Wii U GamePad
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|“||You can aim using the GamePad controller's intuitive motion controls, and even tap the touchscreen to Super Jump to an ally's location if you get splatted during the game. But your GamePad also gives you major intel with the Turf Map, which shows you where you've inked and where to go next.||”|
— Splatoon's official website
The Wii U GamePad has the same button layout as the majority of Nintendo's consoles, as well as two control sticks, a control pad, a touch screen and a microphone. The Wii U GamePad is also the main controller in Splatoon, allowing players to use motion sensors and and to aim and the touch screen to view a live map of the current playing field. Tapping allies' icons on the Wii U GamePad's touch screen allows players to Super Jump to them.
In the Battle Dojo, one player uses the GamePad to try to pop more balloons than the other player, using a Wii U Pro Controller (or Wii Classic Controller or Classic Controller Pro attached to a Wii Remote) and the TV screen. Unique to this mode, the player controls their Inkling on the GamePad screen, rather than on the TV.
- Motion controls: By tilting the Wii U GamePad up, down, left, and right, players can change their Inkling's view and aim.
- : Primarily used to move the player's Inkling forward, backward, left, and right.
- : Used for more precise aiming and controls which direction the player looks. Clicking it activates the player's special weapon. Also used a lot in menus.
- : Allows players to transform into squids. In this form, Inklings can move faster through their own ink and jump farther.
- : Allows players to shoot ink using their current weapon while in battle. In Inkopolis Plaza, this button is used to zoom in.
- : Allows players to use their current sub weapon while in battle.
- Touch screen: During a battle, the touch screen shows a comprehensive, top-down map of the current playing field. Tapping a teammate's icon or a Squid Beakon allows players to Super Jump to that location. In Inkopolis Plaza, the touch screen shows a map of all points of interest, including the player. By tapping one of these locations or the tag associated with it, the player instantaneously enters that point of interest. The touch screen can also be toggled to equip weapons and gear, view the current stages, view gear abilities, and more.
- : Causes the player's Inkling to jump.
- : Resets the camera angle, allowing for quick corrections. This feature is most commonly used alongside motion controls.
- : Used in menus to select specific actions and options.
- : Used in some menus to exit the current selection or action.
- : Up and down is used for signals. Can sometimes be used in menus like .
- : Used to pause in Octo Valley missions, the Battle Dojo and Recon mode. It is used to go to the Equip screen in Inkopolis Plaza and the Lobby. In Octo Valley it is used to go to the Power Up menu to purchase upgrades with Power Eggs.
- : Used to read the Sunken Scrolls in Octo Valley.
- NFC Pad: Used to read amiibo.
While in Inkopolis Plaza, a shop, or the Battle Lobby, the Wii U GamePad displays content from one of four tabs, located on the right side of the screen: 'Map', 'Gear', 'Stages', and 'Options', with a fifth option of an 'Ability Guide' available from the Gear selection.
The Map selection displays an overhead map of Inkopolis Plaza, with large icons denoting important locations. In the top left of the screen is a button that says "Lobby". When this button is tapped, the player is taken to the Battle Lobby. Similarly, an Octo Valley icon is displayed on the right, a Battle Dojo icon near the bottom right, and a Plaza icon that leads to Inkopolis Plaza in the bottom center. To the left is the Booyah Base, with icons for 'Weapons', 'Headgear', 'Clothing', and 'Shoes' that takes the player to the respective shops. There are also four small icons showing where the Miiverse post box, Spyke, Arcade Machine and amiibo box are. However, these icons do not transport the player to the chosen area. A button in the bottom left takes the player to the Equipment screen.
- Main article: Equipment
The Gear selection displays vital player info and current gear used.
The Ability Guide displays icons of all the Abilities in the game and pressing an ability displays at the top what it does. It can only be accessed at the bottom of the Gear selection, which is called 'Equipped Gear'.
- Main article: Options
The Options selection allows the player to change settings.
- The Wii U GamePad can be seen in Sunken Scroll 26.
- The Wii U GamePad can also be seen inside the Battle Dojo building.
- The games from the Arcade Machine are played on the Wii U GamePad.
The Wii U GamePad view of a match being played on the pre-release version of Saltspray Rig
Scanning the Inkling Girl amiibo on the GamePad