Ink tank

From Inkipedia, the Splatoon wiki
An ink tank from Splatoon

The ink tank is a piece of equipment that serves as a mechanic in Splatoon. Inklings and Octolings use ink tanks to store ink during battles.


An Inkling runs out of ink while using a Krak-On Splat Roller in Splatoon

Ink tanks are containers resembling oversized insulated sports water bottles filled with ink. Each tank is made primarily of clear plastic, with caps on its top and bottom, and is worn by players via two short backpack-like straps attached to the top area of the tank. Players typically wear ink tanks on their back during battle as a way to store ink.

The ink tank on the back of the player indicates the amount of ink available in real-time, which flashes red when a player is out of ink. When out of ink, weapons can no longer be used in their regular state, and a notification appears, stating "low ink!" with a small red X upon an ink tank icon. Ink tanks can be refilled slowly by ceasing to use a weapon, or quickly via entering swim form in similarly-colored ink. While submerged, an ink tank icon appears, displaying the current capacity of the ink tank, which disappears once full. Upon using a weapon, the ink tank temporarily stops recharging ink, showing a white space where the ink was used until the player finishes. A red LED light on top of the ink tank accompanied by a sound effect lights up when there is enough ink to deploy the player's currently equipped sub weapon, and a small red arrow indicates how much ink is necessary to use it. Using a special weapon immediately refills the ink tank.


In Octo Valley, Agent 3 is given a unique ink tank from Cap'n Cuttlefish as part of the Hero Suit. It can be upgraded via the Power Up menu by pressing X when in Octo Valley.

Ink Tank Upgrades
Level 1 2 3 4
Capacity ×1.0 ×1.3 ×1.6 ×2.0
Cost N/A Power Eggs 100 Power Eggs 300 Power Eggs 800

Using the Inkling Squid amiibo allows the player to unlock limited-ink challenges for Gusher Gauntlet, Floating Sponge Garden, Inkvisible Avenues and Spongy Observatory in which the player has to complete the levels without running out of ink. Agent 3 is given extra ink tanks in addition to the regular ink tank, represented by a large indicator that appears on the left side of the screen, showing how much ink is left. Whenever Agent 3 refills ink for their regular ink tank (submerged or not), it consumes ink from the extra ink tanks. If the extra tanks are used up, Agent 3 can no longer refill ink for the regular ink tank, even when submerged. Using up all ink causes the mission to fail. The player is given one extra ink tank in Gusher Gauntlet, one and a half in Floating Sponge Garden and two in Inkvisible Avenues and Spongy Observatory.

Judd's Advice
Meow! (Did you ever notice that light on your Ink Tank? It tells you when you've got enough ink to use your sub weapon!)

Splatoon 2

In Splatoon 2, the ink tank functions identically to its Splatoon counterpart, though its design is now more stylized, as a plastic latch resembling a sports bottle cap has been added. The indicator to show how much ink is needed to use a sub weapon now appears as part of the icon that appears when submerged in ink.

In Version 3.2.0, a new version of the ink tank with 10% more ink capacity than the normal version exclusive to the Splattershot Jr. and its variants was introduced. This special ink tank is wider, with a rounded cap resembling a baby bottle, referencing the fact that the Splattershot Jr. is the starting weapon for beginner players.

In Salmon Run, players have a lifesaver which also functions as an ink tank. The ink capacity and current ink level is displayed via the lifesaver's circular shape, filling up counter-clockwise and depleting clockwise.

In Octo Canyon, Agent 4 is also given a unique ink tank from Marie as part of the Hero Suit. This version of the ink tank can be upgraded similar to Agent 3's via the Ammo Knights Enhancifier.

Ink Tank Upgrades
Level 1 2 3
Capacity ×1.0 ×1.25 ×1.5
Cost N/A Sardinium Shadow 2 Power Eggs 1000 Sardinium Shadow 2 Power Eggs 1500

In the Octo Expansion, Agent 8 wakes up with a uniquely designed ink tank on their back, resembling more of a backpack than a water bottle. It has a hook which is used to hold a liquid bag that fills up and explodes, splatting Agent 8 whenever they fail a test. These bags are detonated by C.Q. Cumber.[1] Agent 8 still wears the ink tank even during unarmed missions.

