Everything announced in the Splatoon 3 Nintendo Direct

The latest Nintendo Direct showcased major new features and additions coming to Splatoon 3.
splatoon 3 nintendo direct

Splatoon 3 is set to be the next blockbuster release for Nintendo in a year that’s been fairly sparse for video games. With the weight of anticipation on the upcoming shooter-adventure, it certainly has big shoes to fill – but if the latest Nintendo Direct is anything to go by, it looks like it’s more than up to the task. A range of surprises were revealed as part of the game’s recent showcase, including new weapons, modes, maps, characters, and even a special card-based mini-game.

Here’s everything revealed during the Splatoon 3 Nintendo Direct:

Read: Everything we know about squid shooter Splatoon 3

Splatoon 3: New combat and weapons

Players will have a range of new abilities to deploy in Splatoon 3, including better wall climbing with Squid Surge, and fast swimming allowed with Squid Roll. They’ll also have access to a number of flashy new weapons and abilities, including:

  • Splatanas – These new ink-based swords resemble wiper blades, and can flick wads of ink across the battlefield in a forward motion. In close combat, these look extremely deadly.
  • Tacticooler – This special ability summons a giant fridge that supplies beverages to your teammates, and these will buff your stats.
  • Wave Breaker – This weapon creates massive waves that mark your opponents on the battlefield. You can jump to get out of the way, but this is difficult to pull off.
  • Reef Slider – This ability allows you to ride a blow-up shark and ram opponents until the shark explodes in a wave of colour.

The Splatoon 3 Nintendo Direct also confirmed that existing tools like Tenta Missiles, Booyah Bombs and Ink Jets will return in this game.

You’ll be able to purchase select weapons in the game by spending Sheldon Licenses, which are earned in regular gameplay. Clothing and accessories are also purchasable from in-game stores, as in past games.

Splatoon 3 will have new and returning stages

stages splatoon 3 game
Image: Nintendo

A number of stages were confirmed for the game in the latest Nintendo Direct. They’ll all feature in different areas of the game map (The Splatlands and Greater Inkopolis) and will be connected by the ‘Hammerhead Bridge’.

The new and returning stages include:

  • Scorch Gorge
  • Eeltail Alley
  • Mincemeat Metalworks
  • Undertow Spillway
  • Hagglefish Market
  • Museum D’Alfonsino
  • Hammerhead Bridge
  • Mahi-Mahi Resort
  • Inkblot Art Academy
  • Sturgeon Shipyard
  • Makomart
  • Wahoo World

There’ll be 12 total stages included with the game, and more coming in post-release updates.

New features include ghosts, anarchy battles, lockers

In the latest Nintendo Direct, Anarchy Battles were confirmed for Splatoon 3. These are special ranked battles that require players to complete certain objectives, five times in a row. If they fail to win three battles in the set, they’ll lose.

In addition, Turf War, Clam Blitz, Tower Control and Splat Zone modes were confirmed to be returning in Splatoon 3.

This game will also introduce a number of new-to-the-series features, including ‘ghosts’ of your friends which will appear as holograms in the main overworld. If your friends are ghosts, you can call them to join the battle, or just hang out in peace.

When you’re not fighting, you’ll also be about to chill and decorate your very own locker with your favourite in-game items.

Splatoon 3 is getting a card game called Tableturf Battle

splatoon 3 card game
Image: Nintendo

There seems to be a greater focus on downtime in Splatoon 3, and to that end, Nintendo is introducing a new way to spend time away from the action: Tableturf Battle. This card-based mini-game is a 1v1 battler that works a bit like a board-game version of Tetris. Players will collect 150 cards in traditional Splatoon battles, and can then use their cards in domination-based fights.

New Salmon Run details

Alongside information about weapons, mini-games and stages, we also got an update on the game’s major Salmon Run mode. Every few months, this mode will play host to a ‘Big Run’ where Salmonid enemies invade the main city of Splatoon, making for more frantic action.

During Big Run and regular Salmon Runs, you’ll be facing off with a number of new bosses including Slammin’ Lid, a ground-pounder, Big Shot, a shockwave maker, and Cohozuna, a towering beast.

Splatoon 3 amiibos revealed

splatoon 3 amiibo
Image: Nintendo

The official Splatoon 3 amiibo were revealed during the latest Nintendo Direct.

Each can be scanned to grab special gear, take in-game photos, and to save custom loadouts. They’re being released later in holiday 2022, although an exact date was not provided.

New Splatfest hosts revealed

splatfest hosts splatoon 3
Image: Nintendo

The latest hosts for the iconic Splatoon 3 splatfests – the lighthearted, limited-time community polls – have been revealed: Frye, Shiver and the lovable manta ray, Big Man. They host the new Anarchy Splatcast radio station, and will also corral Squidlings for regular Splatfest battles.

The first Splatfest will take place on 27 August 2022, and will be available for everyone. The teams will be Rock, Paper and Scissors, with players able to pick their favourite option.

Splatoon 3 will be getting ‘large-scale paid DLC’

To conclude the latest Nintendo Direct, it was confirmed that Splatoon 3 will be getting major paid DLC content – although this will be a surprise when it launches. It may be story-orientated as in past games, or it could take the form of new modes, items or weapons.

We’ll have to wait to see what’s in store.

You can catch up with the Splatoon 3 Nintendo Direct here.

Splatoon 3 launches on 9 September 2022 exclusively for Nintendo Switch.

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.