Splatoon 3: Release Date, News, and All We Know

Aleksandar Lukic
Aleksandar Lukic
31 Min Read
Splatoon 3 Everything We Know So Far
Image credit: Nintendo

Splatoon 3 release date is set for this September. Many people are excited that the fast-paced TPS online PVP Turf War game is coming back with a new installment. The question about the second sequel has been on everyone’s mind since the game has built up a large community.

There was some doubt of it actually happening at all since the previous installment was released in 2017. But Nintendo dispelled it all about a year ago, and now we have an official date set.

Splatoon 3 Release Date And Price

The Splatoon 3 release date is set for September 9th, 2022.

The series has reached critical acclaim since the release of its first installment in 2015, and Nintendo EPD (the Entertainment, Planning & Development division) has consistently been working on expanding the original idea and hasn’t yet disappointed. They are coming back with a third one in September this year, so we take a look at all we know so far.

Nintendo has been busy with a lot of new stuff announced recently, mainly at their Direct mini Partner showcase. But, they also finally confirmed the already assumed price for the game. It’s the standard $59.99 price for their heavy hitters – games that are sort of a trademark for the console in question, so we did expect it.

And, to improve the players’ enjoyment, Nintendo is also releasing the new Switch OLED edition, themed by the game, but more on that below.

Splatoon 3 release date announced
Image credit: Nintendo

Splatoon 3: Everything We Know So Far

The next installment is certainly going to be similar to the previous two in terms of the gameplay. Nintendo EPD is bound to add a few innovations in multiplayer modes, but the core gameplay won’t be tampered with, judging by a few short videos shown so far.

The franchise has spawned many large tournaments, including the Inkopolis Showdown, so the developers are also looking to continue that tradition.

Octolings vs Inklings

As before, we will choose between Octolings and Inklings, and all the familiar fan-favorite weaponry is coming back, like rollers, chargers, and more. All weapons from the previous two games are coming and will stay the same in terms of specializations, rollers for close combat, chargers for sniping far-away targets, etc. 

Also, the morphing abilities are staying. The squid form will remain better for swimming and recharging ink faster, while the human form is better for walking. All weapons will again have infinite ammo, and they will only need recharging, which happens automatically.

Splatoon 3: Singleplayer Campaign Details

As mentioned, the previous installment has had a single player campaign as a DLC expansion. However, this time it comes at launch. It will be titled “Return of the Mammalians” and is taking players to Alterna.

No more details about this are available at this point, but the developer has promised that it will be even more significant than the previous one in terms of the length and the impact on the story. It will have more content for sure.

The official Splatoon Japanese Twitter has posted some screenshots of the campaign, showing off open scenery and vast spaces of some of the levels the players will go through. There’s also floating debris which promises tough challenges for the skilled players.

Squid Research Lab Report Presentation (August 10, 2022)

This Nintendo Switch direct is dedicated almost entirely to Splatoon 3. It opens up with a cinematic that presents Splatsville and the entire Splatlands, with some of its battle arenas like the Scorch Gorge, Eeltail Alley, Mincemeat Metalworks, Undertow Spillway, and others.

We can see many new innovative mechanics being included in Splatoon 3, like maps changing, platforms sinking, and stuff like that. We can see some new player mechanics as well, like the Turf War match mode, swimming up inked walls, refilling your ink while submerged, and the squid surge and squid roll techniques.

Squid Surge

Splatoon 3 squid surge
An Inkling charging up, ready to perform an upward burst and jump on the wall

Squid Surge is a new move in Splatoon 3, enabling the player to submerge into an inked wall and, after a moment of winding up, swim up with a burst of power making the character jump out of the ink and on top of the platform if available, all in a single burst.

Squid Roll

Splatoon 3 Squid Roll
An Octoling jumping out of Ink, simultaneously turning around

Similar to the surge, Squid Roll enables jumping out of ink but splatted on the ground surface instead. You can dive through it and jump out at the moment of your choosing, simultaneously turning around, jumping in the direction opposite of the one you were diving in, and landing ready to fire.

Additionally, when the character shines bright yellow at the moment of emerging, he or she will repel the opponent’s ink fire slightly.

The biggest Nintendo Direct Splatoon 3 showcase so far reveals several of the new weapons and cosmetics in all their glory. The announcement confirms all of the basic weapons from previous games coming as well!

