Ability

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Gear abilities, or simply abilities, are special attributes that are placed on wearable gear in Splatoon and Splatoon 2. They provide different effects depending on the ability present and their strength is based around the number of copies if they are stackable.

Primary abilities

Each piece of gear has a specific primary ability (also called main) which cannot be changed. In Splatoon, each piece of gear has a set primary ability which never varies. In Splatoon 2, some gear (namely, gear obtained through Salmon Run Salmon Run) does not have a default primary ability and instead gets a random one generated from all the abilities available for that type of gear. In addition, all the starting gear and all the gear normally purchasable in shops regularly appears on the SplatNet 2 shop with different abilities than the normal ones.

By default, no gear in Splatoon or Splatoon 2 has a primary ability that matches the secondary ability favored by the brand that produces it. This is done to make acquiring gear with all 4 slots having the same ability (colloquially called "pure" gear) more difficult. However, SplatNet 2 gear is sometimes sold with a matching ability.

Primary-only abilities and mutual exclusivity

Some abilities can only appear as primary abilities. These abilities are also tied to a certain type of gear, preventing the user from having more than one ability exclusive to that gear type. For instance, if a player equips S2 Ability Tenacity.png Tenacity, they cannot also have S2 Ability Comeback.png Comeback because both abilities are only available in the main ability slot of headgear items. The groups of mutually exclusive abilities are as follows:

Because the S Gear Clothing Splatfest Tee.pngS2 Gear Clothing Splatfest Tee.png Splatfest Tee has to be worn during Splatfest, every player will use the same clothing ability during Splatfest Battles.

Game S2 Icon Headgear.png Headgear S2 Icon Clothing.png Clothing S2 Icon Shoes.png Shoes
Splatoonlogo.png
Splatoon 2 logo.png

Secondary abilities

All gear has 1-3 slots for secondary abilities (also called subs), which are weaker versions of the non-exclusive primary abilities. The effect is exactly three-tenths of a primary ability. The number of secondary abilities that can be present on a single piece of gear depends on the rarity (amount of stars) of the gear. The more stars there are, the more secondary abilities slots it comes with. Up to three secondary abilities can be present, meaning that the highest rarity is 3 stars. Secondary abilities are randomly chosen whenever a gear levels up, which happens when its bar is filled through battling. The points earned in matches go towards leveling it up. Higher rarity pieces of gear take more points to level up, even on the first slot, and each progressive slot on the same gear requires a larger amount of points.

Subs are rolled using random number generation (RNG).

There are 13 possible secondary abilities in Splatoon and 14 in Splatoon 2. Many brands make getting specific abilities either more common or less common. Brands that affect roll probability have a 5× chance of rolling a favored ability, and a 1/2× chance of rolling an unfavored ability.

  • In Splatoon, this means there is a 2/33 chance of rolling each of the 11 neutral abilities, a 1/33 chance of rolling the one unfavored ability, and a 10/33 chance of rolling the one favored ability. Brands that do not affect roll probability have a 1/13 chance of rolling each of the 13 abilities.
  • In Splatoon 2, this means there is a 2/35 chance of rolling each of the 12 neutral abilities, a 1/35 chance of rolling the one unfavored ability, and a 10/35 chance of rolling the one favored ability. Brands that do not affect roll probability have a 1/14 chance of rolling each of the 14 abilities.
Probability of rolling multiple abilities of the same kind in Splatoon
Amount Favoring brand Non-favoring brand
Favored ability Unfavored ability Neutral ability Any ability
One 30.30303% 3.03030% 6.06061% 7.69231%
Two 9.18274% 0.09183% 0.36731% 0.59172%
Three 2.78265% 0.00278% 0.02226% 0.04552%

In Splatoon 2, an ability's likelihood can be influenced with a drink ticket. Doing so will give the corresponding ability a 30% chance of being rolled, with all other abilities retaining their relative likelihoods within the remaining 70%.

