased from Ammo Knights in the hub area from Sheldon. You pay for them using Sheldon Licenses, which you get by leveling up and by using the same weapon consistently. Weapons normally cost 1 Sheldon License a piece, and they must correspond to your level, but you can purchase them early by paying 3 Licenses.

Splatsville and Customization

While not playing any of the game modes, you’ll spend most of your time in Splatsville, the hub area of the game. This is where you’ll buy weapons, as well as headgear, clothing and shoes for your character. These will actually affect your characters, giving you various passive abilities. You can change or add abilities by talking to an NPC named Murch.

Each player will also have access to a locker in the locker room. Each locker belongs to a player you’ve recently played against. Your locker is fully customizable, and will tell the other player a little about yourself. Speaking of other players, your friends will show up in the world as ghosts, and you’ll be able to join their matches or invite them to your own.

These items will also be obtainable from in-game catalogues. These will be made available every 3 months for the first 2 years of the game’s launch.

Lastly, the game also supports Amiibo. Every Splatoon Amiibo from the past can be used to store a loadout for your character, and some will even unlock items. There will also be Amiibos for Splatoon 3 after the game launches.

What do you think of all the Splatoon info we got today? Excited to get your hands on any particular new weapon? Let us know in the comments below!