The Range Blaster, like its Custom and Grim variants, is a medium-ranged blaster with good zoning and high splatting potential. The Range Blaster offers a kit that focuses heavily on area denial with its bomb and Ink Storm.
The Range Blaster can flex between the slayer and support roles:
- Its direct hit range of 145 DU easily exceeds that of short-ranged weapons, such as the Kensa Splattershot (116.99 DU), and barely exceeds that of a few medium-ranged ones, such as the L-3 Nozzlenose (141.36 DU).
- Its shots travel slower than those of rapid-firing weapons — 10.8 units per frame versus 23 units per frame for the Dualie Squelchers, for example. This means that a Range Blaster user has to lead their shots in order to be accurate.
- The Range Blaster becomes less accurate (by 8 degrees) immediately after jumping.
- The Range Blaster's damage – arguably its greatest asset – widely varies depending on whether a target is hit directly, and if not, how close to the shot's explosion the target is and whether the shot exploded on a solid surface:
- 125 health points (HP) of damage per direct hit — enough to splat most opponents in one hit
- 50-70 HP per hit of splash damage if the shot's explosion does not hit a solid surface
- 25-35 HP per hit of splash damage if the shot's explosion hits a solid surface
- Thus, when firing up a ledge or around either an obstacle or an opponent's brella shield for splash damage, avoid hitting solid surfaces to maximize damage.
- The Range Blaster suffers a longer lag time after each shot compared to rapid-firing weapons, making it easily punishable after a miss:
- The interval between firing and either morphing or using a sub weapon is 30 frames — far longer than the 4 frames of the Splattershot Pro.
- Its firing rate is 60 frames between shots (1 shot per second) – far slower than the Splattershot Pro's 8 frames between shots (7.5 shots per second)
- Therefore, unless attacking an opponent up a ledge or around either an obstacle or their brella shield, always go for direct hits.
- Besides its long lag after each shot, the Range Blaster suffers from other drawbacks:
- Its movement speed while firing (0.4 units per frame) is slow compared to most weapons of comparable range. Combined with the long lag after shots, the Range Blaster is rather immobile and vulnerable to attack after each shot, so shots must be fired judiciously.
- Its poor ink efficiency and turfing make it prone to getting surrounded by opposing ink if fired recklessly. Avoid overextending into the opponents' territory.
- While not as mobile as other slayer's weapons, the Range Blaster can still be effective at flanking, and its high damage makes it devastating at sharking.
- The Range Blaster operates best in areas and stages that are highly frequented – such as around the Tower – or less open, such as in an alley or beneath a short ledge, where an opponent has less room to avoid shots and outmaneuver the Range Blaster user.
- 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.
- 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.
- An opponent's Splashdown or Booyah Bomb will defuse any Suction Bombs it touches, so hold off throwing them until after the special weapon finishes.
Ink Storm is an area of effect (AoE) special weapon that can alter the battle if activated in the right location and direction:
- Immediately upon activating the special, its user will be holding the Ink Storm device and be vulnerable to attack. Therefore, do not activate the special while being attacked, and make sure to throw it onto a surface before an opponent gets the opportunity to splat you.
- Slower, less mobile opponents – especially Rainmaker carriers – are less capable of escaping Ink Storm's area of effect and, thus, are more adversely affected.
- Its gradual damage makes it a good counter against Ink Armor, especially when paired with Object Shredder.
- Ink Storm's damage on the opponent becomes more effective whenever the opponent has less space to maneuver around, such as in an alley or on the Tower.
- Defensively, Ink Storm can slow or disrupt the opponents' push by either altering their intended attack routes or weakening any opponents within the storm.
- Offensively, Ink Storm can soften opposing defenses by forcing opponents out of optimal positions and inflicting chip damage onto those caught in the ink rain.
- Besides potentially damaging opponents, Ink Storm also gradually turfs any non-vertical surface it travels over:
- The damaging and turfing effects of Ink Storm are slower and more gradual than those of a Bomb Launcher but are automatic and does not require its user to risk endangering themselves.
- An Ink Storm above the Rainmaker can either weaken its shield to pop it or prevent the opponent from popping it.
- Special weapons are also free ink tank refills, allowing a Range Blaster user to launch Ink Storm and immediately attack opponents fleeing it.
- If an opponent is under the storm, an indirect will damage an opponent and likely splat the opponent.
Because blasters are generally poor at turfing, their users will have to rely on their teammates to maintain map control. Not having enough turfing ability – usually from having too many blasters and chargers – presents its own set of problems:
- A team whose composition lacks enough turfing ability can be rendered immobile if the other team dominates map control.
- A lack of turfing also makes it difficult to alter the course of a game, even after wiping out the other team.
Ink Storm is intended for either contesting territory, such as Splat Zones, or stalling opponents' pushes but is not as reliable at splatting opponents who actively avoid the Storm. Therefore, it is advised to have other special weapons available to complement Ink Storm, as having too many users of any combination of Ink Storm and Bomb Launcher (no more than two) in a team composition will limit a team's arsenal of weapons:
- Ink Storm provides no direct means of protection, meaning that opponents can still fire or throw sub weapons into the Storm.
- Other special weapons, such as Inkjet or Sting Ray, are intended for splatting opponents and more capable at this than is Ink Storm.
Combining Ink Storm with other specials can bolster a team's ability to either make a push or counter the opponents' push:
- Ink Armor and other protective special weapons, such as Baller and Bubble Blower, can increase the survivability of a team as they push into contested territory.