Probability of rolling multiple abilities of the same kind in Splatoon 2
Favoring brand
Amount Favored ability Unfavored ability Neutral ability
No drink ticket
One 28.57143% 2.85714% 5.71429%
Two 8.16327% 0.08163% 0.32653%
Three 2.33236% 0.00233% 0.01866%
With drink ticket (favored ability)
One 30.00000% 2.80000% 5.60000%
Two 9.00000% 0.07840% 0.31360%
Three 2.70000% 0.00220% 0.01756%
With drink ticket (unfavored ability)
One 20.58824% 30.00000% 4.11765%
Two 4.23875% 9.00000% 0.16955%
Three 0.87268% 2.70000% 0.00698%
With drink ticket (neutral ability)
One 21.21212% 2.12121% 30.00000%
Two 4.49954% 0.04500% 9.00000%
Three 0.95445% 0.00095% 2.70000%
Non-favoring brand
Amount No drink ticket Matching drink ticket Mismatched drink ticket
One 7.14286% 30.00000% 5.38462%
Two 0.51020% 9.00000% 0.28994%
Three 0.03644% 2.70000% 0.01561%

Stacking

An overview of a few stackable abilities in Splatoon 2. Note the diminishing returns as more of the same ability is used.

Stacked abilities have diminishing returns, meaning that each additional ability of the same type will have a slightly smaller effect than the previous. Diminishing returns make it impossible for players to gain over-powered stats, and make it undesirable to stack too much of the same ability. Diminishing returns may be more noticeable on some abilities than on others; abilities that have a small maximum effect or a small base stat being modified may feel especially ineffective to stack. For example, Swim Speed Up has a small maximum effect of 25%, so diminishing returns may seem severe relative to the other abilities. A player may not even perceive an improvement past a certain point, like after 3 main ability slots of Swim Speed Up.

This encourages players to wear a variety of different abilities, rather than focusing on one ability.

Splatoon

S Icon Spyke.png Spyke, who can be found in an alleyway in Inkopolis Plaza, will offer to re-roll secondary abilities or increase the gear's slots in exchange for a Super Sea Snails  Super Sea Snail or Cash 30,000 cash.

In Splatoon, some abilities are ineffective with certain sub weapons and special weapons, offering no improvements.

List of abilities

Name Description Gear Favored by Unfavored by
S Ability Bomb Range Up.png Bomb Range Up Makes thrown sub weapons travel farther. Any
S Ability Bomb Sniffer.png Bomb Sniffer Enemy sub weapons within a certain distance appear on-screen as skull icons and non-lethal damage from them is reduced. Shoes
S Ability Cold Blooded.png Cold Blooded Shortens the duration of position trackers. Clothing
S Ability Comeback.png Comeback Improves ink usage and recovery, swim and run speed, and special weapon charge rate for 20 seconds after respawning. Headgear
S Ability Damage Up.png Damage Up Increases damage done with all weapons. Any SquidForce SquidForce Inkline Inkline
S Ability Defense Up.png Defense Up Decreases damage taken from all attacks. Any Inkline Inkline Krak-On Krak-On
S Ability Haunt.png Haunt Tracks the enemy that splats the user and increases damage, defense, and run speed when the user themselves is tracked. Clothing
S Ability Ink Recovery Up.png Ink Recovery Up Increases ink tank refill rate while in squid form. Any Tentatek Tentatek Firefin Firefin
S Ability Ink Resistance Up.png Ink Resistance Up Decreases damage, speed, and jump penalties when standing in enemy ink. Shoes
S Ability Ink Saver (Main).png Ink Saver (Main) Decreases main weapon ink usage. Any Splash Mob Splash Mob SquidForce SquidForce
S Ability Ink Saver (Sub).png Ink Saver (Sub) Decreases sub weapon ink usage. Any Firefin Firefin Forge Forge
S Ability Last-Ditch Effort.png Last-Ditch Effort Improves ink usage and recovery as well as respawn time towards the end of a battle. Headgear
S Ability Ninja Squid.png Ninja Squid The user is invisible when swimming, but has reduced swim speed. Clothing
S Ability Opening Gambit.png Opening Gambit Increases swim and run speed for the first 30 seconds of a battle. Headgear
S Ability Quick Respawn.png Quick Respawn Decreases respawn delay. Any Skalop Skalop Zink Zink
S Ability Quick Super Jump.png Quick Super Jump Increases Super Jump speed. Any Zink Zink Tentatek Tentatek
S Ability Recon.png Recon Opponents and their weapons are seen on Wiiu-gamepad-icon.png while standing on one's Spawn Point and for 3.5 seconds after leaving it. Clothing
S Ability Run Speed Up.png Run Speed Up Increases movement speed in humanoid form. Any Rockenberg Rockenberg Splash Mob Splash Mob
S Ability Special Charge Up.png Special Charge Up Increases the rate at which the special gauge fills. Any Takoroka Takoroka Zekko Zekko
S Ability Special Duration Up.png Special Duration Up Increases the duration of special weapons and gives the Inkstrike and Killer Wail shorter cooldown times. Any Forge Forge Takoroka Takoroka
S Ability Special Saver.png Special Saver Decreases special gauge loss after being splatted. Any Zekko Zekko Skalop Skalop
S Ability Stealth Jump.png Stealth Jump Hides the Super Jump target but decreases the speed of the jump. Shoes
S Ability Swim Speed Up.png Swim Speed Up Increases movement speed while swimming in squid form. Any Krak-On Krak-On Rockenberg Rockenberg
S Ability Tenacity.png Tenacity Slowly fills the user's special gauge when their team has fewer players than the opposing team. Headgear

