Ink Mines undergo a major overhaul in Splatoon 2. They trade lethal damage for the removal of their ten second time limit, the allowance to have two mines planted at a time, and the ability to tag any surviving opponents with a tracking marker — similar to that from a Point Sensor. As of Version 4.0.0, placing a third Ink Mine will detonate the least recently planted Mine.
Ink Mines operate differently from conventional bombs but have unique applications:
- They may be planted on any non-vertical surface, after which they remain hidden from opponents.
- Once planted, they detonate when…
- Upon detonation, an Ink Mine…
- …inflicts 45 HP of damage onto any opponent within a 40 DU radius (as of Version 4.0.0).
- …inflicts 35 HP of damage onto any opponent within an 80 DU radius (as of Version 4.0.0).
- …tracks any opponents surviving the damage for a base duration of five seconds.
- …turfs the area around it within a radius of 50 DU.
- Planting an Ink Mine or two at or around the objective of a Ranked Battle can provide some objective control:
- An Ink Mine planted in a Splat Zone will re-turf the area around it once detonated. While this is usually not enough to either hold or recapture a zone, it can stall the opponents' efforts to capture it.
- Although no longer able to inflict lethal damage, an Ink Mine's chip damage and tracking effects can still deter opponents from immediately taking possession of the objective when placed either on the Tower or nearby the Rainmaker (when its shield is popped).
- Placing an Ink Mine in an area where clams spawn can help track opponents who attempt to gather them.
- An Ink Mine's tracking ability can provide its user's team valuable information:
- If placed on a potential flank route used by the opponent, its detonation can track an opponent's movement and dissuade them from sharking.
- Even if a detonated Ink Mine neither splats nor tracks an opponent, the first Mine's detonation should indicate that the opponent was in its vicinity (unless its user planted a third Ink Mine).
- If pursued by an opponent, quickly planting an Ink Mine can provide a measure of protection, inflicting chip damage to make it easier to splat a pursuer. This survival tactic can be valuable in a pinch for users of heavy, slow-firing weapons, such as the E-liter 4K.
- The greatest drawback of Ink Mines is the inability to plant them in areas that cannot be reached. Therefore, in Splat Zones, a team that is locked out will be unable to use Ink Mines effectively to push its way back to the zones.
Ink Mines cannot be thrown and cannot inflict lethal damage, making them less versatile than most bombs. Therefore, if one member of a team has a kit with Ink Mines, it is advised for one of their teammates to have lethal bombs in their kit. Splat or Suction Bombs provide its user's team many 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.
- The turf inked by the resulting explosion contributes to both maintaining map control and building up the special gauge.
A main weapon's mobility can affect how and where Ink Mines can be placed. Users of lightweight weapons, such as the Inkbrush Nouveau, will have an easier time placing mines onto flank routes than users of heavyweight weapons.
- As a lightweight weapon user, placing mines onto certain flank routes enable your teammates to focus their attention onto the opponents' main routes of entry.
- Slower weapon users should instead focus on planting one mine around either the objective or a centralized location and keep the other mine for self-defense.
Pay attention to the opposing team's composition to check whether any of its players have Ink Mines equipped. If an opponent has Ink Mines, then take a few proactive measures to avoid getting caught and tracked.
- Once planted, an opponent's Ink Mine also turfs the ground around it and detonates once your team's ink falls within a five DU radius from its center. Therefore, if you see opposing turf, use bombs, a Sprinkler, or medium- to long-ranged weapons to sweep the area of any mines to avoid getting tracked.
- Special weapons that turf large areas without endangering their user – such as Bomb Launcher, Ink Storm, and Booyah Bomb – can remove any mines in the areas they affect.
- If caught by the tracking effects of an opponent's Ink Mine, consider either retreating or diverting the opponents' attention away from the objective.
- Remember, if the opposing team is compelled to contest territory (e.g. recapture a Splat Zone or advance either the Tower or Rainmaker), your team does not have to push back too far. This will render an opponent's Ink Mines less effective since they cannot be used offensively.
- "This Game Is BROKEN - The Ultimate Splatoon 1 Tier List (Weapons/Abilities/Subs/Specials)" by Chara of Climb
- "Splatoon 2 5.3 Tier List Part 1 (Sub Weapons) (Splat Zones Only)" by Chara of Climb
- "Splatoon 2 U.S./Canada Inkling Open 2018 Finals" Winners Semifinals, Game 1, Penguitt (StDx) uses a quickly planted Ink Mine to finish off Fake JP (quantuM)
- "Splatoon 2 U.S./Canada Inkling Open 2018 Finals" Winners Finals, Game 3, Penguitt (StDx) quickly plants an Ink Mine and lands a direct hit to splat Zig (Saikai)
- "Splatoon 2 - What is a good team comp? (TOP 6 mistakes)" by Sendou, formerly of Team Olive