Ammo Knights Weapons Shop

Splatoon 3 Ammo Knights Sheldon Shop
Sheldon offers a plethora of weapons in exchange for Sheldon Licenses

Also, it is important to note that special weapons can be paired with main weapons so players can make their own combinations and develop their own fighting styles. The weapons are up for purchase in the in-game shop called Ammo Knights, owned by Sheldon.

Purchasing weapons will require Sheldon Licenses that are obtained by leveling up through battles and also by using the same weapons consistently. After reaching the corresponding level, you can exchange one or more Sheldon Licenses for a weapon you can purchase.

Splatoon 3 Headgear Shop and Other Stores

Splatoon 3 Naut Couture
Gnarly Eddie welcoming you to his shop

Another addition is an in-game headgear shop owned by Gnarly Eddy and Nails snail. Also, there are shops like the Man-o’-Wardrobe boutique, owned by Jel La Fleur, for fashionable clothes, especially tops. And, there is the Crush Station shoestore, owned by Mr. Coco.

Splatoon 3 Crush Station Shoes
Mr. Coco offers a plethora of different shoes with various beneficial effects

Now, shoes are especially important because they can improve your character’s performance in battle, like increasing run speed or improving combat maneuvers like the Squid Roll. Players will need to battle while wearing the purchased shoes to unlock the bonuses.

Test Range

Splatoon 3 testrange
Practice your weapons in the Test Range

Another cool addition to Splatoon 3 is the Test Range, where players can try out and train with their chosen weapons and gear. There is a variety of challenges you can enjoy while practicing or just waiting for the battle queue.

Ghosts

Splatoon 3 Ghosts
Checking on your friends via their Hologram Ghosts

Online friends from your list will appear as 3D holograms in the game and you can see what they are doing at the moment and drop in on them amid the battle to join them. Also, this enables joining up your friend’s team quickly and conveniently.

Replay Mode

Splatoon 3 Battle Replays
You can watch a replay of your match and navigate to any point

Another cool feature available for Splatoon 3 players is the View Replays mode, where you can replay any of your saved matches. You can navigate the match duration by fast forwarding, skipping time, or swapping to another player’s view. You can also share your replays with friends.

Splash Tags Customizations

Splatoon 3 Splash Tags
Customizing the Splash Tags

When starting a battle, the players will see their and other players’ splash tags. Everyone can customize their splash tag to change the banner, Badge, and title.  Also, players will be able to change the emote your character performs after you win a battle. These customizations are available in the in-game catalog, obtained at Hotlantis general store.

Splatoon 3 Table Turf Battle

Splatoon 3 Table Turf Battle
A new 1v1 competitive card battle spinoff of Turf War

This is a new battle mode that combines Splatoon 3 with a Tetris-like 1v1 table card game. Players will collect and use their decks that produce certain shapes and occupy squares on the battlefield. There are various shapes and effects to attack the enemy and take up more turf than them.

Salmon Run

Splatoon 3 Salmon Run
Players battling King Salmonid in the new game co-op survival mode

This is another new match mode that requires 4 players to participate, playing together in a survival fight against Salmonids that are advancing on them. When hitting the Salmonids with attacks, they drop salmon eggs the players need to pick up.

Every few waves will spawn a Boss Salmonid that drops golden eggs for powerful rewards. There are several Boss Salmonids that each have their own weapons and mechanics for players to get through. And, if that weren’t enough, players will also encounter the King Salmonid!

Story Mode

Splatoon 3 Story Mode
Various challenges wait for you in the single-player story mode

Previously confirmed and now officially shown for the first time in the latest Nintendo Direct, Splatoon 3 story mode will see the player explore many new stages with various challenges. You will be accompanied by Small Fry which helps you in various ways.

SplatNet 3 Mobile App

Splatoon 3 SplatNet 3
Nintendo Direct showcased the new Mobile App for Splatoon 3

Along with the new game, Nintendo is releasing a Splatoon 3 mobile app SplatNet 3 that can be used on Smartphones. The app enables the player to review their battle stats, order gear that is not sold in the game, and access various bonus features.

The new app will be available at the game’s launch and obtainable via the official Nintendo Switch Online mobile app store.

