The Tri-Stringer is one of the newly introduced weapons in Splatoon 3, offering a different playstyle almost similar to that of a charger. Unlike other conventional charger-type weapons, it has the ability to shoot explosive rounds of ink from charging its shots. Its kit allows it to trap enemies and deny space using Toxic Mist, as well as displace opponents with the Killer Wail 5.1.
The long range and damage of the Tri-Stringer allows it to play an anchor role, while the strong kit it synergizes with, as well as chip damage, also allows it to assume a supportive role.
- The Tri-Stringer's long range one-shot capabilities can provide a good anchor for a team.
- The Tri-Stringer shoots three arrows at once.
- While in the air, the diffusion of shots spread from horizontally to vertically.
- The diffusion of the shots make it more probable to deal damage to opponents than other backlines, such as chargers.
- If an opponent gets up close, the probability that multiple arrows from tap shots will hit at once, potentially dealing massive damage to them. Getting behind an opponent where they are vulnerable and shooting them there is a tactic used to survive and deal damage to opponents.
- The Tri-Stringer's shots also fly in an arc without losing damage, allowing it to hit opponents over obstacles and Splash Walls. This allows it to apply pressure over walls and cover.
- The Tri-Stringer shoots three arrows at once.
- The Tri-Stringer's high strafe speed allows it to avoid shots easier.
- The Tri-Stringer's first charge makes the arrows explode shortly after hitting terrain.
- The explosions can chip at opponents' HP, allowing the user and their teammates to splat opponents easier, allowing it to play a supportive role.
- Spamming partial charges can prove useful to chip at opponent's HP and force them out of your space.
- The explosions can quickly re-ink areas that have been taken over by enemy ink in the time before they explode.
- This can prove especially useful in Splat Zones where both teams have the objective of taking control of a small part of the map.
- Firing prediction partial charges where areas will be inked, such as just before a Splat Bomb detonates or inside a Triple Inkstrike twister, will quickly ink over the enemy ink just after it detonates or stops, allowing the player to focus their attention elsewhere.
- The Tri-Stringer has impressive object damage, allowing it to quickly destroy enemy objects or pop the Rainmaker shield, quickly eliminating distractions from teammates.
- The Tri-Stringer's exploding arrows can make opposing anchors panic and temporarily retreat, and its arcing shots can splat them while in hiding.
- Unlike chargers, the Tri-Stringer does not possess a laser that indicates the direction of where it is aiming, allowing it for stealthier splats.
The Tri-Stringer also has some weaknesses.
- The inability to hold a charge can be bad for the Tri-Stringer in some situations.
- The Tri-Stringer's one-shot is harder to hit than weapons such as chargers.
- The Tri-Stringer's trail paint left behind by arrows is inconsistent.
- Although possessing an above average skill at fighting opponents in close quarters that most backliners do not, the Tri-Stringer is still more vulnerable at point blank than in other situations.
Toxic Mist is great for denying space and assisting teammates.
- Toxic Mist can be used to restrict opponents' routes, disencouraging them to move through the mist as it makes them vulnerable, and could potentially end up fatal for them.
- Toxic Mist can help fight at range.
- It can help the player in chipping and one-shotting opponents.
- It can help teammates in fights, making opponents easier targets and make their ink tank deplete faster.
- Toxic Mist can help put space between opponents who are closing in on the player, and make them less effective if they do get close.
- Throwing Toxic Mist at opponent right before entering a vulnerable state, such as an opposing midair Booyah Bomb or when a Reefslider explodes can help the Tri-Stringer punish opponents easier.
- Toxic Mist can slow opponents that are escaping from the player and their team, allowing the player and their allies to splat them instead of them escaping alive.
- As all special weapons instantly refill your ink tank, throwing a Toxic Mist, and then using Killer Wail 5.1 will allow you to throw another one in quick succession.
Killer Wail 5.1 can also be an amazing tool for the Tri-Stringer, serving multiple purposes.
- The Killer Wail 5.1 can reveal the positions of sharking opponents or opponents behind obstacles.
- The Killer Wail 5.1 can provide extra distractions for opponents trying to dodge the player's shots and opponents fighting allied teammates.
- The Killer Wail 5.1 can temporarily displace less mobile enemy backlines, allowing the player and their allies to start a push.
- The Killer Wail 5.1 can easily punish slower weapons, such as the Dynamo Roller, who decide to act while being targeted by the lasers.
- The Killer Wail 5.1 can quickly chip away at the opponent's HP, further enhancing Tri-Stringer's chip damage capabilities.
- The Tri-Stringer's low points for special can allow it to charge the Killer Wail 5.1 quickly and often.
As of 4.1.0, the Tri-Stringer deals more chip damage with its explosive shots.
- Slayer/skirmisher weapons that can benefit from its chip damage, such as the Splatana Wiper and Rapid Blaster Deco, can splat opponents easier with the aid of the Tri-Stringer.
- Weapons with location-revealing sub weapons and special weapons, such as Point Sensor and Wave Breaker can reveal the locations of opponents, and the Tri-Stringer can keep track of where they are.
- Weapons with displacement specials such as Tenta Missiles can distract opposing backlines, and the Tri-Stringer can take advantage of this opening by moving to a more aggressive position or by splatting them while they are distracted.
- The Tri-Stringer has to charge in order to get the full value out of its shots, so sneaking up on an unsuspecting Tri-Stringer can be useful in splatting it.
