Everything we know about squid shooter Splatoon 3

Splatoon 3 has finally locked in a release date for late 2022. Here's everything we know about the game.
splatoon 3 release date

Splatoon 3, the long-awaited sequel to the beloved squid shooter franchise, has finally locked in a release date for late 2022. That means it’s time to spit-polish your shooters, rollers and sloshers, and get ready for some brand new, ink-filled action. This go around, there’s a brand new story, as well as fresh modes, maps, weapons and more.

Here’s everything you should know about Splatoon 3.

Splatoon 3: Release Date

Splatoon 3 is currently set to launch on 9 September 2022. It’ll be exclusive to the Nintendo Switch, and will offer story and multiplayer modes on release.

It’s likely there’ll be player tests ahead of the full launch, but nothing has been confirmed just yet. If you’re keen to try out the game pre-September, stay tuned to Nintendo’s social media channels for more news.

What’s the story in Splatoon 3?

Splatoon 3 will come packaged with a new story mode to accompany all the action of its typical multiplayer ink battle royale mode. This chapter, titled Return of the Mammalians, will feature the wily Agent 3 as they go up against packs of octopus creatures known as Octarians.

It appears the Octarians will be guarding a strange secret as players work to uncover ‘the secrets of Alterna’, and why it’s home to a substance known as Fuzzy Ooze. While glimpses at this story mode have been vague and surreal, it appears to take place in a modern cityscape (an oil rig is also featured in early trailers), and will require players to utilise classic Splatoon traversal and gunning to overcome environmental challenges.

Read: The Best Nintendo games of 2021

This mode is completely separate from the main gameplay of Splatoon 3, which will look and feel quite similar to past entries – which focus on ‘Turf War’ battles where teams of opposing players must compete to cover the battlefield in the most ink using unique weapons.

Do you need to play every Splatoon game in order?

Splatoon has not traditionally leant into story-based gameplay – but previous entry Splatoon 2 did include a downloadable single-player story known as Octo Expansion, which featured a number of characters from Splatoon lore – including Agent 3, the protagonist of Return of the Mammalians.

If you’re looking to follow the franchise’s loose plot, it’s a good idea to jump in with Octo Expansion first, but this chapter is relatively standalone and likely won’t be essential.

Splatoon 3 is set to be a major hit, and Nintendo will likely aim to make it as accessible as possible for everyone. To that end, it’s likely Return of the Mammalians will explain any necessary bits of lore to familiarise new players with the world of Splatoon.

You can start fresh, or you can jump into past games to get a taster for the new story.

Splatoon 3: Every confirmed mode

splatoon 3 game multiplayer modes
Image: Nintendo

So far, a number of new and returning game modes have been confirmed for Splatoon 3:

Salmon Run Next Wave

This special mode is a co-op multiplayer romp for up to four players, and will allow teams to work together to take down Boss Salmonid enemies with a range of weapons including the Splat Roller, Splattershot, Blaster, Splat Charger, Classic Squiffer, Crab Tank, Killer Wail 5.1 and Tri-Stringer.

Along the way, players will need to collect and deliver special orbs to their team’s basket, which will ultimately earn them points each round. From early trailers, it looks like this mode has been improved from Splatoon 2, and will allow more interaction between teammates to keep the action going.

It appears there’ll be a number of stages included in Salmon Run, including Sockeye Station.

Return of the Mammalians

This is a story-based, third-person narrative adventure where players will pick up their weapons and go on a journey as Agent 3, who is tasked with investigating the appearance of Fuzzy Ooze.

Turf War

Turf War is the name for classic Splatoon gameplay. When players participate in this mode, they’ll be facing each other in four vs. four team-based battles where they’ll utilise various weapons and their ‘squid’ forms to travel around massive areas and attempt to ‘ink’ the most space on a battlefield. This go around, there’ll be new movement controls, in the form of ‘squid surge’ boost up walls, and ‘squid roll’ twirls on the ground.

It’s likely there’ll be various stages and riffs on Turf War included in Splatoon 3 – including unique modes with special rules – but stay tuned for more details later.

Does Splatoon 3 have co-op multiplayer or splitscreen?

splatoon 3
Image: Nintendo

Splatoon 3 offers a number of different modes, including solo mode, online multiplayer and local multiplayer – but it does not include splitscreen functionality as far as we know.

Salmon Run Next Wave and Turf War modes both offer the opportunity to take part in team-based co-op battles, but as in past games, it appears every individual player will be required to have their own Nintendo Switch console, copy of Splatoon 3, and Nintendo Switch Online membership to participate.

So while you will be able to play the game with friends, you’ll unfortunately need multiple consoles to make it work for now. While Nintendo may have a splitscreen announcement awaiting in future, precedent makes this feels very unlikely for Splatoon 3.

Splatoon 3 is currently set to launch exclusively for Nintendo Switch on 9 September 2022. Stay tuned for more news and updates as we get closer to release.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.