Scheduled Updates

Splatoon 3 Updates
Nintendo promises a big content update every 2 months for the next 2 years after launch

Developers promise that following Splatoon 3 release date, every 3 months from then on we will get a large update with a new in-game catalog, containing new content. Additionally, they promise us new weapons along with updates, and two new battle modes that will come with later updates called X Battle and League Battle, which are highly competitive.

Events

Splatoon 3 Tricolor Turf War
A new battle mode where 3 teams compete on the same map

It is now confirmed that Splatfest will return in the new installment, a well-known event for veteran players of the franchise. This time around the announced theme will provide the players with a choice between 3 teams that battle. The event will have two halves.

In the first half of the Splatfest event, teams will fight in 4v4 turf war battles, while the second half is something new – a Tricolor Turf War, with 3 teams fighting in the same match! The team that is placed at #1 in the first half will be attacked by both the #2 and #3 teams.

Deep Cut – Splatoon 3 Host Trio

Deep Cut - Splatoon 3 Host Trio
Image Credit: Nintendo

A free Splatfest demo on Switch will be available for free on August 27th as Nintendo detailed modes, maps, and the menu for the multiplayer shooter. Among the reveals is the host trio – the Deep Cut!

Fans of the franchise already know that every game of the series has had colorful in-game “hosts” These characters are there to spice things up and appraise things going on during the match. No arena would be complete without that.

Keeping up with the numerical order, S3 will have three hosts that spectate and comment on everything the players do from their Splatsville TV studio. This time, however, Nintendo has prepared a unique feature where players can follow their announcements during gameplay on the go.

Free Spaltoon 3 Demo And Splatfest Premiere

Free Spaltoon 3 Demo Splatfest
Image Credit: Nintendo

If you already bought your copy, there’s a free demo available from 18th to 25th August. It culminates with the Splatoon 3: Splatfest World Premiere on August 27th, where the hosts will present all of the new features.

In tune with the third game, this event will offer players a choice between three teams, all themed differently (it was two teams in Splatoon 2). We expect crazy multiplayer fun since the teams each have their strengths and weaknesses towards the others, like the Rock, Paper, Scissors method.

However, there is much more to Splatfest as Nintendo has announced themes like werewolves VS vampires, fantasy VS sci-fi, etc. This new feature is called the Tricolor Turf War and follows a 4v2v2 order.

How To Play the 12-Hour Splatoon 3 Demo

Nintendo Store Free Splatfest Demo

As mentioned, the free demo Splatfest launches on August 27. To play it, you need this:

Nintendo is also offering a 7-day free trial for the Nintendo Switch Online for people who don’t have a membership and download the demo. Players can activate the game on 9 AM PT on August 27, but it is possible to get an offline tutorial while waiting for the servers to start. The tutorial will guide the players through a small part of the Splatsville hub world, enable some exploration, and show some features.

Splatoon 3 Icon for Home Menu on Nintendo Switch

As the Summer heats our thumbs, Nintendo dropped some more details about the upcoming multiplayer extravaganza. This is what the icon for the new game will look like. It has one Octoling and two Inklings, which many joked about (1 character in the first game, 2 characters in the second, and 3 in this third one)

Splatoon 3: New Weapons And Reworks

In September 2021, Nintendo revealed its plans and answered many of the fans’ questions, mainly about the game’s release. But, they also gave us a glimpse of some of the new weapons and confirmed some old ones returning. Here are the ones confirmed so far:

Tri-Stinger (Splat Bow)

Splatoon 3 trislinger
Image credit: Nintendo

The players have already seen the Tri-Stinger in action in the announcement trailer. It is a stinger weapon type that fires arrows in three directions simultaneously. It can also fire charged shots that freeze for a moment before they explode.

Trizooka

Splatoon 3 - Trizooka
Image credit: Nintendo

This is another weapon that has blown our minds! The trizooka is exactly that – a triple bazooka. It fires three consecutive bazooka blasts, and you can repeat that three times in a single-use. This is a modified version of a weapon from Inkopolis, the main setting for the first two installments of the series, which we will visit again in Splatoon 3, but it is only announced as one of several!

Killer Wail 5.1

Splatoon 3 - Killer Wail 5.1
Image credit: Nintendo

In their big Splatoon 3 reveal a year ago, this intricate weapon named the Killer Wail 5.1 was also confirmed. It is a modified version of a weapon previously used in both Splatoon and Splatoon 2, known all too well to the fans, but it does come with a few tweaks. Instead of one giant speaker, it will now have six that move on their own and shoot lasers that lock on targets… Sounds powerful, pun intended!

