Nintendo Switch’s 2022 lineup is slowly starting to take shape, and one marquee game we know that’s coming to the system next year is Splatoon 3. The next entry in Nintendo’s colorful online shooter series is slated to hit the Switch sometime in 2022, and it looks like it’ll shake up the familiar Splatoon gameplay in some notable ways. We got our first look at the title during Nintendo’s February 2021 Direct, and although the company has been quite about it since the reveal, we got a glimpse at some major changes for the series. Here’s everything we know about Splatoon 3 so far.
Splatoon 3 does not have a firm release date yet, but the game is slated to launch for Nintendo Switch sometime in 2022.
Splatoon 3 was officially announced during the February 2021 Nintendo Direct. Nintendo closed out that presentation by showcasing the game’s reveal trailer, which gave us a look at some major changes for the series. The most obvious is the setting. Splatoon 3 takes place in an arid desert wasteland known as the Splatlands. At the heart of the desert is a new hub city called Splatsville, where players will gather between matches.
The trailer also confirmed the series’ signature 4v4 Turf Wars will return in Splatoon 3, but this time, there will be new stages set in the wilds around Splatsville. Nintendo teases there will be new moves and weapons, as well; we got a glimpse at a new bow and a crab-shaped autobomb during the reveal trailer. It also appears that players will now launch themselves onto the map from the air rather than spawning in at designated locations.
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Beyond that, however, Nintendo hasn’t confirmed much about Splatoon 3, but there are indications there will be some sort of story mode, as in past games. The reveal trailer showed off a customizable Small Fry Salmonid buddy that will accompany the player, so there will presumably be some explanation of how that relationship came to be.
Multiplayer is the foundation of the Splatoon series, and it’s once again the central focus in Splatoon 3. As we saw in the game’s reveal trailer, the series’ 4v4 Turf War mode is returning, this time with entirely new stages, moves, and weapons, including a brand-new bow that can fire ink arrows. Unlike in Splatoon 2, it also appears some old specials are returning in Splatoon 3; one character can be seen firing a modified Inkzooka (a special move from Splatoon 1 that was cut in the sequel) in the reveal trailer.
The bow, a new weapon being introduced in Splatoon 3
Although Turf War has been confirmed, we still don’t know which–if any–other multiplayer modes will appear in Splatoon 3. Ranked modes like Splat Zones, Tower Control, Rainmaker, and Clam Blitz are likely to return as well, although we’re still waiting on confirmation. Nintendo also hasn’t mentioned if the cooperative Salmon Run mode will appear.
Like Splatoon 2, you’ll presumably need to have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription in order to play Splatoon 3 online. Individual memberships cost $4 for one month, $8 for three months, and $20 for one year, while an annual family plan runs for $35 and covers up to eight Nintendo Accounts across multiple systems.
Although it’s not releasing until sometime next year, Splatoon 3 is already up for preorder at Best Buy. Additional retailers will likely open preorders as well as we approach the game’s release date.