Competitive:N-ZAP '85

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S2 unused icon Octoling Enemy.png Unofficial! This article discusses content that is not part of the official Splatoon series canon but is part of the community or competitive gaming space.
For information about the N-ZAP '85, see N-ZAP '85.


N-ZAP '85

N-ZAP '85

N-ZAP, Zap
Sub S Weapon Sub Splat Bomb.png Splat Bomb
Special S Weapon Special Echolocator.png Echolocator
Base damage 28
Ink consumption 0.8%
Special points
Special depletion Specdep icon.png 40%

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Gear abilities

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.

Splatoon 2

N-ZAP '85

N-ZAP '85

N-ZAP, Zap
Sub S2 Weapon Sub Suction Bomb.png Suction Bomb
Special S2 Weapon Special Ink Armor.png Ink Armor
Base damage 28
Ink consumption 0.8%
Special points 200p
Special depletion
Role Slayer/Support[1] Flex[2]
Strengths All-around capabilities, mobility, turfing, rapid firing rate, some Suction Bomb spamming, Ink Armor farming[3]
Weaknesses Is not exceptionally strong in any one of its supportive abilities, low damage[4]

The N-ZAP '85 is a well-rounded weapon that favors turfing and farming. While its damage is weak, it fires very rapidly and can support the team through wise use of its sub and special weapons.


As an Ink Armor-based support weapon, the N-ZAP '85 is an all-rounder with no obvious weaknesses.

  • It outranges the Splattershot Jr.. (116.99 DU versus 103.89 DU)[5] and outdamages the Kensa Undercover Brella (336 DPS vs. 92.3 DPS), allowing it to be played more aggressively than either of the other two.
  • It is more mobile (0.84 DU/f) and more ink efficient (0.8%) than either the .96 Gal (0.40 DU/f, 2.5%) or the H-3 Nozzlenose D (0.60 DU/f, 2.25%).
  • It fires more rapidly than the .96 Gal and has Suction Bombs, while the .96 Gal has no bombs with which to either apply pressure or zone out opponents.
  • It has a lower special gauge requirement (200p) than the H-3 Nozzlenose D (220p).
  • The primary tradeoff for being a Jack-of-all-trades is the lack of a major strength among its supportive capabilities; it is not the most efficient at turfing, the most effective at providing support fire, the most efficient at spamming bombs, or the fastest at building up Ink Armor.
    • Ink Saver (Sub) can allow for more frequent Suction Bomb use but not quite enough to rapidly spam them (without a very high investment).
    • Special Charge Up can speed up the process of building up the special gauge for Ink Armor but not as quickly as with some other Ink Armor-based weapons.
  • One unique advantage the N-ZAP '85 possesses over most other weapons it its inherent mobility, particularly while firing (0.84 DU/f). Use this to strafe while firing to avoid opponents' shots, buying time to splat the opponent with a (usually) weaker main weapon.
    • Run Speed Up can increase this mobility advantage even further.
    • Advanced movement techniques, such as sub strafing and ledge canceling, allow an N-ZAP '85 user to more fully exploit this high mobility.

Suction Bombs can be used in a similar fashion to Splat Bombs, with a few differences:

  • They can attach to surfaces, which both allows more room for error when aiming and enables the planting of craftier traps, such as underneath a grate.
  • They take two seconds after attaching to a surface to detonate, as opposed to one second for a Splat Bomb, so plant Suction Bombs earlier than usual.
  • They inflict more damage from a direct hit (220 HP) and have a larger overall radius of damage (80 DU).
  • They can be thrown to lead a push into a Splat Zone or any other important area of the stage, such as the opponents' street or platform.
  • They can also flush out opposing anchors from perches and clear other critical areas, such as the Tower.[6]
  • They can also be used to poke at and zone out opponents during the neutral phase, stall an opponent's push, or provide space to escape.
  • A Suction Bomb can damage or destroy an opponent's brella shield, Splash Wall, or Baller or the Rainmaker shield, while detonating on contact.
    • Any opponents caught within the Suction Bomb's explosion will get damaged or splatted.[2]
    • It will also inflate or pop a teammate's bubbles but deflate or diffuse an opponent's bubbles, while still detonating on contact.[7]
  • An opponent's Splashdown, Booyah Bomb, or Ultra Stamp will defuse any Suction Bombs it touches, so hold off using them until after their special weapon finishes.

