The Splatoon series is famous for its impressive multiplayer turf battles, but solo experiences have been very minimal in the past. Finally with Splatoon 3 a fleshed-out solo campaign is finally available entitled Return of the Mammalians and is no longer called Octo Valley like it was before.
If you don't have any friends available at the moment or are looking for something a little more challenging then this Story mode will keep you entertained.
What's the story in Hero mode?
The long-running story between all three Splatoon entries so far has been about the war with the Octarians. These enemies are octopus creatures commanded by the evil DJ Octavio.
Splatoon 3's story mode continues this saga. Players take on the role of Agent 3, who becomes a member of Squidbeak Splatoon as the organization works to thwart the Octarian enemy who has stolen the Great Zapfish. During the adventure, players will travel through several levels on their way to the lost city of Splatlantis. While the levels are played solo, the cinematic elements involve a handful of companions, including the original Splatoon idols Callie and Marie.
What is gameplay like in Splatoon 3 story mode?
Players run around an overworld and can jump into stages as they go. Each stage has different goals for you to meet and they vary wildly, so you won't be doing the exact same thing over and over again.
As you run through levels, you'll take down Octarian enemies and use your paint powers to scale platforms. You can choose the weapons you want to try at the start of the stage from a limited list. Weapons that are easier to use will net you fewer rewards while harder weapons will give you more.
How to start Splatoon 3's story mode
To initiate the single-player Story Mode, all you have to do is go down the manhole cover in the lobby occupied by Cuttlefish. Upon doing so, you'll be taken to another location and the Hero mode opening cinematic will begin.
Follow Cuttlefish's instructions to learn moves and abilities in each stage. The variety introduced in these stages is one of the things that makes this one of the best Nintendo Switch games out right now.
Splatoon 3 story mode: Tips and tricks
- Experiment with joystick sensitivity in the Options tab of the menu until you get to a setup that feels right for you. You can also turn off motion controls if you'd like.
- Each stage has weapons that are easier to use and harder to use. Easier ones give you fewer rewards, but if you want to keep from getting frustrated, you should stick to a choice that's within your skill range. Of course, you can always challenge yourself with harder weapons later.
- It's better to aim forward than aim down. Every weapon has a splatting distance and facing forward when you shoot will allow more areas to be covered with paint in one go.
- If you keep getting defeated, try taking on an enemy from a different angle. For instance, you might want to try throwing Smallfry to distract an enemy or get to another area before trying to get rid of an opponent.
- Don't forget to use the R button to throw Smallfry or other Sub Weapons at boxes or other obstacles as well. Some Sub Weapons can also reach high places that are initially out of your character's reach.
- You're rarely ever stuck when it comes to vertical travel. Spray your paint up the side of a column or platform and then dive into the paint to travel within the colored areas.
- Make use of Squid Roll to get the jump on opponents. By quickly tapping the joystick in the opposite direction of travel, you can spin into the air and quickly go backward. This can be helpful for getting around opponents and avoiding their attacks.
How long does it take to beat Splatoon 3's story mode?
There are 65 kettle levels, four boss battles, the space center, and a secret unlockable level for players to experience in the story mode. Many people have reported that it takes between 6-8 hours to 100% complete Splatoon 3's solo campaign. Each stage offers unique challenges and helps to change things up instead of giving you the same objectives over and over again. Of course, if you're more of a speed runner, you might be able to complete Hero mode in roughly four hours.