Crab Tank

Splatoon 3 - Crab Tank
Image credit: Nintendo

Nintendo revealed this one through their Twitter, a new special type of weapon. It is a crab…tank. A tank shaped like a crab, but with a rapid-fire gun and cannon blasts, and it transforms into a ball for faster movement. It is still not seen in action, so we can only speculate if it works as cool as it sounds.

Big Bubbler

Splatoon 3 - Big Bubbler
Image credit: Nintendo

As an early reveal, the fans were introduced to this one, which is another modification of a weapon from Inkopolis. It is now bigger, better (fixed all the issues players complained about), and primarily for protection.

Zipcaster

Splatoon 3 - Zipcaster
Image credit: Nintendo

Ink Vac

Splatoon 3 Inc Vac
Image credit: Nintendo

Another innovation is this ink vacuum, which drains the enemy of their ink so that they are without the means to return fire. The exact mechanics of the weapon are still unknown. We don’t know if it will also deal damage or how fast it will drain ink, but some say that it will have a damaging effect.

There are some more last-minute reveals through the official Twitter account:

Inkbrush & Octobrush

The developers described it as a mid-level power weapon that has panache and style. It seems to be designed to mess with the opponents’ tactics and orientation, as it quickly inks the turf surface with dizzying flourishes. The Octobrush also seems to be an interesting addition. It has a wooden handle and a much wider brush than the Inkbrush. It is designed to deliver massive amounts of ink and it has a large magazine.

Splatanas

Splatoon 3 Splatanas
Splatana Wiper, a powerful melee & ranged weapon

Just like katanas, but instead of a blade, you have a  brush dripping with ink. The Splatana Wiper weapon acts like a sword that can be used for powerful melee attacks, but it can also hurl splashes of ink at a range.

The player can use two attack types. One is a normal quick attack that hurls ink with centrifugal force and the other attack is a charged one that deals significantly more damage and is very dangerous at close range.

Tacticooler

Splatoon 3 tacticooler
A player picking up a beverage from the Tacticooler with a beneficial effect

An ingenious addition to the Splatoon 3 special weapons arsenal is a…well, a fridge! By activating the

Tacticooler a fridge will appear that offers 4 in-game beverages. The beverages buff the player with a variety of beneficial effects, like a speed increase.

Wave Breaker

Splatoon 3 wave beaker
Enemies getting caught in the Wave Breaker pulse

When activating this gadget, your character will throw it to the ground in front of you where the Wave Breaker assembles. It then sends out sonic waves that mark the locations of opponents caught in the wave and also deal continuous damage to them. However, jumping over the wave avoids it.

Reefslider

Splatoon 3 Reefslider
Enemies caught in the Reefslider’s final blast

Activating this bad boy brings out a shark-like vehicle that your character will mount automatically. After a brief charge time, it will build up power and unleash in a burst of speed, charging into the direction you are facing. After reaching your destination, the vehicle explodes in a large radius, dealing heavy damage to all in the area.

Splatoon 3 ‘Hairstyles’

Hairstyles
Image credit: Nintendo

Fashion was a big part of the previous two installments, and it will be in the third! Music and style are what this franchise is all about, besides splatting paint everywhere. So, we were relieved that they are bringing back the original composer Toru Minegishi.

But, to get back to the cosmetics, Nintendo has showcased plenty of Splatoon 3 hairstyles, which, paired with the new weapons and design, give the game a familiar cool modern look. The announcement trailer did showcase some features of character customization. As proof of how serious they are taking this, Nintendo bragged about the new Splatoon 3 hairstyles on Twitter last June.

The latest Splatoon 3 fashion

This third installment seems to promise more lore than ever before. This includes the returning of some old brands, like the recently confirmed Skalop brand, resurface. Nintendo showcased some photos with Inklings and Octolings sporting Skalop gear:

Splatoon 3: Nintendo Switch Details And Price

Since 2017, the Switch handheld console has undergone some changes and has had special editions in the past. Some time ago, Nintendo stated that there are no plans for new Switch Model as of yet.

However, they have promised a 4k improvement for Pro set for 2022, only to later reveal just this basic OLED edition. And on August 26, 2022, Nintendo is releasing a fully upgraded model of the console, adding a 7-Inch OLED screen to improve the visuals and our gaming experience.

