Splatoon 3 Ability tier list - Best Abilities for attack and defense

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Splatoon 3 clothing magazines
September 21, 2022: Pick only the best loadouts with the Splatoon 3 ability tier list below.

In need of a Splatoon 3 Ability tier list? It's probably the best way to keep up with the emerging meta and climb the competitive ladder. Which are the freshest and which should be thrown back into the sea? Here's our tier list of each Ability in Splatoon 3 to get you ready for when the game releases.

Each piece of gear in Splatoon 3 - clothing, accessories, and shoes - has slots for Abilities. They come with a main ability and up to three slots for you to add any other Ability chunks you have at your disposal. These will add some welcomed boosts to your inkage, and can help your team or hinder your enemies, too.

Don't forget, there's a pre-release Splatfest for Splatoon 3 so we can test the new game and the its weapons. There's a mini-game coming too: Tableturf Battle, and a return of the formidable Salmon Run. For a rundown of what to expect, check out our Splatoon 3 preview!

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Inkling with a weapon from Splatoon 3

Table of Contents

Splatoon 3 Ability tier list

Without further ado, here is our Ability tier list. Of course, depending how you play, your ideas for which Abilities are the best may differ greatly from ours!

Rank Ability
SNinja Squid, Last-Ditch Effort, Swim Speed Up, Opening Gambit, Tenacity
AStealth Jump, Ink Recovery Up, Special Power Up, Run Speed Up, Special Saver, Comeback, Ink Saver (Main), Special Charge Up, Quick Respawn, Ink Resistance Up, Intensify Action
BInk Saver (Sub), Sub Resistance Up, Sub Power Up, Quick Super Jump
CDrop Roller, Object Shredder, Haunt, Thermal Ink

As we get to grips with the new game through the Splatfest and its release on September 9, we'll update our list with any new findings, but for now, these are our top favourites:

  • Ninja Squid - Allows players to swim undetected through their own ink.
  • Last-Ditch Effort - For the last 30 seconds of a battle, this Ability will add 15 points to other Abilities like Ink-Saver and Quick Respawn.
  • Swim Speed Up - It makes you swim faster in ink.
  • Opening Gambit - Run and Swim speed are increased for the first 30 seconds.
  • Tenacity - If your team has fewer players than the opposing, your special gauge will fill up.
Splatoon 3 Abilities

What are Splatoon 3 Abilities?

Abilities have been in all three Splatoon games, and can be pivotal to some players' success. As the name suggests, they add new powers or buffs to how you play, depending on which Abilities you equip. Each item of clothing, pair of shoes, or headgear has an Ability linked to it, and then slots for you to add more.

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The brand of clothing and accessories can dictate which Abilities each item will have. Sometimes you'll have to decide between looking cool or getting a better ability. The SplatNet 2 app had a cool extra store, where clothing items with different abilities than normal would show up. Hopefully this returns, as we still need a Black Inky Rider jacket with a Swim Speed ability!

Different Abilities can benefit different game modes, too. For instance, Opening Gambit and Last-Ditch Effort can help you out of a pinch in ranked modes with the boosted movement speeds.

Murch in Splatoon 3

What are Ability chunks?

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Ability Chunks are gained from Salmon Run rewards. Also they can be 'washed out' of clothing if you talk to Murch in the square, and ask him to scrub your items. You can take a gamble and ask to reroll your chunks too, and see what you get. Note that you cannot change the main Ability of the gear.

Murch is the person who can equip your gear with chunks of your choice, and add more slots to lower-level gear. He is also where you can pick up any gear you order through the SplatNet app, or from other Inklings that are in the Splatsville plaza.

That's it for our look at Abilities in Splatoon 3! For even more on shooters - albeit a fairly different one - check out our Apex Legends tier list and best guns guide. Those contain plenty of tips in the sci-fi FPS.