Splatoon 2

S2 Icon Murch.png Murch, who can be found in Inkopolis Square (normally to the right of Deca Tower and in the middle of the square during Splatfests), has multiple services that affect gear items' secondary abilities:

Service Effect Cost
Increase Slots Adds another slot to a 1Star-full.pngStar-empty.pngStar-empty.png or 2Star-full.pngStar-full.pngStar-empty.png item. Super Sea Snail 1
Reroll Rerolls all the filled slots on a piece of gear. Super Sea Snail 1
Scrub Slots Resets all the gear slots to S2 Ability Locked.png and provides one ability chunk for each removed ability. Cash 2,000 (S2 Gear Clothing Splatfest Tee.png)
Cash 20,000 (other gear)
Use Ability Chunks Places a specific ability in a specific slot on gear. The target slot must be unlocked, but can be occupied.
If an occupied slot is overwritten, one ability chunk of the removed ability will be provided.The price depends on the number of the same secondary ability already present on the gear. The primary ability is not counted for this calculation.
The player is not prevented from overwriting a slot with the same ability (and it is even counted for the price), resulting in a net loss of 19 or 29 chunks.
Slots filled Cost
0 Ability Chunks 10
1 Ability Chunks 20
2-3 Ability Chunks 30

List of abilities

Name Description Gear Favored by Unfavored by
S2 Ability Ability Doubler.png Ability Doubler Doubles the effect of other abilities attached to that gear piece. Clothing
S2 Ability Bomb Defense Up DX.png Bomb Defense Up DX Reduces damage taken by blasts from sub weapons or special weapons and shortens the duration of position trackers. Any Inkline Inkline Krak-On Krak-On
S2 Ability Comeback.png Comeback Improves ink management, mobility and special charge stats for 20 seconds after respawning. Headgear
S2 Ability Drop Roller.png Drop Roller Tilting Button1 LS.png during a Super Jump allows the player to perform a directional roll upon landing. Shoes
S2 Ability Haunt.png Haunt Tracks the enemy that splats the user with thermal ink. Clothing
S2 Ability Ink Recovery Up.png Ink Recovery Up Increases ink tank refill rate while in squid or kid form. Any Tentatek Tentatek Firefin Firefin
S2 Ability Ink Resistance Up.png Ink Resistance Up Decreases damage, speed, and jump penalties when standing in enemy ink. Any SquidForce SquidForce Enperry Enperry
S2 Ability Ink Saver (Main).png Ink Saver (Main) Decreases main weapon ink usage. Any Splash Mob Splash Mob SquidForce SquidForce
S2 Ability Ink Saver (Sub).png Ink Saver (Sub) Decreases sub weapon ink usage. Any Firefin Firefin Forge Forge
S2 Ability Last-Ditch Effort.png Last-Ditch Effort Improves ink usage and recovery as well as respawn time towards the end of a battle. Headgear
S2 Ability Main Power Up.png Main Power Up Raises performance of main weapons. Any Annaki Annaki
Toni Kensa Toni Kensa
