Nintendo's August Splatoon 3 Direct was jam-packed (or should that be ink-packed?) with new stuff, announcements, sneak-peeks and more for the upcoming splat-shooter, and if you missed it — or just need a refresher on what was announced — then we've got you covered, li'l squid!
(Update: We've just added even more info from the Splatoon 3 website that wasn't covered in the trailer. Booyah!)
Now let's get our hooks into that delicious new content!
Everything Announced In The Splatoon 3 August Direct
First up, here's the stream VOD in case you missed it:
Players can now enter photo mode to take snaps of their characters and the surroundings. These photos can be shared on social media, sent to friends, or used as decor in the customisable lockers.
Players can use Squid Surge to swim up walls quickly in a single burst.
A technique designed for fast 180-turns, the Squid Roll also includes a brief i-frame that repels ink when the character glows.
The two weapon abilities "Main Power Up" and "Bomb Defense Up DX" have been removed to make way for these two new abilities:
Improves the Squid Roll and Squid Surge moves.
Sub Resistance Up
Diminishes enemy sub-weapon effects.
New battle stages
New stages include Eeltail Alley, Scorch Gorge, Mincemeat Metalworks, and Undertow Spillway. There are 12 stages available at launch, including some returning ones, but more stages will be added in post-launch updates.
A bow-like weapon which can fire in three directions at the same time, with the ability to fire charged shots which freeze and then explode.
The Splatana Wiper
Part-katana, part-windscreen wiper, the Splatana Wiper is a long-range weapon that can shoot ink in wide arcs using centrifugal force. Charge it up to release vertical slices that can help squid kids swim up walls with ease.
A vending machine that provides up to four players with in-game drinks to boost their stats and abilities. Plop it down at the start of a match for a tactical advantage!
A shark pool float which zooms around the arena, exploding the enemy with ink.
The Wave Breaker
A tactical post that releases waves of energy, identifying enemy positions and dealing them damage. You can jump over the waves to avoid it!
Weapon freshness will also return in Splatoon 3, with a twist. Instead of augmenting your weapon's functionality, it will earn you Sheldon Licenses or "ornamental armaments" for your locker! Also, if you buy duplicate gear, you'll be able to gain more XP, and get Ability Chunks faster with higher star power.
- Museum d’Alfonsino
- Hammerhead Bridge
- Mahi-Mahi Resort
- Tenta Missiles
- Ink Storm
- Ultra Stamp
- Booyah Bomb
- Splat Zones
- Tower Control
- Rainmaker (which now has checkpoints)
- Clam Blitz
New & returning amiibo
Three new amiibo will be released this Winter:
- Inkling (Yellow) - $15.99
- Octoling (Blue) - $15.99
- Smallfry - $15.99
The amiibo can be scanned to access exclusive gear, take photos with them, and to save your character’s gear combinations as Fresh Fits.
Some Splatoon 2 amiibo will be restocked alongside the new ones:
- Callie & Marie 2-pack - $24.99
- Pearl & Marina 2-pack - $24.99
Replacing Marina and Pearl, the Splatsville hosts from Splatoon 2, are new trio (yes, trio) Deep Cut: Frye, Shiver, and Big Man, who is a stingray. They’re still musicians, so expect to see them perform some of Splatoon 3’s new music, like Anarchy Rainbow. Their music seems notably more festival-themed than the poppy, hip-hoppy stuff from previous games.
Deep Cut's news updates can be read on the go while your character is able to move around Splatsville, and can even be skipped altogether!
Splatfest is back on August 27th, two weeks ahead of Splatoon 3’s launch on the 9th September. Instead of two sides, this time, there will be three!
For future Splatfests, there is a period called the "Splatfest Sneak Peek", in which players will be able to earn conch shells after the theme is announced, but before it begins, by battling and doing Salmon Runs. These shells can be used to unlock Splashtag themes and locker items at the Shell-Out Machine in the Lobby, and will also impact the final results — meaning that players can help out during the Sneak Peek even if they can't attend the final event.
Splatfests can occasionally be 10x, 100x, and even 333x battles, which multiply your Clout earnings. The more conch shells you have, the more likely you are to trigger a multiplication!
