Today, Nintendo released the Splatoon 3-themed Nintendo Direct. In it, we got a huge information dump about the features that will be available in the game. We've got a lot of information to sort through, so let's not waste time and start going from the top through all the cool features you'll find in Splatoon 3 once it releases on September 9.
Let's start with the new Story Mode. In Return of the Mammalians, you'll be able to get the hang of battles and weapons while setting out on an adventure to discover the secrets of Alterna, the Fuzzy Ooze, and how it connects to the title's theme. As Agent 3, the latest recruit of the New Squidbeak Splatoon, players will battle with the Octarian Army, whose members are covered in hair for some reason.
Salmon Run also makes a return here. This mode will allow you to team up with three other players to collect Power Eggs from the Salmonids advancing on them. Players will also face off against Boss Salmonids, including the new Slammin' Lid and the Big Shot. Additionally, Big Runs are coming in the future as well. This is a special event when Salmonids invade the city where Inklings and Octolings live.
If you're more of a Battle-eyed buff, you will find that Splatsville's favorite pastime is to have Turf Wars. Two teams of four compete to ink the most turf on the map within three minutes. New techniques have been introduced, like the Squid Surge, where players can swim up walls in a single burst, and the Squid Roll, which makes it possible to jump out of ink while turning around. When the players' character glows while executing the move, it also repels ink from opponents.
Of course, Splatoon 3 will also have new weapons for you to use. New Splatlands-specific weapons have been added in Splatoon 3. The bow-like Tri-Stringer can fire in three directions simultaneously and unleash charged shots that briefly freeze before exploding. The Splatana Wiper is a mixed weapon that sends blades of ink flying with the centrifugal force generated by swinging it. If swung after charging up, it'll transform into a charged slash. As you might expect, this weapon works best when used at close range because it's a literal Ink katana.
In addition to the new weapons, all main weapon types from previous Splatoon games will be available in Splatoon 3 from the start. You'll be able to use these weapons across a variety of exotic locations. There are stages specific to the Splatlands like Eeltail Alley, Scorch Gorge, Mincemeat Metalworks, and Undertow Spillway. There's also the new Hagglefish Market, a pier filled to the brim with vibrant street vendors. With returning stages from Greater Inkopolis, you'll have access to 12 stages during Splatoon 3's launch, with more stages to be added in post-launch updates.
The game will also have new kinds of special weapons that can be unleashed after you ink enough Turf. These include the Tacticooler, a fridge that provides stat-boosting items for the team. There's also a Wave Breaker which can unleash sonic waves around the area and tag enemy team members. Finally, there's the Reefslider, a shark-shaped float that charges forward before exploding.
And yes, Splatoon 3 will also bring back the familiar special weapons from previous entries in the series. So if you're still a fan of the classics such as the Tenta Missiles, Inkjet, Ink Storm, Ultra Stamp, and Booyah Bomb, you'll still be able to play with them. Special weapons are paired with main weapons, so players can find the combo that suits their splatting style.
Nintendo also announced a new mode available in a dojo found in Splatsville's vacant lot. The Tableturf Battle mode is a 1-v-1 competitive card battle spinoff of Turf War in which players can strategically ink different shapes using any available cards at their disposal. There will be 150 cards available at launch.
Let's wrap this up by talking about the lobby and game modes. Starting with Anarchy Battles, which allows players to compete for Rankings in Objective-based battles. There are four separate modes on rotation: Splat Zones, Tower Control, Rainmaker, and Clam Blitz. If you want to take the challenge solo, you can select Anarchy Battle (Series), while partied-up teams can go through Anarchy Battle (Open).
When a battle starts, you'll be able to see some cool Splashtags that can be customized with a title, background, and badge. Additionally, a character's winning emote can be customized. All of these and more can be obtained via the in-game catalog, which will be available at Hotlantis, a general store on the edge of Splatsville.
After the game launches, a free in-game season catalog will be distributed every three months for two years. Additional weapons will also be added around the same time as each in-game catalog. In addition, X Battle and League Battle are planned for future updates. X Battle is unlocked after attaining an extremely high rank in Anarchy Battle. In League Battle, players can compete every two hours in teams based on their Anarchy Battle results. Large-scale paid DLC is coming in the future. More details will be shared at a later date.
Splatfests make a return with a vengeance. Hosted by The Deep Cut Trio through the Anarchy Splatcast, you'll be able to participate in online events that allow players to vote for their favorite choice out of three in an announced theme (with the starting one being Rock, Paper, or Scissors).
The team they represent is based on that choice, and the winner is decided via battles over a set period of time. Splatfests will consist of two halves. The three teams will compete in 4-v-4 Turf War battles in the first half. The second half includes the new Tricolor Turf War battles, a mode where three teams fight simultaneously. It's a 4-v-2-v-2 mode, so don't expect a 12-man battle.
Nintendo also announced an upcoming event that will take place during PAX West on September 5. This event, known as 'Enter the Splatlands Invitational Tournament,' will see top players from this summer's Splatoon 2 Inkopolis Showdown 2022 tournament competing in the first-ever Splatoon 3 Invitational. More information about the event will be available on the official Nintendo Versus Twitter account.
Splatoon 3 will launch exclusively on the Nintendo Switch come September 9. The game will be available at a suggested retail price of $59.99. Additionally, a special Splatoon 3 edition of the Nintendo Switch OLED will be available in stores at a suggested retail price of $359.99 from August 26 onward. This special edition of the OLED model includes a set of one blue and one yellow gradient Joy-Con controllers with white underbellies and a graffiti-themed Nintendo Switch dock.
For a comprehensive roundup of information on Splatoon 3, check out our dedicated article.