Ink Armor enables its user's team to either initiate a push, to recapture a Splat Zone for example, or maintain one, such as while locking out the opponent.

  • Time the activation of Ink Armor carefully so that you and your teammates receive its protection before engaging the opponent.
  • Try to activate Ink Armor when most or all teammates are active. Slayers, who risk getting splatted more often, benefit from Ink Armor more than anchors do.
  • Upon activation, Ink Armor will protect its user and their teammates except for those either carrying the Rainmaker or using either Baller or Booyah Bomb.
    • Also, players protected by Ink Armor lose it upon gaining possession of the Rainmaker.
    • A support player, such as an N-ZAP '85 user, is often expected to carry the Rainmaker while their slayer teammates provide protection up front while turfing a path of ink. Therefore, while Ink Armor will not protect the Rainmaker carrier, it will still benefit their teammates, so cast Ink Armor just before picking up the Rainmaker whenever possible.


The N-ZAP '85 is good at turfing and building up Ink Armor but has relatively weak damage. Therefore, it makes a good complement to – and is well complemented by – a slayer, particularly one whose weapon has trouble turfing, such as a Splattershot Pro or a blaster.

  • Turfing while following a teammate builds up Ink Armor and provides friendly turf to which a teammate can retreat whenever needed.
  • Cooperate with the teammate using both the main weapon and Suction Bombs when engaging an opponent: attack from different angles, or force the opponent to come within range of the teammate's weapon.
  • If your teammate gets splatted and an opponent is still present, then determine how weakened they are before deciding whether to continue engaging or retreat. If more than one opponent is present, then consider retreating – via super jumping if necessary – to maintain Ink Armor progress.

While a team might get away with having one or two users of short-ranged weapons, such as the N-ZAP '85, having a team composition with too many short-ranged weapons and no longer-ranged weapons to provide support fire is often disadvantageous for a number of reasons:[8]

  • An opponent with a long-ranged weapon can more aggressively position themselves to zone out the entire shorter-ranged team.
  • The opposing slayers can play more aggressively, knowing that there is no long-ranged threat to pick them off from afar.

Multiple Ink Armors used by the same team do not stack. Therefore, it would be redundant for a team to have more than two Ink Armor users.[8]

  • If another Ink Armor user is on the team, it is advised that one be the more aggressive while the other remain in the support role based on the main weapons present. For example, an N-ZAP '85 should be used more aggressively than a Splattershot Jr. but not as aggressively as a Tri-Slosher.
  • In general, when two Ink Armor-based weapons are on a team, the user of the more aggressive weapon should activate Ink Armor first, freeing them to engage the opponent without potentially losing both a potential Ink Armor and special gauge progress. For example, an N-ZAP '85 user should activate their Ink Armor first if their teammate has a Splattershot Jr., but they should let a Tri-Slosher wielder use their Ink Armor first instead.

While special weapons used in combination are beneficial in general, the combination of Ink Armor with either Inkjet or Ultra Stamp is particularly invaluable for the user of the latter special, improving their survivability:

  • Because an Ink Armored player can withstand more damage — especially from an opponent's charger, an armored Inkjet pilot can fly more aggressively.
  • An armored Ultra Stamp user is also more difficult for opponents to splat while swinging the hammer. However, they are easier to spot when submerged in their ink.