- As stated above, the Tri-Stringer also possesses an above average capability to fight at short range than other backliners, so sneaking up before they can react is often wise.
- Weapons with a charge hold, such as the Splat Charger, can quickly swim within range of the Tri-Stringer and launch a surprise shot before it can react.
- Weapons from the Blaster class with large hitboxes can poke at the Tri-Stringer and can force it to retreat.
- Sloshers can quickly splat the weapon with ease due to their general range and power.
There are many different gear abilities that compliment the Tri-Stringer. Some notable abilities include:
Perhaps one of the most notable gear abilities for the Tri-Stringer, Run Speed Up is very useful for the it. Tri-Stringer is already fairly mobile, so Run Speed Up will increase its strafe speed even more. Tri-Stringer likes to stay mobile at all times, so being able to quickly move from one place to another with a charged shot ready can be great for it.
Another very notable ability for the Tri-Stringer is Object Shredder. Having Object Shredder on Tri-Stringer will greatly enhance its supportive capabilities. With Object Shredder, Tri-Stringer can one-shot Wave Breakers, quickly shred Big Bubblers, and get rid of Crab Tanks fast.
Using Ink Resistance Up on Tri-Stringer can help it get out of tough situations and retain some of its mobility in enemy ink. This lets the player resist being splatted a little better, too.
Thermal Ink is a fairly popular ability for the Tri-Stringer, as it shoots three arrows of ink at once. Even if the Tri-Stringer misses its one-shot, it can still hit opponents with arrows and reveal their locations to the player. Using this info, the Tri-Stringer can continue to fire at the opponent if they retreat behind an obstacle.
Ink Saver Main can be useful for the Tri-Stringer, as it can help it fire more shots per ink tank. This allows Tri-Stringer to continually chip at opponents for longer.
Ink Saver Sub is another useful ink-saving ability. It can help the Tri-Stringer fire more shots after throwing a Toxic Mist, allowing the player to capitalize off of the effects of the Toxic Mist more.
Ink Recovery Up decreases the downtime Tri-Stringer has after using its ink. It can make it apply pressure more constantly because of this decreased downtime.
Having Toxic Mist with increased range can benefit the Tri-Stringer, as it's a backline that uses it. Sub Power Up increases the maximum range of Toxic Mist, allowing for longer range area denial, and therefore increasing the maximum distance Tri-Stringer can utilize the debuffs inflicted on opponents.
As with most backlines, Last-Ditch Effort can prove very useful for the Tri-Stringer. In the last 30 seconds of battle, or when the opposing team's counter is below 50, the player will be granted some ability points of Ink Saver Main, Ink Saver Sub, and Ink Recovery Up. This can help the player's team get in the lead if they're losing and reduce the weapon's downtime.
Sub Resistance Up can be good for Tri-Stringer in multiple different situations. It decreases the damage of bombs, and as an anchor, opponents may be prone to bomb spamming to distract the player. Sub Resistance Up also decreases the time the Tri-Stringer is tracked by location-revealing subs, allowing it to be stealthier.
Tenacity is especially good for the Tri-Stringer if the player chooses to play the role as a jump anchor. Having Killer Wail 5.1 charge passively can be useful when not focusing on inking, as its longer range shots tend to paint less than tap shots.
Although usually seen more for frontliners and sharking weapons, Ninja Squid is useful on the Tri-Stringer as it can help it disguise itself while swimming from opposing backliners and attackers. Being stealthy is a part of Tri-Stringer's playstyle, so having its swimming ripples disguised can make it even more stealthy when moving from one place to another.
Respawn Punisher is usually a double-edged sword for more weapons, lengthening respawn time and increasing the amount of the special gauge depleted after respawning. But for the Tri-Stringer, it can prove particularly useful, as it has the power to one-shot at a great distance. Using the chip damage from the exploding arrows in combination with the chip damage of allies can also result in Respawn Punisher being useful.
Special Charge Up is very useful for the Tri-Stringer as Killer Wail 5.1 has great synergy with the Tri-Stringer. Getting Killer Wails faster can aid it and its teammates greatly in battle.
Special Power Up is particularly useful for the Tri-Stringer as it increases the duration of the Killer Wail 5.1. Having an extended distraction and chip damage duration will be a great supportive trait in battle.
In competitive play
At the initial release of Splatoon 3, Tri-Stringer was considered bad in competitive. Its one-shot was too inconsistent and its inability to paint a straight line made it unviable.
The Version 2.0.0 update somewhat fixed its painting, but was still considered unviable.
But, after the Version 4.1.0 update, the Tri-Stringer became much more useful. Its strafe speed was higher and could now combo kill with two bullets and one explosion. This made the Tri-Stringer more consistent in killing and pushed it slightly higher. The main weapon is strong, but it still has one problem: its weapon kit. Toxic Mist and Killer Wail 5.1 are both considered weak in the current meta, so the weapon is still not picked above other backlines.
Currently, the Tri-Stringer still is not used in the meta that much. It is considered inconsistent compared to meta backlines such as chargers, and its kit is still considered too weak. But, it is seeing much more use than it had been seeing at Splatoon 3's launch. Competitive players are still looking to see small buffs to the main weapon or Toxic Mist and Killer Wail 5.1, and are waiting on its new weapon kit.
- "How a Pro Splatoon 3 Player Uses Tri Stringer" At 1:18, he spams partial charges to force the brella away from him.