Kids and squids all around the world, it's officially time to get excited for Splatoon 3. The third entry in Nintendo's colorful multiplayer shooter series is headed to Nintendo Switch this fall, and it's bringing a slew of new content along with it. That means fresh-caught characters, enemies, weapons, customization items, and a new single-player campaign.
It's been five years since Splatoon 2 was released into the wild, and fans have been fishing for more ever since the credits rolled. Now, with Splatoon 3 on the horizon, it's time to take a look at what's going to hook new players and everything veterans may want to dive into as well. Ready to tackle what's next with Splatoon 3? Come on in, the water's fine.
Splatoon 3 is poised to continue the already-established series that began on the Wii U when it debuts later this year, the second installment to arrive on the Nintendo Switch. While the games mostly focus on multiplayer battles between Inklings and Octolings, the adorable humanoids who can transform into squids and octopi and swim across the battlefield by way of colored ink, there are plenty of features for solo players to enjoy too.
In Splatoon 3, you'll be able to choose whether you'd like to be an Inkling or an Octoling as the game begins, and you can customize them to your liking. This is integral to assigning you a side in the game's main multiplayer mode, Turf War. Two teams of four players work to cover as much of each map as possible with their team's ink color, all through a powerful assortment of weapons ranging from paint rollers to water guns.
Splatoon 3 will introduce a whole new arsenal for you to sift through, which should only make painting the town red (or blue, or green, or pink, or purple) a much simpler affair. This time around, a bazooka called the Trizooka is also on its way, as well as a massive vehicle known as the Crab Tank.
But there’s much more to look forward to than goodies to actually play the game with. Splatoon 3 will bring back Splatoon 2's Salmon Run, a cooperative "horde" mode where players band together to push back waves of enemies. It'll be called "Salmon Run: The Next Wave" this time, and while it will largely feature the same elements as its predecessor, it will add a new egg-throwing mechanic. It'll prove useful against the new "Flipper Flopper" creatures, the Salmonid boss "Fish Stick", and "King Salmonid", which Nintendo has proclaimed as "unfathomably terrifying".
There's more to Splatoon 3 than the various multiplayer modes, however. The game is set to feature a new single-player story mode in the form of "Return of the Mammalians". Set in an environment called Alterna, players will jump into the shoes of Agent 3, while staving off the Octarian army and working with the New Squidbeak Splatoon.
While Nintendo has remained mum about many of the details surrounding the Return of the Mammalians mode, it's set to investigate why some of the evil Octarians are growing fur, possibly due to a strange substance called "Fuzzy Ink". This should keep solo players looking for some fun on their own busy, while many will flock to the multiplayer offerings, and for good reason – especially since fans are always looking for a way to measure up their skills against others.
In fact, Splatoon has long been a community favorite, with grassroots efforts being made to keep the game running through fan tournament circuits. Nintendo even partnered with the organization PlayVS, which ended up bringing games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Splatoon 2 into varsity athletics in 2021 as part of the company's efforts to expand its esports footprint. Far beyond its reach as an official sport, however, Splatoon fans have been putting their skills to the test ever since the first game debuted, and that's a trend that will more than likely continue when Splatoon 3 debuts later this year.
When that happens, expect to see community efforts double up with new challenges, tournaments, and rankings you can work toward achieving -- likely while Nintendo maintains a hands-off approach -- so you'll want to be ready with the best gear possible. Get some practice in Splatoon 2 while you still can, and don't forget to pick up a pair of our KontrolFreek Performance Thumbsticks (we suggest the FPS Freek Galaxy) and charge up those Nintendo Switch Pro Controllers. You're going to need every bit of help you can get if you plan on challenging the Nintendo Switch Splatoon community.
Splatoon 3 is set to arrive as a Nintendo Switch exclusive on September 9.
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