  • Other Ink Armor-based support weapons each have at least one specific advantage over the N-ZAP '85:
    • The Splattershot Jr. has faster turfing, a lower special gauge requirement, and a larger ink tank, the latter which more easily enables bomb spamming.
    • Both the .96 Gal and H-3 Nozzlenose D outrange (160.396 DU)[5] and overpower the N-ZAP '85.
    • Both the .96 Gal and the Kensa Undercover Brella have lower special gauge requirements (190p) than the N-ZAP '85.
    • The Kensa Undercover Brella has a shield for protection and Torpedoes for both zoning and distracting opponents.
  • While the N-ZAP '85 stands better against slayer's weapons than the Splattershot Jr., most slayer's weapons still have an advantage in a one-on-one, particularly in terms of damage. However, be wary of any Suction Bomb traps an opposing N-ZAP '85 might plant while retreating, such as around a corner or underneath a grate.
  • If an opposing N-ZAP '85 user throws a Suction Bomb onto the Tower while you are riding it, you can move to the other side of the Tower and use the stake for cover from the blast. However, be ready to fend off any opponents – including the opposing N-ZAP '85 user – who attempt to attack this other side.[9]
  • Keep an eye on the HUD to know when the opponent's N-ZAP '85 has Ink Armor ready to use, and both watch and listen for when it is activated.
    • The best way to prevent the opponent from using armor is to splat the opponent with the N-ZAP '85 (or any other Ink Armor-equipped weapon). A charger user can prioritize said opponent when sniping, or a slayer can attempt to pick off an unwary N-ZAP '85.
    • Fight fire with fire by having and using Ink Armor to counter the opposing N-ZAP '85 user's Armor. Skirmishes between armored teams will depend on when each Ink Armor was activated, the players' skill and positioning, turf control, and the availability of other specials.
    • Ink Armor can negate up to 30 HP of damage, so there are a few main and sub weapons that can remove an opponent's Ink Armor in one hit:
      • For example, all variants of the Splattershot, the Splattershot Pro, and the Splat Dualies all inflict at least 30 HP of damage per shot and fire relatively rapidly. All variants of the Splash-o-matic and the Dualie Squelchers can also accomplish this with enough Main Power Up.
      • Object Shredder triples damage inflicted onto armored opponents, allowing weapons that cannot otherwise inflict 30 HP of damage to break an opponent's Ink Armor in one hit.[10] Combining Object Shredder with Ink Storm can nearly neutralize armored pushes by the opponent.
      • The splash damage of most bombs will destroy the Ink Armor of opponents who have no Bomb Defense Up DX equipped.[10][11][12] Burst Bombs are quite effective at this due to their instant explosion and low ink consumption.[13]
    • Otherwise, focus fire on armored opponents for longer than usual - preferably while ganging up on one opponent at a time - to compensate for their armor.

Gear abilities

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.

S2 Ability Bomb Defense Up DX.png Bomb Defense Up DX

Ever since its introduction in Version 4.3.0, Bomb Defense Up DX will not only reduce the damage taken from opposing sub and special weapons that are not one-hit-splat but will also reduce the duration of the tracking effects of certain opponent's sub and special weapons, such as Point Sensors and Ink Mines, allowing the user of this ability to evade detection more easily. This is a useful ability for almost any player, including an N-ZAP '85 user, whether they play as a slayer or a support player. Just three ability points, or one sub, offer plenty of utility:[10][11]

  • The splash damage of most bombs is reduced from 30 HP to 28.6 HP. This reduction in damage provides two benefits:
    • It prevents its user from being exposed on their opponents' map by the splash damage of most single bombs.
    • Ink Armor will not break due to splash damage from a single bomb whose splash damage normally inflicts 30 HP of damage.
  • The splash damage of near-misses from either Tenta Missiles or Inkjet, the minimum splash damage of bubbles, and the collision damage from Baller are all reduced from 50 HP to 48.3 HP,[12] enabling one to survive two hits from any of these specific means of special weapon damage.
S2 Ability Comeback.png Comeback

An N-ZAP '85 wielder who adopts an aggressive playstyle can expect to get splatted often unless they go on an extended splatting streak. Comeback is a headgear-exclusive ability that, when equipped, grants 10 ability points of six different stackable abilities for twenty seconds after respawning from getting splatted by an opponent:

