Splatoon 3 - Pre-Orders, Release Date, Gameplay, and Everything We Know

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June 24, 2022: Nintendo has confirmed that Pearl and Marina are back... sort of.

Announced out of the blue at the end of a February 2021 Nintendo Direct stream, Splatoon 3 is officially right around the corner. Set to debut in 2022, we've pieced together this handy hub to keep you up-to-date regarding all things Splatoon 3.

Down below, you'll find trailers, new gameplay videos, weapon announcements, single-play additions, and the multiplayer details competitive squid kids crave.

Another way to keep up with the latest Splatoon 3 news is to follow the official Splatoon Twitter account. There's no point pretending we can be as quick to update this page as Nintendo can tweet out its own news, but this page isn't limited to Twitter's character counts. Context matters.

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When Is the Splatoon 3 Release Date?

Nintendo has now officially announced that Splatoon 3 will release on September 9, 2022. Not too long to wait now, fellow inklings.

The announcement came just a few short days after Nintendo moved the Xenoblade 3 release date up by almost two months: a shift which made people question just when Splatoon 3 -previously scheduled for a Summer 2022 release - would get its finalized spot on the release calendar.

Splatoon 3 Pre-Orders

Pre-orders for the latest inky shooter have started appearing, and here are our recommendations:

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The only pre-orders to come with any bonuses are extras for now are at ShopTo, either with a green Inkling Squid keychain, or a blue Octoling Squid kecyhain for £39.85 each.

What Is the Splatoon 3 Story? - Splatoon 3 Lore

In this new game in the Splatoon series, you’ll leave Inkopolis behind and head to a new region: the Splatlands. At its heart is a new city where battle-savvy Inklings and Octolings gather: Splatsville, also known as the “City of Chaos," so expect new areas to explore.

Though we'll need to play through the game to fully grasp the storyline this time around, an official Nintendo press release divulged the basic premise.

Is Splatoon 3 Gameplay The Same As Splatoon 2?

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Nintendo has confirmed the return of "4-v-4 Turf War matches already, and with new weapons, expanded customisation options, and new movement abilities as well, it's looking as if Splatoon 3 will retain the same core gameplay of previous Splatoon titles, stuffing in a few new gadgets and gizmos to spice up strategies somewhat.

The release date trailer above actually showcases a Splatoon 3 Turf War match. Just watch that to see how much things have changed.

Splatoon 3 is carrying on the series' love for music, having introduced a new band called C-Side, and now Marina and Pearl's new iteration of Off The Hook.

Is Splatoon 3 Co-op?

Splatoon as a series is a primarily co-op game. There is a single-player mode, but the main focus is the four v. four online multiplayer battles.

There is also the Salmon Run mode, which has a team of four Inklings working together to collect eggs and defeat Salmonids. Nintendo showed us a first look at Salmon Run Next Wave during the February 2022 Nintendo Direct. It resembles Splatoon 2's Salmon Run, but includes new elements, such as never-before-seen bosses like the Fish Stick and new mechanics like the ability to throw eggs. Check out the trailer:

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What Are the New Splatoon 3 Weapons?

Right now, the major new Splatoon 3 weapon type is the Stringer - a bow and arrow that fires ink streams. Expect a long-range weapon with an explosive finish. We've got a list of all the confirmed weapons, old and new, right here, including a list of new and old subs and specials.

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Which Stages Are In Splatoon 3?

Returning Stages

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Though we've been combing through the trailers to try and work out where the Inklings are, there is currently only one named stage returning:

  • Museum D'Alfonsino

New Stages

Despite the lack of confirmation of returning stages from previous games, we have been shown a few of the newcomers:

  • Eeltail Alley
    • "Check out this [...] location called Eeltail Alley. Notice how the central bridge is a focal point of the action—it'll be fascinating to see what strategies emerge from this feature. See if you can spot anything else interesting!"
  • Scorch Gorge
    • "We hear the odd rocks that rise up like chimneys were once undersea hydrothermal vents that now appear on land due to changes in the planet's surface. This area is also designated as a national park and is quite popular."
  • Undertow Spillway
    • "A former flood bypass that’s now used for Turf War battles! This abandoned facility is another shining example of upcycling, as the varied terrain lends itself to strategic and hard-fought skirmishes among Splatsville locals."
  • Sockeye Station (Salmon Run Next Wave)
    • "In terms of on-site research, we were able to uncover a new job site known as Sockeye Station. This is an advanced base for Salmonids, featuring a tall, spiraling tower, and it presents new tactical opportunities for both allies and antagonists."
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And that's about all there is to say about Splatoon 3 right now. It may still be a fair few months away yet, but if a dedicated Splatoon Direct showcase comes out way, expect an ink-sack full of new Splatoon 3 details to surface before launch. Until then, read up about the Splatoon 3 single-player mode. You won't need an active Nintendo Switch Online subscription to enjoy that.