- After launching Ink Storm, a teammate who is using a special weapon designed for splat opponents, such as Sting Ray or Inkjet, can further limit the opponents' escape options or splat them as they scatter.
- To engage an opposing Range Blaster user with a shorter range weapon, try to catch it off guard through either careful flanking or sharking, better positioning, or wise use of bombs.
- Even weapons with ranges comparable to that of the Range Blaster should rely on better mobility to get into its blindspot (the area where indirects can't connect) as being inside the blindspot forces the user to either hit a direct or rely on burst bombs - which aren't always accessible - to survive. Both variants of the Dualie Squelchers can easily rush into the Range Blaster's blindspot but may struggle when fighting it outside of it.
- The Splat Brella and Kensa Undercover Brella and their variants cannot sufficiently protect their users from the splash damage of the Range Blaster, but can occasionally predict where a Range Blaster will shoot to move in a way that makes the shot hit the shield instead of going around it and dealing indirect damage.
- Whenever possible, exploit the Range Blaster's poor ink efficiency and turfing by surrounding it with ink. Sub weapons and teammates can help accomplish this.
- It is preferable to engage an opposing Range Blaster in a more open area – where there is more room to outmaneuver it and surround it with ink – than in a closed area. If this is not possible, remain farther back on a ledge or further around a corner to avoid splash damage.
- A long-ranged weapon, such as a charger or most splatlings, can attack an opposing Range Blaster user from long distance with impunity. However, once the Range Blaster user gets close enough, their one-shot-splat can spell the end for their slower firing opponent.
- A competent Range Blaster user is likely capable at both flanking and sharking:
- Keep track of all four members of the opposing team – which ones are present, which ones are splatted, and which ones are back at their spawn point.
- Check the map periodically for opposing ink forming around flanks to anticipate a flanking attack.
- To prevent sharking, check suspicious puddles of the opponents' ink, preferably with a thrown sub weapon.
- Weapons that track opponents, such as Point Sensors, temporarily prevent an opponent from sharking and makes them an easier target for long-ranged teammates to pick off.
- When pursued by a Range Blaster, using almost any sub weapon (except for Squid Beakons) can either delay their pursuit or deter them from chasing.
- When facing an opposing Ink Storm, assess where is a safe place to either reroute an attack or reposition on defense:
- In general, avoid getting caught under an opponent's Ink Storm for an extended time, but also be wary of opponents waiting to pick off anyone fleeing the Storm.
- When facing a team who possesses both Ink Storm and main weapons whose damage is increased with Main Power Up, pay extra attention to where the Main Power Up-boosted opponents are at whenever they launch their Ink Storm.
- If you must travel under an opponent's Ink Storm, avoid moving in the same direction that the Storm is traveling to minimize damage.
- Even while avoiding an opponent's Ink Storm, it is still possible to turf or otherwise influence the area underneath. Long-ranged weapons, thrown sub weapons, and other special weapons (such as a counter-Ink Storm or Bomb Launcher) can splat opponents or dissuade them from occupying the turf underneath.
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.
Unless a Range Blaster user is on an extended splatting streak, they can expect to get splatted often. When equipped, Comeback grants 10 ability points of six different stackable abilities for twenty seconds after respawning from getting splatted by an opponent:
Aside from Run Speed Up, all these abilities help a Range Blaster user. The Ink saver abilities help the weapon be more ink efficient and Swim Speed Up allows the user to move faster. Special Charge Up helps the user with its higher special requirement to get Ink Storm more often.
Super Jumping to a teammate after respawning carries the risk of getting splatted upon landing, due to the appearance of a Super Jump indicator. When equipped, Stealth Jump better covers this indicator from long-distance opponents, allowing its user to more safely return to the front lines and maintain pressure on the opponent.
Swim Speed Up can help close the distance towards an opponent, more quickly respond to an opponents' push, or escape unfavorable situations.
Quick Respawn shortens respawn time after getting splatted (under specific conditions). Like other slayer's weapons, the Range Blaster benefits from abilities that promote aggressive play, such as Quick Respawn and Stealth Jump.
- One main, or 10 ability points, reduces the respawn time by 1.21 seconds.
- Two mains, or 20 ability points, saves 2.21 seconds for respawning.
- "Weapons And Roles In Splatoon 2: A Complete Overview" by Chara of Climb
- "Splatoon 2 - Weapon Roles and Playstyles (Classifying every Weapon)" by Wadsm
- "Splatoon 2 5.3 Tier List Part 3 (Main Weapons - Mid And Low Tiers) (Splat Zones Only)" by Chara of Climb
- Splatoon 2 range list compiled by DrFetus
- "Splatoon 2 - Weapon Analysis: Blaster (A Powerful Close Range Weapon!)" by ThatSrb2DUDE, formerly of Team Olive
- "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
- "How To Get Good Using The N-Zap 8X?! (+ Handcam) | Splatoon 2" ThatSrb2DUDE, formerly of Team Olive, splats an opposing Tenta Brella user by throwing a Suction Bomb into the rear of their brella shield
- "Splatoon 2 - What is a good team comp? (TOP 6 mistakes)" by Sendou, formerly of Team Olive
- Sendou.ink Weapon Builds
- Stat Calculator & Gear Planner for Splatoon 2, applicable for Version 4.8.0
- Lean's Loadout Database - Useage of abilities in Ranked modes