Looking to make sense of the Tableturf Battle mode in Splatoon 3? Nintendo's trilogy of squid kid shooters is finally out now, and before that, a Nintendo Direct gave us a look at a new game mode that's about as fresh as this third instalment. Let's take a look at how to play.
Tableturf Battle has no time limit, but consists of 12 turns for each player to put down a card and hope to cover more space than their opponent. You'll get points for winning and losing, so don't worry about being demoted like in Salmon Run!
For more squid kid goodness, we've cooked up a hub for everything you need to know about Splatoon 3, and a list of all weapons coming to the game. You'll want to check out both if you're feeling a little lost already. It's a hard series to get into if you're prone to not taking a loss well.
What is Tableturf Battle?
Tableturf Battle is a new mini-game coming to Splatoon 3. It's a 1-v-1 competitive card battle, based on the iconic Turf War mode. It's available offline against a roster of NPCs, or you can challenge other players.
Each battle takes place on a map, of which there are eight to unlock. Players start with Main Street, and then get more stages in different shapes.
There are tons of cards to collect, and they're based on weapons and characters in the game. They each have their own abilities or amount of ink, too. These must be played against your opponent in order to ink the most space and win the game. The game is sort of a mix of Battleships and Tetris.
How do I play Tableturf Battle?
There is a vacant plot around the back of the main street. This is where you will find the Tableturf Battle dojo... a friendly fish manning a table for contestants to play at, with some squid kids hanging around. You can battle against NPCs at the table, or challenge the inklings. There are also some willing participants outside the Hotlantis store.
The aim of Tableturf Battle is to play a Turf War, but with cards. Beat your opponent by inking more space than them, and earn points to win. Both players place their cards at the same time, and if they go for the same space, the card with the lower number wins the space.
Each weapon card will place a different shape and amount of ink, which will lead to special attacks and charged moves if the correct tiles are surrounded.
We suggest playing around with different cards, as you can make plenty of decks to use. Don't disregard the smaller cards either, as they are super handy for filling in spaces around charged squares.
What is the best Tableturf deck?
There's no real answer to this, as the only deck everyone has that is the same is the Starter Deck.
Each map layout will benefit from different card shapes. We recommend setting up a separate deck for each map shape and picking cards accordingly. You can place your cards on a map on the deck-making screen to practice their position, but this may not pan out in an actual battle.
It is, however, a good idea to vary your deck. Don't just choose angular, large, or small cards; use a variety that can fit together, and fit into spaces. Don't overlook the two-four space cards, either. Tentatek, Splat Bombs, and the Suction Bomb are especially good in the later game when you need to get more special spaces covered.
It's better to focus on strategy overall than cards - which ones you get are random, so you can't expect to get certain cards. Taking up a good centre space immediately and blocking off areas to your opponent gives you time to fill in spaces later, without worrying about your area being taken over. We suggest long, thin cards to do this.
How do I get more Tableturf Battle cards?
As stated in the Direct, there are over a whopping 150 cards for us to collect for Tableturf.
You can find a few packs hidden in Alterna, in the treasure nodes that Lil Buddy points you too, or you can get them from the daily gacha machine. Sometimes, you'll get packs as a reward for levelling up, or raising your catalogue level.
Each pack contains five cards, and they come in a few rarities: Common, Fresh, and Rare. Your starter deck will contain Rare and Common cards, with a nice mix of sizes.
How do I change the look of my deck?
Your Tableturf cards and decks can be customised, just like everything else in Splatoon's world. There are 20 sleeves available to use, but these will need to be unlocked. Each opponent has a themed sleeve you can earn by beating them 30 times each.
You can get a Crusty Sean-themed sleeve as a Wandercrust Tour reward, and there are three rank reward card backs at rank 20, 40, and 49.
What rewards do I get for playing Tableturf Battle?
Aside from the card sleeves mentioned above, you'll get new packs of cards for levelling up, along with new characters to duel. You can get some themed Stickers and items for your locker, banners and badges to spice up your in-game name, and an emote.