Octo Expansion introduces ink refillers, which are smaller bottles of ink that instantly refill Agent 8's ink tank to full when picked up. Ink refillers appear alongside the return of limited-ink challenges from Splatoon's Octo Valley in the form of mission objectives. These missions are C02 Shrinky Ink Station, D05 All That 8-Ball Station, I02 Dinky Ink Station, and J06D11 Ink & Watch Station. Ink refillers are the only way to refill ink in these stations, as the ability to passively regenerate ink (submerged or not) is disabled altogether; submerging in ink displays a no symbol to signify this. Depleting the ink tank leaves Agent 8 with a few seconds to collect an ink refiller, signified by electronic alarm sounds and their tank's liquid bag pulsating. Failure to do so causes the ink tank's liquid bag to detonate, failing the mission. The ink refillers replace the additional ink tank mechanic found in Octo Valley's limited-ink challenges.

Splatoon 3

Judd's Advice
Meow! (Ever run out of ink at a critical moment? Press to dive into your ink and refill!)
Meow. (Pro tip: swimming in your team's ink is the fastest way to refill your ink tank!)
Meow? (Why not put that fast ink refilling to work with some target practice?)

In Splatoon 3, the ink tank functions identically to its predecessors, featuring a new, slimmer design, resembling a drinking pouch or hydration pack. Each ink tank has an internal dip tube that connects the cap of the ink tank to the bottom of its basin. The red arrow which indicates how much ink is needed to deploy the sub weapon is replaced by a thick, red, horizontal line.

The Splattershot Jr. and its variant retain their higher ink capacity from Splatoon 2, but no longer give players a unique ink tank.

In Salmon Run Next Wave, lifesavers return as an equivalent to ink tanks, with a slightly altered design. Players are now able to throw Golden Eggs, which depletes the lifesaver's ink levels identically to throwing a Splat Bomb.

In Return of the Mammalians, the new Agent 3 has a backpack to carry their Smallfry companion with an ink tank. There are two designs for the backpack and ink tank.

  • As a part of their Hero Gear given to them by Cuttlefish, Agent 3 wears a black rubber backpack with a built-in transparent ink pocket on the front. A small squid-shaped charm attached to the top lights up when the equipped sub weapon is ready to be used.
  • After losing their Hero Suit when entering Alterna, Agent 3 wears a crude brown cloth backpack with a disposable plastic bottle tied on its back as the ink tank. There is a red badge that has the Tri-Squid Tee logo that lights up when a sub weapon is ready to be used.

Agent 3's ink tank may be upgraded similar to the Captain and Agent 4's, though the upgrades only take affect in missions where the Hero Gear is worn.

In Side Order, Agent 8's ink tank resembles the one used in online battles but now has a silver look to it. The look of the ink tank can be slightly changed based on the color chips the player chooses with Lucky-tone color chips causing a shrimp-like charm (which will sparkle after a total of 10 Lucky-tone chips or maxing out one type of Lucky-tone chips) to attach on the ink tank and other color chips like Poison Ink and Ink Saver (Sub) have the ink inside the ink tank to form bubbles as if it was fizzing (further upgrades will have the bubbles appear in Agent 8's secondary ink color).


Abilities on a player's gear can affect usage of the ink tank:

Ability Effect Games
Ink Saver (Main) Decreases main weapons' ink usage.
Ink Saver (Sub) Decreases sub weapons' ink usage.
Ink Recovery Up Increases the ink tank's refill rate when submerged. Since Splatoon 2, also increases refill rate when not submerged.
Last-Ditch Effort Decreases ink usage for both main weapons and sub weapons as well as speeding up ink recovery during the last thirty seconds of a battle.
Comeback Has an effect equal to four subs in Splatoon or one main in Splatoon 2 of Ink Saver (Main), Ink Saver (Sub) and Ink Recovery Up lasting twenty seconds upon respawning.



Splatoon 2

Splatoon 3



Names in other languages

Language Name Meaning
Japan Japanese インクタンク
Inku tanku
Ink tank
Netherlands Dutch Inkttank Ink tank
Germany German Tintentank Ink tank
Russia Russian Баллон
Spain Spanish (NOE) Tanque de tinta Ink tank