Splatfest guide for Splatoon 3: weapons, tips, and more

Splatoon 3’s next Splatfest is on the horizon, and we’ve put together a general guide aimed at beginners and casual players.

Splatoon 3 hosts two kinds of events: Splatfests and Big Runs. Generally speaking, we only get one of these events per month. This time around, the Splatfest’s theme is which weekend day is best: Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Despite the theme seeming a little bit trivial, these Splatfests are no joke: they’re arguably the most competitive events the game has to offer. If you consider yourself a more casual Splatoon player, don’t let that competitiveness intimidate you! There are still ways you can contribute to a team, and today’s guide will help you make the most of the Splatfest even if you aren’t a pro player.

Splatfest guide: Open vs. Pro

Splatfest guide Open vs. Pro

Speaking of pro players, there are two “Splatfest modes” available to choose from: Open and Pro. The difference between Open and Pro is that Pro only allows solo players. If a team of four super-skilled players squads up, they can only join Open together since that mode allows coordinated groups. This means you’re technically more likely to encounter skilled teams of players if you choose Open, but you’re also slightly more likely to encounter individual players who are more skilled if you choose Pro. If you can’t decide which to pick, we’d recommend sticking with Open.

In general, it’s always better to tackle Splatoon 3’s cooperative events with a group. If you have a few friends who play the game too, hopping in a voice call and coordinating your team that way will give you a big advantage over teams who are unable to communicate with each other. With voice chat, you’re able to better strategize the use of your specials and move in to claim turf. Speaking of which, Splatfests are always played with Turf War rules. This means the only goal is to ink as much of the ground (the walls don’t count) as you can!

What weapon should I use?

Splatoon 3 weapon choice

Next up for our Splatfest guide is weapon choice. If you already have a favorite weapon that you’re comfortable with, that’s probably going to be your best bet. But if you’re rusty and don’t know what weapon you should pick, we’re going to go through each type of weapon and talk about how difficult it is for the average player to use. From there, you can weigh your options and pick one to try out. It’s always good to experiment with new weapons – if you use them enough, you’ll receive Sheldon Licenses which you can use to buy even more weapons.

  • Shooters are incredibly strong in Splatoon 3 – and mostly easy to use. Though its range is pitifully short, the Sploosh-o-matic has a great ink output. Both kinds of Aerospray do too – but the one with the Booyah Bomb special might be a bit better suited to Turf War. N-ZAP ’85 is a fantastic option right now thanks to its special, the Tacticooler. When you activate this special, you can throw out a drink dispenser. When a teammate (or you) approaches the Tacticooler, it gives them a drink that significantly boosts a bunch of their stats and makes them respawn almost immediately after death. The standard Splattershot is another great option.
  • Rollers lack range, but have high attack power up close. If you want to use a roller during the Splatfest, we’d recommend the Carbon Roller Deco or the Krak-On Splat Roller. The former has access to Burst Bomb, which deals a decent amount of damage up close, as well as Trizooka to attack opponents from far away. Krak-On Splat Roller has access to Squid Beakons, which you can place in corners to act as Super Jump points for your teammates. It can also transform into a Kraken, which is completely invincible to incoming fire – but it does leave the user vulnerable during the transformation.
  • Chargers are extremely common in Splatfests. These events tend to attract new or casual players who might not know how to avoid a charger’s line of fire. You’ll definitely be seeing E-liter 4K and maybe a bit of Snipewriter, so you will want to pick a weapon that poses some kind of threat to chargers. Weapons with Suction Bombs or especially Splat Bombs work great – throw one at a charger and they will have no choice but to fall back for a moment. If you’re playing as a weapon with good mobility, you can also sneak up on them from behind.
  • Sloshers are a solid pick here. Tri-Slosher and Tri-Slosher Nouveau are our recommendations, having access to Inkjet and Tacticooler, respectively. The latter also includes Fizzy Bombs as part of the kit, which are great at inking turf and scoring KOs on damaged enemies.
  • Splatlings are a solid option too. Where chargers are better at getting kills, Splatlings are better at inking turf. The Heavy Edit Splatling in particular can ink a ton of turf in one charge and then fire off a Tacticooler when its special charges. Both Heavy Splatlings as well as the Hydra Splatling are good here too. Unfortunately, Splatlings are usually outranged and picked off by chargers and rarely win close-up clashes against Shooters. If you’re coordinating a team with friends, it’s best to pair a Splatling with other weapons that can take care of chargers.
  • Dualies are kind of like Shooters, but they shoot two streams of ink and allow their user to perform a roll after firing. This roll leaves you vulnerable if you spam it, and skilled players will often be able to follow your dodge roll and splat you anyway. Use them sparingly. Glooga Dualies are the slowest Dualies available, so keep that in mind when picking your weapon. Each of the other Dualies sets has its own advantages, making them decent options for Turf War.
  • Brellas might be a bit difficult for a newer player to use. Of all the Brellas available, the Tenta Sorella Brella might be best for Turf War. The shield protects you from incoming fire, and you can use Ink Mines and Trizooka to set up traps for your opponents. Brellas don’t usually ink very well, though, so if you’re looking to ink as much turf as possible you may want to pick a different weapon class.
  • Blasters aren’t good at inking in the slightest, but they are pretty good at KOing enemies. That said, they might also be a tad difficult for casual players. Blasters generally have a slow fire rate, and you have to score a direct hit on the opponent to splat them in a single shot. Not the best option for Turf War, but if you’re really good at Blasters already then you’ll definitely be able to make some good progress.
  • Brushes are fairly easy to play, and give you access to super-fast movement. While Inkbrush’s damage output is a little bit low, this is remedied if you mash the attack button as fast as you can when you’re on the offensive. Octobrush deals slightly more damage, but has a slower attack speed. It’s important to note that Inkbrush has both Splat Bombs and Killer Wail, which can harass chargers and Splatlings from a safe distance.
  • Stringers require a good amount of aim, but are quite good at inking turf. The REEF-LUX 450 in particular includes Curling Bombs and Tenta Missiles, which are great options for painting the ground. Most Stringers have a somewhat narrow hitbox, so in order to score KOs on other players you’ll need to aim as carefully as possible.
  • Splatanas are the last weapon class in Splatoon 3, and they all have access to rapid-fire shots that deal low damage but paint a decent bit of turf. The Splatana Wiper moves faster, whereas the Splatana Stamper deals more damage. The Splatana Wiper Deco also has access to Tenta Missiles.