Inkline Inkline
S2 Ability Ninja Squid.png Ninja Squid The user is less visible while swimming, but has reduced swim speed. Clothing
S2 Ability Object Shredder.png Object Shredder Increases damage dealt to non-player targets. Shoes
S2 Ability Opening Gambit.png Opening Gambit Increases ink resistance, swim and run speed for the first 30 seconds of a battle. Headgear
S2 Ability Quick Respawn.png Quick Respawn Decreases respawn delay if splatted repeatedly without splatting an opponent. Any Skalop Skalop Zink Zink
S2 Ability Quick Super Jump.png Quick Super Jump Increases Super Jump speed. Any Zink Zink Tentatek Tentatek
S2 Ability Respawn Punisher.png Respawn Punisher Increases respawn time and special gauge spawn penalty for the player and any enemy they splat. Clothing
S2 Ability Run Speed Up.png Run Speed Up Increases movement speed in humanoid form. Any Rockenberg Rockenberg Splash Mob Splash Mob
S2 Ability Special Charge Up.png Special Charge Up Increases the rate at which the special gauge fills. Any Takoroka Takoroka Zekko Zekko
S2 Ability Special Power Up.png Special Power Up Raises performance of special weapons. Any Forge Forge Takoroka Takoroka
S2 Ability Special Saver.png Special Saver Decreases special gauge loss after being splatted. Any Zekko Zekko Annaki Annaki
Skalop Skalop
S2 Ability Stealth Jump.png Stealth Jump Hides the Super Jump landing marker. Shoes
S2 Ability Sub Power Up.png Sub Power Up Increases performance of sub weapons. Any Enperry Enperry Toni Kensa Toni Kensa
S2 Ability Swim Speed Up.png Swim Speed Up Increases movement speed while swimming in squid form. Any Krak-On Krak-On Rockenberg Rockenberg
S2 Ability Tenacity.png Tenacity Slowly fills the user's special gauge when their team has fewer players than the opposing team. Headgear
S2 Ability Thermal Ink.png Thermal Ink Allows the player to track distant players hit with shots from the main weapon. Clothing

Retired abilities

The following abilities were once present in the game but were later removed or replaced:

Name Description Gear Favored by Unfavored by
S2 Ability Bomb Defense Up.png Bomb Defense Up Reduces damage taken by blasts from sub weapons or special weapons. Any Inkline Inkline Krak-On Krak-On
S2 Ability Cold-Blooded.png Cold-Blooded Shortens the duration of position trackers. Any Annaki Annaki
Toni Kensa Toni Kensa
Inkline Inkline

Version 4.3.0

In version 4.3.0, the following replacements took place:

Gallery

Names in other languages

Language Name Meaning
FlagJapan.svg Japanese ギアパワー
Gia Pawā
Gear Power
FlagNetherlands.svg Dutch Effect Effect
FlagFrance.svg French Bonus (Splatoon 2)
Capacité (Splatoon)
Bonus
Capacity
FlagGermany.svg German Effekte Effect
FlagItaly.svg Italian Abilità Ability
FlagRussia.svg Russian Свойство
Svoystvo
Ability
FlagSpain.svg Spanish Potenciador Strengthener

External links