The price for the Nintendo Switch OLED Splatoon 3-themed edition is set at $360, still a bit higher than we all expected last year.

And they are doing so in unison with the game’s release, which happens on September 9th, just a few weeks later. It was announced that the Splatoon 3 design features come separately; as the photos show, they do match the motif of the game with splashy, colorful delight.

Splatoon 3 Nintendo Switch OLED 1
Image credit: Nintendo
Splatoon 3 Nintendo Switch OLED Pro Controller
Image credit: Nintendo

This special Splatoon 3 Nintendo Switch edition will come with a set of Joy-Cons, in gradient blue-purple and yellow-green, as the video shows, while the console’s underbelly is black with graffiti and the game’s trademark splats.

Splatoon 3: Platforms

As before, Splatoon 3 will be a Nintendo Switch exclusive, especially now that we have a console upgrade themed by the game, but more on that below. The only scenario in which this might change in the future is if we get the Switch successor and Nintendo makes the game available for it.

However, you don’t have to get the upgraded OLED Switch console to play the game. Nintendo has confirmed on their official site that it will be playable on the basic version and even Nintendo Switch Lite.

Nintendo switch platforms
Image credit: Nintendo

For our readers who are looking for something to pass the time until the release, we’ve composed a list of 20 best anime games, many of them for Switch.

A New In-House Server System for Splatoon 3 is very likely

New Splatoon 3 in-house Server System
Image Credit: Nintendo

The info comes from data mining and is unconfirmed, but it is not denied by Nintendo so far. We have @OatmealDome to thank for this info, as he has found that Nintendo will utilize their in-house server system for Splatoon 3, meaning online lobbies, a separate interface may be, and such stuff.

If this is true, it makes S3 Nintendo’s third title that uses NPLN, the previous two being Pokemon Legends: Arceus and Monster Hunter Rise. Previous Splatoon titles used NEX, which dates back to 3DS and enables Friends List and other apps for the player.

This time it looks like Nintendo is gearing up to bring it home with this third installment. The new Lobby with features developed specifically for this game would mean a lot of improvement for matchmaking, smoothing out the game’s overall workings, and making the players’ online social experience that much better.

According to OatmealDome’s info, the NPLN will have mechanisms to match players according to several criteria, like latency, and might even be a go-between for two consoles that can’t connect otherwise because of different NAT types. Here’s his full report:

Splatoon 3 file size 6GB or less?

Splatoon 3 File Size
Nintendo Store still shows 6GB, but many online sources say less

According to rumors circulating the web, the game might have a smaller file size than currently listed, with some reports putting it down to 4.3GB. It is a big deal as it would make things easier to manage. However, the official Splatoon 3 Nintendo store entry still shows 6GB, so we wait and see.  

Import Splatoon 2 saves for bonuses!

Import Splatoon 2 Saves to Splatoon 3 for Bonuses
Image Credit: Nintendo

Faithful fans of the game series are rewarded handsomely with bonuses that will speed up progression in the new game. Players with saved S2 data on their Nintendo Switch can import it to the game and get a head start.

Firstly, these players will have three weapons unlocked right from the start, while others have to attain a certain level. It enables returning fans to have their favorite S2 weapons available and not break tradition.

Secondly, these players will be able to access Anarchy Battle mode, also from the start, which is a new ranked multiplayer mode in S3. The matchmaking system will match S2 players of similar skills in either game mode.

Lastly, Nintendo has promised that these Splatoon 2 veterans will start S3 with a higher rank to complement their previous position. They didn’t specify how they handle the rank transfers, but a head start is good.

All these features are attainable by new players after a short while, but competitive veterans should continue where they left off in the previous installment. The matchmaking system will prevent veteran players from being matched with new arrivals to keep things fair.

Is Splatoon 3 Worth It?

People are already showing their excitement on social media and community channels, and Splatoon 3 is lined up to be another great success. The addition of the new Switch OLED model is also tempting, especially since an upgrade for the console is long overdue.

Nintendo now seems to have fine-tuned all the details. They kept all the good stuff from the previous games, brought in new weapons, visuals, and improvements for the third, and they improved their hardware to carry it all. Splatoon 3 is set up to be the next big thing this fall, so we will stay tuned!

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