Both Ink Saver (Sub) and Special Charge Up provide the best benefits the aggressive N-ZAP '85 user, allowing them to pursue and pressure the opponent upon returning from spawn with the freedom to use both their main and sub weapons while building up their special gauge more quickly.[10]

S2 Ability Ink Resistance Up.png Ink Resistance Up

An N-ZAP '85 user is expected to come in contact with the opponent's ink on various surfaces, which can both be damaging and reduce mobility. Ink Resistance Up not only partially offsets the reduction in mobility but also delays the damage taken from contact with opposing ink:[10][11]

Mains Subs Invulnera-
bility time
Rate of
Run speed
in opposing
ink (DU/f)
Jump height
in opposing
0 0 0 0 0.3 40.0 0.24 0.800
3 0 1 10 0.2 38.0 0.33 0.854
6 0 2 15 0.2 36.2 0.39 0.888


S2 Ability Ink Saver (Sub).png Ink Saver (Sub)

Ink Saver (Sub) allows more frequent use of Suction Bombs and saves ink for the main weapon after each Suction Bomb used. Having the ability to use Suction Bombs more often allows a supportive N-ZAP '85 user to more reliably slow the opponents' push.[10] For example, constantly tossing Suction Bombs onto the Tower can force opponents off of it, delaying their Tower push.

  • 13 ability points, or one main and one sub, reduces the ink requirement per Suction Bomb to just above 60.6% for an N-ZAP '85 user.
S2 Ability Last-Ditch Effort.png Last-Ditch Effort

Last-Ditch Effort is a headgear-exclusive ability that, under specific conditions, grants its user 1 to 24 ability points each of the following abilities:

These abilities only begin to take effect under either of the following conditions:

  • There are at most 30 seconds remaining on the game clock, or Overtime has begun in a Ranked Battle, at which the maximum 24 ability points will be granted for each of the above abilities.
  • In a Ranked Battle, the opposing team's countdown has at most 50 points remaining. The effects of Last-Ditch Effort increase as the opposing team's countdown decreases from 50 to 30 points remaining, starting with 1 ability point for each ability and maxing out to 24 ability points.

Like other weapons whose builds include bombs, the N-ZAP '85 can greatly benefit from the reduced ink consumption per Suction Bomb used, allowing a supportive N-ZAP '85 user to spam Suction Bombs during either a crucial defensive stand or a late attempt to reclaim the lead.[10]

S2 Ability Object Shredder.png Object Shredder

An ability exclusive to shoes, Object Shredder provides an N-ZAP '85 user two specific benefits:[10]

  • It triples the amount of damage inflicted onto armored opponents, allowing them to break an opponent's Ink Armor with one shot from their main weapon.
  • It also enables them to pop the Rainmaker shield more quickly with either their main weapon or Suction Bombs, allowing their team to start or restart a push more quickly while gaining a large amount of turf control in the immediate area.

Because Object Shredder occupies an entire main ability, its main drawback is that it reduces the amount of ability points allowed for other potentially important gear abilities, such as Ink Saver (Sub) and Special Charge Up. Last-Ditch Effort can be combined with Object Shredder to reduce the need for Ink Saver (Sub).

S2 Ability Quick Respawn.png Quick Respawn

Quick Respawn shortens respawn time after getting splatted (under specific conditions), encouraging an aggressive N-ZAP '85 user to maintain pressure onto the opponent even after getting splatted.[10]

  • 16 ability points – one main and two subs – are enough to reduce the respawn time from 8.5 seconds to 6.67 seconds.[14]
S2 Ability Quick Super Jump.png Quick Super Jump

Quick Super Jump decreases both the "charge" time before and the travel time of a Super Jump, helping its user escape unfavorable situations more quickly. While an N-ZAP '85 player can fight in one-on-one battles more effectively than a Splattershot Jr. user, they will still be outmatched by some opponents, and preserving valuable special gauge progress is often more important than splatting an opponent. Aggressive N-ZAP '85 users will also benefit since Quick Super Jump allows them to return to the front lines more quickly.[10][11]

  • One sub, or 3 ability points, of Quick Super Jump decreases the "charge" time by 22 frames, or 0.36 seconds.[14]
S2 Ability Run Speed Up.png Run Speed Up

The N-ZAP '85, an already mobile weapon in humanoid form, can still benefit greatly from Run Speed Up, particularly while firing.[10] Having the ability to strafe more quickly increases an N-ZAP '85 user's survivability, allowing them to last longer in fights to either win them or stall them long enough until teammates arrive.