According to our calculations, here’s how the results add up:
Total votes: +10 pts
Conch shells per player during Sneak Peek: +10 pts
Individual Clout from Splatfest Battle (Open) and Tricolor Turf War: +15 pts
Individual Clout from Splatfest Battle (Pro): +10 pts
Oh, and all Splatfest participants will receive a free Splatfest Tee in-game with Ability Doubler as a primary ability. You'll have to return it at the end, but you'll get Super Sea Snails in return, with the number you receive based on your rank.
Keywords for matching with friends
A post-launch update will bring the option to use keywords to ensure that you match with friends, or — for example — opt in to a very cool Nintendo Life tournament. Just sayin'.
Save Data Backup
Splatoon 3 will finally support Save Data Backup, which means that all online progression in the game will be stored on Nintendo's servers. Yay!
Three-player Turf Wars
Nintendo appears to have run out of two-sided battles to pit Splatoon players against each other, as the new Turf Wars gimmick in Splatoon 3 is three-sided battles. Turf Wars will now be split into two halves: The first is regular 4-v-4 battles between the three teams, which determines who will start from the centre of the map in the second half, where all three teams compete in the Tricolor Turf War battle as a 4-v-2-v-2 match.
The first Turf War, which is part of the August 27th Splatfest, will allow players to choose between Rock (Shiver’s team), Paper (Frye’s team), and Scissors (Big Man’s team).
And good news: You can also play Turf Wars with friends on the same team, finally!
Customisable Splashtags & Lockers
Loads of online multiplayer games have some sort of customisable badge system to display your colours, and now Splatoon 3’s getting in on it with Splashtags. These appear before a match, and can be customised with a title (like Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ titles), a background, and a badge to show off your achievements. You can also change the emote that your character does upon winning a match.
Your Splashtag nickname (which you get to choose in-game) is separate to your Nintendo ID name, and although you have a unique ID number tied to your Splatoon character, your name doesn't have to be wholly unique. You can change your nickname, too (and be warned, your ID number will change with it) — but "you'll have to wait a bit before changing it again", according to the Splatoon website.
Your locker, which will appear in the lobby of players you’ve recently played with, can also be customised to display weapons, objects, photos, and more. You can also change the colour of the locker.
Customisation options will appear in the catalogue at Hotlantis, which will offer new items on a regular, seasonal basis every three months for the next two years.
Splatoon 3 will have a basic achievement system, which will allow you to earn catalogue points to spend on Hotlantis' customisation options.
SplatNet 3 app
Splatoon 3 is getting a companion app, called SplatNet 3. It can be accessed through the Nintendo Switch Online app on your phone, which you’ll need a membership for.
SplatNet 3 will give you access to battle records, unique app-only gear, and something called Crusty Sean’s Wandercrust, which appears to be the ability to fund Crusty Sean’s backpacking trip using Inked Points earned through gaining territory in battle.
New minigame: Tableturf Battle
A new mode in Splatoon 3, where players can ditch the ink for cards. Tableturf Battle is a 1-v-1 competitive game where cards are played to “ink” a grid-based battlefield, with over 150 cards to collect.
Anarchy Battles is the new name for Splatoon 2’s Ranked Battle mode. All four rotating ‘rules’ – Splat Zones, Tower Control, Rainmaker and Clam Blitz – are returning, and players will be able to compete for the best rankings in these objective-based blast-outs.
If you’re looking to play with friends, you can join Anarchy Battle (Open). But, if you’re thinking of going it alone, there's also Anarchy Battle (Series).
You can access Anarchy Battles as soon as you're level 10, or as soon as you transfer Splatoon 2 save data. Your Anarchy Battle rank will be determined by your wins, losses, and medals:
Threshold analysis shows ranks go from C- to C, C+, B-, B, B+, A-, A, A+, S, and then S+0. Actually, the S+0 ranking can go all the way up to S+50!
In Splatsville, once you get a rank, it won't go down as you play. However, all player ranks will go down slightly every three months for the new season.
How's this calculated? First, look at the highest rank each player has reached up to that point. In theory, a rank will drop by 2 from the highest rank the player has achieved. The S+0 to S+9 crew will drop to S, and anyone above that will revert to S+0.
Our data indicates that the method of adjusting ranks may change in future updates.
