Splatoon 2 is the newest title to make its way to the Nintendo Switch and users are already splatting each other online in mass. However, while the base mechanics of this game may seem fairly straight forward, Splatoon 2 is full of nuance and depth. For this guide, we are going to focus on Turf War since that’s the most popular and readily available game mode.
We’re also going to tailor this to players who haven’t unlocked everything, but still have a basic grasp of the fundamental mechanics. Here are 10 tips and tricks for Splatoon 2:
1. Don’t Neglect Your Side
It can be very easy to just create a path straight to the center of the map and charge into battle without a care in the world. However, it’s vital that you make sure your spawn point is covered in ink as well since this will not only allow you to move around faster, but count to your final percentage.
This doesn’t mean everyone needs to stay behind, but if you see all three of your teammates rush the center, consider staying back to cover your area. Multiple levels have ramps and side alleys that typically go unattended until midway through the match. Try to paint over these right out of the gate so you can get into fights faster and overwhelm your opponents.
2. Tailor Your Weapons to the Maps
There are a lot of weapons in Splatoon 2, so understanding which firearm is best for the 8 different maps is important. Some weapons are just not as useful as others simply due to the geometry of the level itself. For example, Moray Towers is a very verticle map with a lot of long sight lines, so the Splat Charger is fantastic for picking targets off. In contrast, this weapon is not great for a map like Port Mackeral since it’s more confined. These levels constantly rotate and you can check which ones are now available but clicking X and selecting the “Stage” tab.
3. Know When to Use Your Speical Weapons
Every weapon you pick comes with a Special Weapons that can completely turn the tide of a fight. These can range from long range missiles to increased armor to obtaining a jetpack. You can charge your Special Meter by splatting enemies and covering territory. Once it’s full press R3 and your ability will activate and let you rain chaos upon your foes. If you die before activating your Special Weapon then your meter will lose some progress. So if you’re getting close to topping off your Special Meter try to not rush into battle, as you could die and have to waste more time building it up.
Be patient and try to activate your Special either in enemy controlled territory or to initiate a team fight with multiple enemies. Some Specials like the Tenta Missiles can be fired from spawn, so knowing your advantages over your opponents is important. Make sure to go to the test range which you switch weapons to get a better understanding of how your Special works.
4. Fight in Pairs
Players can die very quickly in Splatoon 2, so use this to your advantage and team up against foes. Being able to pour on double the damage will quickly eliminate foes and allow you to cover more territory. This isn’t required, but when possible try to fight together and pick off enemies who are on their own. In contrast, if you are under attack by two opponents, it’s okay to turn and retreat away from the fight. You will ultimately lose more progress if you die rather than back off for a few seconds.
5. Cut Off Escape Routes
A personal favorite trick, if you find yourself in a tricky one on one fight try to limit the amount of territory they can utilize. Shooting behind them or forcing them into a corner can quickly end the fight since they won’t be able to move through your ink without a movement penalty. You can also sneak up behind enemies and ink the territory behind them, allowing you and your team to hit them from both sides. Always be on the lookout for a way to use the level geometry to your advantage.
6. Vertical Walls Don’t Count
In Turf War the match is determined by which team has covered the most territory with ink by the end of the round. However, this game type only counts flat planes and not the various walls or sides of boxes around the map. Don’t get caught up trying to cover these areas with ink, since it’s a waste of your time and resources. Only cover a wall or verticle area if you are going to climb up it via your squid form. Otherwise, it’s virtually pointless and won’t help you win the game.
7. Pick the Right Abilities for the Right Weapons
There are 26 separate abilities that you can pick, match, and use in Splatoon 2 so it’s easy to lose track of which ones you have equipped. Before you go into a match, pull up your inventory and ask yourself if these skills will benefit your current loadout. Some skills like “Ink Saver” are not useful if you are already running a class that has a low Sub-Weapon ink cost. In contrast, abilities like Special Charge Up and Special Power Up are fantastic if you have a get using Tenta Missles. Try to avoid skills that are incredibly situational like any based off respawning or Quick Super Jump.
8. Use Squid Form in a Fight
Most players typically use squid form simply to either cover ground quickly or simply reload their weapons in combat. However, this mechanic is great for dodging incoming fire or juking opponents who are trying to splat you. Try to pop in and out of Squid form if you’re against slower firing targets so you can close the distance. Players can also use squid form to kite enemies using weapons like Splat Roller or Slosher since they lack range. There’s no reason to not use your mobility in a fight and it can make the difference between a kill or starting from the respawn point.
9. Ink > Kills
It’s absolutely imperative that you understand that kills are secondary in Turf War. Chasing opponents and leaving your side of the map open to get covered will surely lose you the game. Now that doesn’t mean getting kills isn’t important, as reducing your foes numbers can help swing a tough match. Yet, if you see an enemy in the distance, try to focus more on claiming the area around you then going for the kill. You can actually exploit people’s greediness by having them chase you into your territory and ignore inking the map. Always deal with the enemy directly in front of you, otherwise, you will want to focus on covering more areas than your foes.
10. Function Over Fashion
In Splatoon 2, players can equip a variety of different items including face masks, hats, shirts, jackets, and fancy shoes. However, some of these are far better than others, so try to pick your clothes over what skills they give your Inkling. Sure, the pink hat, yellow shirt, and black shoes may be a fashion disaster, but if their abilities are very powerful then you’ll be the last one laughing. Until you have enough money to really reroll and customize your abilities, just focus on the function of the item over how it looks on your Inkling.