Splatoon 3 is almost here, and Nintendo has confirmed that Splatfests are making a return! These festivals are an integral part of Inking (and now, Octoling) culture, bringing people together from all over the world to rally behind a cause. If you're new to Splatfests, you'll soon feel right at home with this guide.
When is the next Splatfest?
The next event takes place from Friday, Sept. 23rd at 5:00 p.m. PT to Sunday, Sept. 25th at 5:00 p.m. PT. The theme this time around is what would you bring to a deserted island? Your options are Gear (team purple), Grub (team orange), or Fun (team green).
1. Choose your region
There are four regions to choose from in Splatoon 3: Americas, Europe, Japan, and one region encompassing Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and South Korea. The game will suggest the current region your Switch is set to when you boot it up, but for the first time in Splatoon history, you can change your region! If you've got friends in other regions, you can change your region to play with them.
PLEASE NOTE: In the Splatoon 3: Splatfest World Premiere, you CANNOT change your region after you've chosen it. In the full release, you can change your region, albeit with a cooldown time so you can't do it too often. Choose wisely!
2. Play through the tutorial
In the Splatfest World Premiere demo and the base Splatoon 3 game, you'll be tasked with playing through a basic tutorial to teach you some tips and tricks. If you're a Splatoon 3 veteran, you should be able to blast through it quicker than someone can say splat! For newcomers to the franchise, this tutorial will teach you everything you need to know about movement and attacking. Pay attention and you'll be a pro sooner than you think!
3. Listen to the news
Just like in previous games, Splatoon 3's news are announced by the game's idols. This game's idols are a trio called Deep Cut, whose members are called Shiver, Frye, and Big Man.
Each idol has one team that they'll defend to the end, making it three teams in total. They'll provide an argument for why their team is the best, and these arguments tend to be compelling! Once you know what's available, you can make an informed decision.
3. Head to the T-shirt stand
Once you're in the plaza, head over to the charming jellyfish selling T-shirts in order to choose your team at the Splatfest Pledge Box. If you want to play together with friends, you'll all need to choose the same team, so be sure to coordinate and pick a team together! But don't be afraid to go against the grain and choose a team you really believe in. If you want to choose the same team as your favorite idol, that's okay, too! Being popular isn't everything.
PLEASE NOTE: Once you choose a Splatfest team, you CANNOT change it later.
4. Equip your gear
You can press the + button in the overworld to enter the Equip menu. Here, you can select which weapon you want, which influences your play style. Pay attention to your sub-weapons and special weapons as well!
After choosing your Splatfest team, you'll receive a Splatfest Tee that sports your team's logo. It's rented, though, so you'll have to return it after the event is over. You'll need to don this fresh piece of gear before participating in the Splatfest — how else will anyone know which team you're repping?
The great thing about the Splatfest Tee is that it has the Ability Doubler feature, which means that whatever Chunks you collect on this gear will have double their effect. You earn Chunks by participating in matches and can scrub off any Chunks you no longer want when you visit Murch in the plaza. During the Splatfest, Murch will scrub your Splatfest Tee for a discounted price, so use this opportunity to farm some Chunks!
5. Get a sneak peek
Splatfests have two main phases: the Sneak Peek and the Main Event. During the Sneak Peek, you can choose a team and engage in Turf War battles to earn Conch Shells once your Catalog gains a level. Once you reach level 4, you'll receive a Catalog from Hotlantis.
You can use Conch Shells in the lobby's Shell-Out Machine once a day, though spending them there won't affect your cumulative count. Earning Conch Shells during the Sneak Peek also helps your Splatfest team, so practice as much as you can ahead of the main event!
6. Head to the main event
Finally, what you've all been waiting for: the Main Event! Head to the lobby and choose one of two Splatfest Battle types:
- Splatfest Battle (Open) — This is for solo players looking to fill out a team, or teams of two to four people pledged to the same Splatfest team who want to play together.
- Splatfest Battle (Pro) — For the best of the best solo Splatoon players, this mode sees solo players trying to win battles in order to increase their Splatfest Power. The higher your Power, the higher the power of the teams you match against, which earns you more Clout. Players with the highest Power can even make it into the Splatfest Top 100, so strive to be the best!
You aren't locked to playing in Open or Pro battles, so see what's the most fun for you. Upon finishing a battle, you'll earn points called Clout. You'll earn Clout even if you lose, but it pales in comparison to what winning a match will earn you.
Alongside Clout, you'll earn Splatfest Points after every match, which increase your Splatfest Rank. The higher your rank is at the end of a Splatfest, the more Super Sea Snails you'll earn after the results are in.
In Splatoon 2, your rank progressed as follows:
|Rank||Points needed||Points total||Super Sea Snails (Winning team)||Super Sea Snails (Losing team)|
Playing together with teams in open battles has its advantages as well: Win enough times with a team to build a winning streak. When searching for teams to play against, you'll eventually be matched up against teams with similar winning streaks as you. This way you'll always feel challenged, and you'll even earn extra Clout.
On occasion, you'll be randomly selected to participate in a 10x Battle. The stakes are even higher this time around, as winning a 10x Battle earns you ten times the Clout! If you win a 10x Battle, you'll earn yourself a special Festival Shell. Festival Shells are coveted, as they increase your chances of being selected for the elusive 100x Battles and 333x Battles, where — you guessed it — you can earn 100 times or 333 times the Clout for winning a match!
7. Face off in Tricolor Battles
Halfway through the Splatfest, Deep Cut will announce which team is leading in the Halftime Report. Once the Halftime Report is over, players can now participate in Tricolor Battles, which are new to Splatoon 3. Here, the runner-up teams become the attacking teams, while the team in the lead will defend their spot at the top. Two players from the runner-up team and four players from the leading team will fight in a thrilling Tricolor Turf War.
A unique feature of Tricolor Turf Wars is the presence of the Ultra Signal, a beacon that teams must fight to keep secure. Once one of the attacking teams touches the Ultra Signal, they make an attempt to secure it. If no other team can claim it in time, it remains secured and deploys the Sprinkler of Doom, a special weapon wielded by the members of Deep Cut. The Sprinkler of Doom inks turf automatically, putting the team securing the Ultra Signal at an advantage. A total of two Ultra Signals are deployed per battle.
Don't focus too much on splatting the leading team, though, as the amount of turf you cover will matter most in the end. This way, runner-up teams can make a comeback even when this looks bleak, so don't be discouraged!
8. Stay tuned for the results
After all the fun of Tricolor Turf Wars is over, Deep Cut will announce the winners of the Splatfest. Clout is tallied for all who participated in the Open and Pro Splatfest Battles, as well as who won the popular vote.
Once the results are in, everyone earns Super Sea Snails. Super Sea Snails can be taken to Murch in the plaza and used to re-roll Ability Chunks on gear or add new slots for Chunks. No matter where you ranked, you'll earn Super Sea Snails, but higher ranks get more! Even if you don't win every game, keep playing to earn points and rank up.
Above all else, stay fresh!
No matter who wins, make sure you have fun. Nintendo has promised to support the game for two years, so there are more Splatfests to come! It's a great time for Splatoon fans to get together and play one of the best online multiplayer games that the Nintendo Switch has to offer. Get out there, defend your Ultra Signal, and may the best team win!
Fans of Nintendo's thrilling take on the third-person shooter can purchase 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.
Preorder from: Amazon (opens in new tab)
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.