  • 13 ability points, or one main and one sub,…
    • …increases an N-ZAP '85 user's running speed from 1.04 DU/f (distance units per frame) to 1.19 DU/f.[14]
    • …increases running speed while firing from 0.84 DU/f to 0.92 DU/f.[14]
S2 Ability Special Charge Up.png Special Charge Up

Special Charge Up accelerates building up the special gauge for Ink Armor. Since farming Ink Armor is one of a few roles of the N-ZAP '85, constantly having Ink Armor available for teammates ensures more successful pushes and counter-pushes.[10]

  • 13 ability points – one main and one sub – are enough to reduce the special gauge requirement to below 180p.[14]
S2 Ability Special Saver.png Special Saver

When splatted, half of the special gauge progress is lost. For example, a player with 150p of special gauge out of 200p upon getting splatted will lose 75p of the special gauge. Special Saver allows its user to keep more of their special gauge progress whenever they are splatted. This allows an N-ZAP '85 user to more quickly build up Ink Armor after respawning.[10][11]

  • 6 ability points – two subs – are enough to increase the amount of special gauge progress saved from 50% to 64.6%.[14]



  1. YouTube "Splatoon 2 - Weapon Roles and Playstyles (Classifying every Weapon)" by Wadsm
  2. 2.0 2.1 YouTube "How To Get Good Using The N-Zap 8X?! (+ Handcam) | Splatoon 2" by ThatSrb2DUDE, formerly of Team Olive
  3. YouTube "Splatoon 2 5.3 Tier List Part 5 (Main Weapons - Top Tiers) (Splat Zones Only)" by Chara of Climb
  4. YouTube "Splatoon 2 - Is the N-Zap 85 Even a Good Support? (Comparing N-Zap Vs Splattershot Jr)" by ThatSrb2DUDE, formerly of Team Olive
  5. 5.0 5.1 Splatoon 2 range list compiled by DrFetus
  6. YouTube "Splatoon 2 North American Open September 2020 - Finals - Part 3" Game 5, Burstie (FTWin) throws a Suction Bomb onto the Tower, splatting Jared (Starburst) and forcing Ice and Ant (Starburst) to reposition themselves
  7. YouTube "Qualifier Finals Part 2 | Splatoon 2 North America Inkling Open 2019" Game 2, Ross (ɪик Sigma) splats Arashi (Lowkey) with a Fizzy Bomb thrown onto bubbles launched by Astrocities (ɪик Sigma)
  8. 8.0 8.1 YouTube "Splatoon 2 - What is a good team comp? (TOP 6 mistakes)" by Sendou, formerly of Team Olive
  9. YouTube "Transatlantic Splatoon League 2 Europe Pool Week 5 - RADIANCE vs. Usual Guys" Game 1, Obito (RADIANCE) avoids two Suction Bombs thrown onto the Tower while riding it
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 10.11 10.12 YouTube "Splatoon 2 - The Ultimate Gear Guide! (Tips and Tricks + all Abilities explained)" by Wadsm
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 YouTube "How To Make A PERFECT Gear Build for ALL WEAPONS?! (Gear Building Guide) | Splatoon 2" by ThatSrb2DUDE, formerly of Team Olive
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 - Stat Calculator & Gear Planner for Splatoon 2, applicable for Version 4.8.0
  13. YouTube "Splatoon 2: Educational Perfect Placement Matches (Splat Zones)" Kiver of Radiance (EU) destroys an opponent's Ink Armor with a Burst Bomb
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 Splatoon 2 Build Analyzer
  15. Lean's Loadout Database - Usage of abilities in Ranked modes