Splatoon 3: How to level up quickly

Splatoon 3 Cafeteria staff smiling
(Image credit: iMore)

Regardless of whether you're new to the game or you're a longtime series fan, leveling up can sometimes feel like a drag. You can almost taste the cool upgrades and weapons locked behind a level cap, like staring sadly into a restaurant from the window. However, there is a way to speed things up! Here are a few tips to get a leg up while leveling up in Splatoon 3.

Play different game modes

Splatoon 3: Regular Battle With Friends selected

(Image credit: iMore)

Even if leveling up can seem like a slog, you'll be rewarded for playing every day. Playing in the online multiplayer modes as well as Salmon Run nets you a bonus of 7,500 points the first time you win a mode each day, indicated by a special purple icon. 

Splatoon 3 Salmon Run results bonus for first daily clear

(Image credit: iMore)

Not only does this give you an opportunity to get better at the game, but it also contributes to both your catalog and base level! Be sure to get your daily wins in if you want to unlock more weapons and goodies.

Eat at the cafeteria

Splatoon 3 lobby cafeteria location

(Image credit: iMore)

Inking turf in Splatoon 3 can be exhausting, so if you want to up your experience, make sure you don't splat on an empty stomach. You can find the cafeteria in the lobby, to the left of Judd and to the right of the locker room. Here, you can buy food and drinks that can boost your money, experience, and gear abilities.

Splatoon 3 cafeteria food for increasing experience

(Image credit: iMore)

Certain types of food can either increase your experience points by 50% or double it entirely. You can even eat food that buffs experience for your entire team, which is great for when you get together with the squad to take on a Splatfest

Food tickets can be acquired through various means, such as playing through the Hero Mode single-player or leveling up your catalog. Once you consume food, the effect lasts for 20 matches — you can see how many opportunities you have next to your money and Super Sea Snail count upon finishing a game. Don't worry if you have to put the game down, though, as the effect will carry over even if you close the game until you've used all 20 of your opportunities to increase experience points.

Put your heart and ink into battles

Splatoon 3 experience bonuses after battles

(Image credit: iMore)

Even if battles can feel like a grind sometimes, that's no excuse to slack off! You're rewarded with extra experience and catalog points in the following ways:

  • First Clear Bonus — 7,500 points for winning the first game/clearing the first shift of the day
  • Win Bonus — An extra 600 points for winning a game
  • Time Bonus — An extra 300 points for completing a game, regardless of the outcome
  • Ink Bonus — An extra 500 points for spreading 500p worth of ink

It's clear that giving your all in matches, even if you don't win, can grant you an advantage in leveling up. With enough practice and coordination with teammates, those win bonuses will be rolling in in no time!

Squid Surge your way to the top!

Waiting for weapons and items to unlock can be frustrating, but it only makes gaining access to them that much more satisfying. If you've played Splatoon 2 and have save data on your console, there's always the opportunity to import your save data and access locked weapons sooner. Splatoon 3 is easily one of the best online multiplayer games on the Nintendo Switch, so all those hours spent grinding may just fly by faster than you can say, "Ink!"


Splatoon 3

Fans of Nintendo's thrilling take on the third-person shooter can preorder the game today. It's everything you love about Splatoon — inking turf to win Turf Wars, customizing your Inkling in fresh gear, and tons of diverse weapons — now with all-new content. 

Buy from: Amazon | Nintendo

Nadine Dornieden

Nadine is a freelance writer for iMore with a specialty in all things Nintendo, often working on news, guides, reviews, and editorials. She's been a huge Nintendo fan ever since she got to pet her very own Nintendog, and enjoys looking at Nintendo's place in the video game industry. Writing is her passion, but she mostly does it so that she can pay off her ever-growing debt to Tom Nook. Her favorite genres are simulation games, rhythm games, visual novels, and platformers. You can find her at @stopthenadness on Twitter, where she'll more than likely be reposting cute Animal Crossing content.