Splatfest guide: Turf War tips and tricks

Splatoon 3 Turf War tips

Next in our Splatfest guide is Turf War tips and tricks. The point of Turf War is to ink as much turf as possible, and the team that accomplishes this task wins the match. Since Turf War is timed, this usually means that the last 30 seconds of the match are incredibly important. In Turf War, we’ve found the most success rushing to the center of the stage as soon as the match starts. If you can get your whole team to the center of the stage, you can secure it and pick off the opponents one by one. Then, when one of your teammates is splatted, they can ink their base on the way back to center-stage to charge up their special. As we mentioned earlier, the last 30 seconds of the match are super important. If you’re able to secure the center of the stage and prevent the opponents from advancing, you’ll have a much higher chance of winning the game.

That said, securing center stage does require being able to somewhat reliably splat opponents!.It’s okay if you get splatted several times per match as long as you’re inking as much turf as you can. Like we said earlier, it’s a lot easier to coordinate advances on center stage if you’re voice chatting with your team. If you can’t do that and find you are constantly being splatted when you go to center stage, though, you can employ a more passive strategy. In that case, you’d ink up your base decently well and then try to sneak into the enemy’s base. It’s easiest to do this when you’re playing as an Aerospray or Sploosh-o-matic with the Ninja Squid bonus equipped.

Though we didn’t mention it in the last section, Super Chump is a solid special for Turf War. This move launches a huge number of balloons at the area you aimed at, which soon pop and ink the entire area. Opponents can also be damaged and splatted by each balloon’s explosion, so Super Chump serves as a solid distraction. Tenta Missiles, Triple Inkstrikes, Tacticooler, and Crab Tank are all good choices here. If you’ve got any other suggestions for weapons or specials to use, feel free to leave a comment on our Splatfest guide for others to see too.

One last thing – Splatoon 3 has 10x, 100x, and 333x battles, and they’re only available in Open and Pro (not in Tricolor). Functionally, they’re the same as normal battles, except the team that wins earns 10x, 100x, or 333x the points for their team. If you win a 100x or 333x battle, you will be able to take a picture with Shiver, Frye, or Big Man – whichever character you sided with for your Splatfest team. In this case, if you’re Team Friday, you can take a picture with Shiver; if you’re Team Saturday, it’s Frye; if you picked Team Sunday, you can take a picture with Big Man. You can take this picture by going to the Splatfest stall in the City after the match is over.

What is Tricolor Turf War?

Splatfest guide Tricolor Turf War

The last section of our Splatoon 3 Splatfest guide is on Tricolor Turf War, a new game mode exclusive to Splatoon 3. It’s only available for the second half of the Splatfest – it has a separate queue and everything. Despite the name, there are two teams in Tricolor Turf War, not three: the attacking team and the defending team. At the beginning of the match, you will see if you’re on the attacking or defending team, and the way you play the game changes depending on which team you’re on. If you’re on the defending team, you will be paired with 3 other players who are also on your Splatfest team. Your job is to defend the Ultra Signal at the center of the stage while inking more turf than the other team.

The Ultra Signal is an object exclusive to Tricolor Turf War. When a player on the attacking team touches the Ultra Signal, they will leave themselves vulnerable for a few seconds before activating it. You need to splat them at this exact moment to make sure they don’t do that. When the Ultra Signal is activated, a big squid-like machine will appear above the stage and automatically start spreading the attacking team’s ink on the stage. If you’re part of the defending team, this puts you at a big disadvantage, which is why you want to protect the Ultra Signal at all costs. It’s important to note that the defending team cannot interact with the Ultra Signal in any way other than splatting players on the attacking team who hold it.

To better explain how being on the attacking team works, let’s make a scenario. Let’s say you picked Team Friday and you queued into a Tricolor Turf War match. Team Saturday is the defending team, meaning there are four Team Saturday players defending the Ultra Signal. You, a Team Friday player, have been paired with one other player on your team. There are also two players from Team Sunday on the attacking team. In this case, Team Friday and Team Sunday are actually capable of splatting each other even though they’re both on the attacking team. If you’re on the attacking team, don’t go out of your way to splat your teammates. They’ll probably wind up splatting you too, but don’t go out of your way to get revenge. Even if you’re able to splat each other, you’re still on the same team.

Overall, Tricolor Turf War is more easily understood once you actually become part of the action. In any case, thanks so much for reading our Splatfest guide. Do you have any of your own tips to share? If so, feel free to list them down below and let us know what Splatfest team you’ve decided to join. Splatoon 3 is available now for Switch, and you can check out the official website here.

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