The Ballpoint Splatling is a weapon in Splatoon 2 and Splatoon 3 that falls into the Splatling category.
- The Ballpoint Splatling is a useful weapon when attacking anchors or support players. It has longer range when fully charged than multiple chargers, and can attack them with incredible accuracy from afar.
- Due to how the Ballpoint Splatling has to enter short range mode first, make sure to plan ahead. Keep in mind that it stays in short range mode for 25% of the ring in the aiming reticle before switching to long range.
- Use the short range bullets to turf the area around you; this paints well and charges special.
- Short range mode is also the best option for dealing with up close opponents.
- To maintain safety when attacking far away opponents, start firing in short range mode when behind cover, then peek out to attack when the weapon switches to long range.
- Keep in mind that short range mode is more mobile than long range mode. Firing off a burst of short range shots and then recharging is a great way to maintain good mobility while turfing.
- Remember that the Ballpoint Splatling can recharge. Again, keeping in mind that the first 25% of the charge is in short range, you can recharge enough to stay in the particular range you need at the moment.
- If forced into a one-on-one encounter, Toxic Mist can be used to deplete the enemy ink tank, and slow them down so the Ballpoint can charge up its attack.
- Toxic Mist can be a good support tool in Tower Control, or Splat Zones where it can deplete ink to force the opponents off the Tower or out of the Zone.
- Can take out fast and mobile weapons with an inkjet if used properly.
- Inkjet can be used to support a push in Rainmaker, or Tower Control, as the projectiles launched from it have longer range than the main weapon itself.
- Make sure Inkjet is used from a safe spot, as Ballpoint has trouble defending itself upon landing.
- Because of the 'lock on' feature, jumping while shooting does not affect accuracy. This should be used for dodging and hitting enemies from higher perches.
The Ballpoint Splatling's lack of lethal bombs can also be a liability to a team composition. Lethal bombs – particularly either Splat or Suction Bombs – provide their user's team a couple advantages over another team that has no lethal bombs in its composition:
- Their one-hit-splat offers its user's team chances of instantly gaining a numbers advantage, from which a game-winning push can arise.
- Their lethal explosion provides space for its user's team to either push into an area held by the opponent or stall an opponent's push.
Like other weapon kits with Inkjet, the Ballpoint Splatling's greatly benefits from a teammate's Ink Armor:
- Because an Ink Armored player can withstand more damage — especially from an opponent's charger, an armored Inkjet pilot can fly more aggressively.
- Sometimes, it can pay to wait a little longer for a teammate to build up and activate Ink Armor before activating Inkjet. However, do not hesitate to use your special weapon whenever it is needed during a battle, such as when making a push, protecting a lead, or distracting an opposing anchor.
- Flanking with fast and mobile weapons can effectively take out an anchoring Ballpoint Splatling, such weapons include Clash Blaster, Carbon and Splat Rollers, Dualies and many more. Be wary of how quickly the Ballpoint can splat in short range mode, however.
- Using bombs or some special weapons like Tenta Missiles and Sting Ray at a Ballpoint Splatling forces them to move, effectively distracting them and allowing a window for striking.
- Using weapons for a long range, such as Chargers and Jet Squelchers can pose threat to the Ballpoint Splatling. Take advantage of their charging time needed for firing and strike before they are ready.
- If an opposing Splash-o-matic user uses Toxic Mist to restrict your team's movement, consider throwing bombs either into or beyond the Mist to prevent them from travelling through it.
- Dogfights between opposing Inkjets are generally decided by each pilot's skill, positioning, and any teammates present.
- To punish an opposing Inkjet after it lands, eliminate its pilot's teammates while avoiding both its shots and exhaust before punishing the landing, preferably with a well-placed, well-timed bomb followed by shots from the main weapon. Make sure the opposing pilot does not have Drop Roller, however.
Gear abilities provide different effects in battle that benefit the player with their equipped weapon. This is a guide to gear abilities in relation to the weapon. Strategy, synergy, viability, and purpose may be written here. The first listed gear abilities are the most desirable for the weapon type.
Run Speed Up further increases the mobility of the user while shooting, walking or using the Inkjet. A pure (1 main ability and 3 sub abilities) is the minimum that should be ran, but more can be used, especially since this weapon has the space for it.
Ink Resistance Up helps the Ballpoint Splatling to escape while under attack from opponents, and reduces mobility loss due to enemy ink. Most top-ranked Ballpoint Splatlings have at least 1 sub of Ink Resistance Up, though more is always welcome.
Generally good abilities for any weapon when one sub is used.
Allows for more consistent Ink Armor breaking, as Ballpoint does 30 damage in long range mode; when falloff damage is factored in, it is likely it will not break Ink Armor in one shot.
These increase the ink efficiency of the user, increasing the time actively firing and decreasing the time recovering ink.
An argument could be made for using this ability, as Ballpoint has poor bullet velocity meaning it may miss some of its splats.
Sub Power Up increases the throwing range and travelling velocity, allowing better utility of the Toxic Mist.
These abilities increase usage of the Inkjet. Special Power Up increases both the duration and the shot radius, and Special Saver conserves the Special Gauge when splatted.
These abilities allow the user to Super Jump or land after using Inkjet with lower risk of being super-jump camped.
Last-Ditch Effort gives a significant boost in ink management, which is crucial for any weapon. It is however only active by the end of the match or after the opponent has pushed past 50 in Ranked Battles.
These abilities punish opponents splatted by the user and the user themselves. Only use this if the player has a good kill-death ratio.
In competitive play
The Ballpoint Splatling initially saw little use competitively outside of dedicated players who mained the weapon, with Inkjet being seen as a weaker special due to its vulnerability and poor matchup against the Crab Tank, the dominant special at the time. These issues were addressed going in Fresh Season 2023, with patch 3.0.0 increasing its damage to Crab Tank, allowing Inkjet to destroy a Crab Tank with two direct hits and patch 3.1.0 increasing its 50 damage hitbox by 43%, giving it a higher boost when pressing , which gave it a dodge and addressed Inkjet's vulnerability issues, and a bugfix to make landing shots more consistent. Crab Tank was also nerfed in the same patch.
Following this patch, the Japanese scene would look into this and a double Ballpoint Splatling team won Ikaten, a weekly tournament, with player Riu-kun using the weapon in all games of the finals. Players all over the world would soon take notice and the Ballpoint Splatling would quickly become a meta staple; the main weapon was still strong but was no longer held back by Inkjet being weak, instead being a strong option to retake, deal with Crab Tank, and apply pressure with consistent high chip damage. Further pushing the weapon into dominance was the fact that it had the best Inkjet output at the time with 190p for special, but was nerfed to 200p in 4.0.0 and 210p in 4.1.0.
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