|Stage||Level||Header Cell - Column 2|
|Camp Cuttle||1. Octarians in the Crater? YIKES!||Row 0 - Cell 2|
|Row 1 - Cell 0||2. Sink into the Ink and SWIM!||Row 1 - Cell 2|
|Row 2 - Cell 0||3. Boxes Locked! Keys, Please!||Row 2 - Cell 2|
|Row 3 - Cell 0||4. What Are They? Can We Stop Them?||Row 3 - Cell 2|
|Row 4 - Cell 0||5. DJ Octavio Boss Battle||Row 4 - Cell 2|
|Row 5 - Cell 0||Row 5 - Cell 1||Row 5 - Cell 2|
|Future Utopia Island||1. Get to Know Alterna, Your Only Choice||Row 6 - Cell 2|
|Row 7 - Cell 0||2. Octopods at Rest Tend to FLIP OUT!||Row 7 - Cell 2|
|Row 8 - Cell 0||3. Splat You on the Flip Side||Row 8 - Cell 2|
|Row 9 - Cell 0||4. Doors, Doors, Doors! And More! (Doors)||Row 9 - Cell 2|
|Row 10 - Cell 0||5. Relic Restoration||Row 10 - Cell 2|
|Row 11 - Cell 0||6. Zip, Splat, and Jump||Row 11 - Cell 2|
|Row 12 - Cell 0||7. Become One with Your Smallfry||Row 12 - Cell 2|
|Row 13 - Cell 0||8. What Caused the Big Bang? YOU!||Row 13 - Cell 2|
|Row 14 - Cell 0||9. The String’s the Thing||Row 14 - Cell 2|
|Row 15 - Cell 0||10. Deadly Dance Hall-Jump, Jump!||Row 15 - Cell 2|
|Row 16 - Cell 0||Row 16 - Cell 1||Row 16 - Cell 2|
|Cozy and Safe Factory||1. Twirling, Swirling, Whirling||Row 17 - Cell 2|
|Row 18 - Cell 0||2. Absorbency and You||Row 18 - Cell 2|
|Row 19 - Cell 0||3. Soak It to Me!||Row 19 - Cell 2|
|Row 20 - Cell 0||4. Splitting Crosshairs||Row 20 - Cell 2|
|Row 21 - Cell 0||5. Tread Heavily||Row 21 - Cell 2|
|Row 22 - Cell 0||6. Getting Lost in Three Easy Steps||Row 22 - Cell 2|
|Row 23 - Cell 0||7. The Ink-Conservation Project||Row 23 - Cell 2|
|Row 24 - Cell 0||8. Switching Things Up||Row 24 - Cell 2|
|Row 25 - Cell 0||9. The Future Stares Back (Boss Battle)||Row 25 - Cell 2|
|Row 26 - Cell 0||Row 26 - Cell 1||Row 26 - Cell 2|
|Cryogenic Hopetown||1. Climbing the Corporate Splatter||Row 27 - Cell 2|
|Row 28 - Cell 0||2. They Said We'd Have Flying Cars, and We Do! Kinda!||Row 28 - Cell 2|
|Row 29 - Cell 0||3. Ink Wheels-Experience Tomorrow's Technology Today||Row 29 - Cell 2|
|Row 30 - Cell 0||4. Try Curling! Alterna's 11th Most Popular Athleisure Activity||Row 30 - Cell 2|
|Row 31 - Cell 0||5. Conveyor-Belt Tightening||Row 31 - Cell 2|
|Row 32 - Cell 0||6. Time Trial and Errors||Row 32 - Cell 2|
|Row 33 - Cell 0||7. Rail Pass||Row 33 - Cell 2|
|Row 34 - Cell 0||Row 34 - Cell 1||Row 34 - Cell 2|
|Landfill Dreamland||1. Propelled to Greatness||Row 35 - Cell 2|
|Row 36 - Cell 0||2. Octohoppers Don't Have a Sense of Humor (and They Hate Puns)!||Row 36 - Cell 2|
|Row 37 - Cell 0||3. Let's Put a Pin in That||Row 37 - Cell 2|
|Row 38 - Cell 0||4. Splash the Block Party||Row 38 - Cell 2|
|Row 39 - Cell 0||5. Amusing a Bemused Muse||Row 39 - Cell 2|
|Row 40 - Cell 0||6. Those Aren't Birds||Row 40 - Cell 2|
|Row 41 - Cell 0||7. Charge Now, Splat Later||Row 41 - Cell 2|
|Row 42 - Cell 0||8. Easy Ride, Tricky Targets||Row 42 - Cell 2|
|Row 43 - Cell 0||9. Flying Worst Class||Row 43 - Cell 2|
|Row 44 - Cell 0||10. Ink Fast, Hotshot||Row 44 - Cell 2|
|Row 45 - Cell 0||11. Stamp 'Em Out||Row 45 - Cell 2|
|Row 46 - Cell 0||12. The Path to Perfect Penmenship||Row 46 - Cell 2|
|Row 47 - Cell 0||13. The Pursuit of the Precious (Boss Battle)||Row 47 - Cell 2|
|Row 48 - Cell 0||Row 48 - Cell 1||Row 48 - Cell 2|
|Eco-Forest Treehills||1. Trouble Round Every Corner||Row 49 - Cell 2|