Lobby ghosts, training, and more
You can now see your friends in the lobby as ghosts, which allows you to join their matches, watch what they’re doing, and mess around with them before a match begins. There’s a training area in the lobby, too, which you and your ghosty pals can use to test out weapons and tactics ahead of time.
The lobby also allows you to replay your last 50 battles with the Memory Player. You can fast-forward, switch character view, and send clips to friends, or save a limited number of battle replays to the system for a limited amount of time (after which they'll be deleted).
The Crab-N-Go is a shop in the player lobby that sells you food and drinks to boost your stats in battle — or buy something to share amongst your whole team!
Judd is also in the lobby — you know, the cat from the Turf Wars — and he can give you battle tips.
Rewards for Splatoon 2 players
If you played Splatoon 2, you'll be able to access a few extras as a reward:
- Three Gold Sheldon Licences that you can exchange for weapons, regardless of player level
- Join Anarchy Battles from the start, regardless of player level
- Start the game with a higher rank, based on your Splatoon 2 rank
- Get matched with players that have similar Splatoon 2 ranks
You'll be able to transfer your Splatoon 2 save data when you launch Splatoon 3, but bear in mind that you can only do it once per Nintendo account, and it'll need to be on the same system and same account.
The catalogue of customisation options for lockers and splashtags will be released every three months from launch for two years, and is available to every player for free. New weapons will be added at the same time.
New stages will also be added to the 12 that are available from launch.
A notification channel will be added in a later update, which will let you input a keyword to join your friends or a larger group of players, united by a single cause. This will add the ghosts of people using the same keyword into your lobby.
Other planned updates include X Battle and League Battle, which allow high-ranking players to go head-to-head with other players that match their abilities.
X Battles match you with seven other similarly-ranked players (who can't be your friends!) in your region (Asia/Australia/New Zealand, or North America/Europe). The top 500 players from X Battles will be given a reward, although we don't know what that is.
League Battles let you play in teams of two or four, and then compete with other teams across a two-hour tournament. Apparently there will also be special modes in these battles.
Although we have no specifics, Nintendo is planning “large-scale paid DLC” in the future.
Miiverse returns (sort of)
Splatoon 3 will give players the ability to draw small cartoons (or write words, or post memes) and have them be visible in Splatsville to other players… just like Miiverse did. And this time, you can do vertical art, too!
Up to four players can battle the Salmonids in the returning Salmon Run mode, which can now be played whenever you want — it's open 24/7. You'll earn catalogue points, alongside the usual Grizzco Points and reward capsules.
Boss Salmonids have been added, like Slammin’ Lid and Big Shot, and a super-giant King Salmonid called Cohozuna, who can turn up at the end of a match. Players can defeat this large lad using the new Egg Cannon, which fires out Golden Eggs to deal massive damage.
Cohozuna's appearance is called an Xtrawave, which means that it's fully optional — if you lose this wave, you have still completed the Salmon Run, but you can earn rare fish scales by beating Cohozuna. These scales, like most of the other currencies in the game, can go towards locker items, Splashtag designs, and Grizzco outfits for use in Salmon Run, and they come in three varieties, with the rarest ones appearing more often on higher difficulty levels.
There's also a new maximum rank for Salmon Run pros that replaces Profreshional: Eggsecutive VP! This will increase your earning power, but also the difficulty of Salmon Run.
The Splatoon 3 Direct also promised a new mode called Big Runs in the future, which sees the Salmonids invading Splatsvile itself…
Story Mode: Return of the Mammalians
The single-player Story Mode is perfect for new players to learn the inky ropes, and it concerns the Octarian Army, a group of weird, hairy fishies. You will play as new recruit to the New Squidbeak Splatoon, Agent 3, who is tasked with finding out the secrets behind Alterna, the Fuzzy Ooze.
That's all for now, but check back with us for all the Splatoon 3 info as it comes in. If you're already sold on Splatoon 3 and/or the amiibo, make sure to peruse our pre-order guides:
- Where To Pre-Order Splatoon 3 On Nintendo Switch
- Where To Buy The Splatoon 3 Nintendo Switch OLED Model Console And Pro Controller
And if you missed the stream, you can read our live blog while watching the video and it'll be like you were there:
What was your favourite announcement from the Splatoon 3 Direct today? Tell us in the comments!