|Row 50 - Cell 0||2. The Upside to Enemy Backsides||Row 50 - Cell 2|
|Row 51 - Cell 0||3. Uh-Oh! Too Many Snipers!||Row 51 - Cell 2|
|Row 52 - Cell 0||4. Barriers! They've Got You Covered||Row 52 - Cell 2|
|Row 53 - Cell 0||5. A Compulsive Collector's Paradise||Row 53 - Cell 2|
|Row 54 - Cell 0||6. Zipping Over the Neighborhood||Row 54 - Cell 2|
|Row 55 - Cell 0||7. One-Way Ride Through Target Town||Row 55 - Cell 2|
|Row 56 - Cell 0||8. Making Waves with Splashdowns||Row 56 - Cell 2|
|Row 57 - Cell 0||9. Low Viz, High Risk||Row 57 - Cell 2|
|Row 58 - Cell 0||10. Shooter on Rails||Row 58 - Cell 2|
|Row 59 - Cell 0||11. Simply Ziptastic!||Row 59 - Cell 2|
|Row 60 - Cell 0||12. You'll Go Far If You Shoot Far||Row 60 - Cell 2|
|Row 61 - Cell 0||13. Learn to Reflect, and This One Is in the Bank||Row 61 - Cell 2|
|Row 62 - Cell 0||Row 62 - Cell 1||Row 62 - Cell 2|
|Happiness Research Lab||1. Bet You Mist Us!||Row 63 - Cell 2|
|Row 64 - Cell 0||2. Octarian Heights||Row 64 - Cell 2|
|Row 65 - Cell 0||3. Torture Tour||Row 65 - Cell 2|
|Row 66 - Cell 0||4. Conserve Ink-Splat Sustainably||Row 66 - Cell 2|
|Row 67 - Cell 0||5. The Enemy Ink Is Lava!||Row 67 - Cell 2|
|Row 68 - Cell 0||6. Keep It Rolling||Row 68 - Cell 2|
|Row 69 - Cell 0||7. That Sinking Feeling||Row 69 - Cell 2|
|Row 70 - Cell 0||8. Breathe In, Breathe Out||Row 70 - Cell 2|
|Row 71 - Cell 0||9. Dive and Dash||Row 71 - Cell 2|
|Row 72 - Cell 0||10. Mission: Fly Fishin'||Row 72 - Cell 2|
|Row 73 - Cell 0||11. Don't Tease the Keys||Row 73 - Cell 2|
|Row 74 - Cell 0||12. Enter the Stamp Gaunlet||Row 74 - Cell 2|
|Row 75 - Cell 0||13. Obscurest Chiaroscurist (Boss Battle)||Row 75 - Cell 2|
|Row 76 - Cell 0||Row 76 - Cell 1||Row 76 - Cell 2|
|Space Center||1. Alterna Space Center: Entrance||Row 77 - Cell 2|
|Row 78 - Cell 0||2. Alterna Space Center: Hangar||Row 78 - Cell 2|
|Row 79 - Cell 0||3. Alterna Space Center: Lift||Row 79 - Cell 2|
|Row 80 - Cell 0||4. No. 4 Final Boss Fight||Row 80 - Cell 2|
|Row 81 - Cell 0||Row 81 - Cell 1||Row 81 - Cell 2|
|Secret Level||1. After Alterna||Row 82 - Cell 2|
How to unlock the secret level in Splatoon 3 Story Mode
You read that right. There's a secret final level for players to experience, but it only unlocks if you beat every kettle in the main campaign at least once as well as the final boss. If you think it should have unlocked by now and it hasn't, that probably means there is an unbeaten kettle somewhere. So go find it and beat it.
After completing Splatoon 3 story mode's secret level, you'll be given the Teddy Band headdress which increases your stats after respawning.
Story of heroes
Whether you're looking for a challenge or want to test your platforming and shooting skills, story mode is a fun way to entertain yourself. Simply talk to the crazy-looking man in the sewer to initiate this single-player campaign and you'll meet Agent 5, Agent 6, Callie, and Marie in no time.
The hero mode levels hold up to Nintendo standard, with each one feeling unique and interesting rather than a rehash of the same ideas. The levels are fun to replay as you can try them using different weapons and therefore different tactics from before.
Do your part to stop the oncoming Octarian menace and keep this post-apocalyptic world safe for inkling and octoling kind!
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